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What is a “Red Flag” law and do they work?

President Trump often says he wants to keep “crazy people” from having guns and has proposed so-called Red Flag laws to take a suspect’s guns away until a court can rule whether the person poses a threat. How do these laws work and do they save lives?  Here is a summary from The New York Times. 

 

CBS News provided these two useful lists:

Which states have implemented red flag laws?

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii (effective Jan. 1, 2020)
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada (effective Jan. 1, 2020)
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Who can petition for a firearm to be removed?

In most states with ERPO laws, a family member may petition for a firearm to be removed from an individual. In other states, only law enforcement officials can make the petition. Here’s who is permitted to petition in each state:

  • California: Family, household members and law enforcement
  • Colorado: Family, household members and law enforcement
  • Connecticut: One state attorney or any two police officers
  • Delaware: Family, household members and law enforcement
  • District of Columbia: Family, household members, mental health professionals and law enforcement
  • Florida: Law enforcement
  • Hawaii: Family, household members, teachers, medical professionals, coworkers and law enforcement
  • Illinois: Family, household members and law enforcement
  • Indiana: Law enforcement
  • Maryland: Family, household members, certain health professionals and law enforcement
  • Massachusetts: Family, household members and law enforcement
  • Nevada: Family, household members and law enforcement
  • New Jersey: Family, household members and law enforcement
  • New York: Family, household members, school administrators and law enforcement
  • Oregon: Family, household members and law enforcement
  • Rhode Island: Law enforcement
  • Vermont: State attorneys or the office of the state attorney general
  • Washington: Family, household members and law enforcement
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