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Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville) to Introduce Red Flag Bill

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https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/2018/11/30/red-flag-laws-curb-gun-violence-and-protect-second-amendment/2150449002/

 

A Tennessee state senator explains why he is introducing a "red flag" bill to remove firearms from people deemed by a court to be dangerous and why it can be a bipartisan win.

Gun violence plagues all American communities – including those in Tennessee – and cannot be ignored. We need to come together across political divisions and formulate policies to curb the number of senseless deaths while still protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

Often, following mass shootings, people who knew the shooter indicate there were warning signs. After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, for example, reports surfaced that the gunman’s mother had called the police regarding his behavior on multiple occasions. 

Similarly, following the shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom, a woman who had been stalked by the gunman said she told police officers that he would be the “next mass shooter.”

Those in crisis and considering suicide may also exhibit warning signs and in the past five years, firearm suicide has claimed the lives of approximately 3,000 Tennesseans. With nearly 22,000 Americans dying  every year, firearm suicide is a public health crisis in our nation.

Unfortunately, the people who notice warning signs, most often family and law enforcement, lack the tools necessary to intervene before it is too late.

Passage of the law could be a bipartisan win

Many states have addressed this shortfall by passing “red flag laws.” Red flag laws allow law enforcement and family members to seek a court order to temporarily remove guns from potentially dangerous situations. 

Red flag laws empower us to be proactive in preventing gun violence while containing robust due process protections to ensure a person’s access to guns is limited only when a court finds there is clear and convincing evidence these individuals present a risk to themselves or others. 

Since the Parkland shooting, eight states have passed new red flag laws, all with bipartisan support. Half of these bills have been signed by a Republican governor. 

This is exactly the type of bipartisan, common-sense gun violence prevention policy we need in Tennessee, which is why I will introduce a red flag bill when the Tennessee General Assembly reconvenes next session. 

Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville

Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville (Photo: Submitted)

As a lifelong Republican, gun owner and avid shooter, I respect and know the importance of the Second Amendment. I also know reducing gun violence in Tennessee will require leadership from people with a variety of backgrounds.

I look forward to working with leaders from both parties and our new governor to pass this important bill.

This policy can save lives while protecting our Second Amendment rights and that is why I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this critical public safety tool.

Steve Dickerson, R-West Nashville, represents District 20 in the Tennessee Senate.

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Time to flood his office with emails and correspondence.  It's bad enough that we have had "soft" Republicans sit on good pro-gun legislature, now they want to introduce this mess.

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So long as there is true due process, I have no issue with this.  It cannot simply be because of the word of a single person and law enforcement should not have the right to arbitrarily or prematurely take guns.  If someone goes to court and proves it, I don't know how you can argue.  

Will it be perfect, no, but we also can't say under no circumstances should someone never be able to have a gun taken away.  

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As always, the devil is in the details. Developing a process where there is true due process to determine if someone is a danger isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Ideally it would work in conjunction with adjustments to involuntary psychiatric hold laws to make it easier to get help for folks that need it while at the same time providing for a way for folks to have their rights reinstated after a period of time of improved mental health. Many psychiatric disturbances are temporary in nature and the laws should recognize that.

An acquaintance of mine framed this in what I think is a near perfect manner. “If we viewed these mass shooting incidents as suicide in want of company, we might actually make some progress.” He was right. As gun owners we can’t say “this is a mental health issue, not a gun issue.” Then bury our heads in the sand and do nothing about addressing mental health issues. I don’t know that the bill being introduced by Dickerson is a good one or not, but I do think that as a state level action, there is the chance to actually make it a quality piece of workable law, and failing that tank it for cause and be vocal about why it wasn’t good legislation. This is a moment where movement will be made on these types of laws whether we like it or not. At the state level, we can make it a good law or we can eat a bad one. It’s up to us to choose.

 

 

 

**I just encouraged civic engagement with lawmakers, do y’all know how bitter of a taste that leaves in my mouth? What’s the world coming to?🤦‍♂️**

 

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After reading about that fiascal that took place in Maryland over RED FLAG law I think it is "NOT" a good idea for Tennessee. Like they say:  "Give them an inch and you will be sorry you did!!" I know it's not exactly the saying but that is what normally happens.

