“I think we need Manchin-Toomey,” Mr. Toomey said, referring to Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, his co-sponsor. “I think it’s overdue. This is a common-sense, very broadly supported measure that would fully respect the rights of law-abiding citizens, fully respect the Second Amendment.”
The evidence for whether red flag laws work to prevent gun violence is inconclusive
, according to a study by the RAND Corporation of the effectiveness of gun safety measures
But emerging evidence suggests that temporary removal laws can have a measurable effect on suicide deaths when they are implemented and used. Research in Connecticut and Indiana has found that the enforcement of the laws saved lives — about one fewer suicide death for every 10 to 20 cases of gun removals. Suicides represent around two-thirds of all gun deaths in the United States.
Jeffrey Swanson, a professor of psychiatry at Duke University, who studied the laws in both states, said his work showed that the laws could make a difference, even if they did not prevent mass shootings. Suicide “is certainly an important problem if you think about public health and mortality,” he said.
An analysis by the gun control organization Everytown for Gun Safety
of mass shootings — which it defines as those in which four or more people, not including the gunman, are killed — between 2009 and 2017 found that roughly half of the gunmen exhibited warning signs before the killings.
Everytown advocates also point
to the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where the gunman exhibited such troubling behavior
, according to one neighbor, that his mother would on occasion call the police. After the massacre, which resulted in the deaths of 17 students and staff members, Florida joined a number of other states in passing red flag laws.