Red Flag Laws Are Linked To Declines In Gun Suicides, New Study Finds

Red Flag Laws Are Linked To Declines In Gun Suicides, New Study Finds

Gun suicides declined significantly in two states after they passed laws allowing police to temporarily confiscate firearms from individuals determined to be a threat to themselves or others, according to new research. A study published Friday in the journal Psychiatric Services examined years of death data following the passage of “red flag” laws in Connecticut, which became the first state to enact this sort of law in 1999, and Indiana, which followed suit in 2005. In Indiana, the study found a 7.5 percent reduction in firearm suicides in the decade following the red flag law’s enactment. The link was less pronounced in Connecticut, at least initially. Gun suicides fell only 1.6 percent in the years after the law’s enactment, but enforcement of the law appeared to spike in 2007 following the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, leading to a 13.7 reduction in firearm suicides from 2007 to 2015. One of the study’s authors says the research should give fuel to the state-led push for similar laws around the country, which advocates have held up as vital tools to prevent gun violence. “Our data shows that when red flag laws are utilized, they have the effect of preventing large numbers of suicides,” Aaron Kivisto, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of Indianapolis, told HuffPost. To measure the effect of red flag laws, researchers created a model using data from other states as well as from Connecticut and Indiana in the years before they implemented their laws. After […]

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