Today, Alaska lawmakers return to the state capitol for a new legislative session where they’ll have opportunities to pass common-sense gun safety laws, starting with HB 62, a red flag law, also known as an extreme risk law. Here’s why Alaska Moms Demand Action will urge lawmakers to pass a red flag law this legislative session:
- Under a red flag law in Alaska, law enforcement officers would be able to petition a court for a Gun Violence Protective Order, temporarily removing guns from a person in crisis. If passed and signed into law, Alaska would be one of 12 states to pass a red flag law since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, and join a list of 17 states, along with Washington D.C. to put an extreme risk law on the books.
- Red flag laws save lives by creating a way to act before warning signs escalate into tragedies. Interventions in states with extreme risk laws have already been shown to prevent potential tragedies, such as mass shootings, shootings on school grounds, and firearm suicides. Learn more about red flag laws here.
- Red flag laws have been shown to be an effective tool in reducing the risk of firearm suicide. Alaska has the highest rate of gun deaths in the country, along with the second-highest rate of gun suicides nationwide. Every year, 118 people die by gun suicide in Alaska on average. In a moment of crisis, access to a gun can be the difference between life and death: 90 percent of suicide attempts using a gun end in death, compared to four percent of suicide attempts that do not involve a firearm.
Statistics about gun violence in Alaska are available here, and information on how Alaska’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here.
If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Alaska Moms Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.