Most of us know that the law that gets introduced for us to see is not the law that gets passed. Words get changed here and there while passing through committee and the law that gets approved and passed is done before it is made and put up for public viewing. By then it's to late. This reminds me of the statement "You have to sign it to see whats in it!" You all saw what came out of that one.

I won't agree with any Law that does not give the person being accused of an issue their day in court prior to the invasion of their homes to take their guns. Not because some distant extended family member just saying he has guns and is dangerous. That is what got the man killed in Maryland. During that day in court the accuser of said problem must be present in the court room and have to face the accused.       Yes!! that would mean Innocent until proven Guility which is how our legal system is suppose to operate.  

If they want that kind of law, write it and then make it totally public for all to see and then put it on a ballot in the next election and let the people decide what is best for us. So it can't be changed in Committee and then we wil know for sure what we will be getting in the bill. If you are thinking I don't trust elected officials you are 100% correct, especially when they say it is a bipartisan bill.

I also think like Chuck when it comes to getting in contact with your elected officials and asking questions and when folks get replies have a thread here to compare the replies from what you get from who you contact and see how many of them are on the same page and how many are out in left field somewhere.  

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For me it boils down to when they take the firearms. If a person is flagged, goes through due process and is found dangerous. Then they can take their guns. However, if a flagged person's guns are confiscated first and then they have to go through the process, it becomes guilty until proven innocent. That I want no part of. 

Honestly, the whole idea of "Red Flag" laws scares the Hell outta me. The potential for abuse is mind boggling. 

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Red flag laws empower us to be proactive in preventing gun violence while containing robust due process protections to ensure a person’s access to guns is limited only when a court finds there is clear and convincing evidence these individuals present a risk to themselves or others. 

I have no problem with that. But as Chuck says the devil is in the details. We don’t know what the details are yet. The Senates website does not show any bills sponsored by Senator Dickerson.

Too many people cry out, act out or threaten violence with guns. They aren’t protected by the 2nd amendment and the majority of Americans do not want them to have guns.

I believe a court hearing should be required; the person should be notified and allowed to attend. Just keep in mind this will be done in hours; not days. Yes, weapons can be seized by Officers at the scene (if cops are called), but if cause is not upheld they are returned immediately; no matter what the PD or DA’s weapon policies are.

Of course the potential for abuse is great. But failure to act can be deadly.

I’ve asked this question before and never got a good answer... can’t Tennessee law enforcement already do this without due process? If so, would this legislation help the person get Due Process?

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4 minutes ago, Grayfox54 said:

For me it boils down to when they take the firearms. If a person is flagged, goes through due process and is found dangerous. Then they can take their guns. However, if a flagged person's guns are confiscated first and then they have to go through the process, it becomes guilty until proven innocent. That I want no part of. 

Honestly, the whole idea of "Red Flag" laws scares the Hell outta me. The potential for abuse is mind boggling. 

There are many laws with the potential of being abused, and this is one of them.  There is no process for the accused to mount a defense until his guns are already confiscated.  And worse yet, as the case already mentioned, it puts the person in a potential life-and-death situation, before he is found guilty of anything.  I say if there is enough cause to take someone's weapons, then there is enough cause to get the person locked up and evaluated.  If the eval clears him, he should then be cleared of all charges, record expunged, and his property returned, if they even take it in the first place since he will be locked up with no access.  It should not cost the accused a single cent to try and recover what is already his, that is just a BS feel good legislation with more negatives than positives IMO..

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If the accused is found not to be a threat the accuser should have to pay for the accused defense and time lost. A hostile neighbor , relative or disgruntled employee can claim you are a threat for no good reason and cost you a chunk of money.

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44 minutes ago, Grayfox54 said:

For me it boils down to when they take the firearms. If a person is flagged, goes through due process and is found dangerous. Then they can take their guns. However, if a flagged person's guns are confiscated first and then they have to go through the process, it becomes guilty until proven innocent. That I want no part of. 

Honestly, the whole idea of "Red Flag" laws scares the Hell outta me. The potential for abuse is mind boggling. 

That is my feelings exactly Fox. RED FLAG laws can get totally out of control in a heartbeat just as they did in Maryland ending in a mans unessary death just on the word of a distant extended family member making a complaint!!!!

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To me the devil is in the details. Unfortunately, the government doesn't tend to go back and correct their mistakes. In the case of guns they'll claim that it's better to err on the side of caution regardless of the consequences to the victim.

