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Appeals Court Upholds Florida’s Red Flag Law, Rejecting Constitutional Challenge

Red Flag Laws Have Already Saved Lives in Florida, Maryland and Beyond

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Everytown for Gun Safety, the country’s largest gun violence prevention organization, applauded today’s ruling by Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal rejecting a constitutional challenge to Florida’s red flag law. 

“The unanimous decision strongly confirms that red flag laws serve a vital public safety purpose and are fully consistent with constitutional protections, including due process,” said Eric Tirschwell, managing director for Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Extreme risk legislation is one of the best legal tools we have to prevent gun violence and this law has already saved lives in Florida.”

Additional analysis is available here on the legal precedent for red flag legislation and the strong due process protections included in these laws.
Perpetrators of mass shootings and school shootings often display warning signs before committing violent acts. Red flag laws, also known as extreme risk laws, allow law enforcement officers to act on such warning signs by petitioning a court to temporarily remove guns from dangerous situations. Interventions in states with red flag laws have already prevented potential tragedies. Red flag laws can also be used to prevent suicides. 

Florida enacted a red flag law as part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act following the mass shooting in Parkland. Twelve states have enacted red flag laws since the shooting in Parkland, five of which were signed by Republican governors. In total, 17 states and the District of Columbia have now enacted red flag laws. More information on red flag laws is available here