Safer Country Is Succeeding!!!
Safer Country’s red flag law public awareness campaign has successfully launched in Fairfax County!
It’s now a model for other jurisdictions seeking to apply for 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act federal funds, via state agencies, to create, facilitate, and promote red flag laws.
The above photo features Fairfax County’s Board Chair Jeff McKay, Safer Country’s Founder/Executive Director Paul Friedman, Supervisor and Public Safety Chair Rodney Lusk, and Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano at a press event on September 20, 2022, where we introduced a bus sign with Safer County’s campaign message, “Prevent A Gun Tragedy – Speak Up!” in 344 Fairfax County Connector buses.
The bus sign is in English and Spanish and has a QR code and webpage for people to use to get the info they need to prevent a gun tragedy and save lives.
Red Flag Laws Save Lives!
The law empowers people to intervene to prevent a gun tragedy. Studies have shown a minimum of one in ten interventions saves lives. This law has proven effective in preventing suicides, domestic violence gun use, and mass shootings.
It creates the opportunity to get a civil court order to temporarily remove from the subject of the order all their guns and bar that person from possessing any guns. The initial decision by a judge is based upon proof of probable cause that the subject is a danger to themselves or others.
In Virginia, within 14 days, a full hearing is required to determine if that order should be extended. Clear and convincing evidence must be provided at that stage. If the state succeeds in its case, the court may bar access to guns for up to 180 days with the option of an extension upon a new motion.
Details about red flag laws all over the country may be found on our Programs webpage and on Wikipedia’s red flag law page, including a reference to Safer Country’s work.
A Red Flag Law and an NFL Player
There have been great success stories, such as former NFL player Richard Sherman, whose life was saved by the use of a red flag law. He’s now a Host on Amazon’s Thursday Night Football show.
Answers to FAQ’s
1) This isn’t a criminal law. It’s a civil court order, so it’s not about proving someone is guilty. It’s about intervening to prevent a gun tragedy.
2) For the court order to be issued, evidence must be presented to a judge. It is insufficient to simply make an assertion that someone is a danger to themselves or others.
3) The first red flag law passed in Connecticut in 1999 and was called a risk warrant and is now called a risk protection order. In all that time, even though it’s been opposed by the infamous NRA, it has not been found unconstitutional.
We are also working to encourage jurisdictions without the law to pass it and use our campaign to get people to speak up to people in authority they trust.
Whether or not there’s a law to temporarily remove a gun or guns, getting the word out about a person who has, or intends to get, a gun, and is a danger to themselves or others, may save lives.