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Michigan faces pushback with gun red flag law

Karen Kobylik knew her daughter should not have a gun. She had repeatedly called the police since her daughter turned 21, pleading with them to take her firearms because of the risk she posed to herself and others. “They said we can’t take any guns away from her because we cannot step on her Second […]

Karen Kobylik knew her daughter should not have a gun. She had repeatedly called the police since her daughter turned 21, pleading with them to take her firearms because of the risk she posed to herself and others.
“They said we can’t take any guns away from her because we cannot step on her Second Amendment right,” Kobylik told The Associated Press.
“I was like, I’m a mother telling you that this kid’s got a mental issue that is not currently being addressed.’”
Kobylik’s daughter, Ruby Taverner, shot and killed her brother and boyfriend before taking her own life in the early morning of May 8 last year. Kobylik believes all three lives could have been saved had red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders, existed in Michigan that would have allowed police to remove her daughter’s guns and prevented her from purchasing more.
Now Michigan is poised to become the 20th state — and the first in nearly three years — to pass a red flag law. It would allow family members, police, mental health professionals, roommates and former dating partners to petition a judge to remove firearms from those they believe pose an imminent threat to themselves or others.
Kobylik said her daughter had been treated for mental health problems including depression since the age of 7 but had stopped taking her medication at 18. Just days before the killings, Taverner purchased the Glock 43X used in the shooting after she had been released from a psychiatric hospital for threatening to take her own life, Kobylik said.Taverner and her brother, Bishop, were both 22. Her boyfriend, Ray Muscat, was 24.
The red flag measure faces pushback on the local level in a state where gun-owning culture runs deep. Over half of the state’s counties have passed resolutions declaring themselves Second Amendment “sanctuaries,” opposing laws they believe infringe on gun rights. Some sheriffs have said they will have trouble enforcing something they believe is unconstitutional.
Touted as the most powerful tool to stop gun violence before it happens, an Associated Press analysis in September found red flag laws are barely used in the 19 states and the District of Columbia where they exist.

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