Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris recently promised that if she ever becomes president, she will implement red flag laws. But what seems to set her apart from many others is the criteria she uses. The Californian believes that seizing guns from white nationalists or any person exhibiting “traits of being a danger to society” could reduce violence in America.
From local officials to members of Congress to the President of the United States, plans are in motion to make Emergency Risk Protection Orders (ERPO’s), commonly called Red Flag Laws, the national norm.
An ERPO order allows for the confiscation by force of all firearms an individual owns. An individual served with an ERPO would lose their firearms for a period between three months and one year.
In Pennsylvania, Red Flag Laws are under serious consideration: even the state’s Republican Senator, Pat Toomey, supports them. In a recent article for the Pennsylvania Post, reporter Ed Mahon listed the eight factors a “judge or hearing officer would be required to weigh” when issuing an ERPO. Each has problems, but taken together they amount to one fact: without committing any crime, ERPO’s allow a judge or hearing officer to strip American citizens of a fundamental and constitutional right.
Indri Schaelicke | United States
In January of 2016, speaking at a New Hampshire campaign event, Republican Presidential hopeful Senator Marco Rubio reaffirmed his pro-gun right stance. “I believe that every single American has a Constitution—and therefore God-given right—to defend themselves and their families,” Rubio said. The statements he made at this rally were clearly politically motivated- he was attempting to build a base of voters in a state with a strong commitment to gun rights, especially among Republicans. And it sort of worked- he received 10% of the vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary and came away with 2 delegate votes.