La. lawmakers divided over red flag laws

The bill would incentivize state lawmakers to pass reg flag laws.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 5:12 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana lawmakers are reacting to the bi-partisan gun control bill. It is expected to include incentives to pass red flag laws.

“Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that there is anywhere that you can infringe on someone’s Second Amendment right,” explained State Senator Stewart Cathey (R-33).

“We should all be about protecting each other, and we say that a lot, and we are big on punishment in Louisiana after the crime happens, we have not been big on prevention, and red flag laws are a prevention method,” State Senator Katrina Jackson (D-34) told KNOE.

Red flag laws allow courts to take guns from people they deem dangerous. Cathey said he is vigorously opposed to such laws in Louisiana.

“In this country, you are innocent until proven guilty, and red flag laws are simply the opposite of that,” said Cathey. “You are guilty until proven innocent.”

Senator Jackson, who represents parts of Ouachita and Morehouse parishes, believes the Legislature should adopt a red flag provision to prevent mass shootings and suicides.

“I am a family member, and I realize that they are experiencing mental health issues, and they are a threat to themselves and others,” Jackson explained. “Being able to petition a court regarding their gun rights and having a full hearing is definitely affording them due process.”

Although the full legislative text has not yet been finalized, Senator Bill Cassidy said it will include specific provisions to ensure states are not taking guns from people arbitrarily.

“If a state does pass a state red flag law and they want federal assistance in implementing, we lay out the due process that must be strictly adhered to in order to get that funding,” said Cassidy.

It is important to note that although there are incentives, states are not required to pass a red flag law.

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