House passes red flag bill as talks continue over arms restrictions

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a so-called red flag bill that would allow a judge to withdraw firearms from someone who poses an imminent danger to themselves or others.

The bill, one of the gun safety measures introduced in the House of Representatives in the wake of the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Ovaldi, Texas, has advanced by 224 to 202, and is seen as having a greater chance than some other legislation to advance in the divided Senate. equally. Five Republicans supported the measure and one Democrat voted against it.

Speaking on the House floor before the vote, Representative Jerry Nadler of New York State said the measure, which would allow a judge to issue a temporary order prohibiting anyone deemed a risk from purchasing or possessing firearms, could save lives. While the details in mass shootings “may vary,” he said, “one theme comes up most often: Someone is deeply troubled, is in some sort of crisis, has easy access to firearms.”

“Often the warning signs were obvious, and nothing was done to get the pistols out of their hands before it was too late,” Nadler said. He said the bill “provides a reasonable means by which a person who exhibits dangerous behavior can be prevented from acquiring or purchasing firearms prior to tragic strikes.”

More than a dozen states already have similar laws on record, Nadler said, adding that these measures have saved lives. In the first three years California enacted a red flag law, this measure was applied “in 58 mass shooting threats, including six in which a minor was threatening a school,” he said.

Representative Mike Johnson, Republican of Los Angeles, urged his colleagues to vote against the bill, saying it would allow “courts to take guns off people without warning and without even the right to appear in court and defend themselves in court.” While those people would be able to On petitioning the court to recover their weapons, Johnson said, “Post-incident due process is not fair process at all.”

Nadler maintained that the procedure contained “strong fair procedure provisions that strike the appropriate balance between protecting the rights of the gun owner and ensuring the safety of the community.”

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Lucy Macpath, Democrat, promoted the legislation in an interview with NBC News earlier this week.

“Red flag laws are preventing schools and mass shootings,” said Macpath, who lost her 17-year-old son after a man complained of loud music shooting a teenage car at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida in 2012. “They work to prevent those who might contemplate suicide from obtaining a weapon. They can be used to keep weapons out of the hands of those who should not have them.”

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a legislative package that would raise the minimum age for purchasing semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, but progress is not expected in the Senate, where a bipartisan group of senators is working on a package of their own. .

Those talks include state grant funding to implement its own red flag laws.

I think we’re very close to a framework, a basic outlineAnd the And a lot of details, but there are still details that we need to work out, for example, the details of the red flag law that I’ve been working on for years. It’s by no means easy, Senator Richard Blumenthal, one of the negotiators, told reporters on Wednesday.

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