Let School Officials Seek Gun Limits for Potentially Violent Students, Feds Suggest

Let School Officials Seek Gun Limits for Potentially Violent Students, Feds Suggest

Students protest after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Model legislation released by the U.S. Department of Justice Monday suggests school officials should be allowed to petition courts to restrict students’ access to guns if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others. That provision under state “red flag laws” could give principals and superintendents a tool to intervene in the most extreme threats of violence, acting on research that shows school shooters often signal their intentions beforehand. But allowing schools to file such reports could also add to existing concerns from some civil rights advocates and gun rights groups about providing adequate due process for individuals who are identified as potential threats. “Research has shown that states can save lives by authorizing courts to issue extreme risk protection orders that temporarily prevent a person in crisis from accessing firearms,” the model legislation says, later adding that the agency “is not endorsing any particular formulation of a [red flag law], and the model is not intended to provide a comprehensive scheme that could be adopted wholesale.” Red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders, surged in popularity after the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in which a former student killed 17 students and adults with an AR-15 rifle he had legally purchased a year before. At the time, just five states had such laws. A wave of state legislatures, including the GOP-controlled Florida statehouse, passed such bills in the […]

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