I’ve been told that I am a lot like my grandfather. People have said he would have really liked me. I never met him.
A few years before my birth he committed suicide with a gun — a gun my grandmother wanted out of the house. She knew his intentions and she had no recourse to save him. I imagine there are thousands of people in Kentucky with similar stories.
In the current session of the General Assembly, we have the opportunity to effect positive outcomes and give people the recourse to have firearms temporarily taken out of the possession of people they know to be dangers to themselves or others.
These “Red Flag,” or extreme risk, laws will save lives.
Sixty-nine percent of gun deaths in Kentucky are suicide. An average of 477 people die annually by gun suicides in Kentucky, or one every 18 hours. Kentucky has the 12th highest rate of gun suicides in the country.
Red Flag laws temporarily, and with due process, provide ways to procure guns from people who are proven to be a danger to themselves or others. These necessary laws have proven in other states to reduce gun suicide deaths and empowered law enforcement to interrupt plans for school-related violence after dangerous signs were reported to them.
We need Red Flags laws to save the lives of Kentuckians. Maybe my grandfather could have been saved. But he wasn’t. We can do better. Please support the passage of Red Flag laws this General Assembly.