Parkland Dad Issues Stark Warning About White House 'Red Flag' Push

Townhall Media

Ryan Petty decided not to attend Kamala Harris's photo-op at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, but he has plenty to say about the new "red flag" office Harris unveiled during her trip, starting with why states should reject the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds the Biden administration is throwing at states to implement and expand the gun confiscation laws. 


On today's Bearing Arms Cam & Co, Petty compared the Biden administration's push to how the federal government has involved itself in our local public schools. 

"Many of your viewers know that I sit on the state Board of Education in Florida, and I'm intimately involved in how we run our schools here," Petty said. "We do that with sort of a love/hate relationship with the federal government. The federal government supplies lots of money, but with that money comes lots of strings. Lots of mandates. Lots of requirements. Lots of reporting and accountability. And what I see them doing here is taking a playbook from how the federal government works with the states on education and using that in a 'red flag" or gun control realm." 

Petty believes that the Biden administration is not only pushing for more states to adopt "red flag" laws and encouraging the 21 states where Extreme Risk Protection Order statutes are already in place to dramatically expand their usage, but aiming for a uniform standard that could be adopted (or imposed) across every state in the Union. 

"All of these current laws work a little differently. There are some incredibly odious 'red flag' laws, and there are some that are slightly better, but the main thrust is that once a state takes that federal money those federal strings come with it. And what we'll see are 'red flag' laws that mimic what California has done instead of what Florida or other states have done."

Petty says he's "very concerned" about the direction these efforts are taking. 


"Once those federal dollars are coming into the state, it creates a dependency. And that dependency is what allows the federal government to control the behavior of the states." 

And once the government has created that dependency, it can go back and require states to change their rules to keep the cash flowing their way. Maybe the feds decide that a particular state isn't issuing enough ERPOs, so it threatens to reduce or curtail grants unless they bump up the number of "red flag" confiscation orders. Maybe Uncle Sam comes to the conclusion that a state makes it too hard to file a "red flag" petition, so they withhold grant money until a particular state opens up the process to virtually anyone, instead of limiting petition requests to law enforcement or immediate family members. 

There's an untold number of ways for the federal government to insert itself into the decision-making by governors and legislatures when hundreds of millions of dollars are up for grabs, and Ryan is right to be concerned that the DOJ's new "red flag" initiative will be bad news; not only for gun owners but for public safety in general. 

Petty wasn't exactly surprised to see Harris use her appearance in Parkland to stump for gun control. He fully expected that would be the case, which is one of the big reasons why he declined the invite to meet the veep last week. 

"I engaged with the Biden administration early on in their term," he shared. "In fact, I did a Zoom call with his first chief of staff and that team, some of whom became part of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention. They made it abundantly clear to me early on, and I was surrounded by some other Parkland families, that nothing short of new gun control would be satisfactory to them, and that they weren't really interested in the other things that Florida had done to protect our schools."


"The ideologues are in charge," he continued, "and they view guns and gun owners as the problem. And so they're really only interested in gun control 'solutions', and they're not interested in anything that we have to say. So based upon that analysis I said, 'look, I'm not going to give Kamala Harris an opportunity to use my face and the image of my daughter to promote more gun control. I'm just not going to do it. In fact, I'm going to call her out for doing so." 

As Ryan says, the story of Parkland is really one of government failure, not a lack of gun control. Just as we've learned about the attack in Lewiston, Maine and so many other high-profile shootings, there were multiple opportunities to address and deal with a dangerous individual before the trigger was ever pulled, but government agencies simply dropped the ball. 

"That's really the story that I'd hoped the Vice President would take away from there, and I think some of the families that took part in the event were hoping the same, but I was suspicious from the beginning. Never let a tragedy go to waste, is what they say, right? And she certainly didn't."

In fact, she doubled down on the idea that more government is the answer to the government's failure to protect the students at Parkland from a deranged killer. Petty knows there's a better way, and he's spent a good portion of the last six years working to ensure the safety of students while safeguarding our Second Amendment rights... unlike the Biden administration, which is working tirelessly to destroy our right to keep and bear arms and isn't afraid to exploit a tragedy if they think it will help their anti-2A agenda. 


I'm proud to call Ryan Petty a friend, and I'm thrilled that he's a contributor here at Bearing Arms. The gun control lobby and their allies may not like what he has to say, but his experience and advocacy is important and I'm glad that we can help give him a platform. Be sure to check out the entire conversation in the video window below, and follow him on X/Twitter @RPetty. 


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