CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — The Red Flag proposals come after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton last weekend. “Red Flag Laws” are already on the books in 17 states and the District of Columbia. They allow people to report on others who may be mentally ill and in possession of firearms, with the intent of harming someone. They also provide for law enforcement to request a judge take away a person’s weapons if they are considered a threat. But, critics worry about abuses.
Del. Jim Butler, (R) Mason said, “I think what a lot of people don’t realize about red flag law is that this could allow somebody who just has a personal beef against you, somebody that’s disgruntled for whatever reason, to call the police and have your guns taken away. and i don’t think we want to go down that road.”
The Kentucky State Legislature and Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine, are also discussing Red Flag laws in their states. In West Virginia it’s also being talked about., but no legislation has been formally introduced.
Del. Mike Pushkin, (D) Kanawha said, “I think it’s really irresponsible of the Republicans in the West Virginia House of Delegates to come about against a bill they haven’t read. we know they haven’t read it because it hasn’t even been drafted yet.”
President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky say they’re now willing to look at the proposal on a national level, in addition to discussing expansion of background checks on gun purchasers.
Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter said, “Its not likely a Red Flag Law can be introduced in West Virginia until the regular legislative session in January. But if it is successful there, it’s certain to be challenged in the federal courts.”