ROCKVILLE, Md. (ABC7) — Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin believes Maryland’s new "red flag law" can save lives.
It gives family members, health professionals and law enforcement the authority to seek a judge’s order to take guns away from someone in crisis before they hurt themselves or others.
"Law enforcement has been running into people having some sort of mental health crisis forever, however, we never had an statutory authority to take the guns away," Popkin said.
From when the law went into effect in October, 114 red flag warrants have been served across Maryland.
It is dangerous work. On Monday of this week, while serving a warrant to take guns from a man in Glen Burnie, police shot and killed the man during a struggle for his weapon.
Nonetheless, advocates believe "red flag laws" save lives.
Lori Haas, the mother of a Virginia Tech survivor, says research shows "red flag laws" now in place in 12 states are preventing suicides, and possibly, what she calls suicides by mass shooting.
"We want people to know this law is available to them — family members, law enforcement and others need tools to separate a loved one from a firearm when they're at risk," Haas said.