“The number of people we catch with red flags is probably extremely small,” added Jody Madeira, a law professor at Indiana University, who, like other experts who reviewed the AP`s findings, would not speculate on how many red flag orders are needed to make a difference. Nineteen states currently have “red flag” laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders. Recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas; and Highland Parks in Illinois have revived calls for the government to enact such gun laws. Colorado made a similar decision this year. In June, Democratic Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order creating the Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the state Department of Public Health and Environment. The new office will lead the state`s public education and training efforts on the Red Flag Act, which went into effect in 2020. A few months later, Hole bought two AR-style rifles from a gun store, turned to his mother and said, “You don`t have a flag with me.” A few months later, he shot eight employees at a FedEx warehouse where he worked and wounded seven others before committing suicide. Research has shown that Connecticut`s Red Flag Act reduces suicides involving firearms more than half the time. Some states also allow family members of gun owners, school officials, co-workers or doctors to ask questions about gun removal orders, also known as extreme risk protection orders. But data reviewed by the AP shows that nearly all petitions in several states were initiated by police, perhaps because, as several polls have shown, few people outside of law enforcement even know that laws exist.

He added: “I wouldn`t necessarily call it iron, definite proof. But it is certainly convincing evidence that laws are being used as intended to prevent these things. “These laws have been proven to save lives,” said Shannon Frattaroli, a professor at Johns Hopkins University`s Bloomberg School of Public Health who studies gun violence prevention. Their research has shown that people who commit atrocities often signal in advance that they will. Law enforcement shouldn`t just respond to mass shootings — they should try to stop them before they happen, she said. In Washington state, voters approved the Red Flag Act through a referendum initiative. Although it passed with 69 percent support, only a handful of residents filed petitions in the first two years, said Kim Wyatt, chief deputy district attorney for King County. Since the legislator did not provide money for the implementation of the law, there was no public education effort.

In 2018, the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, sparked a new generation of them. That year, Florida passed a red flag law and many other states followed suit. By the end of 2021, 19 states and the District of Columbia had done so. Not all states are on board: In 2020, Oklahoma banned its counties and municipalities from passing red flag laws. An AP-NORC poll conducted in late July found that 78 percent of U.S. adults were strongly or somewhat supportive of red flag laws, but the backlash against them has been intense in some states, particularly in rural areas. Opponents argue that allowing judges to rule on gun seizures on initial urgent motions before full hearings violates due process rights, even though court cases that purport to do so have generally ruled on constitutional laws. Attorney Mara W. Elliott told Stateline that the law is a life-saving tool. His office has trained 400 law enforcement agencies across California on the Red Flag Act and filing petitions, known in the state as gun violence containment orders. California has allocated $1 million over the next three years to San Diego`s statewide training efforts.

A high-profile recent example of a red flag law that was not enforced involves the 21-year-old gunman, who was accused of shooting seven people and wounding dozens more during a fourth-day parade in July in Chicago`s Highland Park suburb. Robert E. Crimo III came to the attention of police three years earlier when he threatened to “kill everyone in his home,” and officers confirmed that he had entered the home several times due to a “history of attempts” to commit suicide. KASTE: Kim Wyatt is in the Seattle District Attorney`s Office, where she is part of an interagency unit that investigates gun orders. She says cooperation between prosecutors, courts and police has led to the recovery of about 200 guns a year under the state`s 5-year-old Red Flag Act. However, this tool relies entirely on a good response from the system if there is evidence that someone could pose a danger, Webster said. Several experts said it was impossible to find an ideal number of red flag orders, and that it was misleading to compare states by order, as rates of gun ownership and murder and suicide, among other things, vary widely. Lack of activity is a common problem, said Jeffrey Swanson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine and one of the nation`s leading researchers on red flag laws. The AP count, compiled from Freedom of Information Act requests and requests, showed large differences in how laws were enforced from state to state, county to county, most without regard for population or crime rates. Yet those laws could go further, said New York State Sen.

James Skoufis, who recently pushed other Democrats to pass new laws strengthening the Empire State`s 2019 Red Flag Act. When asked why Chicago has so few stay-at-home orders for guns, police spokesman Thomas Ahern said many of the city`s gun murders are committed with illegally held guns. “It`s too small a pebble to make waves,” said Duke University sociologist Jeffrey Swanson, who has studied red flag surrender orders across the country. “It`s like the law doesn`t exist.” Jeffrey Swanson, a professor of psychology and behavioral studies affiliated with Duke University`s Center for Firearms Law, told ABC News that these laws are not being implemented widely enough to determine whether they are effective. This law builds on New York`s strictest gun laws and makes New York the first in the United States to empower its teachers, school administrators, and psychiatrists to prevent shootings through judicial intervention. MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: These orders are sometimes called extreme risk protection orders, and the idea is to temporarily remove weapons from people identified as posing a risk to others or to themselves. And when it comes to self-harm, studies show they work. Garen Wintemute is director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis Health. And it says that for every 10 to 20 red flag orders that are issued, you reduce the total number of suicides by one. Red flag laws are a possible solution to high rates of gun violence in the U.S. Nineteen states now allow gun owners to remove guns when there is a risk of violence.

As NPR`s Martin Kaste reports, researchers are tracking the effectiveness of these laws. Swanson said this was the case in Connecticut, where a “red flag” law was passed in 1999, but wasn`t widely enforced until around 2008. The researchers found that when enforced in the state, these laws were “modestly” effective in preventing suicides. The seven states with the lowest gun death rates for 2020 all had red flag laws. And 14 of the 15 states with the highest gun death rates this year did not have red flag laws. The exception was New Mexico, where a red flag law went into effect mid-year. “Red flag” laws have been slow to pass in many places, but the San Diego program shows how supporters hope gun violence that restricts stay-at-home orders can be used to prevent tragedy. Then I imagined that these average gun death rates would apply across the country – if the entire nation had a red flag law, or if there wasn`t one at all.