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In 2007, the Bay Area city was considered one of the country’s most dangerous.
So officials there enacted intervention programs and policy reforms in response.
A measure designed to keep guns away from people perceived at risk of harming themselves or others allows police, and sometimes family members, to ask the courts to intervene.
Provided with enough evidence, a judge might temporarily deny a person’s access to guns if he or she is deemed to be a significant danger.
In 2016, researchers from Duke University led a study that found a measurable reduction in Connecticut’s suicide rate as a result of its risk-warrant policy.
Federal law already requires licensed firearms dealers to perform criminal background checks on prospective buyers.
“It’s a huge epidemic,” says Hannah Shearer, staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Under federal law, people convicted of a felony or domestic abuse cannot buy or own a gun.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives requires a federal license for those in the business of selling guns.
But the law doesn’t mandate that dealers perform background checks on their employees, says Avery Gardiner, co-president at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
“Sometimes gun deaths in cities that are ethnically diverse get overlooked,” Shearer says, adding that instead, there’s a tendency to focus on mass shootings and rare events.