House Democrats on Wednesday refused to include gang members in a list of who should have their guns removed via red flag laws.
Democrats were advancing a measure in the House Judiciary Committee that would encourage states to pass extreme protection orders, also known as red flag laws, when an amendment was proposed that anyone who was put on a police gang database should automatically be targeted under the orders.
Representative Ken Buck, a Republican member of the House for Colorado, sponsored the amendment, and told the House just why the gangs should be included:
The majority of violent crime, including gun violence, in the United States is linked to gangs… My amendment is quite simple. It would allow the issuance of a red flag order against anyone whose name appears in a gang database if there was probable cause to include that individual in the database.
Of course, the Democrats were opposed to this amendment to the red flag motion.
Representative Zoe Lofgren of California said that only “some of [the databases] are reliable, a lot of them are not.”
Judiciary Committe Chairman, Jerry Nadler of New York, was concerned that anyone who wrote “13” on a piece of paper would be wrongly accused of being a member of MS-13. “Maybe you are just doodling because it is the 13th of June,” Nadler said.
Representative Eric Swalwell, also of California, wanted “individuals affiliated with white nationalism,” to also be targeted under the red flag laws.
Representative Doug Collins, of Georgia, was swift to call out the hypocrisy of the Democrats, for previously supporting the “No Fly, No Buy,” motion, which would stopped anyone on the federal “no fly” list from buying guns.
This is despite the list having misidentified many individuals as potential terrorists, such as the late Senator Ted Kennedy. “It’s amazing to me,” Collins said:
We had a large blow-up on the floor of this House just a couple years ago about the “No Fly, No Buy” list, which was shown to have issues, but at that point, nobody from the other side brought this is as a concern, and now we are bringing it as a concern… If we can’t bring this list up, even with due process put in, then don’t ever bring the “No Fly, No Buy” list up again… Don’t ever bring it up again because there is no due process on that list.
This is not the first time that Democrats have opposed policies that may genuinely crack down on gun violence, without infringing the rights of ordinary citizens.
Project Exile was one of those. Under this program, any convicted felons who were caught in possession of a firearm were instantly sentenced to 5 years in jail. The second offense was an automatic 10 year sentence.
It was first tried in Richmond, Virginia, in the late 90s, and gun crime dropped by 40% after 1 year.
Of course, the Congressional Black Caucus opposed it, claiming that it was a racist program that targeted minorities.
National File just last week reported on 39 South Carolina legislators who wrote to President Trump, pleading with him to oppose any further red flag laws, claiming that they “flip due process on its head”:
“Red flag” laws erode the very cornerstones of our country, the right to keep and bear arms and due process. They also put law enforcement and citizens in adverse, unnecessary circumstances that will lead to more instances of police brutality and tragic death.