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Details about ‘red flag’ laws slow rush for more legislation

As Americans learn more about the much talked about federal “red flag” gun confiscation bill, support for it among Republicans, gun-owning Democrats and President Donald Trump is dropping.

Trump initially offered his stated support for a theoretical bill championed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), which would provide financial incentives for states to install measures to disarm potentially dangerous people.

These programs, already active in 17 states and the nation’s capital, allow police officers to seize a person’s guns if the person becomes the subject of a “red flag” warning. Those red flag reports can come from reliable sources like local law enforcement but anyone who might have a grudge against a legal gun owner such as former live-in boyfriend or girlfriend or just someone down the street who doesn’t like how often you mow your lawn. If a judge determines the person is a danger to himself or others, often at a hearing at which the gun owner isn’t present, then his or her guns are confiscated by force by local law enforcement or federal authorities in some instances.

Studies show that gun laws do not reduce crime because most crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms.

Kansas Republican Senate candidate and unofficial Trump adviser Kris Kobach stated that, “red flag laws that have been passed at the state level deny due process in multiple ways to the targets of individual gun confiscation complaints.”

“The standard of proof is very low. They have a hearing where they seize the person’s guns right away without even being told. The standard for disarming the individual is very low, it’s not a beyond reasonable doubt standard,” Kobach said.

South Carolina State Rep. Stewart Jones (R-S.C.) says gun owners of all political stripes are coalescing to push back.

“In South Carolina, myself and a group of other legislators are signing a letter to President Trump, Senator Graham, and Senator [Tim] Scott to warn them about the dangers of the red flag laws. So far, we’ve gotten South Carolina legislators who have signed it, and we’re probably going to send it Friday with about 20 signatures.”

Trump, who has said something needs to be done to address mass shootings said August 19, “So, Congress is working on that. They have bipartisan committees working on background checks and various other things. And we’ll see,” Trump said, referring to possible gun control actions. He reiterated on Tuesday that the rights of legal gun owners must be protected in any bill while also saying that mental health must be addressed.

“I don’t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem. I don’t want them to forget that, because it is. It’s a mental health problem. And as I say—and I said the other night in New Hampshire; we had an incredible evening—I said, ‘It’s the people that pull the trigger. It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger,” Trump stated.

“I don’t anticipate we’re going to pass a federal red flag law,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Aug 20.

Activists continue to step up their pressure campaign against Republicans and the president over the issue.

Twenty-six members of the South Dakota legislature signed a letter to Trump and their state’s federal representatives, including Thune, advocating against any red flag gun confiscation program.

“Instead of stripping law-abiding citizens of their constitutional rights and placing them in fear with proposed red flag laws, let’s take this opportunity to do the right thing and make would-be mass murderers fear for their safety if they contemplate acts of violence against fellow Americans,” the legislators wrote in their letter.

“Compared to all of the gun control proposals proposed as ‘solutions’ to the horror of these random mass murders, the repeal of ‘gun-free zones’ is the simplest, least expensive, most logical and is morally imperative,” according to the letter.

– Patrick Howley | EPTimes

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