DeSantis Opposes Red Flag Laws

DeSantis Opposes Red Flag Laws

Chris Nelson
Chris Nelson
October 28, 2023

Governor Ron DeSantis says he does not support a national "Red Flag" law in the wake of a mass shooting at a Maine bowling alley and bar that left 18 people dead. Forty-year old Army Veteran Robert Card, who had a history of being committed for mental health issues, is still on the run.

In an appearance on CNN last night, host Kaitlan Collins asked DeSantis repeatedly if he would support Red Flag Laws as President in an exchange that spanned nearly ten minutes.

"Do you believe a Red Flag law like the one in your state would have prevented this?" asked Collins.

"No," replied DeSantis. "But I think we have mental health adjudications where if you are adjudicated and you are committed than you are somebody who would potentially be out of circulation."

DeSantis explained that being ruled incompetent to own a firearm by the court is different than the Florida Red Flag Law, which DeSantis says he would have vetoed had he been governor when it was passed due to issues with Second and Fifth Amendment rights.

"I think Red Flag has been abused because people can just lodge a complaint, sometimes they will take somebody's firearms," said DeSantis. "It's not even Second Amendment as much as it's a Fifth Amendment due process issue can you take somebody's property without having an adjudication."

DeSantis says he does not support the Red Flag Law currently in place in Florida. Under the law, law enforcement can ask a civil court to issue a risk prevention order that bars someone deemed dangerous to themselves or others from possessing guns. They also can’t buy guns while the order is in effect.

"It was not something that I supported because I was concerned with the due process rights of individuals," said DeSantis who says he does not credit the Red Flag Law as contributing to Florida's crime rate being at a fifty year low. "I'd say if you look at why is Florida's crime declining while its still going up in places like California, I think its more for our overall approach than [the Red Flag Law]."

DeSantis was asked why he does not move to repeal Florida's Red Flag Law if he does not agree with it. DeSantis says it is because most Republicans in the Florida legislature support it.

"Because the Republicans passed it in the legislature before I was governor," answered DeSantis. "They all voted on it. I was a candidate at the time. There were different restrictions that I thought violated the constitution so I said I would have vetoed the bill. It passed overwhelmingly. And there is not an appetite among them to reverse their votes from what they did a few years ago."

Former President Donald Trump shocked the country when he voiced his support for confiscating guns without due process of law.

“I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida … to go to court would have taken a long time,” Trump said at a meeting with lawmakers on school safety and gun violence following the Parkland School Shooting in 2018.

“Allow due process so no one’s rights are trampled, but the ability to go to court, obtain an order and then collect not only the firearms but any weapons,” said Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump disagreed.

“Or, Mike, take the firearms first, and then go to court,” Trump responded.

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Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson is a videographer and investigative reporter based in Fort Lauderdale. Chris covers breaking news, and local and state politics, and focuses on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. His work has been cited on Fox News and Epoch Times.

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