Proposed alternative to ‘red flag’ gun bill draws broad support

Proposed alternative to ‘red flag’ gun bill draws broad support

Gun Rights

Derek P. Langhauser, chief legal counsel to the governor, testifies Wednesday as the Judiciary Committee considers differing proposals meant to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. AUGUSTA — A proposed alternative to a controversial “red flag” gun confiscation law received support from law enforcement, gun safety groups and sportsmen Wednesday. The question now facing lawmakers is whether to pass one, both or neither of the bills that supporters predict would help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people – by very different means. So-called red flag bills have been adopted in more than 15 states and allow police to obtain court orders to temporarily confiscate guns from individuals deemed to pose a threat to themselves or others. But gun owners’ rights groups in Maine have raised concerns about the proposal’s constitutionality and potential violations of due process rights. Gov. Janet Mills’ staff worked with the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, police and various groups to craft a proposal that would use existing “protective custody” laws for police to seek a medical determination of whether a person is a threat. David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, said the alternative bill is “not about gun control,” but about offering police, doctors, the courts and families another tool to try to help help someone in crisis. “Protective custody could be the first step in a moment of awakening for the individual in crisis and their extended family,” Trahan told members of the Legislature’s Judiciary […]

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