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.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made it clear that he does not support the call for a special session on gun laws as proposed by several legislators.
Last week State Rep. Joseph Geller, D-Miami-Dade, sent a letter to all state lawmakers and the Florida secretary of state in an attempt to have a special session called to address gun violence.
In order for a special session to be granted, 60% of the lawmakers in the house and senate would have to approve the request. The governor could also issue a proclamation calling for the special session.
On Wednesday, DeSantis responded to the request by noting that Florida has adopted a number laws to address gun violence.
DeSantis said, “What we’ve done in this budget is have record funding, continued record funding for school safety and school security as well as mental health. We’ve done three-quarters of a billion dollars just for school security, just since 2019, so we took the Stoneman Douglas recommendations, we put those into effect in both policy and with resources and it’s made a really, really big difference.”
DeSantis then took a shot at the “leftist.”
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.
Amid a debate by elected leaders on how to respond to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Florida Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) has indicated he would support a federal “red flag” law.
Axios reported that Scott said he was “OK with supporting a federal red flag law but added that generally such laws should be up to the states.”
Scott supported “red flag” legislation in Florida in the wake of the Parkland shooting which resulted in the death of 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when he signed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act into law in 2018.