Monday, a new law will now save lives by enabling courts to temporarily restrict firearms access for people found to be a risk to themselves or others. The gun-control advocates in Maryland affirmed.
The new red flag law came into effect came on the one-year anniversary of the horrific mass shooting in modern history of Las Vegas, which killed 58 people, besides injuring hundreds. Del. Geraldine Valentino-Smith, who sponsored the legislation in Maryland, said residents will have a way to remove guns from people, who pose a direct threat to the community.
“Starting today, they will have an actual process that they can activate, an actual way to activate the judicial system, and try to stem the proliferation of gun violence,” she said.
The catastrophic happening of such events is a direct threat to humanity. Besides, such activities instill fear amongst people, which should not be a common part of any society.
Since, the earlier incident of Parkland High school shooting killed 17 people in Florida in February, eight states have approved red flag laws in addition to five states that already had them.
Jen Pauliukonis, President of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, said the law already is being implemented quickly.
“The public education is key to this,” Pauliukonis said. “Family members have to understand that they now have the tools and law enforcement now has the tools to prevent a tragedy before it happens by temporarily removing guns from possession of the person who is in danger either to themselves or to others.”
Dorothy Paugh, who lost her son Peter Lapa Lilly in 2012 to suicide, said that the law will help save people who are suicidal.
“Mental illness is complex and getting treatment can be complicated and expensive, but what is simple, what is inexpensive and what is effective is keeping firearms and ammunition out of reach for those who pose a danger to themselves or to others,” Paugh, who also lost her father to suicide, said at a news conference.
Maryland has been under the continuous threat and the incidents have highly publicized shootings this year.
In March, Jaelynn Willey was fatally shot by a classmate at the Great Mills High School in southern Maryland. In June, a man with a shotgun attacked The Capital newspaper and killed five employees. The recent attack, which took place last month, saw a women killing three people, before shooting herself.
The need for the red flag law, and addressing the mental situation is the utmost priority for Maryland. Besides, strengthening the law, will also ensure life without fear.