On October 1st, 2018, Maryland’s “red flag” gun law went into effect. The law lets relatives, police officers, and medical professionals petition the courts to “temporarily remove someone’s guns for risky behavior.”
Under the new law, a person could be “red flagged” for violence, threats of violence, drug abuse, or alarming statements and behavior.
While the law is supposed to protect people, it has already backfired, leading to a man’s death at the hands of police. A local Maryland news station reports:
GLEN BURNIE, Md. — A suspect is dead after an officer and the suspect struggled over a gun in Glen Burnie, triggering the officer to shoot and kill the suspect.
The incident happened around 5 a.m. in the 100 block of Linwood Ave., the Anne Arundel County PIO said. Officers were responding to the area to serve an extreme risk protective order (red flag law) to confiscate the suspect’s gun. The law allows family members or authorities to seek a court order to temporarily restrict a person’s access to guns when they show “red flags” that they are a danger to themselves or others.
Police said the suspect, Gary J. Willis became irate when they tried to serve him. He opened the door to his house and grabbed the gun. When police tried to take the gun away, Willis fired his gun. A second officer fired their service weapon and hit Willis.
One of Willis’ relatives tells the Baltimore Sun that his sister had filed for the protective order.
How ironic that Willis’ sister filed the red flag report to protect her brother, yet her report ultimately killed him.
Gun owners knew this would happen. The red flag gun laws lead to subjective judgments about gun owners. And when the cops show up to seize the guns, is anybody surprised when the gun owner is angry or irate? After all, in the majority of cases, the gun owner being targeted has not committed any crimes.
Nine states have already enacted red flag laws, including Maryland. Washington D.C. and 29 other states are considering them.
Each time a red flag law is used to confiscate a gun, it puts police and gun owners at risk of harm. When will people realize that red flag gun laws aren’t good for anybody?