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'May not have mattered here, but Red Flag laws have proven to be effective'
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has teamed up with gun-control advocate Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and reached an agreement to propose legislation encouraging more states to adopt "red flag" laws in the wake of two horrific mass murders.
What are the details?
"I spoke with the President this morning about this proposal and he seems very supportive," Sen. Graham said in a statement, according to
Bloomberg. "Many of these shootings involved individuals who showed signs of violent behavior that are either ignored or not followed up. State Red Flag laws will provide the tools for law enforcement to do something about many of these situations before it's too late."
Following the El Paso murders on Friday, Sen. Graham signaled he was poised to act, tweeting, "Time to do more than pray. Time to enact common-sense legislation in Congress to empower states to deal with those who present a danger to themselves and others — while respected robust due process."
He added, "May not have mattered here, but Red Flag laws have proven to be effective in states that have them."
Sen. Blumenthal confirmed his partnership with Graham via Twitter on Monday, after calling for "immediate Congressional action." Blumenthal also called for action from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying, "Senator McConnell: lead or get out of the way. Call us back to the Capitol to do our job."
The bill set to be proposed by Sen. Graham and Blumenthal would "create a federal grant program to help law enforcement work with mental health professionals to take action when needed, while ensuring 'robust due process and judicial review,'" according to Politico.
Red flag laws, also known as Emergency Risk Protection Orders, are a way for law enforcement and the courts to temporarily seize firearms from gun owners who are deemed to be a risk to themselves or others. Various legislation of this nature has been implemented by a number of states, but not without push-back.
Just before Colorado passed its red flag law earlier this year, some sheriffs in the state
vowed not to enforce it, saying it would illegally revoke citizens' Second Amendment rights. Such laws have also been criticized for the unnecessary deaths of gunowners targeted, such as a Maryland man who was killed by police last fall while officers went to his home to serve an Extreme Risk Protection Order.
Politico reported that President Donald Trump also supports the red flag laws, and the National Rifle Association "supports the concept."
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