What are Texass Gun Laws
After the weekend mass shootings, which left more than 30 dead, pressure is mounting on the US Republicans to agree to tightening gun laws. "We have to do something and we will do something," said Ohio State Governor Mike DeWine at a news conference. A gunman killed nine people on Sunday night in the city of Dayton, Ohio. A few hours earlier in the Texas city of El Paso, a man in a mall around him had been fired and killed 22 people. Apparently he acted for racist motives.
The US House of Representatives, which is ruled by the Democrats, has already passed two laws this year to make it more difficult to sell weapons to dangerous people. Among other things, the FBI's check of a buyer - the so-called background check - is to be expanded. The gun lobby, which has great influence over many Republican MPs, is strictly against this. The Republican-dominated US Senate has so far refused to vote on the two laws, thereby blocking them.
Instead, the Republicans apparently want to make concessions elsewhere. Obviously, a law is to be drawn up in the Senate that will enable the US federal government to help the states with the enactment of so-called red flag laws. These regulations, which currently exist in around two dozen states, allow local police authorities to temporarily confiscate the weapons of people who have been judged by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others. The Red Flag laws therefore do not limit the sale of certain military firearms or particularly large cartridge magazines, as many Democrats are calling for. Nor do they mandate that all buyers be verified. However, they can disarm at least one potentially dangerous person in individual cases before they can cause damage.
Whether this will change a lot in practice is a matter of dispute. In order to be able to confiscate the weapons, a person must first be reported as dangerous. Then a judge has to agree. It is true that many gunmen give evidence of their intentions before the act. But if these are overlooked or not taken seriously, even a red flag law will not help. Studies have shown that states with such laws are more likely to reduce gun suicides than murders.
In view of the bloodshed and the enormous public pressure, US President Donald Trump spoke out in favor of extending the Red Flag laws on Monday. It gives the Republicans in the Senate political backing.
On Wednesday, the president traveled to Dayton and El Paso to meet police officers, paramedics and survivors of the shootings. The visits were accompanied by protests. Many critics accuse Trump of inciting the racist bomber from El Paso with his harsh rhetoric against immigrants.
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