Risk Warrants: A New Tool to Prevent Tragic Shootings
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
In the outrage over yet another tragic school shooting, most lawmakers continue to offer divisive policy choices: either curtail access to firearms or allow more guns in more places. We believe a new policy called “risk warrants” could help break through this political paralysis.
Nearly everyone, including President Donald Trump and the NRA, seems to agree that people at genuine risk of harming themselves or others should not have guns. Background checks alone will never fix this problem, because background checks catch only a fraction of the people who truly pose a risk. That’s why bipartisan support is growing for laws authorizing judges to issue “risk warrants” — also called “gun violence restraining orders” or “extreme risk protective orders” — that temporarily remove firearms from those at risk of harming someone.