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Sen. Rand Paul Signals Support for Red Flag Gun Laws with Strong Due Process as a Caveat

Paul indicated he will support red flag laws only if strong due process provisions are in place.

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) shocked his liberty-minded base after he signaled support for red flag gun laws in an interview on Tuesday, as reported by the Associated Press on Tuesday.

The AP profiled Paul’s recovery from lung-removal surgery, which happened as a complication from an ambush attack by his left-wing former neighbor Rene Boucher outside of his home in late 2017. He is close to a full recovery and ready to return to work in Washington D.C.

“It is great to be here,” he said while speaking in Kentucky at a chamber of commerce luncheon. “It is great to be upright and walking around and beginning to heal.”

“And like anybody else who’s used to being active, it’s hard to sit still,” Paul added. “I’m ready to get back in the mix of things and to start traveling around the state some.”

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Arguably the most noteworthy line from Paul’s remarks was his position on gun control. Paul, who is one of the most unflinching proponents for gun rights in the Senate, made remarks indicating his support for red flag laws that would confiscate firearms from individuals deemed threatening to the public safety.

“I’m not opposed to sort of an emergency order for 48 hours and then you get a hearing in a court where you get the full due-process protections,” he said. “It’s the one thing that could fix a lot of stuff. I think most of these homicidal attackers … are sending off signals to their family and community.”

However, Paul quickly clarified that “some of these ‘red flag’ laws set off a red flag because they’re streaming through a lot of your information.” He is cautious of proposed red flag laws containing problematic language that would likely result in many constitutional infringements.

“So let’s say we take the VA roll and we say anybody who’s taking an antidepressant should have their gun rights taken, and you can see that would be horrific, you know, if we just trolled through all the VA rolls and did that,” Paul said.

“It has to be individualized and you have to have your day in court before we take rights away,” he added.

Paul’s chief strategist Doug Stafford said that Paul will be working to improve federal red flag laws to ensure that public safety is protected without trampling on the Bill of Rights and Constitution.

“Senator Paul will only support legislation that includes real due process. He doesn’t support the bills as proposed and will be offering amendments with substantial changes that include constitutional protections,” Stafford said in a comment to Big League Politics.

Paul will hope to counter neocon Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has taken the early lead in developing laws intended to stop mass shooters like those who took dozens of lives earlier this month in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH.

“… We’re not going to create a situation where the cops sit on the sidelines and watch somebody blow up when there are plenty warning signs,” Graham said on Monday. “The 2nd Amendment is not a suicide pact.”

Paul will certainly have his work cut out for him in protecting the 2nd Amendment and due process as he works on federal efforts to curb gun violence.

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