Texas is about as far from New Jersey or New York as you can get.
I don’t mean geographically, of course. Anyone with the most remote familiarity with a map knows that’s not true. No, I’m talking about politically. While both the “new” states are completely in love with gun control, Texas isn’t. In fact, the Lone Star State has a reputation that is so closely entwined with guns it borders on the ridiculous.
So, you can imagine the surprise some might feel in seeing that Texas may well be considering a gun control law.
In this case, they’re looking at a “red flag law.”
In the wake of the deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas lawmakers are looking at solutions to keep something like that from happening again.
Public testimony unfolded at a hearing Monday to discuss potential “red flag” laws, which would allow citizens to file a petition to have a firearm taken away from a potentially dangerous person, and safe storage laws, which hold gun owners legally responsible if a child gets ahold of their loaded firearm.
The Criminal Jurisprudence Committee with the Texas House held the hearing June 25 regarding the potential laws. The law’s intentions would be to keep weapons out of the hands of people who’ve been charged with a restraining order or involuntary treatment order.
“Something needs to be done,” said Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman.
More than 100 people signed up to speak at the hearing, which lasted all day.
Many feel this type of legislation would fill a gap in Texas law, but others say the current laws just need to be enforced.
Any extreme risk protection order needs very careful controls to be put in place. Otherwise, the word of someone could strip another of their civil right to keep and bear arms when no actual threat exists. Something like this could easily be used as punishment or worse.
Due process has to be a key part of the laws, and there has to be a mechanism in place to allow these to be removed.
Look, I’m not someone who sees these as inherently bad. I’ve criticized them plenty, but most of that criticism comes from a place where I know that to err is human, but to really screw stuff up, you need the government involved. I’m not very trusting of the government or their agents, and that they won’t make a colossal mess out of everything they touch.
However, I’ve also seen enough to know that family members are often the first people to see the warning signs that someone is about to go off their rocker and become a real threat. We know this to be the case. With that in mind, I can see the potential good that can come from something like this.
Frankly, if I’m going to trust any state to get something like this right, Texas would be near the top of the list.
Let’s just hope that my trust isn’t horribly misplaced.