Colorado, Nevada and Hawaii’s, new “red flag” gun control laws take effect this week joining over a dozen other states and the District of Columbia, which have already implemented similar regulations.
In essence, the new laws will allow a local judge – at the request of law enforcement officers or, in some states, a relative – to temporarily prohibit a person from having or buying firearms if the individual poses a significant danger to others or themselves.
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In most cases, if the judge finds convincing evidence to support the initial concerns, the order can stay in effect up to a year.
But the law has proved controversial, with some law enforcement officials saying it violates the Second Amendment and that not only will they will not request an order, they will not enforce it if given one.
Despite heavy opposition from the National Rifle Association, which says the laws hinder the right to due process, the issue is even getting an airing at the national level from at least one key Republican: Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Graham told CBS’ “Face the Nation” earlier this year that he is a big supporter of protective order laws – but at the local, not federal level – and is pushing in his committee for a national grant program to “incentivize” states to pass them.