A mother whose son killed 8 speaks out amid renewed push for "red flag" laws

·1 min read

Shelia Hole's son Brandon was troubled. So when he bought himself a gun, she used Indiana's "red flag" law to alert police.

Police did take her son's gun away, but prosecutors did not pursue a "red flag" designation that would have prevented him from buying any more firearms.

Hole's son bought two assault rifles a few months later and used them to storm a FedEx facility in Indianapolis in 2021, killing eight people before killing himself.

"I won't grieve his death because he made a choice to take others. So that's on him. I'll grieve for the victims because they did nothing," Hole told CBS News.

Indiana is one of 19 states that empower a judge to take away a firearm from anyone who poses an extreme risk to others or themselves. But Hole says a "red flag" law is only effective when it's enforced.

In Connecticut, for every 10 to 20 firearms removed, a life is saved, according to one study. In California, there have been at least 21 cases when a "red flag" law disarmed people threatening mass shootings.

"'Red flag' laws reduce the risk of gun violence," Dr. Celine Gounder, Kaiser Health News' public health editor-at-large, told CBS News. "It may not work 100% of the time, but if you can save even some proportion of those lives, that's had a real impact."

In Indiana, Hole's son didn't even have to be deemed mentally ill to be red-flagged.

Hole said she "100%" believes the FedEx facility victims would still be alive if the law had worked.

Jury deliberations underway in Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial

Senators working on bipartisan effort to establish federal gun control measures

Texas Gov. Abbott "misled," "livid" about inaccurate information on police response to shooting