Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) shot down any prospects of bipartisan agreement on proposed red flag gun laws Wednesday, rejecting the GOP-backed proposals as an ‘ineffective cop out,” according to Politico.
Republican senators have shown openness to potential legislation that would allow authorities to prevent individuals from purchasing a gun — or confiscate a gun they already own — if a family member reports them as potentially dangerous and files for a court order.
“The notion that passing a tepid version of the Extreme Risk Protection Order — alone — is even close to getting the job done in addressing rampant gun violence in the U.S. is wrong and would be an ineffective cop out,” Schumer said. “We Democrats are not going to settle for half-measures so Republicans can feel better and try to push the issue of gun violence off to the side.”
Republican senators, including Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.) have gotten on board with red flag-type laws, and President Donald Trump called for them in his speech about the massacres in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.
Schumer and Democrats are not necessarily against red flag laws; however, they believe more needs to be done. Schumer said red flag laws won’t work without universal background checks. He also said Graham’s pending proposal with Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) doesn’t do enough.
Graham’s proposal would create a grant program to help states work with law enforcement and mental health professionals to create red flag laws.
“It would just provide grant incentives for states to implement laws of their own, which runs the risk of doing more harm than good in the long run if states decide to take up weaker laws,” Schumer said.
Graham believes his proposal would be effective in reducing instances of mass murder and said the president agrees.
“I spoke with the president this morning about this proposal and he seems very supportive,” Graham said Monday. “Many of these shootings involved individuals who showed signs of violent behavior that are either ignored or not followed up. State red flag laws will provide the tools for law enforcement to do something about many of these situations before it’s too late.”
Some conservatives are wary of red flag laws that appear to undermine due process by creating the potential that a legal gun owner could have his property confiscated for weeks before he is allowed to defend himself in court.