As a bi-partisan group of lawmakers in Washington D.C. search for solutions to help curb mass shootings, one proposal gaining traction is already banned in Oklahoma.
The group led by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, reportedly met Tuesday to discuss expanding background checks for gun purchases and implementing red flag laws.
However, in 2020, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the nation’s first anti-red flag law.
The measures have been enacted in 19 states and the District of Columbia since the Parkland school shooting. According to CBS News, the laws allow courts to temporarily confiscate firearms belonging to people deemed to be a risk to others or themselves.
Officially referred to as extreme risk protection orders, family members and law enforcement can ask a judge to issue an order temporarily taking guns from a person they believe poses a threat. Petitioners must present evidence to the court on why individuals pose a threat.
“Extreme risk protection orders, also known as red flag laws, would be a huge help,” Beth Furnish with Moms Demand Action Oklahoma said.
State Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, authored the 2020 Oklahoma law banning any state agency or local government from following “…an executive order, written order or warrant issued by a court… for which the primary purpose is to reduce the risk of firearm-related death or injury…”
“In many of these states, you can anonymously report someone,” Dahm said, “So, you do not have the right to face your accuser and in many other states, you’re presumed guilty until you hire a lawyer and go in fight to get your right restored to keep and bear arms.”
Asked why a mentally ill person should be allowed to possess a firearm, Dahm said there are other avenues for the state to remove weapons after someone has been able to defend themselves in court.
“People think their neighbor is going to turn them in and take their guns,” Furnish said. “These are family members and law-enforcement that go before a judge and present evidence showing that this person is a risk to themselves or to others and they temporarily remove firearms.”
Congress is expected to vote on some sort of gun reform package as early as next week.