Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) sent a clear message to Republicans who support red flag laws and shared his own feelings about the possibility of this type of legislation getting passed in the Senate. This issue has divided some Republicans. Those who support red flag laws usually go to the “common sense” defense while those who oppose usually immediately call their colleagues RINO’s.
In the most notable part of Rep. Gaetz’s speech from the June 2nd committee hearing, he stated, “If you back red flag laws, you betray your voters, you are a traitor to the Constitution, you do nothing to make mass shootings less likely, and you put a target on the back of your constituents.”
Some of you might be asking, “What exactly is a red flag law?” In short, it is similar to the RICO statute that has taken down organized crime since 1970. With red flag laws, either law enforcement or citizens can petition the court system to ask for the temporary removal of firearms from an individual’s possession if they pose a danger to themselves or society as a whole. Like a RICO case, the court can extend the period of confiscation.
Conservatives who do not support the possible legislation point to the possibility that the laws can be abused to target specific individuals who do not actually pose a threat to the population.
That’s Matt Gaetz’s take.
“And you put a target on the back of your constituents to be subjected to bizarre proceedings that you wouldn’t see in any other type of circumstance that has a profound impact on your rights. And these will be abused. They are being abused.” Said the Florida Congressman. He would go on to mention, “I think that there are some that would probably red flag some of your colleagues in the Senate, how long until the conversations about kicking Senator Hawley off of aircraft turn into conversations about taking his guns away? See this isn’t just about guns. It’s about power.”
Since the recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, talks about red flag laws and other gun control measures have heightened.
More of Gaetz's statement at the Congressional hearing can be found below:
Let the message from this committee hearing to Republican senators be clear:
If you back red flag laws, you betray your voters, you are a traitor to the Constitution, you do nothing to make mass shootings less likely, and you put a target on the back of your constituents. pic.twitter.com/OMhoeN7OVn
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) June 2, 2022