By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) The Republican Party’s conservative base is pushing back hard against any congressional attempts to pass a federal “red flag” law that would empower — and reward — remaining states without such a statute to enact one following a series of mass shootings many feel new laws would not have prevented.
Following two mass shootings on the same day — one in El Paso and another in Dayton, Ohio — earlier this month, President Donald Trump signaled support for “enhanced” background checks and even a federal red flag law many believe would be unconstitutional because it deprives individuals of the property, guns, and due process.
Already on the books in 17 states and the District of Columbia, a red flag law empowers courts and police to confiscate a person’s firearms who is deemed a danger to themselves or others, without ever having committed a crime and without any court representation. After a period of time — months to a year — the person goes back to court and has to prove he or she is no longer a danger.
Now, however, the political winds may be shifting.
â€œIt would definitely cause a lot of people to not vote for Trump, unfortunately,â€ state Rep. Stewart Jones (R-S.C.) told The Epoch Times.
â€œIn South Carolina, myself and a group of other legislators are signing a letter to President Trump, Senator Graham, and Senator [Tim] Scott to warn them about the dangers of the red flag laws. So far, weâ€™ve gotten South Carolina legislators who have signed it, and weâ€™re probably going to send it Friday with about 20 signatures,” he added.
As for the president, his support for red flag laws and similar measures appears to be waning.
â€œSo, Congress is working on that. They have bipartisan committees working on background checks and various other things. And weâ€™ll see,â€ Trump said, referring to possible gun control actions.
â€œI donâ€™t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem. I donâ€™t want them to forget that, because it is. Itâ€™s a mental health problem. And as I sayâ€”and I said the other night in New Hampshire; we had an incredible eveningâ€”I said, â€˜Itâ€™s the people that pull the trigger. Itâ€™s not the gun that pulls the trigger,â€ Trump stated.
Other GOP lawmakers also seem to be tapping the brakes.
â€œI donâ€™t anticipate weâ€™re going to pass a federal red flag law,â€ Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Aug 20.
And nearly two dozen state lawmakers in South Dakota wrote a letter to Sen. John Thune (R) urging him to reject red flag legislation and other gun controls they say will do nothing to stop mass shootings.
â€œInstead of stripping law-abiding citizens of their constitutional rights and placing them in fear with proposed red flag laws, letâ€™s take this opportunity to do the right thing and make would-be mass murderers fear for their safety if they contemplate acts of violence against fellow Americans,â€ they wrote.
â€œCompared to all of the gun control proposals proposed as â€˜solutionsâ€™ to the horror of these random mass murders, the repeal of â€˜gun-free zonesâ€™ is the simplest, least expensive, most logical and is morally imperative,â€ the lawmakers continued.
Conservatives note that the best way to stop mass shootings is to empower local police, as evidenced by the fact that at least three of them were thwarted on the local level this week,Â USA Today reports:
Three mass shooting plots were thwarted in recent days with the arrests ofÂ three men in unrelated cases, authorities in Connecticut, Florida and Ohio said.
Tips from the public aided in the three arrests, which occurred on Thursday and Friday. Police in each case said the men, all white and in their 20s, posted online or sent text messages with threats of committing mass shootings.
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