By Brianna Meyer and Max Stephenson

In the wake of widespread mass shootings across the United States, advocates and lawmakers in many jurisdictions are pushing for new gun laws to curb gun violence. “Extreme Risk” or “Red Flag” laws are one type of new gun legislation that targets gun violence problems and have been enacted in several states.

Extreme risk laws help prevent a person in crisis from harming themselves or others by temporarily removing guns and prohibiting the purchase of firearms. Such laws permit law enforcement to remove guns or firearms from an individual if close family members, health care providers, or others close to a person identify that person as a threat to themselves or others. Activists have called upon lawmakers to pass extreme risk/red flag laws in Wisconsin. In a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wisconsin ranked at about the national average for firearm deaths. Attorney General Josh Kaul, along with other state legislators, has agreed that new gun laws would be beneficial to public safety.

Under a typical extreme risk gun law, family or friends first report a potentially dangerous individual to the police, then police file a petition with the court, and a judge determines whether the individual’s right to possess or purchase a gun, firearm, or weapon should be temporarily revoked.

Advocates of these laws believe that people with a close relationship with potentially dangerous individuals can report safety threats before violence occurs. As friends and family often have daily contact with these troubled, sometimes volatile, and potentially dangerous individuals, extreme risk laws could help prevent a situation from becoming even more dangerous and people killed or injured.

While extreme risk proposals have gained support from Wisconsin Democrats, many Republicans oppose this modest new gun legislation. Opponents of extreme risk laws argue that guns should only be taken away from citizens if there has been substantial due process and a more lengthy procedure that, among other things, would give the gun owner a chance to be heard. Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos suggested that he might be open to such new gun laws; however, they would need to be more limited in scope.

Contact a Milwaukee Gun Charges Attorney

Threats of harm by persons in crisis is heartbreaking. If it occurs in a divorce, domestic, or restraining order situation, experienced legal counsel should be retained to help find a solution within the current framework of the law. Weapons-related crimes in Wisconsin are treated very seriously, and an individual charged with a crime involving a firearm faces serious penalties. The public’s right to safety along with Second Amendment rights are in the balance.

At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we have a long history of representing clients in these types of matters, including helping clients involved in temporary restraining order cases and facing criminal charges related to firearms. Our firm stays current with changes to gun laws and enforcement, so that we can best represent our clients. Our experienced Milwaukee, WI criminal defense and family law lawyers will fight for your rights and safety. Call our firm at [[phone]].


Read More