California spends $11 million to promote ‘red flag’ gun law

California is spending $11 million on education programs promoting wider use of “red flag” laws designed to temporarily remove guns from people deemed to be at risk of harming themselves or others, the governor said Friday. Gavin Newsom.

The money was included in the state budget he approved nearly a year ago, but the programs are starting now.

Newsom announced the funding on National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and as he continued to promote California’s gun control efforts as a national model in response to recent mass shootings, including in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Uvalde, Texas; and Buffalo, New York.

California approved its red flag law in 2014 after an earlier mass shooting. It allows police, relatives and others to ask judges to approve what are officially called gun violence prohibition orders which temporarily prohibit someone from owning firearms if it turns out that he presents a risk to himself or to others.

Similar intervention programs exist in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

But a report released last year by UC Davis Health’s Violence Prevention Research Program said most people were unaware that prescriptions were an option.

The new 18-month awareness program is designed to expand their use.

It includes $5 million for local domestic violence organizations for community outreach; $5 million for a statewide education program, including for communities most at risk of gun violence in multiple languages; and $1 million to expand an existing San Diego-based program to provide education and training to district attorneys and law enforcement groups statewide.