Two years in, Carroll County using ‘red flag’ gun seizure law at one of highest rates in Maryland

Two years in, Carroll County using ‘red flag’ gun seizure law at one of highest rates in Maryland

About two years after Maryland instituted its extreme risk protective order law that can take away guns from those deemed to be a threat to themselves or others, Carroll County has used the law among the most per capita in the state, according to a Times data analysis. The law, commonly known as a “red flag” law in a term discouraged by mental health advocates, was passed after 17 people were killed and another 17 were wounded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018. Law enforcement agencies, family members, intimate partners and medical professionals may petition for the orders, which can prevent a person from buying and possessing firearms and can require them to surrender firearms to law enforcement for up to a year. A judge may opt to issue a temporary order before a final order hearing, usually within seven days of the temporary order being issued. Research is limited thus far, but past research has suggested that such laws can slow firearm suicides. A 2017 Duke University study of Connecticut’s risk-based gun removal law estimated that for every 10 to 20 gun seizures, one suicide is prevented. Between when the law was implemented on Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, 2020, 97 extreme risk protection petitions have been filed in the county, the fifth-highest per-capita rate among the 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City, according to data compiled by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Carroll County has received more petitions than in Baltimore […]

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