Growing Number Of States Adopting ‘Red Flag’ Gun Seizure Laws In Wake Of Mass Shootings

Thursday, September 12, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Thu, 09/12/2019

A growing number of states are now allowing family members and law enforcement officials to confiscate an individual’s guns via so-called red flag laws in the wake of several recent mass shootings, according to Roll Call’s Jacob Fischler.

In Ohio, for example, Republican governor Mike DeWine has been hard at work pushing such gun control proposals following an August 4th mass shooting in Dayton which left 10 people dead and 27 injured.

DeWine’s 17-point proposal — of which the red flag and background check plans are only two — includes increasing penalties for gun violations, increased funding for behavioral health services and school safety programs, all measures that could win over conservatives.

DeWine has involved gun advocates, whom he calls “our Second Amendment friends,” in the process. There’s little indication many will back the package. -Roll Call

“No one said this is going to be particularly easy,” said DeWine in an interview with Fischler, who notes that DeWine’s predecessor, John Kasich, was unable to accomplish given a state legislature in which the GOP holds a supermajority in both chambers.

“How do you protect the Second Amendment, but at the same time protect the public?” he added.

Since the February 14, 2018 mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, the number of states with red flag laws has grown from five to twelve, plus the District of Columbia. Overall, 18 states now have them.

In other states, similar efforts have been thwarted by pro-gun interests.

“It’s certainly encouraging that Gov. DeWine has endorsed policies, that there [are Republicans] signed on to co-sponsor the background checks law,” said William Rosen, managing director of state policy and government affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety, the advocacy group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “These are still going to be big fights.”

According to Rosen, the current background check system has been effective – stopping over 3 million sales, however he believes it could be improved.

Gun rights activists consider red flag proposals, a version of which is the centerpiece to DeWine’s 17-point plan, problematic for several reasons, including the potential for misuse. A disgruntled family member could report a non-threatening gun owner in an effort to harass, they say, and they argue the policies lack due process provisions to ensure rights are protected. -Roll Call

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