Following the recent mass killings in Maine, Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, issued a warning that “red flag” laws, if passed, will lead to the disarming of anyone the federal government considers its enemies.
According to the authorities, Robert Card, 40, opened fire last week at two different sites in Lewiston, Maine, killing 18 people and injuring dozens more.
After a two-day, statewide manhunt, Card’s body was located late on a Friday night.
Some on the left have called for a complete ban on firearms, while others have advocated for “red flag” laws that would allow the courts to disarm individuals if there is reasonable cause to believe they pose a threat to themselves or others.
DeSantis was asked about the violence in Maine on Sunday’s episode of “Meet the Press” on NBC News with anchor Kristen Welker.
Welker began his interview with the 2024 GOP presidential candidate by having him respond to a remark made by House Speaker Mike Johnson following the murders in Maine.
“At the end of the day, the problem is the human heart, it’s not guns,” Johnson said.
“I think this was a very tragic thing,” DeSantis responded, calling the shootings “horrific.”
“He clearly had problems,” the Florida governor said of Card while he noted the man was institutionalized over the summer after he reportedly threatened to go on a killing spree.
DeSantis pointed out that Card’s incarceration should have been recorded on his background check in the same way that a violent criminal conviction would have been.
He continued by saying that no good could come from lobbying for red flag laws while disregarding the reality that Card’s illness should have prohibited him from purchasing the pistol police claim he used to carry out last week’s violence.
Welker stated that, in her opinion, Card would not have purchased his pistol if a red flag statute had been in place.
However, DeSantis said that it was unnecessary to resort to such drastic measures as permitting people to be disarmed based on false claims.
He stated that there is currently a system in place to stop people who have said they want to kill innocents.
“I don’t think you’d even need a red flag,” the governor said. “If somebody has a mental involuntary commitment, an adjudication of that nature, that usually would go into the system and that would be on a traditional background check.”
“I believe in due process,” the governor said.
“I believe in strong constitutional rights,” he said, “but with that comes responsibility, and if you’re somebody that can’t conduct themselves in society because of mental illness, then that absolutely should be taken into account.”
DeSantis concluded that he had issues with red flag laws in Democratic-run states and declared that the federal background check system must take mental health hospitalizations into account.
“Here’s the problem I have with some of the proposals that have been done, particularly in some of the blue states, is that will be weaponized against people that the government doesn’t like,” he said.
“I mean, you have a situation where someone can just make an anonymous call into a police station, let’s say, say something bad about someone and then they come in and take firearms?” the governor said.
DeSantis also called on institutionalizing more people who, he said, have proven they are too mentally ill to participate in society.
“When you have an involuntary commitment, that triggers things to go into a background check system,” he said.
He isn’t wrong at all.
Hopefully, Ron will follow through with his sentiment and do away with Florida’s restrictive and dangerous Red Flag law that was rammed through in a knee-jerk reaction by now-Senator Rick Scott and former FL AG Pam Bondi.
DeSantis should also restore Second Amendment rights to 18- to 21-year-olds, disarmed by Scott and former Florida AG Pam Bondi too.
If he does that all that would make his words much more meaningful if you ask me.