Americans Broadly Support Red Flag Gun Laws

Strong majorities of Americans from across the political spectrum support laws that allow family members or law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily remove guns from a person who is seen to be a risk to themselves or others, according to a new APM Research Lab/Guns & America/Call To Mind survey, NPR reported.

These laws, often called extreme risk protection order laws, or red flag laws, have received renewed attention after 31 people were killed during mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Variations of these red flag laws are in place in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

Since the mass shootings, President Trump and some congressional Republicans have signaled support for federal red flag legislation, though next steps in Congress are unclear at this point, NP adds

Overall, 77% of Americans surveyed support family-initiated ERPOs, and 70% support them when initiated by law enforcement, according to the survey, which was conducted before the recent Texas and Ohio shootings.

There is broad support among Republicans and gun owners for these types of laws, the poll found. Two-thirds of Republicans and 60% of gun owners support allowing police to seek the court orders; higher percentages — 70% of Republicans and 67% of gun owners — support allowing family members to seek them.

There is broad support among men and women, but there is a gender gap — with more women in favor of red flag laws than men. There are also regional differences, with a smaller percentage in the West (though still a majority) supportive of these laws. Support for the laws also increases the higher the level of educational attainment.

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