By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) Texas GOP freshman lawmaker Dan Crenshaw explained during in an interview on Blaze TV‘s “Louder with Crowder” Friday that he never specifically called for the passage of a federal “red flag law” in response to mass shootings around the country after taking heat from both conservatives and liberals.
Following a pair of shootings last weekend — one in El Paso and another in Dayton, Ohio, both on the same day — Crenshaw tweeted that it may be time to consider additional measures that could include a red flag law.
The solutions aren’t obvious, even if we pretend they are. But we must try. Let’s start with the TAPS Act. Maybe also implement state “red flag” laws, or gun violence restraining orders. Stop them before they can hurt someone.https://t.co/2G2pZSWaF1
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) August 4, 2019
“The solutions aren’t obvious, even if we pretend they are,” Crenshaw wrote on Twitter. “But we must try. Let’s start with the TAPS Act. Maybe also implement state ‘red flag’ laws, or gun violence restraining orders. Stop them before they can hurt someone.”
His tweet drew several critical remarks from other users on the platform, but Crenshaw acknowledged to host Steven Crowder that he was making suggestions, not hard-and-fast propositions.
“President Donald Trump mentioned ‘red flag laws’ as a possibility. I want to talk about this because you’ve been catching flack from the left, and you’ve also caught some guff, we could say, from the right,” Crowder said.
“You mentioned the TAPS Act, and ‘maybe’ also implementing red flag laws or gun-violence restraining orders. So a lot of people are obviously not thrilled about this idea, a lot of conservatives. To be fair, you were more open minded and said ‘maybe there is a solution here, maybe there isn’t.’ Can you explain specifically what it is you’ll be proposing so they don’t misinterpret it?”
“I appreciate the nuance you added to that, in that I did say ‘maybe’,” Crenshaw said. He went onto explain that he favors of the Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety Act, or TAPS Act, which is a grant program that empowers local law enforcement to use the same analytical tools and training on behavioral threat assessments that Federal law enforcement has been using for decades.
“There’s almost no relationship whatsoever between the TAPS Act and ‘red flag laws’,” Crenshaw emphasized.
“They are two very different things. When it comes to the TAPS Act, it really has nothing to do with guns. It’s just criminal behavior in general. Now, obviously it could prevent people from engaging in mass shootings for sure. But it has nothing to do with gun control at all.”
He also explained that he would never support a red flag law that did not have “stringent safeguards” based on due process which includes punitive measures for anyone who knowingly makes a false report to authorities about someone being a danger to themselves or others, causing them to have their firearms confiscated.
“There are certain stringent safeguards that would have to be put into place to ensure that due process would be adhered to, such as multiple points of evidence. It can’t just be one person’s testimony. There has to be actual evidence presented. It has to be clear and convincing, not just a preponderance of evidence,” he noted.
“There should be punishment for somebody who files a false claim against someone else to deter that kind of vindictive behavior. I think conservatives need to have a list of requirements.
“Any new law or process would still have to operate within the context of our current criminal justice system, which adheres to the philosophy of innocent until proven guilty. That would never change,” he added. “There’s a lot of concern that they would, but I see no evidence of that.”
“We need to have the conversation,” Crenshaw, a decorated former Navy SEAL officer who lost an eye in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan.
“What I’m seeing online a lot is people refusing to have the conversation and reacting to what are basically straw man arguments. We have to have the conversation. If we are going to, though, we must put thoughtful limits in place on what we would actually agree to, and a very substantive standard of evidence would certainly be one of those,” he noted.
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