Extreme Risk Laws
What is the problem?
When a person is in crisis and considering harming themselves or others, family members and law enforcement are often the first people to see the warning signs. Extreme Risk laws, sometimes referred to as “Red Flag” laws, allow loved ones or law enforcement to intervene by petitioning a court for an order to temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing guns.
Myth & Fact
Extreme Risk laws violate due process protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Extreme Risk laws allow a judge to temporarily remove a person’s access to guns when there is evidence that they pose a serious risk. They also provide due process protections that meet the standards set by the Supreme Court. Judges may enter an emergency short-term order after family or law enforcement gives evidence that the person poses an immediate risk to themselves or others. After notifying the person, the judge must hold a hearing within a short period of time before entering a final order. The person asking for the order must prove that the other person poses a serious risk to themselves or others. That person can challenge any evidence and make their case as to why an order should not be issued. And even orders entered after a full hearing have a limited duration, generally up to one year, and can only be extended if the court holds another hearing. Case law shows that Extreme Risk laws have and will continue to withstand due process challenges: an appeals court in Florida recently upheld Florida’s law in the face of a constitutional due process challenge.
Extreme Risk Laws
Firearm Suicide By Congressional District
There are 52 firearm suicides on average per congressional district each year, yet there is district-level variation across the country.Report
Armed and Dangerous: How the Gun Lobby Enshrines Guns as Tools of the Extreme Right
For decades, the gun lobby has enabled extremists to access guns through its opposition of common sense gun laws.Report
The Rise of Firearm Suicide Among Young Americans
Death by suicide is a significant public health problem that claims the lives of thousands of young people in the US each year.Report
Thousands of Preventable Gun Suicides
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Extreme Risk Protection Orders during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased social isolation, fear, despair, and anxiety, leading to heightened risks of suicide. For someone in distress, access to a firearm…Fact Sheet
Extreme Risk Laws Save Lives – Extreme Risk Laws By State
StatePolicy NameEffective Date1The effective date is the date the law first took effect in the state. The law may have been…Appendix
Extreme Risk Laws Save Lives – Stories
These stories illustrate the importance of Extreme Risk legislation in removing firearms from dangerous situations.Appendix
Extreme Risk Laws Save Lives
Extreme Risk laws, or “red flag” laws, empower family or police to intervene and temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing guns.Fact Sheet
Those Who Serve: Addressing Firearm Suicide Among Military Veterans
Findings Veteran firearm suicide is a virulent strain of a larger crisis. Firearm suicide is a significant public health crisis in the United States, claiming…Fact Sheet
A Nation of Survivors: The Toll of Gun Violence in America
In a recent national poll, 58% of adult respondents said they or someone they care for have experienced gun violence in their lifetime.Report
Disrupting Access: Addressing Firearm Suicide in the U.S.
Firearm Suicide In The U.S A growing problem Nearly 43,000 Americans die by suicide every year,1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Report
Five Ways to Enhance the Gun Violence Prevention Strategy in Your City
Cities that have sustained success preventing gun violence have deployed multi-disciplinary, community-involved approaches to response and prevention. Below are five steps that you can take…Fact Sheet