red flag law


variants or red-flag law
plural red flag laws or red-flag laws
: a law allowing courts to prevent people who show signs of being a danger to themselves or to others from having access to firearms (as by ordering the seizure of weapons)
In the wake of massacres similar to Wednesday's school shooting in Parkland, Fla., a small number of states have passed "red flag laws" that allow the seizure of guns before people can commit acts of violence. … Mental illness, escalating threats, substance abuse and domestic violence are among the circumstances in which a judge can order weapon restrictions under the statutes.Lenny Bernstein
The way red-flag laws work is straightforward. After hearing a petition from a family member or a law-enforcement officer with knowledge that someone is a credible danger to themselves or others, a judge can issue an order allowing for the temporary seizure of firearms belonging to that individual.Scott Sexton

Examples of red flag law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Since IndyStar began reporting on problems with the red flag law: More than 90% of Indianapolis police gun seizures have resulted in red flag court filings, as opposed to just 36% previously. Holly V. Hays, The Indianapolis Star, 21 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'red flag law.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

2015, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of red flag law was in 2015

Dictionary Entries Near red flag law

Cite this Entry

“Red flag law.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

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