Is more gun control legislation coming to Congress?
The 2018 midterm elections produced a split Congress with Democrats gaining control of the House and Republicans gaining seats in the Senate.
The change in House leadership will signal changes in gun control legislation in the near future. The Guardian has detailed House Democrats’ desire to pass gun control legislation in the upcoming Congress:
“Ted Deutch, a Democratic congressman from Florida who represents Parkland, where a February school shooting left 17 dead, said this week that he expected House Democrats to focus on bills with more bipartisan support. Those measures included bump stock bans and “extreme risk protection orders”, also known as red flag laws, which give law enforcement and family members a way to petition a court to temporarily bar an unstable person from buying or owning guns.”
Red flag laws might just be the “come together” moment establishment politicians have been looking for.
What Are Red Flag Laws?
Red flag laws or Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) are the euphemistic label for new gun-control measures. Under red flag laws, law enforcement has the ability to confiscate an individual’s firearms who is deemed a threat to themselves or others. A simple accusation from a family member, friend, or associate will suffice to seize someone’s firearms.
These laws, mind you, operate in the absence of due process. The accused can have their weapons confiscated without even so much as a hearing a before a judge. It could take months before a gun owner would have to appear in court to win back his gun rights.
Thirteen states currently have red flag laws on the books, with dozens more filing their own versions. What started out as a state-level movement may have some legs at the federal level. Although it’s true that Congressional Democrats are making gun control a major theme of their legislative agenda, it’s naïve to think red flag laws are only relevant because of “gun-grabbing” Democrats have taken power.
As we’ll see below, red flag laws have a history of bipartisan support. And when any piece of legislation has Democrats and Republicans locking arms in agreement, you know trouble lies ahead….