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'We don't want to take their firearms, we want to stop something tragic,' Red flag law prevents local attempted suicide

News 10 is learning more about a local man who attempted suicide. During the incident, police used the red flag law to seize his weapons, which ultimately saved his life.

Posted: Feb 5, 2020 10:34 AM
Updated: Feb 5, 2020 11:14 AM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI)- News 10 is learning more about a local man who attempted suicide.

Due to privacy rights, we cannot release the name of the person involved. 

What we can tell you, is that upon arrival police did not know that the wounds were self-inflicted.

Officials say he caused severe damage to his face, however, he is expected to survive the injuries.

During the incident, police used the red flag law to seize his weapons, which ultimately saved his life.

The law allows police or family to authorize a court order to temporarily remove a gun from someone if they seem to be in danger to themselves or others. 

In this specific instance, the law was used to seize firearms from the home. 

News 10 spoke with Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse. He says that at this moment taking the gun could be the difference between life and death.

"We can't do everything for everyone, but if we can step in during a time they're not thinking rationally when they're having thoughts of killing themselves and take their firearm to make their house safe so they can't do that then I think it's our responsibility to do so and the law backs us up to do that," Plasse explained.

After a firearm is seized, a judge has 15 days to rule on the situation. Plasse argues that the point is not to take the weapon but rather avoid future injuries. 

"It's not we just take them because we want to, we don't want to take their firearms. We take them because we want to stop them from doing something tragic or hurting themselves or someone else... that's the whole intent of the law it's not for us to overstep our bounds to take anyone's weapons it's just to save them from their actions when they're not thinking rational," said Plasse.

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