Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) responded on Saturday to the blowback he received from conservatives after he suggested that there should be a larger conversation on so-called “red flag laws.”
“Earlier this week, President [Donald] Trump indicated his support for something called red flag laws. I stated on Twitter that maybe we should consider them at the state level, maybe we should have a conversation about it, and it should be a conversation,” Crenshaw said. “Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.”
In the wake of back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, the president addressed the nation and called for bipartisan cooperation in determining potential solutions to the recent slew of violence. Trump suggested enacting gun violence restraining orders, or red flag laws, which allow for temporary gun confiscation for individuals deemed a danger to oneself or others.
Crenshaw revealed his support for a nationwide conversation on the topic, but was quick to note that didn’t mean he was crafting any legislation, nor supporting any proposed legislation. He further sounded the alarm on the “absolutely extreme” anti-gun agenda that Democrats are pushing.
The Texas congressman, however, was met with “hate-filled comments, lots of emotion” and “a lot of anger” for his openness to enacting certain gun control measures.
“Clearly even the words ‘red flag law’ just emotionally triggered a lot of people, made you guys really mad at me. It seemed that no amount of explanation was able to quell your fears or convince you otherwise, convince you that somehow the president and I had not betrayed you,” Crenshaw said. “That is not true, of course, and it’s sad that many of you think that, it really is.”
“When we say ‘red flag laws,’ you guys stop listening,” he continued. “You can’t hear what we’re suggesting because, understandably, you automatically assume that we’re just agreeing with the left’s version of that law and we all know that the left’s version would not be good, it would not protect due process. But as it turns out, that isn’t what we’re talking about at all.”
He further explained that the primary issue over the government’s ability to confiscate weapons from citizens lies with Americans’ right to due process.
“Making sure that due process could not be abused is at the heart of any conservative solution to the supposed red flag laws. In our version of what those would look like, I’ve laid out specific safeguards that would have to be in place for us to support any type of red flag law,” Crenshaw said, before listing examples such as the requirement of clear and convincing evidence, punishment for false accusations, right to attorney and cross-examination, and limited standing to accuse.
“Here’s the thing, I understand your fears about bad red flag laws. Red flag law is a general concept,” he explained. “There could be good ones and there can be bad ones. You should be against the bad ones, as I am.”
The former Navy SEAL expressed the importance of joining the national gun rights debate so that Democrats will not control the narrative to ultimately enact gun control measures that violate Americans’ due process rights.
“The whole purpose of what the president did, and what I am doing, in trying to start a conversation about this is so that we take control of the narrative and propose solutions that actually do protect due process rights,” Crenshaw said. “[Let’s] ensure that we aren’t on the sidelines when Democrats are proposing blatantly unconstitutional laws that would not protect your due process.”
“It’s a conversation that conservatives have actually been having for a very long time. It’s not new at all and it definitely does not deserve the emotional reaction that it has gotten,” he added. “We are better than that. Let’s be better than that.”