A piece of legislation that rose to prominence at the federal level following the recent mass shootings around the nation is what’s referred to as “Red Flag” gun laws. Many states have already passed such laws, though in Iowa there’s already been some opposition.
State Senator Jake Chapman, (R) District 10, came out publicly against such legislation, which would take firearms out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals. “The issue I have specifically with the ‘Red Flag’ laws is that it bypasses the Fourth Amendment in due process. So without having ever committed a crime, anyone can make any allegation, and a judge would then issue a seizure order for the law enforcement to go to your home (and) take your firearms. There’s a number of issues with that, obviously the first being constitutionality. And if there are folks that are opposed to gun rights, then what I suggest is (to) go in, make a constitutional amendment to change the Fourth Amendment. But until then, Americans and Iowans specifically have a right to due process.”
Chapman adds, while individuals can petition to prove they’re not dangerous and get their firearms back, that process can sometimes take several weeks or even months to come to pass. He also believes that if someone is unstable and determined to do harm to people, they will find a method aside from using their firearms. He emphasizes that if people are deemed a threat, they should be given proper psychiatric treatment or possibly committed, but only after given their proper due process.
The “Red Flag” issue will likely be discussed in the next Iowa legislative session, though at this time it’s unclear what kind of support the bill would have. However, given the vocal support of prominent Republicans like President Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, it’s possible the opposition would be in the minority.