MICHIGAN, USA — A Michigan State Representative is once more calling on lawmakers to make his red flag legislation a priority.
The proposed law would allow for family members or law enforcement to petition a judge to take away a person's gun, if there was evidence to support that the person was a threat to themselves or others. Rep. Robert Wittenberg (D- Ferndale) first introduced the bill back in February.
"This the third session we've introduced some form of the extreme risk protection order, which is referred to as red flag legislation," said Wittenberg, who chairs the Michigan Gun Violence Prevention Caucus.
The bill has yet to receive a hearing in Lansing, but Wittenberg says he hopes to make it a priority when the legislature returns to Lansing.
"We need to have some kind of mechanism to be able to put a pause on it, seize their weapon and get them the help that they need," he said.
Previously, Wittenberg says the red flag measures have received no outward support from Michigan's Republican lawmakers.
"A lot of them have said they are supportive of the idea, but they weren't willing to put their names on the legislation," he said. "But, if it came up for a vote, they said they'd vote for it."
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) issued a statement following the two mass shootings, calling for bipartisan red flag laws at the federal level.
"Enough is enough. Common sense Red Flag laws – with stringent due process and probable cause – prevent those in imminent danger to themselves or others to have firearms," Upton wrote.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have passed similar legislation.
"We are not trying to take weapons away from people who are not trying to do harm to themselves or others," Wittenberg said.
The red flag legislation, he says, is anti gun violence not anti gun. The National Rifle Association opposes such laws and says the laws hinder the right to due process.
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