Lobby your legislator: Sign up to support Utah’s red flag bill to save lives

August 15th, 2019|Action of the Day|0 Comments

In the wake of recent mass shootings, President Trump and many members of Congress (including much of Utah’s congressional delegation) have spoken up in support of red flag laws — policy that would allow a judge to temporarily remove firearms from a person who poses a threat to themselves or others.

Utah has proposed its own red flag law, but the Utah State Legislature has yet to pass it. Talking to our own state legislators is an important step in getting their support and one of the most meaningful things you can do to help prevent suicides and other gun deaths (including mass shootings and domestic violence) in Utah. And NOW is the time to start talking to our state legislators asking for their support of Utah’s red flag law. No experience necessary!

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Come to our lunchtime event on Wed, August 21 — Community Safety and Violence Prevention — to learn more about Utah’s red flag law. REGISTER HERE
  • Sign up to talk to your state legislator and ask for their support of Utah’s red flag law – simply EMAIL ACTION UTAH to volunteer – we’ll provide you with training and materials!
  • Can’t meet your legislator in person? Send them an email! Use our easy EMAIL TOOL to ask your state legislators to support Utah’s red flag law!

More information about Utah’s red flag law

  • Two decades of data from other states show that red flag laws (also known as Extreme Risk Protective Orders, or ERPOs) significantly reduce suicide rates AND provide a pathway for substance abuse and mental health treatment for respondents.
  • Red flag bills could have prevented a significant number of mass shootings, such as the Parkland Shooting in 2018. That’s why Florida passed a red flag bill directly after Parkland, just as other states have done in the aftermath of mass shootings.
  • Means matters, and lethal means reduction is one of the most important methods of suicide prevention. ERPOs are a legal mechanism for lethal means reduction that respects gun rights.
  • Data shows that over 90% of people who survive a suicide attempt do not go on to die by suicide – even if they attempt suicide by another means. Firearms are by far the most lethal means for suicide. Temporarily removing access to the most lethal means from a person during a time of crisis can save their life and/or the lives of others.
  • Utah’s red flag bill includes strong due process protections, high evidentiary standards, a strict penalty for false claims (third degree felony) and the ability for a respondent to appeal the order — protecting Second Amendment rights and preventing misuse.
  • ERPOs have been proven to be constitutional and are modeled after other existing orders already in place in Utah for domestic violence and other situations threatening irreparable harm.
  • A full hearing is required for a respondent within 14 days of the issue of an order, at which point a petitioner must present clear and convincing evidence for the order to be extended.
  • ERPOs include a mechanism for quick return of firearms to a respondent after an order expires.
  • Utah’s red flag bill includes safety measures for law enforcement to avoid violent confrontations when carrying out the order.
  • 17 states currently have ERPO laws; 18 others are considering them.
  • 68% of Utahns support ERPO laws, including Utah’s Sen. Mitt Romney, Rep. Chris Stewart and Rep. John Curtis.
  • 78% of Americans favor ERPOs nationwide, including President Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has proposed bipartisan legislation to incentivize more states to pass red flag laws.

Learn more by reading Utah’s red flag bill.

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