Politics & Policy

Graham to Introduce Bipartisan ‘Red Flag’ Legislation after Mass Shootings

Senator Lindsey Graham delivers an impassioned statement in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (Saul Loeb/Reuters)

In the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend, Senator Lindsey Graham announced his intention Monday to introduce bipartisan “red flag” legislation designed to help law enforcement keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

The South Carolina Republican said he and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) plan to introduce a bipartisan bill establishing a federal grant program that would encourage states to institute “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” laws.

“These grants will be given to law enforcement so they can hire and consult with mental health professionals to better determine which cases need to be acted upon,” Graham said in a statement. “This grant program also requires robust due process and judicial review. It does allow for quick action.”

“Red Flag laws generally work by a family or household member or law enforcement officer petitioning a court to temporarily restrict an individual’s ability to buy or access firearms,” Graham said in a congressional hearing on the matter in March. “The burden of proof is placed on law enforcement to prove the person in question has become an imminent danger and there is a Due Process right for the individual to challenge the determination.”

A 21-year-old gunman opened fire on Saturday in an El Paso, Texas shopping center, killing 20 people and injuring 26 others. Less than 24 hours later, another young male shooter used an assault-style rifle to kill nine people, including his sister, and injure 27 more in a Dayton, Ohio entertainment district.

The El Paso shooter had posted statements online before the shooting expressing his hatred for immigrants and Hispanic people, who comprise the majority of the Texas border town’s population.

“Time to enact common-sense legislation in Congress to empower states to deal with those who present a danger to themselves and others — while respecting robust due process,” Graham wrote Saturday on Twitter in the aftermath of the El Paso shooting.

Graham added that he has discussed his proposal with President Trump, who “seems very supportive.”

During his remarks addressing the shootings Monday, Trump called on Congress to pass such legislation “in a bipartisan manner.”

Most Popular


How to Bend the News

This, from ABC, is a nice example of a news organization deliberately bending the truth in order to advance a narrative that it wishes were true but is not: Venerable gun manufacturer Colt says it will stop producing the AR-15, among other rifles, for the consumer market in the wake of many recent mass ... Read More

Trump’s Total Culture War

 Donald Trump is waging a nonstop, all-encompassing war against progressive culture, in magnitude analogous to what 19th-century Germans once called a Kulturkampf. As a result, not even former president George W. Bush has incurred the degree of hatred from the left that is now directed at Trump. For most of ... Read More

George Packer Gets Mugged by Reality

Few journalists are as respected by, and respectable to, liberals as The Atlantic’s George Packer. The author of The Assassin's Gate (2005), The Unwinding (2013), and a recently published biography of Richard Holbrooke, Our Man, Packer has written for bastions of liberal thought from the New York Times Magazine ... Read More

Iran’s Act of War

Last weekend’s drone raid on the Saudi oil fields, along with the Israeli elections, opens a new chapter in Middle Eastern relations. Whether the attack on Saudi oil production, which has temporarily stopped more than half of it, was launched by Iranian-sponsored Yemeni Houthis or by the Iranians themselves is ... Read More