Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Red Flag Laws and the New Gun Law

7/27/22 KTVB discusses what few effects the bipartisan bill has on Idaho gun purchases.  One gun dealer observes:
"And according to Guy, the process at his store hasn't changed much. They run the same background check, clients fill out the same forms and sign the same documents. These forms go through questions like criminal history, if the gun is for the purchaser and if the purchaser has ever been committed to a mental institution. The only difference in the process brought by the new laws is what documents the FBI has access to once the submit button is clicked for potential gun purchasers ages 18-20.

"If they need to be flagged, they need to be flagged. We're all for that," Guy said. "I don't think anybody's upset about opening it up to a kid that was in a mental institute in high school, but we couldn't see it before. I think everybody's for that."

A BSU criminology professor about the red flag law funding:

"Perhaps the most controversial part of the new federal law is $750 million in new funding for states that can be used for the creation and administration of “red flag laws,” which restrict gun ownership among those a court has determined to be a danger to themselves or others. Idaho has no such laws, nor is its Legislature inclined to pass any. But the funding also could be used by states for other purposes, such as mental health courts, drug courts and veterans courts.

“We were an early adopter and a leader in specialty courts or problem-solving courts,” Bostaph said. The bill also includes additional funding for behavioral health initiatives, school-based mental health programs and more. She said Idaho likely will be in a good position to apply for some of those funds, given the ongoing efforts of the Idaho Behavioral Health Council to address mental and behavioral health needs on a statewide basis."

I now remember that the language of the law only added red flag laws to an existing list of specialty programs for which states can use the grants.  As long as Idaho passes no red flag law, that additional funding can be used for those other specialty programs.

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