In the aftermath of a disturbing number of mass shootings, the U.S. government is considering some sweeping gun control laws. The ones that are gaining the most bipartisan traction are so-called “red flag laws.” These proposals, however, could have dire repercussions for people in domestic violence disputes and who care about their Second Amendment rights.
Following a string of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, Congress has signaled a new openness to discuss gun control measures. At the time of the shootings, there had already been a couple of proposals working their way through the legislative system. Now that political points can be scored by taking action, though, there is renewed vigor to pass something.
The gun control measures currently up for debate can be categorized into three forms:
There are several red flag laws contending for passage in the Senate:
All of them would give states money to create a program that allows concerned individuals to ask a court to strip someone of his or her weapons.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives had already passed two laws that would have tightened background checks for gun purchases: H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112.
H.R. 8 is the most sweeping proposal. It would require background checks on all gun sales and would close the loophole that allows “private-party-to-private-party” gun sales to be done without a background check. This is the one that lets people buy weapons at gun shows.
H.R. 1112 would give the FBI 10 days to complete a background check on a gun buyer, rather than 3.
The Republican-controlled Senate has expressed distaste for all of these bills, though.
Finally, there are bills that would ban the sale and possession of assault weapons with large-capacity magazines in both the House and the Senate.
At this stage, it seems most likely that, if any gun control measure passes Congress, it will be one of the red flag laws currently being considered.
What people seem to overlook when it comes to red flag laws, though, is the potential for abuse, especially in the field of domestic violence.
Domestic violence cases are often falsely made or an isolated event where both parties are at fault but only one party is charged. When domestic violence accusations are falsely made out of retaliation, bitterness, or whatnot, the accused is the victim.
Red flag laws, while they might seem like the politically safe gun control measure, gives people who have no problem making false accusations another way of manipulating the court system to make someone else suffer – this time by taking away their firearms.
Your Second Amendment rights are at risk whenever you have been accused of domestic violence. The criminal defense lawyers at Maine Criminal Defense Group know this and strive to protect them.
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