Almost half of Americans view red flag gun control laws as a possible way for local authorities and government officials to more easily take guns away from citizens, according to a new poll from Convention of States Action and the Trafalgar Group.
In the poll, respondents were asked if red flag laws, which give authorities the power to temporarily take away guns from individuals, has the potential to be abused to disarm political opponents.
A total of 46.7% said yes, 30.8% said no, and 22.5% were unsure. The majority of Republicans and independents believe the law could be used against the government's critics.
Americans want real, workable solutions to the mass shootings we are seeing in this nation, but it’s obvious that they don’t see the proposed ‘red flag’ laws as the answer,” said Mark Meckler, President of Convention of States Action.
“Government officials at all levels have spent the last two years demonizing their opponents and using whatever means possible to censor or threaten those who disagree with them, so the idea that we should now trust those same people to not abuse a law that could infringe on basic constitutional rights is laughable. More and more Americans are coming to the conclusion that the government abuses any power it’s given, and they are responding accordingly."
Despite the disapproval, Congress appears to be moving along with red flag gun laws anyway.
The Senate introduced a new gun control bill on Tuesday night, and with support from 14 Republicans, appears to have enough support to pass. The bill contains the controversial “red flag” gun measures, coined as the “crisis intervention program.”
Under the legislation, the government would provide grants to states that implement red flag laws, an enticing incentive to states seeking extra funding.
“Unless a person is convicted of a crime or is adjudicated mentally ill, their ability to purchase a firearm will not be impacted by this legislation,” said Sen. John Cornyn, the Republican leaders of the bill.
There's a visible route to the White House with what appears to be enough support in the House and Senate, meaning the gun control bill with "crisis intervention" authority could soon become law, despite the lack of American support.