Red Flag Laws Reduce Mass Shootings and Gun Suicides But The NRA—Always Opposed To Any Law That Would Reduce Gun Violence—Says They Violate “Due Process”

by Elliot Fineman

CEO – Founder

National Gun Victims Action Council


June 25, 2018


Red flag laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders or Gun Violence Restraining Orders, let law enforcement and sometimes family members and other acquaintances petition a judge to remove guns from people who pose a threat to themselves or others. Signs are not hard to see.


Most mass shooters display many signs of instability and imminent violence. The accused Parkland murderer threatened a classmate’s mother with a rifle. The man accused of a mass shooting in the Ft. Lauderdale airport in 2017 was previously arrested on domestic violence charges. The accused Orlando Pulse nightclub murderer talked “about killing people all the time” according to a co-worker. Should these people have guns?





Some states are passing red flag laws, but the NRA fights them saying individuals must have a court hearing before guns are removed––which defeats the purpose of the laws. Individuals can contest the order after removal.


In an attempt to discredit a pending Illinois bill, the NRA says it “would allow for the issuance of protective orders to infringe on Second Amendment rights based on third party allegations with little, if any, real evidence and limited ‘due process’ for the respondent.”


Does the NRA also oppose dram shop/bartender laws that use prevention (server liability) to reduce drunk driving deaths? The server must not let the drunk leave and drive. If they do, the server/establishment is held liable as an accomplice for any impacts caused by the drunk driver. The NRA would rather wait for the person who has been identified as a threat to themselves or others to actually commit mass murder or suicide before taking their gun(s) away.


And speaking of drunk driving, in 1984 Congress required all states to enforce a minimum legal drinking age of 21––not leaving such a deadly issue up to the individual states. Obviously, red flag laws should also be federal.


There is another reason for a federal red flag law––such laws have been effective in reducing gun suicide. Over 21,000 Americans die by gun suicide each year. According to the June issue of Psychiatric Services, noticeable drops in gun suicide have followed the enactment of red flag laws.


In Connecticut, where enforcement of an existing red flag law was stepped up in 2015, gun suicides dropped by 13.7% from what they were in 2007. After adoption of its 2005 red flag law, considered a national model, gun suicides in Indiana dropped 7.5%.


In my upcoming book, to be released this summer, I discuss how the NRA blocks every proposed federal gun safety law—including federal red flag gun safety laws—and perpetuates the gun violence epidemic. The book identifies the 4 simple steps—never initiated before—we can take that will end the gun violence epidemic now.



Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council