Study Links "Red Flag" Firearm Law To Suicide Decrease

Jun 4, 2018

An Indiana firearm seizure law has led to fewer suicides around the state during its first decade on the books, according to a new study from the American Psychiatric Association.

Indiana’s so-called “red flag law” has been in effect since 2005, and allows police to seize a firearm from an individual should they determine that person is a threat to themselves or others. It withstood a challenge to its constitutionality in 2013, thanks to its appeal process that would see the possible return of the firearm to its legal owner.

This law has been cited recently as a model for potential legislation to curb mass shootings nationwide, but has also saved Hoosier lives in other ways.

In a study of population data from all 50 states between 1981 and 2015 published on Psychiatry Online, Indiana’s red flag law is said to correlate with a 7.5 percent decrease in firearm suicides statewide.

The study focused on Indiana and Connecticut’s firearm seizure laws. While Connecticut’s suicide rate has been offset by different factors over ten years, Indiana’s has gradually decreased since the enactment of the seizure law.