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Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) is in the home stretch of his final term as Senator for the Show-Me State. He’s one of 10 Republicans working on a bi-partisan effort (spearheaded by John Cornyn (R-TX) and Chris Murphy (D-CT)) to create gun control legislation, largely in response to the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.
One of the key components of the rumored legislation (no one knows for certain as the draft bill itself has not yet been completed) is a focus on “red flag laws,” with incentives offered to states for enacting them.
Last Sunday, the Washington Post reported that a tentative deal had been struck, noting:
Under the tentative deal, a federal grant program would encourage states to implement red-flag laws that allow authorities to keep guns away from people found by a judge to represent a potential threat to themselves or others, while federal criminal background checks for gun buyers younger than 21 would include a mandatory search of juvenile justice and mental health records for the first time.
However, dozens of Missouri lawmakers have expressed skepticism regarding the proposed deal, and issued a letter to Senator Blunt regarding the proposed deal to voice their concerns. The letter, penned by State Representative Tony Lovasco (R-O’Fallon), was signed onto by 44 other representatives and four state senators.
Per the Missouri Independent:
In the letter, they noted that most versions of red flag laws authorize courts to seize guns from someone considered dangerous without requiring a criminal conviction and, in many cases, without the targeted person in court.
“The proposal in question seeks to allow Congress to deflect responsibility for enacting such horrid laws by essentially punting to the states,” the letter states. “Knowing that forcing such immoral and unconstitutional provisions nationwide would not garner enough votes to overcome a filibuster, Senator (Chris) Murphy instead proposes to bribe states with their own tax money to do his dirty work for him.”
Several other state lawmakers expressed support for the letter shortly after it was issued.
An editorial note:
Rep. Hannah Kelly, Rep. Nate Tate, and Senator Rick Brattin did try to sign on to this letter too, but unfortunately contacted me just after I’d sent it off.
Its unlikely Senator Blunt reads my tweets, but I do want my readers to know where they stand. #moleg
— Rep. Tony Lovasco (MO-64) (@tonylovasco) June 16, 2022
The letter continues:
You may believe your vote on this proposed bill comes at little risk, as Missouri has demonstrated time
and again that our General Assembly would not vote to pass such laws. While that may be true, many
other states will not have such resolve. If this measure comes to fruition, a vote for it will directly enable
the spread of confiscation laws throughout the country, and further normalize support for the eventual
disarmament of this nation.
It’s reasonable to conclude that not all aspects of Senator Murphy’s proposal are objectionable, and
bipartisan discussion surrounding any legislation is a healthy part of the process. However, under no
circumstances should you allow any bill to advance that contains gun control or firearm confiscation of
any kind, no matter how small or indirect it may seem.
Rather makes one nostalgic for the pre-17th Amendment days, doesn’t it?
On Monday morning, Representative Lovasco joined the Mike Ferguson in the Morning Show on NewsTalkSTL.com to discuss the letter. As of that time, Lovasco indicated he had not yet received a response from Senator Blunt on the matter.