SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The warnings around Nikolas Cruz seemed to flash like neon signs: expelled from school, fighting with classmates, a fascination with weapons and hurting animals, disturbing images and comments posted to social media, previous mental health treatment.

In Florida, that wasn’t enough for relatives, authorities or his school to request a judicial order barring him from possessing guns.

Only five states have laws allowing family members, guardians or police to ask judges to temporarily strip gun rights from people who show warning signs of violence. Supporters of the measures, deemed “red flag laws” or gun violence restraining orders, say they can save lives by stopping some shootings and suicides.

Florida, where Cruz is accused of using an AR-15 rifle to kill 17 people at his former high school, does not have such a law. He legally owned the semi-automatic rifle even though his mother, classmates and teachers had described him as dangerous and threatening.

Red flag legislation was introduced last fall in Florida by Democratic lawmakers, but its fate is uncertain in a state Legislature controlled by Republicans who generally favor expanding gun rights. After Wednesday’s shooting at a high school in Parkland, Republican Gov. Rick Scott said he will work to make sure people with mental illnesses don’t have access to guns but offered no specifics.

In 2014, California became the first state to let family members ask a judge to remove firearms from a relative who appears to pose a threat. It was passed after a mentally ill man, Elliot Rodger, killed six University of California, Santa Barbara, students and wounded 13 other people near the campus before killing himself.

The law also allows police to petition for the protective orders, which can require firearms to be removed for up to one year. Connecticut, Indiana, Oregon and Washington are the other states with some version of a red flag law.

More than a dozen others, including Hawaii, New Jersey and Missouri, are considering bills that would allow family members or police to petition the courts if they want weapons taken from someone showing signs of mental distress or violence.

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