President Calls For National Red Flag Laws
President Trump is calling for a national red flag law to keep guns out of the hands of some people.
After the mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH over the weekend, President Donald Trump is calling for a change in the country's mental health laws. One of those changes includes the implementation of red flag laws, also known as extreme risk laws.
"We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that if they do, those firearms can be taken through due process," Trump said.
Critics of red flag laws say the lack of due process makes them unconstitutional. They allow relatives, significant others or law enforcement to report someone who they think poses a threat to themselves or others, resulting in the confiscation of their firearms.
Gov. Steve Sisolak signed AB291 into law, this spring. It takes effect on January 1, 2020. It will allow the seizure of a person's guns for up to seven days. After a hearing, a judge can order the seizure of that person's firearms for up to a year, when they will be re-evaluated. During that time, he or she cannot purchase any other firearms.
"Red-flag laws in other states have been shown to reduce firearm suicide rates as well as disarm individuals that have made credible threats of violence against others," Sisolak, D-Nevada said. "Keeping Nevadans safe is a top priority, and I'm proud that we passed common-sense reforms like the red-flag law that keeps guns out of the hands of those who wish to do harm."
Law enforcement agencies do not know what kind of an impact the new law will have. Officers say their job is to enforce the law and keep the community safe, and they hope this new law helps.
"Hopefully, what this will do is enable family members to maybe pay a little bit more attention to their loved ones or if you're in a relationship with someone, pay more attention to maybe some warning signs," Officer Travis Warren, Reno Police Department said.
The law also bans bump stocks and other gun modifications, lowers the legal blood alcohol limit to carry a gun in public to .08, and it requires people to lock their firearms up if there are minors around. Supporters of the red flag portion of the law say it will reduce suicides, mass shootings, school shootings, and domestic homicides. Others say it could create unnecessary confrontations between officers and individuals, that could lead to violence. Warren says we will have to wait and see what the impact will be.
"Everyone is someone to somebody and it's important that we notice and pay attention to some of these warning signs, so that we can make an impact and positively influence somebody to get help," Warren said.
17 states and Washington, D.C. already have red flag laws in place.