The legal way to seize guns from dangerous people

Only five states — Connecticut, Indiana, California, Oregon and Washington — currently have laws allowing civil gun seizure orders. But interest in GVROs, sometimes known as extreme risk protection orders, or more generically as red flag laws, has spiked since the Parkland shooting. According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, legislators in 26 states have introduced or will soon introduce red flag laws, including Maryland and New York, where the state assembly recently passed such a law. In Rhode Island, the state’s Democratic governor took the unprecedented step of enacting gun violence restraining orders by executive order.

The National Rifle Association has vehemently opposed policies like gun violence restraining orders. In bulletins to members, the gun group has urged them to contact state elected officials and vote against these laws because “they provide a mechanism for an individual to lose the right to keep and bear arms with no due process of law.”

Despite the gun group’s stance, support is also flowering in corners of the political world normally opposed to new firearms restrictions. A version of a GVRO is part of the package of gun bills just passed by both chambers of Florida’s legislature, and will become law as soon as Governor Rick Scott signs the bill.