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We need red-flag laws, Brunswick Beacon

On Oct. 25, 18 people were shot to death and 13 injured in Lewiston, ME in America’s 565th mass shooting this year. Hours later, mass shooting #566, in Clinton, NC, killed five more people. Maine and North Carolina are among 29 states that refuse to enact red-flag laws allowing courts to take guns from individuals adjudicated dangerous to themselves or others.

The Maine suspect is an Army reservist and the poster child for red-flag laws. His Army commanders were so concerned about him, they committed him to a mental health facility for two weeks this past summer after he heard voices and threatened to “shoot up” his military base. His family warned police and military officials he was experiencing “acute” mental health issues shortly before the Lewiston shootings. If Maine had enacted and enforced a red-flag law, courts could have removed the guns he used to murder his innocent victims.

Guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in NC. Still, NC’s Republican politicians refuse to protect them. NC’s Democrats have introduced red-flag laws every year since 2018. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper supports them. In 2022, Pres. Biden passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act authorizing federal grants to states that enact and enforce red-flag laws.

Every NC Republican Representative voted against it, including David Rouzer and gun shop owner Ted Budd, who brags that mass shootings boost his business. NC’s Republican legislature blocks even this most obvious, common-sense legislation, refusing to enact red-flag laws, rejecting federal funds earmarked to protect NC’s children. Courts have upheld red-flag laws, which 85% of Americans support, as constitutional. Still, Republican politicians insist on letting dangerous individuals have guns, flaunt AR-15 lapel pins after mass shootings, and, like Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, promote the unconstitutional insurrectionist belief that the Second Amendment lets you shoot your elected representatives if the government “gets too big for its britches.”

That’s illegal and dangerous.

Laura McGann



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