Red Flag gun laws give police authority to remove guns from dangerous people

Posted at 8:26 PM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 21:35:46-04

Every time there’s another mass shooting we hear calls for more gun control. However, nothing seems to be done because of strong support for the Second Amendment that protects gun rights – until now.

Red Flag gun laws function as sort of a timeout to take guns away from people who are a threat to others or a threat to themselves. One of the first states to pass this is Indiana. There they call it the "Jake Laird Law" after a police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2004 by a man who killed his own mother and then ambushed police who were responding.

It has also been passed in various forms in California, Maryland, Connecticut, Oregon, Washington, Illinois and Rhode Island. Once police remove the guns from a dangerous person, a judge then decides if they get the guns back. In some states, a court order is needed first to take the guns away.  

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is taking some heat for co-sponsoring legislation on the federal level that would provide grant money to states that pass Red Flag gun laws.  One co-sponsor is Northern Michigan Congressman Fred Upton a Second Amendment supporter.  

“What can we work together on that keeps people from going to the same old corners that doesn't get anything done,” Dingell said. 

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says they can now arrest people if they are posing a threat to themselves or others and he supports the Second Amendment. But he also supports Red Flag.  

“We need it everywhere,” Craig said.  

But not here in Michigan. Legislative leaders in Lansing have told Debbie Dingell it is not on their agenda.