BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More than 100 weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition have been recovered in Prince George’s County under Maryland’s new red flag law- which temporarily bans people who are dangerous from having guns.
The law allows only immediate family members or law enforcement to actually petition the court to take those weapons away from people who are either a threat to themselves or to others.
It’s been less than a year since the new red flag law took effect but Dawn Stoltzfus with Moms Demand Action said it’s already proving to save lives.
“It gives them that time to take them out of that moment when that gun might be in front of them,” Stoltzfus said.
So far in Prince George’s County, the Sheriff’s Office served 56 extreme risk protection orders, collected 100 weapons, and 35,000 rounds of ammunition.
Stoltzfus said it is protecting people from getting caught in the line of fire, which is what she said happened back in June 2018 when a gunman opened fire and killed five people in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis.
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“Far too often after there’s active gun violence, family members of law enforcement point to warning signs that they saw in the shooter but were not able to act upon,” Stoltzfus said.
A report in January showed during the first three months of the red flag law, Maryland’s judiciary fielded more than 300 requests to remove firearms from individuals- including five cases involving threats against schools.
Stoltzfus said the law is a tool to keep the community safe.
“We’ll never be able to prevent every tragedy but this legislation certainly gives us another tool to take action when we think someone is at risk to themselves or to others,” She said.
Once weapons are seized, the person does go before the court and has the chance to plead their case and defend themselves.