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Gov. Shapiro Champions Red Flag Laws

In recent weeks, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro has made it clear that he is an ardent supporter of Red Flag laws as part of his gun control platform. But what exactly are these laws and why should they be opposed?

Red Flag laws allow a judge to order the seizure of an individual’s firearms if they are deemed to pose a risk to themselves or others. This decision is made without any presumption of guilt, and without being charged with a crime. Proponents of Red Flag laws argue this would help reduce gun violence by removing firearms from potentially dangerous individuals before the situation escalates.

But the reality is that these laws strip away basic due process rights, allowing someone to have their guns taken away without any evidence or charges of criminal behavior. This flies in the face of our Second Amendment rights. Additionally, these laws are ripe for abuse due to the subjective nature of deciding who should be labeled a risk and have their firearms removed.

Moreover, research shows that Red Flag laws do little to prevent gun violence. Studies of Red Flag laws in Connecticut and Maryland show that a majority of cases either are not granted or are rescinded upon further review, thus making them largely ineffective. Furthermore, the availability of mental health resources has been shown to be far more effective in addressing the root cause of gun violence than relying on these laws.

Governor Shapiro should reconsider his stance on Red Flag laws and embrace alternative policies that are both effective in reducing gun violence and upholding our fundamental rights. Instead, he should focus on proven methods such as increasing access to mental health services. This approach will do more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and ensure that our civil liberties remain intact.

Overall, Red Flag laws should be opposed as they undermine the rights of individuals who have done nothing wrong while doing little to address gun violence on a meaningful scale. Governor Josh Shapiro would do well to look for other methods to reduce gun crime that take into account both public safety and the freedom of citizens.

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