Red Flag Laws & Domestic Violence Orders

An interview with Professor Jody Madeira

State and federal laws have limited the Second Amendment's right to bear arms both in cases of individuals who are deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others (red flag laws) as well as in cases of domestic violence protection orders. While the laws on each have been in place for decades, recent decisions at the Supreme Court have triggered new scrutiny on these practices. Professor Jody Madeira of Indiana Bloomington Maurer School of Law examines each topic in two separate segments.

In discussing red flag laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), Professor Madeira highlights their role in preventing potential gun violence by temporarily removing firearms from individuals deemed a threat. She explains that ERPOs have been effective in various states, providing a legal mechanism for family members and law enforcement to intervene before a potential tragedy occurs. However, Madeira notes the challenges in balancing individual rights with public safety, emphasizing the need for due process and clear guidelines to ensure these laws are applied fairly and consistently.

Turning to domestic violence protection orders, Professor Madeira delves into the complexities of disarming individuals subject to orders relating to intimate partner violence. She references the Supreme Court case Rahimi, which has brought renewed attention to the intersection of domestic violence and gun rights. Madeira argues that while these orders are important for protecting victims, the legal landscape is evolving, with courts grappling with how these victim safety measures hold up to "origionalist" legal tests and due process requirements. She makes the case that, properaly constructed, laws which permit the taking of guns from those under restraining orders can help reduce shootings relating to domestic violence while safeguarding fundamental freedoms.

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