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‘Red flag’ gun regulation set for final vote in DC

WASHINGTON — The District could soon have its own “red flag” gun safety law on the books.

The full city council is set to vote on a legislative package this week that includes a number of gun regulations, including a measure that would allow police to immediately seize firearms from someone who poses an immediate danger.

“We support the intent of such proposals known as red flag laws,” said Kevin Donahue, the District’s Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice.

More than a dozen states, including Maryland, have enacted some type of red flag law.

“They have the goal of keeping firearms out of the hands of people who will use them to cause harm whether to themselves or others,” Donahue said.

Under D.C.’s proposal, a person would be able to petition a court to remove firearms if they had “detailed allegations based on personal knowledge” that the subject posed an immediate danger.

Guns would be removed for 10 days. After that period, the judge would decide if there is probable cause to justify removing the firearms for a full year.

“Often we have information that allows us to know someone is going to take action with a firearm,” said council member Brianne Nadeau. “With this law, we will be able to be able to remove that firearm.”

A recent report showed that Maryland’s red flag law drew more than 100 requests to remove firearms from individuals in October — the first month it went into effect.

The District’s legislative package, known as the Firearms Safety Omnibus Amendment Act, includes a ban on bump stocks and stiffer penalties for high-capacity magazine clips.

It would also force someone to relinquish their guns to law enforcement if they are the subject of a restraining order.

The package passed through the full council two weeks ago and a second, final vote is scheduled for Tuesday.


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