Headline RoundupJune 3rd, 2022

Could 'Red Flag Laws' Be the Common Ground in Gun Safety Debate?

Summary from AllSides News Team

'Red flag laws' exist in 19 states, and have been celebrated by some Republicans and many Democrats. Can Congress harness that agreement to find common ground on gun laws?

A 'red flag law' allows police or family members to ask a state court to order the temporary confiscation of weapons from someone who is deemed a danger to others or themselves. The bipartisan group of senators discussing gun safety has signaled agreement on national red flag legislation, which would likely either create a federal law or incentives for states to adopt their own red flag laws. 

Not all conservatives support the laws. Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R) has argued that red flag laws try to "enforce the law before the law has been broken" and that "it's difficult to assess whether somebody is a threat." As far as public opinion, multiple recent surveys suggest that large majorities of Americans support red flag laws.

Common ground on red flag laws is also apparent in media coverage. A CNN article framed Florida's red flag law positively, and highlighted some Florida conservatives who spoke highly of the law. Opinion articles from National Review (Right bias) voiced support for state red flag laws, but oppose federal legislation and argue that the decision should be left to states. Sources across the spectrum have highlighted red flag laws and the potential for common ground on them. Some reports on all sides also highlighted opposition to red flag laws from conservatives and gun rights groups.

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