Rights Violating Confiscation? Or a Good Idea? Lindsey Graham Announces New Agreement to Fund State Based Red Flag Laws

Posted: Aug 05, 2019 1:10 PM

Shortly after President Trump's remarks to the nation Monday morning about back-to-back mass shootings over the weekend, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham announced a bipartisan agreement to federally fund local "Red Flag" laws. 

“I appreciate President Trump’s strong statement rejecting hate and white supremacist ideology, urging us all to reject a culture of violence, as well as a call to action on multiple fronts," Graham released in a statement. “I have reached an agreement with Senator Blumenthal to create a federal grant program to assist and encourage states to adopt ‘Red Flag’ Protection Order laws to timely intervene in situations where there is an imminent threat of violence."

“These grants will be given to law enforcement so they can hire and consult with mental health professionals to better determine which cases need to be acted upon. This grant program also requires robust due process and judicial review. It does allow for quick action," he continued. “Many of these shootings involved individuals who showed signs of violent behavior that are either ignored or not followed up.  State Red Flag laws will provide the tools for law enforcement to do something about many of these situations before it’s too late."

Red flag laws allow for family members or friends to report individual gun owners who they believe are dangerous, to themselves or others, to authorities. After investigation, weapons belonging to the individual in question can be confiscated by the police. Unless written and carried out very specifically, Red Flag laws are easy to exploit and abuse. Often times these laws violate the constitutional rights of the individual deemed a "threat."

Graham said he spoke to President Trump about the grant funding this morning and said he "seemed supportive." President Trump advocated for red flag laws during his remarks from the White House.

"We must make sure that those judged to pose a risk to public safety do not have access to firearms—and that if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process. That is why I have called for 'Red Flag' laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders,” Trump said.

The agreement between Graham and Blumenthal will be made into legislation "in the near future."