“Red flag laws” and mass shootings

Another week in the United States and once again, there is another mass shooting that is covering the headlines. With any mass shooting tragedy, the national conversation almost automatically changes to gun laws, gun rights, mental health, and ways to prevent mass shootings from continuing to occur. Red flag laws are increasing in popularity across the county yet face heavy opposition from gun right and 2nd amendment advocates. As of July 1, 2020, 19 states have some sort of red flag law. Red flag laws are state laws that can go by various names, including “extreme risk protection orders (erpos),” “gun-violence restraining orders” and “risk warrants.” These laws allow law enforcement, family members, and even medical professionals in some states, to petition the court to temporarily remove firearms and ammunition from a person who is believed to present a danger to himself or herself or others. 

Uvalde, Texas 4th of July shooting 

The most recent mass shooting occurred this past 4th of July weekend when a solo gunman opened fire on onlookers of a holiday parade near Chicago, Illinois. Seven people were killed while more than 30 others were wounded. The gunman, twenty-one-year-old Robert Crimo III, has since been arrested in connection with the shootings and has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. 

In 2019, when the gunman was only eighteen years old, he threatened to kill everyone in his family. A police report was taken for the 2019 incident and Crimo was flagged as a “clear and present danger.” Crimo had a large collection of knives in his bedroom and due to the nature of the threat, it was taken seriously. During the contact with police officers during the incident, the then teenage Crimo admitted to officers that he was depressed, had prior suicidal thoughts, and had a history of drug use. However, both Crimo and his mother denied any threat of violence. In Illinois, when an officer lists a person as being a “clear and present danger,” it is meant to “identify persons who, if granted access to a firearm or firearm ammunition pose an actual, imminent threat of substantial bodily harm to themselves or another person[s] that is articulable and significant or who will likely act in a manner dangerous to public interest.” 


Mississippi Gun Laws 

In Mississippi, there are currently no red flag laws. In fact, Mississippi is considered one of the most lenient states when concerning gun laws. Mississippi is a constitutional carry state where there is no permit required to buy a firearm. Firearms in Mississippi are part of the historical tradition of the Magnolia State. There is no permit to own or openly carry a firearm, you do not have to register your firearm, and there is no license requirement. Mississippi is so protective of gun rights that it is ingrained in the state constitution stating: “the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons.”  

However, even though Mississippi is lenient on gun laws, you still can get in trouble for owning or possessing a firearm in certain circumstances. First, it is unlawful for a convicted felon to possess any firearm. Second, there are several government or transportation facilities including courthouses, police stations, schools, or locations where there are posted restrictions of firearms, where it is illegal to have a firearm in your possession. Third, there are additional fines and penalties where a firearm is found on a person who is being arrested for possession of a controlled substance. Https://law.justia.com/codes/mississippi/2020/title-41/chapter-29/article-3/section-41-29-152/  

Although red flag laws are not likely to be enshrined into any Mississippi laws, it is important to know what is going on with gun laws across the nation and the restrictions that states may have.  

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney 

When you are searching the state of Mississippi for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. No matter the circumstances of your case, the sooner you get in touch with a qualified criminal defense attorney the better chance you have at a favorable outcome for your case. Over the years, we have helped countless defendants who have been charged with firearm offenses. Please call us for a free consultation today, and we can help you defend yourself in the unfortunate case of being arrested and charged with a firearm crime in Mississippi.  

Please also see us on mississippi-lawyers.com and view our reviews on avvo.com, superlawyers.com, and martindale.com. Our email address is vic@mississippi-lawyers.com, and our office phone number is (601) 948 – 4444 option 1. 

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