Sponsored Content: Maryland will have a new red flag law pertaining to firearms in October, and it has many wondering what the impact of the law will be. The law states that family members and law enforcement officials can petition a court to remove a person’s firearms if they are considered to be a danger to themselves or others. It comes after a shooting in a Maryland newsroom killed five people in June and will be similar to red flag laws in Florida, Delaware, New Jersey, and several other states.
Lawmakers in Maryland hope that the law will prevent dangerous people from harming others. It could also prevent the number of suicides and domestic violence incidences that too often result in tragedy. Some states that have already passed red flag laws, such as Connecticut and Indiana, have already seen a drop in their suicide rates since imposing the law.
However, some believe the law could impact a person’s Second Amendment rights if they are not actually a danger to themselves or others and still have their firearms taken from them.
In 2017, Oregon saw 27 cases filed to have guns removed from people deemed to be dangerous. In 24 of those cases, the petition was granted, which leads some to think that a petition does not require a lot of grounds given for taking guns from a person. Some have suggested that along with the new law, Maryland should also impose criminal penalties on anyone that petitions the court under false pretenses.
“It is really too early to determine what impact the new red flag gun law will have,” says Maryland Gun Lawyer Oleg Fastovsky of Price Benowitz LLP. “Of course the hope is that anyone considered to be dangerous will no longer have access to firearms, and will not be able to harm anyone else. Whether or not it will be effective, or if it will affect those that are not a danger to anyone, remains to be seen.”
Maryland is already a state that has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. The Giffords Law Center, which evaluates and grades the strength of gun laws in specific states has given Maryland an A-, an achievement made by only a handful of states. Citizens and law enforcement officials will need to wait until October to see if the new law will further strengthen or hurt that ranking.
About the sponsor: Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Oleg Fastovsky has been nominated in Super Lawyers Magazine for eight consecutive years since 2012 as a Top Attorney and Rising Star. Attorney Fastovsky is also an associate professor at the University Of Baltimore School Of Law. This sponsored content is provided by Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Oleg Fastovsky with Price Benowitz LLP.
The material published in this article is sponsored content and not a product of the Baltimore Fishbowl editorial team. Any opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily represent the views of Baltimore Fishbowl.