GOP lawmakers join NRA in opposing ‘red flag’ rule aimed at preventing military suicides

GOP lawmakers join NRA in opposing 'red flag' rule aimed at preventing military suicides

Guns, gun control House Republicans are promising to do whatever it takes to remove a “red flag” provision in the annual Defense authorization bill designed to protect service members against gun violence. On Thursday, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 on a bipartisan 316-133 vote. GOP members backed the legislation 135-75. In addition to establishing the framework for the nation’s military spending, the bill contains a so-called “red flag” provision that would allow military courts to temporarily disarm members of the armed services who have been deemed an imminent danger to themselves or others. Several states have enacted similar laws, known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders, to keep military members who show clear warning signs from carrying out acts of gun violence. Research has shown that state red-flag rules have reduced suicides among military members and could prevent future mass shootings committed by citizens who “exhibited dangerous warning signs” before their attacks, gun safety advocates say. Suicides among members of the military have increased in recent years, with 194 deaths in 2020 alone. “The Department of Defense is fully committed to preventing suicides in our military community,” the Pentagon wrote in a June report . “Every death by suicide is a tragedy.” The National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm has claimed such red flag rules “ignore due process protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution and allow for the confiscation of firearms owned by those in the armed forces.” Courts have rejected Second Amendment challenges […]

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