Red flag laws are saving lives. They could save more

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Alyssa Shaw’s job is to guide Seattle-area residents through what can be one of the most wrenching and complicated experiences of their lives: petitioning civil courts to temporarily take away the firearms of a loved one in a mental health crisis who may harm themselves or others. Washington state’s extreme risk protection order law — often called a red flag law — has been on the books for five years, but most Washingtonians don’t know the law exists, let alone the details of the petitioning process, said Shaw, the state’s first red flag law advocate. Often, people find out about the law only …

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