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The study, published online in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in June, examined four types of laws that restrict access to firearms from individuals, including those considered to be at risk of harming themselves or others. These are often known as red flag laws, and place restrictions on people versus weapons. They are opposed by many Republicans and gun rights groups. Michigan passed such a law in May, following 20 other states, in response to the Feb. 13 mass shooting at Michigan State University.

Properly implemented firearm injury prevention policies can play a role in preventing gun-related injuries and death, but more research is needed, according to a policy review led by the University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention.

It identified challenges in implementing these laws, also known as extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws. Among those challenges are uncertainty among law enforcement, attorneys and courts over such things as which court has jurisdiction over a petition and the time commitment involved in finding the individuals, serving the order and confiscating weapons, according to the study. Researchers also found a lack of knowledge about the laws among potential petitioners and those unwilling to ask a judge for an order.

“Given this situation, the number of ERPOs issued has been low,” the study says. “For example, 40 percent of Washington counties did not have any ERPO petitions for at least the first two years the ERPO law was in effect, and 39 percent of Oregon counties did not have any for at least the first 14 months after the law was enacted.”

Research regarding whether these laws decrease violence is still in its earliest stages, since most states that have passed red flag laws have done so in the last seven years, the study says. But it outlined research in Connecticut and Indiana “suggesting that the removal of firearms under ERPOs saved lives.” Other research in San Diego showed no relationship between ERPO laws and overall violence.

The UM study also examined states with laws that have firearm restrictions for those with a domestic violence restraining order, which showed a 12%-14% decrease in intimate partner homicides, depending on provisions of the law or when the domestic violence restraining order firearm restriction was granted. However, a study in California showed that it was “unclear whether firearm recovery reduces the likelihood of future violent offenses.”

“Some of the associated reductions of DVRO firearm restriction laws and intimate partner homicide do not hold when race-specific populations are examined,” according to the study. “For example, state DVRO firearm restriction laws … are associated with reductions in intimate partner homicide of White, but not Black, victims.”

Firearm restriction laws for those with felony and violent misdemeanor convictions were also examined in the study. In states with violent misdemeanor convictions, the study cited research showing an 18% percent drop in homicide rates, a 23% decline in domestic violence homicide rates and a 19% decrease in firearm injury-related hospitalization rates. 

“However, enactment of California’s violent misdemeanor firearm restriction (along with simultaneous passage of a comprehensive background check law) was not associated with changes in state-level firearm-related homicides or suicides,” the study says.

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44 COMMENTS

  1. Amazing, ain’t it? Passing more laws has little if any effect on those who would break the law. It only creates more inconvenience on those who observe the law.

    Even with the old scrutiny criteria that the courts used to use, Red Flag laws are nonsense. The state gains little or nothing, and untold numbers of people are deprived of their rights. I don’t care what kind of scrutiny is used, it’s all hogwash.

    If we pass a law, will bears stop sh!tt!ng in the woods?

    • Researchers: “Please send more money.”

      We’ve already had high profile mass shootings in districts where these red flag laws exist. They didn’t use them when they had the opportunity to.

    • “The state gains little or nothing, and untold numbers of people are deprived of their rights.”

      The deprivation of Rights is what the state gains. As in Deep State, or Police State. At the core, the red flag laws are about the 4th Amendment.

  2. If someone is too dangerous to own a firearm, what the hell are they doing walking freely among us in the first place?

    And when did the 4th and 5th Amendments not hold any weight anymore?

    Due process is dead, and with it, any semblance of law, order and justice.

    • “If someone is too dangerous to own a firearm, what the hell are they doing walking freely among us in the first place?”

      So they should be locked up with no due process?

      • Should we let them out when they repeatedly victimize others? Not what you were asking as you are correct, ignoring due process for precrime would be retardedly tyrannical. From personal observation letting them out with minimal time served is an absolute mockery of justice let alone public safety.

        • “From personal observation letting them out with minimal time served is an absolute mockery of justice let alone public safety.”

          We should get an idea of how things will be in a few months when the SCotUS hears the Rahimi case :

          “Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this fall to decide if a 1994 federal statute prohibiting anyone actively subject to a domestic violence restraining order from having firearms is constitutional. It comes after a Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel threw out the conviction of Texas man Zackey Rahimi, who was convicted of possessing firearms while under such a restraining order.”

          https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/politics/2023/07/10/advocates–next-scotus-gun-rights-decision-will-clarify-ny-laws

          It could go either way, but I hope Thomas understands the games they want to play with someone’s rights…

      • Cato,

        If someone is too dangerous to own a firearm, what the hell are they doing walking freely among us in the first place?

