ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- After dozens of mass shootings and attacks, lawmakers across the country started adopting ‘red flag’ gun laws to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

This legislative session there is an effort against it.

Georgia Democrat Rep. Matthew Wilson, D-Brookhaven, drafted a red flag bill in the state house, last session.

“I think it’s empowering law enforcement agencies to carry out their duties by protecting the people,” Wilson said. 

The bill that would allow police to take away guns from people who have been deemed dangerous by the courts. Family members, friends, or even police can report a person to be dangerous and the courts can then issue a risk protection order to call for gun confiscation.

“We’ve heard time and time again of law enforcement officers who have heard of threatening behavior reported about a person, but because a person hasn’t committed an act yet of violence, they are not able to take any action,” Wilson said. “So, all this bill does is create a law that gives law enforcement an additional tool to help protect people.”

CBS News reports that at least 17 states have some form of red flag gun law. Republican lawmaker Rep. Ken Pullin, R-Zebulon, is pushing back with an anti-red flag law bill.

Pullin told CBS46 that he thinks the red flag laws are “a backdoor way to seize fire arms.”

He says the laws would be unconstitutional and violate due process. 

“Someone could see something they don’t like you posted on Facebook,” Pullin said. “They could think you’re mentally unstable for some reason and they go to the court and get a red flag order and then law enforcement can show up at your house and confiscate your weapons,” Pullin explained.

But Wilson argues that a court hearing is the due process that opponents say is missing. Still, Pullin thinks the potential laws violate the constitution.

“This bill really does three things,” Pullin said about his newly filed bill. “It exempts Georgia from enforcing. It says Georgia can’t accept federal funds for enforcing, and then it says if anyone tries to enforce red flag legislation they’re subject to a felony,” he went on. 

It's the latest in a growing gun debate firing off at the top of the 2020 session. Wilson’s red flag bill is in the public safety committee with several other gun bills. 

Self-proclaimed constitutionalist Matt Gurtler wants to take away licensing requirements for eligible gun owners.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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