House Unveils Red Flag Legislation

Photo by Quick PS on Unsplash

This is a major development.

On Thursday (June 9), the House passed a bill that would nationalize red flag laws, preventing those considered a threat to themselves and others from purchasing firearms.

The legislation, referred to as the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order, passed 224-202, with two Republican not voting.

Five Republicans — Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA.), Chris Jacobs (N.Y.), and Fred Upton (Mich) — joined their Democratic counterparts to pass the bill. However, Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) broke from his party to oppose the bill.

Thursday’s red flag bill comes a day after the House passed sweeping gun control legislation, which included banning civilians from buying high-capacity magazines and raising the minimum age to purchase semiautomatic weapons to 21.

These most recent bills are lawmakers’ response to the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., that took place in May.

Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA.), whose son died in 2012 as a result of gun violence, introduced the red flag bill, legislation enabling family members and law enforcement officers to approach U.S. district courts to issue federal extreme protection orders temporarily prohibiting an individual from purchasing or possessing firearms.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia already have red flag laws, but if passed by Senate, there would be federal guidelines for the law, something both parties agree on.