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It’s Time to Retire the Term “Red Flag Laws”

The catchy nickname stigmatizes individuals with mental health disabilities and mischaracterizes the way these evidence-based laws operate.

When our team first heard the term “red flag law,” we didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t our preferred name for the policy we had helped develop, but the substance of these laws was more important than what they were called. The policy was what mattered. The efficacy was what mattered. Saving lives was what mattered. What others were calling this law wasn’t a major concern. It wasn’t a priority. A user-friendly nickname for an effective policy wasn’t going to undermine our efforts to save lives. We didn’t think it was hurting anyone. Until we realized it was.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) is a 501(c)(4) organization founded in 1974. We are the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization.

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