        That statement is NOT advocating that we confine an individual to prison before he/she has committed a violent crime. Rather, that statement is illustrating how confiscating someone’s firearms completely fails to accomplish its purported goal of making society safer.

        • “what the hell are they doing walking around freely…”

          You might want to rethink your response.

          The statement is about dangerous people out there freely among us whether they are allowed to own guns or not.

          I’m not against institutionalizing a lot of them.

      • Anton Solomyr: “If someone is too dangerous to own a firearm, what the hell are they doing walking freely among us in the first place?”

        Cato: So they should be locked up with no due process?

        NoHummer: So they should be denied Constitutional rights without due process? I think much of the beef here is the lack of due process involved in Red Flag confiscations. Anonymous accusers, deprivation of rights and property with no court appearance/examination prior to confiscation, no legal recourse. Totally unConstitutional! These are police state actions.

    • When for the “common good” overrides individual rights, individuals become expendable.

      Thomas Sowell.

      • Yep. The red flag debate ain’t about population-based stats – it is about the Bill of Rights. No one doubts that a dictatorship can produce politically comforting stats, in the short-term.

  3. Allow me to illustrate the abject silliness of domestic violence restraining orders and “extreme-risk-protection-orders” in a few words:

    Imagine an unhinged violent scumbag husband who has been verbally nasty to his wife for years and suddenly escalates to verbally issuing significant physical threats. In response the wife goes to the local police department to file a protection order and the local police, with order in-hand, show up and confiscate all of the violent scumbag husband’s firearms.

    Which of the following possible responses from the husband seems more likely?

    1) Violent scumbag husband says to himself, “Shucky-darn, I have no way of messing-up my wife anymore without my firearms. I am going to sit in the corner and pout for the foreseeable future and leave my wife alone.”

    — OR —

    2) Violent scumbag husband takes inventory of all the knives, axes, clubs, and bricks at the home and says to himself, “I’ll show that no-good skank who’s boss around here as soon as she lays down in bed and closes her eyes.”

    • Aside from how silly (ineffective) protection orders are, we also have to recognize their GINORMOUS potential for abuse. Remember, all a woman has to do is go to the local police department and state that her boyfriend/husband has been verbally abusive for months/years and finally threatened to maim/murder her. And voila! Protection order granted.

      Countless hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of women have/will falsely invoke such an order for no other purpose than to harass and/or punish their boyfriend/husband for anything or nothing at all.

      A bedrock principle of our criminal-justice system is that it is better to let 100 guilty criminals go free than to imprison ONE innocent person. Apparently that principle does not apply if it involves a woman leveling nothing more than an unsupported accusation at a man.

      • uncommon…The only thing more gutless than anyone making false accusations are the gutless wonders who hear and see a woman, child, elderly, etc. being abused physically or verbally and they say nothing, nada.

        • “gutless wonders”

          Yeah, sure. Years ago, my wife and I heard one of our neighbors smacking around his girlfriend, so we (and several others in the apt complex) called the police.

          When they arrived, the girlfriend pulled the old “No problem here, officers; just a little argument. I won’t press charges.”

          A week later, when he was beating her again, no one called the police.

    • Call the police department with a credible death threat against you and your family. They will say, *yawn* “you can go to court to get a protective order / restraining order.” Like you said, that would most likely enrage an already unhinged person. You would be better off making a report with the police so they will know who to investigate should anything happen to you. The report would also make you look better if you end up defending yourself. Obviously you should arm yourself as well.

  4. Maybe they’re doing something, maybe they’re not. Over here they might have yet over there they probably didn’t. We may never know if they actually do anything but we definitely need them and more.

    The state of academic research.

  5. It isn’t like humanity hasn’t already had hundreds of years worth of study on this subject.

    It’s about money and inability to accept and deal with reality. Then there are those that want communism and tyranny too.

  6. Red flag laws are unconstitutional as is any law that removes someones freedom or property without a trial and guilty verdict. End of story.

  7. Anybody recall the two profs who wrote a bunch of fake papers, then submitted them to various journals for review, and several of them were actually published? Big scandal that was hushed up by red-faced academicians.

