Biden’s Justice Department Uses Gun Violence to Push Red Flag Laws

On Monday the Department of Justice issued a statement on proposed legislation that would allow for states to create individual “extreme risk protection orders” (red flag laws) as a means to deter gun violence.

Attorney General, Merrick B. Garland, said in a statement, “The Justice Department is determined to take concrete steps to reduce the tragic toll of gun violence in our communities. Today we continue to deliver on our promise to help save lives while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans. We welcome the opportunity to work with communities in the weeks and months ahead in our shared commitment to end gun violence.”

The statement continued, “Today, the Department of Justice announced two new steps to help address the continuing epidemic of gun violence affecting communities across the country. First, the department issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that makes clear that when individuals use accessories to convert pistols into short-barreled rifles, they must comply with the heightened regulations on those dangerous and easily concealable weapons. Second, the department published model legislation to help states craft their own “extreme risk protection order” laws, sometimes called “red flag” laws. By sending the proposed rule to the Federal Register and publishing the model legislation today, the department has met the deadlines that the Attorney General announced alongside President Biden in April.”

The legislation will incorporate two types of red flag laws which are already in place.

The first method would remove the weapons from the residence of the suspected dangerous person via a warrant which is determined from a court. If found innocent, this will not stop the individual from future purchases.

The second method would create a long-term confiscation process in which law enforcement may try to confiscate the suspect’s weapon with an order. If they do not present the officers with the weapon in question or immediately in plain sight, law enforcement would have to come back with a search warrant.

According to NPR, “The Justice Department’s model combines the two approaches and would authorize the courts to more quickly issue a prohibition on a person’s right to possess firearms. It also allows for law enforcement to be awarded a confiscation order in conjunction with a search warrant, so they could immediately seize guns at the time they present the confiscation order.”