Maryland Enacts "Red Flag" Seizure Laws
Fiscal year 2019 ushered in a wave of new firearm laws in Maryland - a reactionary measure to such the state making headlines for shootings at a high school and the Capital Gazette. The new law includes a so called "Red Flag" measure which basically allows the police to seize lawfully owned weapons if the owner is accused of being "at risk" by family members or neighbors. In its first month of existence, HB1302 - Public Safety – Extreme Risk Protective Orders has already resulted in 114 confiscation warrants. Just past a month from implementation, and the first firearm owner was shot to death by Anne Arundel police during what is now a routine weapon confiscation.
Firearm laws are a very polarizing issue. Those in support of increased gun control measures often look at laws like this as reasonable and measured. Supporters of 2A freedoms perceive these as gateway steps to future forfeitures.
What does it take to lose lawfully possessed firearms to a "Red Flag" confiscation? According to Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, "Family members, health practitioners, law enforcement are all able to be petitioners. They can go to a district or circuit court and put in a petition to step in front of a judge and have a judge decide if that person is showing the warning signs to then temporarily remove firearms from this person."