Senate bill takes aim at Red Flag Laws

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - The battle over guns continues at the State Capitol as lawmakers take dead aim at Red Flag laws.

For those who are not familiar with Red Flag Laws, they are laws that make it legal for officials to take away firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves.

Usually they apply in cases of domestic violence and mental illness.

Oklahoma does not currently have such a law.

Today, a Senate committee passed a bill that would do a preemptive strike on those laws.

“We have seen enactments of red flag law that violate a number of provisions of the bill of rights,” said Sen. Nathan Dahm of Broken Arrow.

SB1081 would make it illegal for municipalities to accept federal dollars as an incentive to locally pass red flag laws.

"There is a move from the federal government to local municipalities to accept grants to do that,” said Dahm.

The bill would also make it illegal for localities to pass those laws.

The bill passed committee 8-2 Tuesday.

Opponents of the bill say red flag laws are important.

“It is a safety measure so when there is domestic abuse or drug addiction or mental illness this is a safety measure to remove firearms which is a good policy for Oklahoma,” said Cacky Poarch of Moms Demand Action.

Gun rights advocates claim red flag laws are unconstitutional.

“We just don’t need red flag laws that are enticed by federal dollars to come into a municipality to pay police officers to engage in a due process violation of civil rights,” said Don Spencer of the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association.

This bill goes hand in hand with the push by some sheriffs to establish sanctuary counties in the state.

All of this, they say, to protect 2nd amendment rights.

“That county is just simply not going to tolerate the federal government coming in and saying we're going to take your guns,” said Spencer.

“I would hope that sheriffs would want to keep their communities safe and would embrace red flag laws,” said Poarch.

The bill now heads to the Senate floor for consideration.

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