It’s Hard to Implement Red Flag Laws. A New National Center Is Meant to Make It Easier.

Most of the responsibility to implement these laws falls to the individual states that enact them, but the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act allocated hundreds of millions in funding for state crisis intervention programs, including risk protection orders. That money started moving out the door of the Justice Department last year. Part of the funding, $2 million, went to Johns Hopkins for the new National ERPO Resource Center.

The center, which quietly began operating last year before its public debut in March, is what’s known as a training and technical assistance provider — essentially a hub to support state and local officials as they endeavor to make risk protection orders fit local needs, and connect stakeholders to share best practices.

In 2023, the center trained more than 1,200 judges, social workers, law enforcement officials, victims advocates, attorneys, community organizations, and health professionals who share the job of making sure that red flag laws actually work. Its newly launched website includes a range of resources for both officials and people who may need to use a risk protection order.

Full story: It’s Hard to Implement Red Flag Laws. A New National Center Is Meant to Make It Easier.

One Reply to “It’s Hard to Implement Red Flag Laws. A New National Center Is Meant to Make It Easier.”

  1. Red flag laws exist as a method of removing firearms from individuals who are deemed dangerous and unpredictable. These orders are issued by judges and have been implemented in a number of different states since 2018. The launch of the National ERPO Resource Center is undoubtedly a valuable idea, with over 1,200 judges, social workers, law enforcement officers, and other players in the process receiving training last year; this came before the official launch in March of this year. In addition, enforcement of these laws can be aided by federal funding, which truly makes me question, why would a majority of states be opposed to this? Only 21 states actively use red flag laws, and of those states, six have shown willingness to accept federal support. On top of all this, there is the problem of public awareness on these laws. While the ERPO Research Center is training workers, most everyday citizens would be unsure of what a red flag law is due to how recent their implementation has been. How do we go about educating as many people as possible on the benefits of these laws?

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