Colorado State Rep. Dave Williams (R-El Paso) reached out to Ohio on Tuesday to plead with Republicans to reject red flag gun laws and other unconstitutional gun legislation. His Minority Leader, Patrick Neville (R-Douglas), a Columbine survivor, agreed.
“None of the laws being discussed would have prevented Columbine as the guns were obtained by a straw purchase and it took place in the middle of an assault weapons ban,” Neville told The Ohio Star.
Red flag gun laws allow judges to temporarily confiscate firearms owned by people determined to be a danger to themselves or others. The laws can allow family, friends or law enforcement to report the person to a judge.
Gov. Mike DeWine joined President Donald Trump’s call for red flag gun laws on Tuesday. Although DeWine calls his proposal “Safety Protection Orders,” the content is similar and includes removing firearms from a person who does not have a criminal record and has not been adjudicated mentally incompetent.
In May, the National Rifle Association (NRA) wrote why they are Raising a Red Flag over “Red Flag Laws,”
In Colorado, nearly half of the state’s sheriff’s departments are in an uproar against a new “red flag” law that would require law enforcement officers to confiscate the firearms of any Coloradan who has been deemed unsuitable to retain his Second Amendment rights, and that would do so in a way that violates the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. One sheriff, in rural Weld County, is so concerned by the idea that he has vowed to go to prison rather than administer it. These warnings should serve as a clear indication that something has gone wrong with the way in which legislators have come to think about individual rights. In the Centennial State, the canaries are sending warnings up the shaft.”
Rep. Williams has been a vocal opponent and is trying to warn Ohio legislators about the danger.
“Ohio lawmakers should reject any so-called ‘red flag’ law because they are a veiled attempt to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens. ‘Red Flag’ gun-confiscation laws violate the 2nd Amendment and due process protections laid out in our Bill of Rights,” he told The Ohio Star.
“Every American’s right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty should be vigorously guarded by every elected official, and attempts to force Ohioans to prove their innocence after their property has been taken without due process is a dangerous departure from America’s proud criminal justice traditions and foundations of fairness.”
Chris Dorr of Ohio Gun Owners agrees with Rep. Williams.
“What Mike DeWine did yesterday was open the flood gates for the radical Left, for the gun grabbers, right here in Ohio … He’s really signaled to the Left that we are open for business when it comes to gun control,” he said in a Facebook Live video Tuesday.
DeWine’s history on 2nd Amendment issues is not positive. As a legislator, DeWine consistently backed anti-gun legislation, earning him multiple “F” ratings from the NRA and other pro-gun groups. The NRA did endorse DeWine for governor though, based upon his most recent record as Ohio’s Attorney General.
Rep. Neville shared his thoughts about what would help deter mass shootings,
“We need to end the policy of gun free zones where most mass shootings take place and empower good people to protect our students and citizens,” he said. “Red flag laws will increase stigma for those seeking treatment and still leave the person with numerous other ways to harm people while tossing due process out the window.”
Fellow State Representative Tom Sullivan (D-Arapahoe) had a son who died in the Aurora theater shooting. He sponsored Colorado’s red flag law, but admitted to Colorado Public Radio News that the law would not have prevented the death of his son.
“I urge my Republican colleagues in Ohio not to follow the steps of Radical Democrats in Colorado. Leftist Colorado Democrats have admitted that these so-called ‘red flag’ laws would not have prevented the mass shootings that have occurred in our state,” Rep. Williams said. “So please don’t let Michael Bloomberg-backed gun grabbers convince you to give up your liberty for a false sense of security.”
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