Our government has not taken enough action to keep lethal weapons out of the hands of people who are at demonstrated risk of harming themselves or others:
Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO, also known as “red flag laws”) are a legal tool that can be used to temporarily prevent individuals from accessing firearms if they are at heightened risk of harming themselves or others. Less than 1/2 of U.S. states have them in place, eight of which passed shortly after the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Without ERPOs, family members and loved ones – often the first to notice warning signs that someone is at risk of harming themselves or others – are left with options that may have serious repercussions for the individual down the line, such as arrest or forced institutionalization.
Firearm deaths in the U.S. caused by suicide in 2017
Suicide attempts using a firearm that end in death–far higher than other means
Does your state have an ERPO?
Remember: Correlations shouldn’t be drawn between gun violence and mental health. Persons with mental health conditions are not more likely to commit gun violence. In fact, research shows that less than 5% of lethal shootings between 2001 – 2010 were carried out by people with a diagnosed mental illness.