In the first six months of 2018, there have been a total of 134 mass shooting incidents (as of June 18th). After these mass shootings occur, investigators search for “red flags”. Investigators look at the past history of the gun assailant and consider prior convictions as well as mental stability.
In order to take preventative measures, lawmakers are in the process of discussing possible “red flag” legislation to help prevent future gun violence. Red flag laws would restrict access to firearms to those who show signs of being a danger to the public or themselves. Enacting this law would allow law enforcers to take firearms away from those deemed as a threat or danger by a mental health professional and judge.
Some argue that enacting a red flag law could go against the second amendment, the right to bear arms. Ed Scruggs of Texas Gun Sense explains that a red flag law would not only provide public safety but protect the second amendment.
Scruggs assures that with red flag laws in place, law enforcement will not be able to seize guns from just anyone without reason. For a red flag law to take action, it would require a full due process. The person under scrutiny would be fully examined for any alarming mental health factors before their rights would be jeopardized.
Within the next few days, the Texas House of Representatives will review the current gun legislation in Texas. The review is taking place at the request of Governor Greg Abbott. Since the Santa Fe High School shooting, that occurred in May, Abbott has created a 40 plus page list of recommendations to improve school safety. Abbott believes that enacting red flag laws, will help to enforce his school and gun safety plan.
However, there are those who are against red flag legislature. Michael Cargill, pro-gun activist, voices that the current legislation is already sufficient enough for the state. Cargill expresses that approving red flag legislation is the wrong approach and that Texas needs to work on offensive measures not defensive.
Since the rise of mass shootings, states across the country have adopted red flag laws. Already 11 states have enacted this legislature, and 6 states currently have the bill under consideration. Will Texas be the next state to join the list?