One year ago, gun violence prevention was still a taboo topic for many state and federal legislators. Some would dodge questions about gun policy. Some would decline to support any legislation regarding guns.
But since the tragic Valentine’s Day shooting in Parkland, Fla attitudes have changed. We’ve seen progress. Policymakers on both sides of the aisle have begun to recognize that the American people are demanding evidence-based policies to keep guns away from dangerous individuals. One such policy is the "extreme risk" law, which is now in effect in 13 states — and is being considered in several more.
"Extreme risk" laws — sometimes referred to as “red flag laws” — are based on a simple concept: those close to an individual can recognize the warning signs preceding dangerous behavior. Indeed, prior to numerous mass shootings, those close to the shooter recognized unusual, dangerous behavior but did not have the tools to take action. "extreme risk" laws provide individuals with those tools. These laws allow family members and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove guns from at-risk individuals and prevent them from purchasing additional guns.