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Wow, people have no problem with this?!

So a family member that doesn't like you makes a claim you are a danger and then you have to spend thousands of dollars and a significant amount of time to prove your innocence.

 

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It should be that the person who filed the complaint has to pay back DOUBLE your legal fees if you go to court and get it overturned.....

These things happen (  guy in Maryland ) because there is no "penalty" for false accusation or for using the police to harass someone. I'd say if you want to put this into law write into it that if it turns out that the person is found to NOT be a danger that the complainant has to pay back DOUBLE the legal bills. Otherwise there is really nothing stopping some snowflake relative or even acquaintances who don't like the fact that you own guns from causing you all kinds of hell trying to prove you are not a danger.   

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In my opinion which is not much. "I say take the law and stuff it". It is just going to cause feuds in families, come between friends and even people in the snowflake catagory will be accusing someone of something just because they don't believe in the same thing. As far as the accuser paying double or even triple the damages the accused went through the only winner is the court system and lawyers. The damage is already done by this point.

I still believe if you give the anti-gun people an inch of our rights according to the Constitution it is 1 inch to much!!!!!

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I agree nothing good comes from this but IF it is going to happen at least the potential "penalty" of the accuser having to pay back the accused double the legal cost might stop some from doing it. 

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15 hours ago, PC7 said:

Wow, people have no problem with this?!

So a family member that doesn't like you makes a claim you are a danger and then you have to spend thousands of dollars and a significant amount of time to prove your innocence.

 

This is no different than any other law today.  People can accuse you of anything.  Doesn't make it right, just pointing out that this is not unique.   Cops should be able to do a basic determination if someone is accused and it is an obvious attempt to simply cause trouble.

Edited by Hozzie

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13 minutes ago, Hozzie said:

This is no different than any other law today.  People can accuse you of anything.  Doesn't make it right, just pointing out that this is not unique.   Cops should be able to do a basic determination if someone is accused and it is an obvious attempt to simply cause trouble.

I'd prefer checks and balances. Yes, a cop should be able to recognize a BS complaint but many times they don't/won't. I think that a judge should be able to determine if a complaint was malicious and punish criminally in that event.

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Vote Republican, they said; it'll protect your gun rights, they said.

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Just now, Cruel Hand Luke said:

It sure beats the alternative...

If the alternative is divided government where the GOP will actively push to support gun rights and block attacks on the same, I'll take the alternative.  We're not exactly reaping the dividend from having a monopoly in government of "pro gun" politicians.

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If that alternative is control by those who are militantly against us then I'll take the lukewarm support from our "friends"as opposed to what would be boiling opposition from our "enemies".  

On a national level which party tends to support more gun control and which supports less? Until there is a better alternative that is what we are stuck with. 

And letting a few snakes in to keep from having mice is a dangerous game to play if the snakes continue to multiply....

 

Edited by Cruel Hand Luke
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11 minutes ago, btq96r said:

If the alternative is divided government where the GOP will actively push to support gun rights and block attacks on the same, I'll take the alternative.  We're not exactly reaping the dividend from having a monopoly in government of "pro gun" politicians.

It’s worth noting (again) that the best years for us gunowners were when we a Dem governor and a Republican supermajority in the House/Senate. The Republicans had to put in the work to prove themselves. The second the Republicans had the trifecta of both houses and the Governor’s mansion forward movement on gun rights all but came to a screeching halt. 

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53 minutes ago, Chucktshoes said:

It’s worth noting (again) that the best years for us gunowners were when we a Dem governor and a Republican supermajority in the House/Senate. The Republicans had to put in the work to prove themselves. The second the Republicans had the trifecta of both houses and the Governor’s mansion forward movement on gun rights all but came to a screeching halt. 

I'm convinced that many people here don't actually like the Republicans so much as they absolutely hate the left. 

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We have a winner.....😉 

If the Republicans would actually follow through and DO what they run on when they have the majority then they would get better publicity here. 

 

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Through my work, I've meet state reps from NE TN and greater Knoxville.

They seem to be approachable and want to here from us, the voters.

Call, email, snail mail. Not a form letter, they like to know an individual took the time to think, draft, and send. It's more powerful and "evidence" for them.

Big turn over this year, with so many new members trying to navigate and making new "friends" this could slide through.

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