The video followed prior online posts referencing attacks on students and Jewish people, and the man had also expressed interest in replicating the 2015 mass shooting by a white supremacist at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

But in this case, the threats made the news because local law enforcement officials took preventative action, including obtaining a court order that allowed them to temporarily remove 12 guns from the man's possession.

Also frequently called red flag laws, they create a process for petitioning a court for an order that temporarily restricts a person’s access to firearms when there is evidence someone poses an extreme risk to self or others.

After a petition is filed, the petitioner—typically a family member or law enforcement officer—must prevent evidence to a judge that the person poses a serious risk to themselves or others for an extreme-risk protection order to be issued.

The person has opportunities to respond, and in many states, petitioners face penalties if they are found to have presented false evidence.

As with so many policy questions related to gun violence, more research is needed to fully track the laws' impact.

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