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Connecticut News

As a national measure is being considered, officials praise Connecticut's red flag gun laws

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Damian Dovarganes
/
AP

Officials and advocates said Connecticut's red flag laws have prevented gun violence, as federal gun legislation could bring them to the rest of the nation.

The state law lets prosecutors or police ask a judge to temporarily remove guns from someone they believe to be a risk to themselves and others.

Connecticut first put its red flag law in place in 1999. It was one of the first states in the nation to do so. Criminal justice expert Michael Lawlor helped draft the law.

“It has stood the test of time," Lawlor said. "And what we’ve learned in Connecticut, if you look at the actual data, there are clear instances where a tragedy was imminent and police were able because of this mechanism to intervene, separate someone from their firearms, refer them for mental health evaluation.”

Connecticut expanded its red flag laws earlier this month to allow family members or medical professionals to ask a judge to remove guns.

Lawlor said national gun legislation could bring the state more resources to enforce them.