The Democrat-controlled U.S. House on Thursday passed the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, a piece of legislation that would allow family members, police, and others to request federal courts to seize the firearms of individuals deemed unstable and a threat to themselves and to others, according to the Associated Press.
Under the “red flag” law, a judge could order the removal of personally owned firearms, to be temporarily stored for up to two weeks, until a hearing could be heard on whether to return the weapons to their owner or to detain them for a longer period of time. Judges could also prevent the purchasing of firearms under the same circumstances, according to Fox News.
The vote was mostly along party lines, with 224 voting for the motion and 202 opposing it. Five Republicans broke ranks and voted for the bill, while one Democrat voted against it.
Before the vote, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), gave a speech on the House floor asserting that the “red flag” law could save lives.
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“There's one theme that comes up most often: someone deeply troubled, experiencing some sort of crisis, had easy access to firearms,” Nadler stated, when discussing different types of shootings.
"All too often the warning signs were clear, and nothing was done to keep guns out of their hands before it was too late," Nadler said, adding that the bill "provides a sensible means by which someone who's exhibiting dangerous behavior can be prevented from possessing or purchasing a firearm before tragedy strikes."
Must most Republicans think otherwise.
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) warned about the real effects the bill would have on gun owners. Despite Democrat promises that firearm confiscations would be temporary, Johnson pointed out that the withholdings can be renewed indefinitely and that gun owner’s names would be added to the National Crime Databases even though they have not committed any crime, according to CNS News.
Johnson pointed out that the bill would allow “the courts to take guns away from people without notice and without even the right to appear in the hearing and defend themselves in court,” according to NBC News. This would be blatant trampling of a person’s rights.
The legislation is unlikely to make it through the U.S. Senate, as at least 10 Republicans would have to support it for the bill to pass.
Instead, Senate Republicans are drafting legislation that would send funds to states to increase armed security at schools, provide greater mental health services to young people, and enhance the background check system, known as NICS, to include investigations on the criminal records of young gun buyers.
“Adding juvenile records to the NICS system is a common sense way to ensure we have a complete picture of the buyer’s history," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
Cornyn said he’s optimistic that the bill will pass both the Senate and House, saying, “Around here, if there’s a will, there is a way, and I believe we do have the will and we will find the way.”
.@RepMattGaetz: If liberals cared about children, they wouldn't leave them as "sitting ducks in gun-free zones" at school. pic.twitter.com/PudrWsVjPl— MRCTV (@mrctv) June 9, 2022