Graham, Blumenthal tout in-the-works bill to curb gun violence with red flag orders

By Sara Shayanian

March 8 (UPI) -- Speaking together Thursday, Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., teased their upcoming bill that would let courts seize firearms from dangerous gun owners.

Blumenthal and Graham's legislation -- which they plan to introduce in the Senate next week -- would expand the use of extreme risk protection orders, also known as red flag orders.


Red flag orders allow law enforcement and family members to get court approval to temporarily prevent people who are threats to themselves or others from accessing firearms. Individuals who lose access to firearms under the proposed bill would be afforded due process.

Blumenthal said Thursday on Twitter that 42 percent of mass shooters exhibited warning signs before committing their crimes.

"The absence of any federal process to remove guns from such immediately dangerous individuals can have deadly consequences," Blumenthal said. "Senator Graham and I are working on bipartisan legislation to prevent tragedies from occurring by giving law enforcement the tools they need to keep guns out of dangerous hands."

Graham tweeted that red flag orders are "designed to fill a gap in current law."


"Senator Blumenthal and I disagree on many issues regarding the Second Amendment, but we strongly agree restricting access to firearms by those who pose an imminent danger to themselves or others is a strong step forward," Graham tweeted.

Indiana, Connecticut and several other states currently have red flag laws.

"I spoke with Vice President Pence about Indiana's 'Red Flag' provision earlier this week," Graham said. "It seeks to balance the Second Amendment rights of the individual with concerns from law enforcement and family members about those who may be experiencing a mental health crisis."

Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson of Florida introduced a bill this week to incentivize states to enact gun violence restraining orders.

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