How Alaska schools, courts and police manage and confront gun violence

Snapshot from a recent study by the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program.

Americans with guns taking aim at other Americans is a very disturbing situation. In today’s Justice Alaska on Hometown Alaska, we speak with Alaska authorities about what tools they have to manage and confront the potential for gun violence.

Laws that specifically work to prevent gun violence have been called “red flag” laws. Red flag laws are typically state laws that authorize courts to issue a special type of protection order, allowing police to temporarily confiscate firearms from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. Often the request can come from relatives or friends concerned about a someone possessing guns and expressing suicidal thoughts or discussing shooting people. Authorities may also request an order.

Currently Alaska does not have a red flag law. House Bill 62 has been introduced and read once, and referred to judiciary and finance committees.

The goal of today’s program is to allow professionals who face the task of managing public safety to discuss the tools they have at hand. We also will aim to air different viewpoints on ‘red flag’ laws and public safety from gun violence.

You are welcome to join the conversation with your questions and comments.

HOSTS: Kathleen McCoy, Elaine Andrews


  • Suzanne Cole, magistrate judge located in Homer, Alaska Court System
  • Dr. Kersten Johnson-Struempler, senior director of secondary education, Anchorage School District
  • Diane Lemon, coordinator for school counselors, Anchorage School District


  • ‘What are ‘red flag’ gun laws and how do they work, NYTimes website, Aug. 6, 2019
  • Annals of Internal Medicine, index page for medical research on gun violence (all gun violence reports are free), website
  • Where red flag laws stand in each state, The Trace website
  • Senate Republicans voice support for ‘red flag’ laws, The Trace website, 3.26.2019
  • Alaska HB 62, an act relating to gun violence protection orders, LIO website
  • UC Davis study: ‘Red Flag’ laws could help prevent mass shootings, CNBC interview, go to 2:06 min for interview with researcher Dr. Garen Wintemute ,You Tube
  • ‘Armed with Knowledge,’ profile of Dr. Garen Wintemute and gun violence research, June-July 2019 issue of Sactown magazine
  • ACLU position on ‘red flag’ laws and civil rights, ACLU website
  • House Bill 62, (full bill) relating to gun violence protective orders


  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air
  • LIVE: Monday, August 26, 2019 at 2:00 p.m
  • RE-AIR: Monday, August 26, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.
Previous articleTrump’s path to ‘energy dominance’ in Alaska has a key opponent: lawyers
Next articleVolunteers remain hopeful, as Levelock Fire reaches 5% containment
kmccoy (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Kathleen