Arkansas Lawmaker Vows To Keep Pushing For ‘Red Flag’ Laws

A ‘red flag’ law was proposed in the Arkansas legislature earlier this year, but it failed to win enough support for passage.

The lawmaker behind it is vowing to keep pushing for that law and others to keep families safe following the two mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

Sen. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville) told KATV there were a lot of misconceptions about what the legislation would do.

"A lot of people think this is some mechanism to just take guns away from people and that's not it at all,” added Leding. “This only allows for law enforcement in very specific circumstances when there is an immediate and clear threat to temporarily restrict someone's access to firearms."

Leding filed the bill earlier this year during the 2019 legislative session, but it never passed a committee in order to get it on the Arkansas Senate floor.

"Hopefully lawmakers will look at what's happening in the country and be ready to take steps, red flag legislation would be a great start,” said Leding. “It's not the only way to fight gun violence, but there's polling out there that shows broad overwhelming bipartisan support for a bunch of common-sense measures like background checks and closing some gun show loopholes. These are all things I think could pass easily if lawmakers had the courage to do so."

While Leding hopes to work on this again come to the 2021 Arkansas legislative session, Sen. Trent Garner (R-El Dorado) told KATV he will not support a law that violates Second Amendment rights.

"Red flag laws are extreme protection orders that I see are a violation of many of our fundamental rights, a right to personal property, a right to carry a firearm, a right to due process,” said Garner. “What it ultimately boils down to is the government coming into your house to take your personal property when you have committed no crime and that is a very terrible precedent I’ve seen set in other states."

Garner added that addressing mental health should be a top priority.

Right now, at least 17 states have passed a ‘red flag’ law, four states have proposed legislation and 29 states have no laws or active bills.

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