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Patterson Backs Red-Flag Law As A Means To Reduce School Shootings

Former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson wrote the state’s concealed carry law when he was a state senator


One of Texas' most prominent gun rights supporters is tentatively endorsing the passage of a "red-flag" law, as a means of reducing school shootings. Former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson wrote the state's concealed carry law when he was a state senator.


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A red-flag law allows a judge to take away a person's firearm if someone – such as a family member or educator – can demonstrate the gun owner may be dangerous to himself or others. Speaking before the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, Patterson said there is no way to eliminate school shootings, but a red-flag law could reduce them.

"I believe, personally, that there is a way to, with respect of the Second, the Fourth, the Fifth, the Fourteenth [Amendments], and the rights of due process, a way to identify people who are a genuine threat and remove firearms from their control," he said.

Patterson argued any red-flag law would need to include penalties to discourage people from filing false claims.

Governor Greg Abbott called on the Texas Legislature to consider the merits of adopting a red-flag law, following last month's shooting at Santa Fe High School. Lawmakers are trying to figure out how to implement Abbott's charge ahead of next year's session.

Eleven other states have adopted red-flag laws, including six in the past year.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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