GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw said red flag laws would not work as Democrats call for gun control measures after Uvalde shooting.
Crenshaw, who said he has concerns about due process, is not supportive of new gun restrictions.
During his interview on CNN, Crenshaw threw cold water on federal and statewide red flag legislation.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas on Sunday affirmed his opposition to new gun control proposals being floated — which includes red flag laws — following a mass shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead in his home state.
During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the two-term Republican — who represents a Houston-area congressional district — expressed why he would not be on board with major firearm regulations.
“Truthfully, I think there is a lot of problems with red flag laws, especially at a national level,” he told host Dana Bash. “When it comes to criminal law, that really should be democratically decided at the local and state level.”
When Crenshaw was asked if he would back a statewide red flag law, he also voiced opposition to such a proposal, pointing to due process. Red flag laws generally allow police to temporarily seize guns from individuals who are a threat to themselves or others.
“What you’re essentially trying to do with a red flag law is enforce the law before the law has been broken, and it’s a really difficult thing to do,” he said. “It’s difficult to assess whether somebody is a threat.”
He continued: “If there’s such a threat that they’re threatening somebody with a weapon already, then they’ve already broken the law, so why do you need this other law? That’s the question that I think critics rightfully ask about these things, so it’s really unclear how they’re properly enforced and how due process is adhered to, and then ultimately how they solve the problem.”
Crenshaw then stated that the 18-year-old killer in Uvalde was “troubled” and “did some very strange things,” but was unsure if his behavior prior to the murders reached a level where he needed to be involuntarily committed or have his property taken away from him.
While Democrats have long sought to enact red flag laws at the national level — especially in the wake of mass shootings at schools in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, and in Parkland, Fla., in 2018 — Republicans have largely resisted such measures. Many in the party have argued that more resources should be poured into school security and mental health services.
Amid the ongoing scrutiny of local law enforcement agencies regarding the timeline of when they attempted to enter Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Crenshaw said that he did not want to “judge” officers who were dealing with a difficult situation, but said “it does seem clear” that the correct procedures were not put into place.
“This isn’t a training problem. We have very clear training doctrine on this. The situation changes for a barricaded shooter if there are innocents inside,” he told Bash.
He added: “You have to put away your sense of self-preservation and go through that door.”
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