The majority of Republican and Independent voters think “red flag” gun laws that allow judges to confiscate individuals’ firearms can be abused for political reasons, according to a new poll.
Convention of States Action, along with the Trafalgar Group, released polling data Wednesday that shows that 72.2% of Republicans and 52.3% of Independents “believe that ‘red flag’ gun control laws that are designed to temporarily take guns away from individuals have the potential to be abused by local authorities and government officials to disarm their political opponents and/or citizens who disagree with them.”
U.S. Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY-04) blasted red flag laws last week during floor debate on legislation pending in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a tweet sharing his floor speech, Massie said, “A federal red flag law would create millions of second-class citizens. It won’t stop mass shooters but will deprive millions of Americans of due process and their Second Amendment rights.”
Politicians, including some Republicans, are calling for gun control after a recent spate of mass shootings, particularly last week’s involving a gunman who shot and killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas. Gov. Doug Ducey pushed for “red flag” gun control laws previously, including in 2019 after two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, and indicated this week he may renew that effort. The Arizona Citizens’ Defense League (AZCDL) immediately sent out 53,000 email alerts.
“Politicians like Ducey are dancing in the blood of victims as opposed to saving people’s lives,” AZCDL Communications Director Charles Heller told The Arizona Sun Times. “We need to stop the psychopaths who are doing this, by taking action like implementing FASTER, which trains teachers and staff at schools to arm themselves after proper training. Ducey’s statement is a profile in cowardice, he’s acting like politicians do when they are afraid of not getting votes.”
The senseless murder of 19 children and two teachers at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas is leading to calls for more gun control. To some, “red flag” laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders, seem like the obvious solution. These laws allow judges to seize a person’s guns without a trial, based solely on a written complaint that the person might be a danger to themselves or others. All a judge needs is “reasonable suspicion.”
“We know that we can show we can be united to protect our children,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, a famously moderate West Virginia Democrat.
Arizona’s House Democrats called for action on specific bills they have sponsored that remain in limbo in the state legislature.
“House Democrats called on Republican Leaders to finally show the courage to make our communities safer,” a Thursday press release said. “In the wake of the violent massacres in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas Democrats again called for action on nearly a dozen common-sense gun violence prevention bills that have gotten a hearing this session or for the past several years.”