What do ‘red flag’ laws mean?

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — In the wake of the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings, red flag laws are once again being talked about. Governor Kasich tried to pass one while he was in office and on Monday, Governor DeWine announced a similar proposal with what he says has more due process.

During his announcement at the statehouse, Governor DeWine never called of referred to his proposal as a red flag law. But both gun rights advocates and gun control advocates say essentially, that’s what it is. DeWine is calling part of his proposal Safety Protection Orders.

“It’s some iteration of that. And we need to have the discussions. We applaud having the discussion,” said L.E.P.D Firearms Range and Training owner Eric Delbert. 

He says most in Ohio, gun owners or not, probably don’t know what red flag laws are. They’re in place in more than a dozen states around the country. The details vary but generally what they do is allow family, friends or police worried about a gun owner they know, to ask for the gun to be confiscated. A judge can then order the gun be temporarily taken away if they determine the person is dangerous to themselves or others.

“Evidence shows that in states that have enacted red flag laws, that there has been a decrease in the number of deaths by gun,” said Laura Robertson-Boyd who’s with the Columbus chapter of Moms Demand Action for gun sense in America.

She watched Monday as Governor DeWine laid out his 17 points including the safety protection orders. Under his proposal the person in question would be notified of a court hearing that would happen within three days. The judge would then decide if they can keep their guns. DeWine’s proposal also includes another hearing within two weeks to see if the order should be extended. 

“We just absolutely support sensible red flag legislation, so the governor’s proposed it and now we look to our legislators to enact these common sense reforms to keep Ohioans safe,” said Robertson-Boyd.

Delbert said overall, he was encouraged by what the governor proposed Monday but wants added emphasis on due process. 

“It needs to be fact based and needs to have due process. That’s big,” he said. “When you have the government coming in to take away an item because of what somebody else said, that due process needs to be at the top of what you intend to protect.” He also stressed as the conversations surrounding safety protection orders continue, he wants voices like his to be at the table.

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