DC Council passes ‘Red Flag' law unanimously

The District has joined its neighbor, Maryland, and a number of other states in passing a law designed to take guns away from people who might be a danger to themselves or others.

The D.C. Council unanimously passed the measure during its Tuesday legislative meeting.

The "Red Flag" law empowers police or family members to petition the court to allow for the removal of firearms from a person who meets the appropriate criteria, which includes people who face protective orders in domestic violence cases.

"Today's vote is a significant step forward in the District's response to gun violence," D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen. "The bill focuses on deterring the possession of lethal modifications on guns that serve no purpose other than to put more bullets into the air faster. It acts with urgency in getting guns out of the hands of people who are close to doing harm to themselves or others. The bill tackles violence as both a public safety and a public health issue."

The emergency legislation still needs to be signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser and will likely take effect within a month, according to Allen's office.

The council also passed a law banning bump stocks, and increased penalties for accessories that allow guns to fire faster and hold more bullets.