NEXSTAR (WASHINGTON D.C.)– Efforts at gun reform are seemingly stalled, as the White House deals with the impeachment inquiry.
But there is still debate happening inside Congress, including focus on the so-called “red flag laws”, which many see as an area of agreement on either side of the aisle. But some wonder if these laws overstep the Constitution.
For all the push and pull over gun reform, red flag laws, also known as extreme risk laws, have consistently been considered a safe middle ground in the battle over guns.
Kris Brown with Brady says, “The reality is 17 states and the District of Columbia have enacted these laws.”
The laws allow authorities to proactively remove firearms from anyone deemed a risk to themselves or others following due process. Kris brown of Brady says it’s a useful tool to stop suicides and gun violence.
Brady adds, “This is exactly the kind of protection the public is crying out for in order to stop the next mass shooting.”
“But some say red flag laws risk violating the Constitution and say if they’re implemented must follow strict, legal standards.
Amy Swearer with the Heritage Foundation shares, “Where you’ll find disagreement is sort of how do you do that? Do you broaden existing law, do you create this whole new segment?”
Swearer, a second amendment attorney with the Heritage Foundation, believes the federal government has a role in crafting these laws.
She adds, “But when it comes down to the practical implementations, that’s got to be a very state by state approach.”
And gun control supporters say Congress needs to do more to make that happen.
Brown shares, “I think the role for Congress here, and we see momentum in the House and the Senate, on this issue, is to provide incentives for the states to adopt more extreme risk laws.”
So far, several reform bills have passed the Democratic-controlled House, but have not been given a hearing in the Senate by GOP leadership.
Last month a group gathered at the State Capitol steps in opposition to ‘Red Flag Gun Laws’. North Dakota lawmakers did not pass red flag proposals this past session.