Rand Paul Says No to Bipartisan Gun Bill, Calls for Amendments to Fix ‘Red Flag Laws’ – Opinion

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is not on board with the bipartisan gun bill that has been negotiated in the Senate, saying that there are “constitutional deficiencies in many red flag laws.”

Thursday saw the Senate vote to stop debate over the Safer Communities Act. It will now be put to full vote in the evening. The House would then vote on it.

Paul writes in a tweet thread he isn’t unaware of the gun violence issue:

He has a problem with the so-called “red flag laws”, which are supposed to protect guns from being misused. Critics argue that such laws are easy to abuse and can lead to firearms being taken from lawful citizens. The Dallas News has more information:

The laws are intended to get guns out of the hands of individuals when officials find “red flags” indicating they could be a threat to themselves or others, but many gun rights groups and their allies on Capitol Hill have blasted them as easily abused pathways for gun confiscation.

Paul points out the complications, saying, “I cannot support legislation that funds or encourages gun confiscation predicated on anonymous accusations.” He promises to propose amendments to fix the issues he sees.

He also complains that the bill has been hastily assembled, and like so much recent legislation, hasn’t even been read by the very Senators who are now expected to vote on it.

RedState’s Brandon Morse reports that the act could pass in the next day or two–and that it’s a betrayal by Republicans:

The “Safer Communities Act,” which Democrats and 14 Republicans are calling a “common sense” advancement to keep our community safe from guns is really just the beginning of the Democrat’s plans to circumvent the 2nd Amendment and intrude on the people’s ability to own firearms.

Robert Leider is a Wall Street Journal columnist and an assistant professor at Antonin Scalia Law School. He also doesn’t like the act.

On Tuesday senators introduced the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act—their effort to do something. When your rallying call is to act, you may end up doing something worse than what the status quo. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a terrible bill, and in its current form, it ought to be defeated by a bipartisan political coalition of Congress…

…it is not a good bill, and it deserves further deliberation and refinement. The Senate’s job is to help draft good laws by cooling the passions of the moment. It’s failing right now.

He explains that the red flag laws are problematic because “Congress has yet again handed off its responsibility for defining crimes to unelected bureaucrats and judges.”

Republicans will be pushing back against the bill in the House. GOP Whip Steve Scalise, the GOP Whip, will vote against the bill. He wrote a memo to Republican legislators.

…the bill’s vague language contains insufficient guardrails to ensure that the money is actually going towards keeping guns out of the hands of criminals or preventing mass violence.

As the Supreme Court overturns a New York conceal carry law giving bureaucrats authority to deny people concealed carry permits, guns are the hot topic. While lawmakers face intense pressure to “do something” after the horrors of Uvalde and Buffalo, this bill is fraught with problems and will do little to stop such tragedies.

I can’t see an amendment that even the erudite Rand Paul could come up with to fix this disaster. It’s better to just scrap the whole thing and enforce existing laws.

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