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House Committee Shoots Down 'Red Flag' Bill To Take Guns From Dangerous Individuals

Julia Ritchey
Rep. Stephen Handy discusses his bill to allow a court to remove a weapon from a dangerous person.

A bill died in committee Monday that would’ve allowed courts to temporarily take away firearms from people who pose an extreme risk — legislation introduced just after the Parkland, Fla., shooting.


Rep. Stephen Handy, a Republican, sponsored H.B. 483, modeled after an Indiana law.

“So let’s consider this issue a public safety statute to remove the means of doing an individual to himself or herself [harm], or to doing mass harm,” he said, ”and there‘s due process here — a high level, I believe ... following the pattern in other states.”


At least five other states have these so-called “red flag” laws or extreme risk protective orders. They allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court to have a gun taken away from a person who poses a threat to themselves or public safety.  

But Handy’s bill faced stiff opposition from other Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, the last day for hearings on bills.

Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, said he was concerned about due process and violating a person’s Second Amendment rights.

“We’re really just perpetuating the narrative that the gun is the instrumentality or the actor of criminal violence,” he said.

The committee voted 7-4 to send the bill back to the Rules committee, ending any chance of passage this session. Handy said he could see other avenues for the legislation, including a possible special session to address gun violence and school safety.


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