January 17, 2019 – There are several gun laws that will be proposed in the legislative session in January. One of these involves Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO). Sometimes called “red flag laws,” they’re a bit like restraining orders on guns. They allow for the temporary removal of guns and ammunition from people deemed a threat to themselves or to others. They are gaining momentum across the U.S. At least 13 states have them on the books, including strong gun states like Vermont and Oregon, and at least 20 more are considering them, including New Mexico. The idea has been gaining traction since the Parkland Fla. shootings and even the NRA has voiced some support for some of these laws, although other gun rights activists oppose them.
Recent studies on the laws in Indiana and Connecticut show they are effective at preventing suicides, which make up 60 percent of gun violence deaths in the U.S., but there is little data on how effectively they prevent homicides. At the same time, there are examples where red flag laws have limitations, such as in cases of domestic violence. Some of this is due to how these laws are implemented, how the laws are written and the level of public education around the laws.
There is also the question of what happens after the guns are removed. In some states, there is a mandate the subject be connected to mental health or other services, but that’s not universally true.
Correspondent Megan Kamerick sits down with Rep. Daymon Ely, who is working on a “red flag” law to be presented during this year’s legislative session. This is followed by a discussion of the pros and cons of Extreme Risk Protection Orders with a diverse panel that includes a crisis intervention detective and a gun rights advocate.
Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Bernalillo and Sandoval
Zachary Fort, President, New Mexico Shooting Sports Association
Nancy Koenigsberg, Legal Director, Disability Rights New Mexico
Detective Matthew Tinney, Crisis Intervention Team, Albuquerque Police Department
For Further Reading:
Ideas We Should Steal: Extreme Risk Protection Orders – Philadelphia Citizen
Gun Owners Must Oppose Red Flag Laws That Deny People Rights Without Due Process – Idaho Statesman opinion column
“Common-sense” Gun Control Plans Actually Don’t Make Sense – Albuquerque Journal opinion column
Giffords, Lujan Grisham Push For New Gun Laws In New Mexico – Albuquerque Journal
Limit Access To Guns For Mentally Ill Is Complicated – New York Times