TX – GUN CONTROL – Calls grow for ‘red flag’ gun laws after El Paso massacre, but shooter didn’t set off alarms

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The El Paso shooting that left 22 people dead has revived calls for so-called red flag laws that allow law enforcement to seize guns from people deemed dangerous. But such a law likely would not have averted the Walmart rampage, because the 21-year-old North Texas man seething with anger at immigrants had no apparent criminal record or history of mental illness when he set out across the state. The shooter waited until moments before opening fire to post a racist manifesto in an online forum favored by white supremacists – far too late for police, relatives or anyone else to intervene. “We need to … ensure that guns are not in the hands of deranged killers like the man who committed this heinous crime here in El Paso while also at the same time ensuring that constitutional rights are not violated,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters in El Paso on Wednesday. But he conceded, “There were no red flags about this particular shooter.” Texas has no red flag law. In at least 17 states, a family member or friend can report a person to law enforcement if they are at risk of hurting themselves or others. Police can confiscate that person’s firearms, with permission from a judge. The idea has grown in popularity even among Republicans who resist other restrictions on gun ownership. [full article]

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