Thanks so much to the recent callers to Montana Talks expressing concern over the “red flag” laws. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)  and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) will soon introduce a bill to encourage states to adopt red flag laws, which will empower police and family members to petition a court to temporarily restrict access to firearms of persons who may pose a serious threat to themselves and/or other people.

In the light of mass shootings, these laws may seem like a good idea. Stop the bad guy before he acts. He is showing the signs of violence either online or in personal actions. Head him off at the pass and take away the guns before innocent folks get killed or wounded.

But hang on, this is a slippery slope.

What are the criteria for or standards that dictate when someone is about to commit violence? Expressing tactless, rude, radical, racial, bigoted, anti-societal, anti-government, or unacceptable comments? Calls for open rebellion? Was there an actual threat of violence? What will the mental health professionals working with law enforcement consider “signs of imminent danger?” Sen. Blumenthal tried to ensure due process and judicial review. What will that look like?  How will this work with the 4th Amendment and the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution?

Please tune in to Montana Talks this Thursday, August 8th in the 9:00 statewide hour, when Rep. Daniel Zolnikov discusses these red flag laws with Joe Dooling, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Montana. What will be his response to this proposal?

What will be Montana’s response?