Support ‘red flag’ bill

Friday, August 10, 2018 4:19PM
To the editor:

I am a member of Monadnock Progressive Alliance where we have several working sub-groups, one of which is Gun Sense. We decided to form this group immediately after the Parkland, Fla., massacre.

What we are focusing on is gun violence prevention, while zeroing in on “red flag” law. What is red flag law?

It allows for family members and/or police officers to go before a judge and seek out a court order which temporarily restricts a person in crisis, access to firearms when they exhibit red flags that they have become a potential danger to themselves and/or others.

If granted, an emergency, temporary order can be issued by a judge to prevent immediate danger to that person and others.

Believing in an individual’s right to due process, a full hearing must be quickly scheduled so the person in crisis has the ability to respond. During the full hearing, if there is enough evidence showing the person is a danger, the judge can issue a longer order.

Suicide by firearm outnumbers homicides two to one. In other words, 62 percent of suicide is gun related. Imagine how many lives could be saved with a red flag law in place? Now, family members who see their loved one in crisis, really have no means to assist them because current laws on the books fall short.

Our goals are simple. We want to make sure a person in crisis and others are safe from harm. In Keene, retired police officer John Stewart is busily but thoughtfully, drafting a bill so New Hampshire can join 22 other states who have similar pending red flag bills. I urge all citizens to take time to educate themselves about this issue before rushing to judgement. We can be pro-active, make sure we do everything we can to help people in crisis and prevent a massacre here in New Hampshire. No one wants to control gun ownership, but everyone wants to prevent tragedy!

Terri O’Rorke