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Most Republicans, and gun owners overall, favor red flag laws, poll says

Some still see it as an infringement on the Second Amendment

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Red flag gun laws appear to have bipartisan support, with more than two-thirds of both Republicans and gun owners supporting the laws that would allow family members, and potentially law enforcement, to petition courts to restrict a person's right to own a gun in certain circumstances, according to The Hill.

According to an NPR poll, 70 percent of Republicans support red flag laws that allow family members to petition courts to take guns from people who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. And 67 percent of gun owners overall felt the same.

However, slightly fewer Republicans support red flag laws that expand to allow law enforcement officers to petition courts as well as family members — support drops to 66 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of gun owners.

Eighty-five percent of Democrats support red flag laws that extend to family members, while 80 percent support the laws including law enforcement.

The renewed push for red flag laws began after mass murders in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, earlier this month, after which President Donald Trump expressed support for the laws in a speech about the tragedies.

"We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process," President Trump said on Aug. 5. "That is why I have called for red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders."

The president's backing led to a push by some Republicans in Congress, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to work on bipartisan legislation to provide federal grants to states to help them create red flag laws.

Despite the poll numbers, there does seem to be some political risk for Republicans to support laws that many gun owners view as a blatant infringement on the Second Amendment.

"This might be Donald Trump's 'read my lips' moment," said Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America. "If he basically tries to dismantle the Second Amendment community, he's going to be a one-termer. I firmly believe that."

One last thing…
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