Say no to a federal red-flag law

Legalities aside, it would be a mistake for the federal government to try to create and administer a red-flag system itself. If such laws are to work effectively, it will be because the government that administers them inspires confidence and is close and accessible to the people availing themselves of the laws. There is far too much distance between the federal government and the citizenry for this to work at a national level. There is a reason that Florida’s red-flag law — which was passed after the 2018 Parkland shooting — is run on a county-by-county basis, and administered by local police, and that reason is that, in this matter, local is better. The FBI is not set up to execute such a system, and the federal courts are not set up to adjudicate it. And, even if they were, Americans would be right to oppose elevating yet another question to the national level.

After the last few years, especially, it is not irrational for the citizenry to worry about putting such a sensitive power in the hands of people (i.e. Joe Biden) who are on record arguing that they shouldn’t be able to own mainstream firearms in the first place. It is likewise not irrational for the citizenry to mistrust the capacity of the FBI and the federal bureaucracy to keep political bias out of the process. It was only two weeks ago that this administration was laboring to wield a mass shooting in Buffalo as a club against anyone who watches Tucker Carlson or frets about the demographic impact of immigration. The last thing America needs is one more fundamental right whose security varies by who wins the next presidential election.

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