GOP Stalls Red Flag Laws in Bid for Gun Rights Support

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Momentum to pass red flag laws, which temporarily remove firearms from those who may be a harm to themselves or others, and are lauded by public health experts, law enforcement officials and gun safety advocates, has petered out around the country as midterm-focused Republicans are determined to galvanize their pro-gun base, reports Pew Stateline. Gun rights advocates argue that red flag laws violate due process and infringe on gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.

In Pennsylvania, the Republican legislative majority is refusing to allow a bipartisan-backed extreme risk protection order bill a committee hearing. A similar red flag law in North Carolina will neither get a committee hearing nor pass the legislature, thanks to Republican lawmakers.  In Wisconsin, despite a 2019 poll from Marquette University showing 81 percent of respondents were in favor of adopting a red flag law, the bill has still not received a hearing by the Republican-controlled legislature. North Carolina Democratic Representative Marcia Morey, one of the sponsors of her state’s legislation and a former district court judge for close to two decades, points out that it often takes mass shootings such as Parkland to jumpstart debate for these policies. “We just hit a brick wall of just not being willing to even try to figure this out,” said Wisconsin state Rep. Lena Taylor, a Milwaukee Democrat sponsoring an extreme risk protection order bill. “For people who have lost loved ones, that’s what hurts. I feel like we owe them. There’s only so many prayers and condolences to give.”

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