    The feds are trying to make the so-called gun crime problem into a public health issue because that will open up all kinds of regulations and funding. The swine are lining up at the trough, in anticipation.

  8. “At the ecological level, Kivisto and Phalen (2018) found that ERPO laws were associated with a decrease in firearm suicides in Connecticut and Indiana…”

    BUT only reduced OVERALL suicides in IN. 1 positive out of a sample size of 2.

    “Whereas Indiana demonstrated an aggregate decrease in suicides, Connecticut’s estimated reduction in firearm suicides was offset by increased nonfirearm suicides.”

    https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ps.201700250

    • True.

      But for my part, I don’t care if science proves that red flag laws cure cancer,, make it rain diamonds and gold, and guarantee abundant crops – it is about individual rights, and the rule of law.

      Red flag is horrifically counter-revolutionary. That would be the Revolution of 1776, not the murderously retro 1917 debauchery.

  9. We’re forgetting that the Marxists care nothing about safety (look at the evidence). Their sole purpose is gun confiscation and confiscating us afterwards. Period. It’s all deceit which comes with centralization of power.

    • Plans for the Great Lakes to Seattle canal are being finalized. To be constructed only with hand tools with wildly optimistic daily quotas.

  10. “These are often known as red flag laws, and place restrictions on people versus weapons. They are opposed by many Republicans and gun rights groups.”

    They are opposed by many Republicans and gun rights groups because…. ‘red flag laws’ do not have strong due process and safeguards to keep them from being abused. And that they are abused a lotttt by local politicians and police and others… and used to persecute or ‘get even’.

    it is extremely important and critical that red flag laws include very robust safeguards to minimize “false positives” and prevents abuse and include very strong due process. But with all the screaming about wanting red-flag laws, of the states crowing about theirs although they have passed such laws every one of them either have no due process or its extremely weak so as to practically not exist, and none of them have strong safeguards that prevent abuse. This means that people can be stripped of their constitutional rights, not just 2A but 1st and 4th as well, based on little more than unvalidated or false or ‘contrived’ allegations, and it happens a lot. And when they are abused and wrongly used the victim of such unjust treatment has no recourse to be made whole by their ‘government’ abusers ’cause ‘qualified immunity’ types of reasons and the victim has lost lost property and maybe home and children/family and employment as well as a result.

  11. If the life the laws save might be yours, you have a moral obligation to support them. Remember, always remember, if no one has a gun, there can be no gun crime. If there can be no gun crime, there can be no violent crime. More important, if there are no laws, there can be no crime.

    • Even more important along those lines, if humanity can manage to become extinct without nuking the planet, then the planet will be better off without us. Of course, that would include the neo-marxists, but c’est la vie. Or not, as it were.

      • “Even more important along those lines, if humanity can manage to become extinct without nuking the planet, then the planet will be better off without us. Of course, that would include the neo-marxists, but c’est la vie. Or not, as it were.”

        There ya’ go, embracing the logic. Thanx.

    • Seriously, the fucking bots can post their bullshit but I can’t cut up a link for this fucking paper? Are you fucking serious?

      • Fine, fuck it. This isn’t worth my time.

        This paper is available in full for free on the AAPSS site. I can’t tell you the title, WP won’t let me, or give you a link for the same reason.

        It’s not a study, it’s a lit review. It’s sources provide an interesting example of how studies can be misinterpreted. This paper cites a 2017 paper that I happened to run into in another current paper while searching for this one.

        Track that down for 10 minutes and you find a pretty good paper from 2017 on how hard working with real world datasets is and why a p-val of 0.39 is problematic. But the authors are honest about the shortcomings of their work and explicitly spell out their assumptions. It’s a case-study in working with difficult datasets to come up with a very, very, very rough estimate.

        It’s the way that paper is cited by others that’s a problem.

        In closing, fuck WP.

        Oh, and Dan, if I ever meet you, I’m going to charlie horse your arm to the point you’ll be bruised for a decade because this is asinine.

      • Swanson et al. 2017 is the stats paper. A study on Connecticut ERPOs.

        This paper in this article is Zeoli et al. 2023.

        The other paper which gives you the tell that Zeoli and friends are fast and loose with their data interpretation is Glasser et al. 2023 in the same AAPSS journal edition.

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