Texas is unlikely to shake red flag laws despite Uvalde shooting, federal gun control law: report

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Texas is unlikely to pass the red flag legislation included in the two-part gun control law to be advanced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, although the bill was passed soon after the Uvalde massacre, according to reports.

The current draft of the 80-page Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will provide $ 750 million in federal funding to help states administer a red flag law if they have or pass one – even if states without them could also qualify. to the money by adopting other policies without relation. for weapons.

But the federal law, although supported by U.S. Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, is likely to be a no-brainer for other Republican leaders in Texas given the setback Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott suffered when he asked the state legislature about to consider red. flaglove four years ago, The Texas Tribune reported.

Although the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 children and two teachers dead, was one of the inspirations for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to draft the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said in a recent radio interview that he still is against red flags as part of a legislative solution.

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A banner hangs at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School on Friday, June 3rd.

A banner hangs at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School on Friday, June 3rd.
(AP / Eric Gay)

“After the Santa Fe shooting, we had the same step to do this, and we did not support it,” he said in a radio interview. Patrick, who presides over the state Senate and has a strong influence on what legislation is being considered, said that if he were in the U.S. Senate, he would have been among the 36 Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz, who voted against the federal proposal. Tuesday. .

Cornyn, who received buh and mockery from the crowd while making remarks at the Texas GOP convention last week, has spearheaded Republican negotiations on the federal proposal, while insisting it would not introduce a national law on red flag for the 31 states without state-level versions.

This file image shows Texas Lt.  Gov.  Dan Patrick speaks in the state Senate chamber on the first day of the 87th Legislative Assembly's third special session at the State Capitol on September 20, 2021 in Austin, Texas.

This file image shows Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaks in the state Senate chamber on the first day of the 87th Legislative Assembly’s third special session at the State Capitol on September 20, 2021 in Austin, Texas.
((Photo by Tamir Kalifa / Getty Images))

He has insisted it would be up to state lawmakers, noting that federal funding could be used for “law enforcement-related grants for crisis intervention programs, whether you have adopted a red flag program or not.”

The nation’s first red flag law was passed in Connecticut in 1999, allowing police – but not doctors or family members – to ask a judge for permission to seize the weapons of a person believed to be imminently dangerous to themselves or others.

Late.  John Cornyn, R-TX, speaks during a hearing on "Protecting America's Children from Gun Violence" with the Senate Judiciary Committee at the U.S. Capitol on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Senator John Cornyn, R-TX, speaks during a hearing on “Protecting America’s Children From Gun Violence” with the Senate Judiciary Committee at the US Capitol on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.
((Photo by Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images))

Over the next two decades, a handful of other states passed similar laws, and for some states, in addition to the police – such as family members – people can ask the courts to remove weapons or prevent a person from buying weapons if they are believed to be at risk. themselves or others.

In 2018, the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, triggered a new harvest of red flag laws. By the end of 2021, 19 states and the District of Columbia had enacted similar legislation. However, not all states are involved: In 2020, Oklahoma banned its counties and municipalities from passing red flag laws.

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The bill is due to be considered in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, even after the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 the same day as New Yorks rules, which made it difficult to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon, were unconstitutionally restrictive and that it should be easier to obtain such a license.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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