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Study: The California Red Flag Law may reduce the risk of mass shootings

Four years after California was one of the first states to accelerate the removal of weapons from people considered by family members or law enforcement agencies as a public danger, the law of the "red flag" seems to help lessen the likelihood of mass shootings According to a study published Monday by the Davis School of Medicine of UC.

The first results of the school's Violence Prevention Research Program were released a few hours after Governor Gavin Newsom's statement Monday that he was interested in an impending intake of a group of bills that would significantly increase the use of so-called "extreme risk-protection" contracts.

At the same time, the recent mass shootings in Gilroy, California, as well as in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, have resumed the conversation congress on possible adoption of national red flag laws.

UC Davis researchers investigated 21

cases of people who had been shot or blocked by court order. The researchers found that none of the individuals were involved in gun violence later.

"We can not prove that the commands are responsible for the outcome," said Garen Wintemute, a professor of emergency medicine and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program.

"But there is an obvious logic: if someone presents an immediate threat, whether to others or to themselves, and firearms are a part of this threat, the restoration of firearms can help to reduce the threat threat", Wintemute added.

The existing law, which came into force in 2016, has resulted in judges ordering the temporary removal of firearms from more than 600 people after family members or law enforcement authorities filed a petition to the courts, saying that the persons take a pose risk of harming yourself or others.

Of 414 cases, 91% were men and 61% non-Hispanic whites by 2018, according to the study. UC Davis researchers continue to collect information on issued orders, but the first report focused on 21 cases in which 52 weapons were removed by individuals.

"Most subjects explicitly threatened and possessed firearms," ​​states the study, which is scheduled for release in the next issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

In three cases, individuals had purchased weapons but were in the waiting period of 10 days prior to delivery, and a court order blocked the acquisition of the firearms, said Wintemute. In one of these cases, a man was waiting for the delivery of a shotgun, but officials who searched his house found 400 rounds of ammunition.

In some cases, these were people deemed vulnerable by mental health workers. In the social media and newspapers, it was found that none of the 21 themes of the order seemed to have harmed themselves or others The researchers said the authors do not claim a causal link, "the study concluded. "Nevertheless, the cases suggest that this urgent, individualized intervention can play a role in efforts to prevent mass shootings, health care and elsewhere. Another review would be helpful.

Proponents of gun owners who have objected to the court orders for infringement of procedural rights doubted the value of the study given its limitations.

"There is no way for them to quantify what would have happened if they had not issued a court order," said Sam Paredes, managing director of Gun Owners of California.

He noted that some men were recently arrested in other states after threatening mass shootings and that no court order was required. "Existing laws were sufficient," said Paredes.

Wintemute announced that he had forwarded the findings of the study to members of Congress, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a bill to grant state subsidies for the design and enforcement of Programs with red flag.

The study looked into cases where a man threatened to kill family business employees. His mother alerted the authorities and seized 26 weapons.

Another protective order was issued when a headmaster informed the authorities about a 15-year-old student who spoke positively about the rifleman Parkland, Florida, saying, "School shooters are gods.

Others who were subject to court orders threatened shootings of companies, schools and religious institutions, including a mosque.

"Public mass shootings in Parkland, Florida; Aurora, Colorado; and Tucson, Arizona, have been targeted by attackers who are known to have family members, acquaintances, law enforcement agencies, and in some cases healthcare professionals, exposure to a high risk of violence, "the study said.

Weapons must first be removed for 21 days, but can be extended to one year after trial with the target.

Rep. Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) has written one of nearly 10 outstanding bills that would magnify the red of California's flag law. His legislation would extend the number of people who can petition the court to employees, employers and school workers who believe that individuals pose a public risk of armed violence.

"It proves that strict arms control measures work." Ting said Monday the study. "There may be 21 people who could have perpetrated violence without this being possible because their weapons were taken away."

In earlier years, the then Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed similar bills and stated that employers and teachers could receive court injunctions if they passed family members or law enforcement agencies other and some family members may not be willing to file an application if there is a risk that the person is in court is provided.

Other pending laws would extend the duration of the one-to-five-year removal warrant, expand the training of police officers in law enforcement, and allow gun owners to voluntarily hand their firearms to a court. Newsom has signaled on Monday that he is open to the extension of Red Flag laws, though he is waiting to see what he achieves.

"By and large, I support the intention to expand these laws, even though we all sum up the details," Newsom said Monday to reporters in Sacramento. "But I'm confident that this bill will be processed and get to my desk in a way that I can sign it."

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