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President Trump Favors Them: So What Are Red Flag Laws? 

08-20-2019
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In the wake of recent gun violence, President Trump is still calling for action although he appears to be moving his support from expanded background checks to the idea of red flag laws. 

And he isn't alone in his support. 

According to a new report from NPR, 77 percent of Americans support red flag laws when initiated by the person's family; that includes 70 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of gun owners.  

Red Flag Laws or Extreme Risk Protection Orders allow police or family members to go to court requesting guns be temporarily confiscated from people seen as a threat to themselves or others. 

Sixteen states including the District of Columbia already have some form of the law on the books. 

"People have to remember, however, that there is a mental illness problem," the president said at a recent rally. 

"It's not the gun that pulls the trigger, it's the person holding the gun," he continued.   

While Jim Granados of the American Psychological Association supports the laws, he adds mental health and violent behavior aren't necessarily connected. 

"The issue of gun violence is complex but we know that the best predictor of violence is past violence. And so, putting mental illness as a cause of the problem is inaccurate and simplistic," he explained.  

Regardless, critics maintain the laws violate both the Second Amendment and the right to due process. 

"The problem with Red Flag laws is you're guilty until proven innocent," tweeted Rep. Jim Jordan, (R-Ohio) 

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have a bill aimed at encouraging states to adopt red flag laws but Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, say red flag laws alone are a cop-out.

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