Rep. John Katko drafting ‘red flag’ bill to remove guns from dangerous people

U.S. Rep. John Katko will unveil legislation in the next few days to encourage states to adopt so-called “red flag” laws, which would establish a process for confiscating guns from individuals considered threats to themselves or others.

Katko, R-Camillus, announced his plan during a telephone town hall meeting Tuesday night. The specifics of the bill weren’t immediately available, but he said the measure would create a grant program to help states establish red flag laws.

Red flag laws have been adopted or introduced in several states, including New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo rolled out a proposal that would prevent dangerous individuals from buying or possessing firearms.

Now, Katko is proposing similar legislation at the federal level.

“It’s going to allow law enforcement to get the guns out of hands of people that shouldn’t have them because they are exhibiting signs of extreme risk of violence,” he said.

The bill wouldn’t allow officers to confiscate guns without a warrant, Katko explained. While it protects the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, it also ensures family members or law enforcement can request an order from a judge to remove guns if an individual poses a serious threat to themselves or other people.

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