Wichita lawmaker explains Gun Safety Red Flag Act

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A Wichita lawmaker is sponsoring a bill that could keep guns out of the hands people who show red flags of committing violence. But is this a violation of due process?

Representative Jim Ward says it would act like a pause button for those causing concern. He says the temporary block on possessing or owning a firearm, is a discussion that needs to happen.

“Will it increase the safety of our community? Will it increase the safety in our schools? And maybe not lose another child,” said Rep. Jim Ward, (D-Wichita).

It’s a conversation on gun safety Rep. Ward says Kansans should have. The Gun Safety Red Flag Act is in committee, and Rep. Ward and two other Democrats are its sponsors.

“Now the politics have changed where the debate is much more likely to happen,” said Rep. Ward.

He said several states in the northeast have a similar law, and Florida is considering one after the Parkland School shooting last year. It proposes people of concern go before a judge to decide whether or not they’re too dangerous to buy or own a gun. But it wouldn’t be for life.

“You as a person who may be going through a trauma for whatever reason can come back into court a year later and present evidence that what you saw a year ago has changed,” said Rep. Ward.

He says its opposition has concerns that it’s taking guns without process of law, but Rep. Ward says that’s not the case. He believes it empowers people to raise concerns about others if they are there.

The NRA did not return requests for comment.

This act is in addition to several other gun provisions being discussed, such as suicide prevention, and background checks whenever you purchase a gun.

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