A bipartisan “red flag” bill would help reduce gun-related suicides and domestic violence homicides by temporarily suspending access to firearms for people who are a danger to themselves or others. UPDATE 4/19: Republicans chose to leave Augusta before their work was done. A special session may be called by House and Senate leadership. Contact your legislators and tell them you expect them to finish the work we sent them to Augusta to do, including voting YES on LD 1884.
In response to the public outcry about our nation’s gun violence epidemic, a bipartisan group of Maine legislators has introduced LD 1884, a “Red Flag” bill. Like the Parkland shooter, many of those who commit suicide or homicide with a gun exhibit signs of their intentions, or “red flags”. Red Flag Laws empower family members and law enforcement to act on these warning signs by authorizing judges to temporarily suspend access to firearms by those in an emotional crisis through the use of Community Protection Orders. While mass shootings and gun homicides command media attention, the majority of gun deaths in America (more than 21,000 a year) are firearms suicides. Maine’s suicide rate is higher than the national average, and is the second leading cause of death for individuals ages 15-34. About half of our state’s suicide deaths are committed with guns. The difference between suicide attempts made with guns and by other means is stark. 90% of people who attempt suicide by other means survive. By contrast, 90% of suicide attempts with a gun are fatal. Temporarily removing firearms from a person in crisis can prevent tragedies. A study of Connecticut’s Red Flag Law credits it with averting 72 or more suicides last year. LD 1884 allows law enforcement officers or family or household members to seek a temporary Community Protection Order of 21 or 180 days that would require the person to surrender their firearms to law enforcement. More background on the bill can be found HERE. The Judiciary Committee voted 7-3 that the bill Ought to Pass.
UPDATE 4/19: Republicans chose to leave Augusta before their work was done. A special session may be called by House and Senate leadership. Contact your legislators and tell them you expect them to finish the work we sent them to Augusta to do, including voting YES on LD 837. Not sure who your legislators are? Find them and their contact information here.