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Gun Rights Activists Plan Pushback Against Red Flag Laws

No-compromise gun rights groups are preparing to mount an aggressive campaign against any “red flag” legislation in Congress as a response to the school massacre in Uvalde, Tx., the Hill reports. Such measures appear to be gaining steam as a potential bipartisan compromise, but opponents hope to use the same playbook to stop them that has had success in the past. “We’re already planning our full attack plan on it,” said Dudley Brown of the National Association for Gun Rights. Nine states have “red flag” laws, protection orders that allow a court to prevent an individual deemed a danger to themselves or others from possessing or obtaining firearms. Those include New York, where it did not stop a shooter from targeting Blacks at a Buffalo last month. It is unclear if such a law would have stopped the shooter in Uvalde. After the Uvalde elementary school massacre left 19 students and two adults dead, a bipartisan group of senators formed to discuss options for a modest deal

Background check expansions and provisions to expand red flag laws have emerged as top options. Gun rights activists argue that red flag laws violate due process rights, and that the system of allowing family members or law enforcement officers to petition for such an order is ripe for abuse. Second Amendment groups put intense pressure on House Republicans last year to oppose a red flag provision. A version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act that passed the House last year included a provision that would allow military courts to issue protective orders that allowed confiscation of personal firearms. Mass shootings often prompt Republicans to point to their support for legislation to boost school security or improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

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