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Minnesota's new "red flag" law goes into effect

Minnesota’s “red flag” law kicks in
Minnesota’s “red flag” law kicks in 01:45

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota's "red flag" gun laws went into effect Monday, giving courts the power to remove guns from people who could be a risk to themselves or others.

If a Minnesotan poses a significant threat, a judge can now temporarily stop them from having a gun. These legal orders are called extreme risk protection orders.

MORE: Minnesota law enforcement readies to enforce new red flag law in 2024

"It would have to have evidence that this person is a risk to themselves or others, compelling evidence," said Kevin Vick, the president of Stock and Barrel Gun Club. "Within 24 hours those firearms can be seized with a warrant."

The request to a court that someone lose their access to guns can only come from a family or household member, or a chief law enforcement officer or city or county attorney.

The Department of Public Safety's website says extreme risk protection orders "are a proven way to intervene before an incident of gun violence — such as a firearm suicide or mass shooting — occurs and takes more lives."

There are two kinds of orders a judge can grant: A long-term order lasts up to a year and only comes after a hearing where the person in question can dispute that they're a risk. An emergency order goes into effect immediately, without a hearing, and lasts for two weeks.

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Emergency orders have their critics.

"None of us want anybody who should not be in possession of a firearm to possess one," Vick said. "But we want to make sure that it is done with due process . . . and there's the tension. There's going to be the tension between public safety and individual rights, and that's where the argument comes in."

Minnesota joins 20 other states and Washington DC that have similar "red flag" laws.

Gun safety advocates in Minnesota had pushed for these red flag laws in Minnesota for a long time, hoping they'll make our communities safer.

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