35 Michiganders so far have been ordered to turn in their guns under state’s new ‘red flag law’

LANSING (WWJ) — It’s been a little over one month since new gun safety laws were implemented in the state of Michigan: Safe storage, universal background checks, and extreme risk protection orders — the latter better known as the “red flag law.”

Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Director Bob Stevenson .. says the red flag law has shown to be successful so far.

“Since the effective date of the ERPO laws, or extreme risk protection orders, became effective — which was February 13th — there have been 35 times we are aware that ERPOs have been issued by courts and executed throughout Michigan,” he told WWJ’s Taylor Dietz.


How it works: If a police agency or mental health professional deems you at-risk of potentially hurting yourself or others, and the law is applied, then your guns can be seized immediately after an order is served by a judge. If the law is applied by a family member, and if the order is then approved, the person has 24 hours to turn in their guns. (Learn more here).

“If a person didn’t turn their guns in, they could be subject to criminal charges and also a seizure by a search warrant, where the police would actually go in and look for those firearms,” Stevenson said.

“But our experience has been, so far in Michigan, everybody has complied with the order,” he added. “That would be the last step, or the extreme step. But hopefully everybody will do ahead and turn in their firearms in the rare case that one of those are issued, and they would proceed to challenge that seizure, if you would, through the court system.”

Stevenson explained that the ability for a person served with an ERPO to object to the order, and potentially to have it overturned, is built into the law.


He stressed, however, that this still all very new. “So, we’re still in the process of evaluating how this is going to work out. Because, as far as laws go, this is a relatively new law,” Stevenson said. “…It’s early in the process, so time will tell on that.”

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