Biden DOJ launches new center to promote 'Red Flag Laws' against certain gun owners

The center will provide training for implementing laws that remove firearms from individuals who "pose a threat."


The Department of Justice announced on Saturday that it has launched the “National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center” in an attempt to combat gun violence. 

This center will provide comprehensive training and support to law enforcement officials, prosecutors, judges, behavioral health professionals, and other stakeholders in implementing laws designed to prevent individuals who “pose a threat” from accessing firearms. These laws, commonly referred to as "red flag laws," enable authorities to remove firearms from the hands of people deemed dangerous and suspected to be a threat to others or themselves. 

“The launch of the National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center will provide our partners across the country with valuable resources to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The establishment of the Center is the latest example of the Justice Department’s work to use every tool provided by the landmark Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to protect communities from gun violence.” 

Funding for the center is derived from a Department of Justice grant approved as part of a gun control bill signed into law by President Biden in 2022. Vice President Kamala Harris is slated to unveil the center during her address at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Saturday. The school was tragically the site of a shooting in 2018 that claimed the lives of 14 students and three staff members. 

President Biden's administration has prioritized red flag laws as a crucial component of its gun control efforts. Last February, Biden announced that the DOJ would be giving over $231 million to states for red-flag programs. 

Critics have long argued that red flag laws pose significant Constitutional concerns and are likely to violate the Second Amendment rights of citizens. 

“There is no sufficient evidence showing that [red flag laws] have any effect on crime prevention, and though legislators claim these laws benefit the mentally ill and the general public, the same politicians won’t admit that this class of legislation is invariably problematic,” claims Firearms Policy Coalition, a prominent Second-Amendment group that often engages in legal battles against gun control measures. 

Typically, red flag laws are carried out when friends, family members, or colleagues report to law enforcement that they believe an individual they know owns firearms could be a threat. Law enforcement officials and the local court then determine whether or not this individual’s firearms should be confiscated. This is usually done without the individual being able to present a defense. 

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen has prompted many gun-control activists to suggest that red flag laws are unconstitutional. In its decision, the Supreme Court set a new standard that firearm regulation must coincide with the “historic tradition of firearm regulation” in the country.

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