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"Red Flag" bill has history in Oklahoma

Posted at 10:23 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 23:23:00-04

TULSA, OK (KJRH) — After two mass shootings in just 13 hours over the past weekend, President Trump suggested states incorporate laws that would allow someone's family to raise a red flag if that person could become a threat.

They're called "Red Flag" laws, and would put an emergency hold on that person's guns, and help them get the help they need. In Oklahoma, the bill was introduced in 2019, but shot down. Representative Melissa Provenzano says she's determined to bring the bill back in the next cycle.

"It's something we've shied away from, but perhaps now is the time. Now we're ready to talk about this, because it keeps happening and keeps happening and keeps happening," Provenzanosaid. "Family always knows something's up. There are always clues that get left behind, and the red flag bill would address that."

The bill would allow direct family members to report a loved one's potentially dangerous behavior, and have them placed under an extreme risk protective order. That order would take away their weapons until they go in front of a judge to determine if they could become a threat. If so, they would be able to get the counseling needed.

"We need to take steps to keep the guns out of the hands of those folks, while protecting the rights of the people who are just everyday gun owners that aren't looking to hurt anybody, but want to maintain their second amendment rights," Provenzano said.

Right now, when someone is legally buying a gun, they need to pass two levels of protection - a background check and the seller themselves.

"We've had people come in that were definitely tweaking, and we basically tell them, 'you're obviously high, you have to leave,'" said Dong's Guns and Ammo manager Joshua White. "[Background checks] don't have access to those medical records. That's kind of the one weakness, but it's not really their fault, and it's not really our fault, it's just the privacy laws."

While the gun seller wouldn't be able to raise the red flag under the proposed bill, it would give families an added voice - an extra layer of protection.

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