Could Red Flag Gun Law Have Prevented Louie’s Shooter?
OKLAHOMA CITY - For years, law enforcement has been warning citizens to say something, if they see something out of the ordinary.
In the case of Alexander Tilghman, 28, both local and federal authorities were alerted but were unable to do anything to stop Tilghman from his attack at Louie’s on the Lake at Lake Hefner last week.
Under Oklahoma law, officers aren't allowed to seize weapons or prevent disturbed individuals like from obtaining firearms.
Eight states, however, do have laws that let law enforcement take action. They're known as red flag laws. In general, the laws allow a judge to determine whether a person is a threat to public safety or themselves and then prevent that person from having or buying a gun. Several versions of the law also cover repeat domestic violence offenders. The laws are active in California, Indiana, Oregon, Connecticut, Washington, Florida, Vermont and Maryland.
In Rhode Island the governor signed an executive order allowing law enforcement officials to temporarily take weapons from deeply troubled suspects.
These kinds of laws were brought to the forefront in the days following the Parkland, FL shooting back in February. Several states including Florida passed the law in response to the shooting.
Shortly after, Governor Mary Fallin weighed in on whether she thought Oklahoma needed a red flag law.
“I'm certainly interested in looking at that too,” Fallin said in March. “I'd like to hear more about the discussion but I think anything we can do to make sure we're keeping people that might have problems from carrying a weapon some place they shouldn't.”
It is unclear whether a red flag law would have helped stop this shooting. Tilghman was state certified to carry a firearm, passed law enforcement training and was a licensed security guard with a clean record.