-- An Indiana law allowing authorities to temporarily remove guns from those
considered a risk to others or themselves has helped reduce the state’s
firearm-related suicides, according to a University of Indianapolis study.
The study appeared
in this month’s issue of the journal Psychiatric Services and examined the
state’s so-called “red flag” law, the Indianapolis Star reported .
The law allows
authorities to remove a gun without a warrant, said Aaron Kivisto, an
assistant professor of clinical psychology and the lead author of the paper.
A hearing with a judge is then scheduled to review the situation, he said.
suicides in the state have decreased about 7.5 percent over the past decade,
Kivisto said. There were no significant increases in suicides by other means
during that time period, he said.
“It’s possible that
some sizeable portion of suicides (prevented) are murder suicides,” Kivisto
said. “We just don’t know that.”
A majority of the
times authorities have removed guns in Indianapolis under the red flag law
due to fears of suicide, he said. Authorities have also removed guns in
cases of someone diagnosed with active psychosis or in domestic violence
A person can become
a high risk after clearing a background check to own a gun. The red flag law
is meant to fill that gap, Kivisto said. He said he hopes to focus future
research on how such laws could lower the homicide rate.
working to reduce gun violence benefit from data in helping them weigh the
balance between individual risks and rights,” Kivisto said. “There are a lot
of avenues we would like to go down.”