SPRINGFIELD – Oftentimes following a mass shooting, friends, family members or neighbors mention they were worried about the person’s threatening behavior but didn’t know where to turn.


04092019CM0184“Time and time again, we hear family members say they were worried that someone close to them would harm others, but they didn’t know who to tell until it was too late,” said State Senator Julie Morrison. “Previously, if a person did report disturbing behavior, there was not a law in place to allow law enforcement to step in.”


The far too common occurrence led the Deerfield Democrat to pass the Firearms Restraining Order Act – also known as the “Red Flag” law.


The measure – which went into effect in January – allows family members and law enforcement officials who have concerns that someone is a threat to themselves or others the right to ask a judge to temporarily remove their guns.


If a judge grants the restraining order, law enforcement may seize the respondent’s firearms for up to six months and prevent them from purchasing additional weapons during that time period.


“The Red Flag law has the ability to stop mass shootings by temporarily keeping guns out of the hands of people who pose a threat to themselves or others,” Morrison said. “If you are concerned about the behavior of a loved one, I encourage you to contact local law enforcement.”

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