In Response to Tragedy, Risk Warrant Legislation Gains Traction

Posted on October 23, 2019 by admin


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In remembrance of the one year anniversary of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, a reporter from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette  came to investigate Connecticut’s first-in-the-nation risk warrant, or “red flag,” law.

Under Connecticut General Statute 29-38c, seizure of firearms and ammunition from persons posing a risk of imminent personal injury to self or others can occur after a recommendation to a judge by a state’s attorney or assistant state’s attorney, or by any two police officers, that probable cause exists that the individual poses such risk, and that such person possesses one or more firearms and those firearms are accessible.  Complaints by the state’s attorney or police officers can only be made after an independent investigation determined probable cause exists and that there is no reasonable alternative available to prevent such person from causing imminent personal injury to himself or herself or to others with such firearm.

I am proud to be one of the principal authors of Connecticut’s risk warrant legislation. Allowing police to interview those reported as posing an imminent risk to themselves or others puts law enforcement and the courts on notice of a potential threat before a tragedy takes place. Under current law, someone who fears for their safety can go to the police and seek a risk warrant against someone based on probable cause if they feel threatened.  The applicant need not be a spouse or cohabitant with the individual they are seeking the warrant against.  This application can be made 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and upon processing, a seizure of weapons can take place in as little as a few hours.

To read the story please click here.