Graham Defends Support for Red Flag Laws: ‘The Second Amendment Isn’t a Suicide Pact’

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) responded to criticisms for his support of Red Flag laws following the recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

The shootings in Dayton and El Paso left 31 innocent people dead and a nation yearning for an end to gun violence. While some Democrats have called for major changes to gun access in the United States, many Republicans seem focused on implementing Red Flag laws.

As IJR previously explained, Red Flag laws allow law enforcement to confiscate weapons from an individual who has been flagged by a family member. A judge must approve of the confiscation, but the flagged individual is never alerted to the situation.

The fact that the individual can have his or her weapons taken by the authorities without ever speaking with a judge leaves some concerned that Red Flag laws are an abuse of the due process rights of the individual.

Despite the due process concerns, Graham and other Republicans are moving forward with a bill that incentivizes states to pass Red Flag laws. During an interview on Fox News, Graham pushed back on host Martha MacCallum after she questioned him on the due process rights of the individual.

Watch Graham’s comments:

“I think [critics of Red Flag laws are] dead wrong, quite frankly. […] The Parkland shooting: 40 visits by the cops to [the gunman’s] house. A FBI hotline tip that he’s about ready to go to school and shoot people up, social media postings. There are plenty of judicial proceedings every day in America were somebody is adjudged to be a danger to themselves and others and they’re put in a mental health facility. That goes on all the time. So that process would apply to gun ownership. Nobody’s going to lose their gun unless they had their day in court, but we’re not going to create a situation the cops sit on the sidelines and watch somebody blow up when there are plenty of warning signs.”

Graham later added, “The Second Amendment is not a suicide pact.”

The senator is optimistic that his Red Flag legislation will pass through the House and Senate and land on President Donald Trump‘s desk. The president has signaled that he would support such legislation.


  1. Sounds like a bandaid solution. It’s understandable that gun laws need to be stricter and that the two sides must work together to end the madness, but the madness doesn’t lie dormant in the gun, it’s in the hearts and minds of the offenders. While government officials will be able to remove guns, hopefully with more than just one person’s word for it, they won’t cure the problem. Mental, physical and emotional illness are the driving factors here. If I were bent on destroying others and myself I wouldn’t let a gun law keep me from doing it. I would find a way. But go ahead and take the so-called crazies’ guns away. I’m very interested to see what happens next.

  2. Let’s say that Lindsay and the president are rope-a-doping the Dims (i.e. the gun-control crowd).

    I would laugh out loud if they pass a bill and the president says, “Nope. Not signing it.” Heads would implode.

    I’m hoping that Trump realizes that siding with gun-control will lose him 2020.

    1. Der Donald often reverses a public stand he has taken on an issue, usually within 24 hours.

  3. Lindsay, will you suit up in body armor and try to take someone’s guns? No? Then you’re a quisling and coward like the gun-control crowd.

  4. As a former judge Graham should know that they violate the law.
    He needs to work on getting state hospitals put back into operation so that they can weed out the nutcases like they used to.

  5. No, the 2nd Amendment is supposed to be a shield for all our other rights. Red Flag laws don’t have adjudication in any real sense. What they have is rubber stamping like FISA courts are known for. They are going to create a situation where cops kill innocent home owners who’s distant relative (neighbor, co-worker, etc.) was angry over something stupid and decided to use the cops to get back at them. This has already happened in the early adopter states.
    A right that can be stripped away on a whim in the middle of the night is not a right and it certainly isn’t one of the sacred rights mentioned in the Bill of RIghts.
    More people by far are killed each year by hammers and fists than rifles. What’s next your neighbor decides they don’t like how you trim your trees, reports you and the cops come and break your hands? If these people are such a danger to themselves and others then shouldn’t they be hauled in for evaluation and then committed for care properly anyway. If they are at a mental hospital (where all 5150s should be anyway) how would they ever use their guns to hurt someone? There are enough laws on the books already to handle this properly. The laws are just not being used because the Establishment’s goal is not safety, it’s control.

    1. 1) Include a provision in Red Flag laws that people who’s guns have been seized can appear in court to contest the seizure. If they can’t appear sane and rational in a hour or two of court appearance, then maybe they shouldn’t be armed. 2) How many of those living on the street, out of a shopping cart, have an arsenal of guns and ammunition in the cart?

  6. Every single solution they have proposed would NOT have prevented any one of these incidents. It’s on record that their ultimate goal is the elimination of all guns.

  7. Linda Grahamnesty has his panties in a wad again. More people were killed by drunk drivers/inattentive drivers or texting drivers than in all the wars combined and there is NO amendment protecting driving so we should ban all cars for the sake of safety. Numbers don’t lie but politicians do. Barrel first and empty Linda, they’re all yours.

  8. What happens when the first armed citizen is arrested and “deemed” dangerous; and all due to someone who is disgruntled. Are we ready for that?

  9. I don’t believe red flag laws can withstand a challenge to the Supreme Court, but who can afford to push their case that far. The only way I would even consider a red flag law as acceptable would be with due process where the accused can speak directly to the judge BEFORE guns are confiscated, but this even concerns me when I think of all the left wing nuts Obama has stacked the courts with. .

  10. I am hesitant about these new “laws.” I can see the utility, but fear abuse. If they are going to be instituted they need strong provisions for due-process to protect the questionable people they are directed at.

  11. Lindsay, day in court, is that post facto or pre-facto?

  12. A way around the second amendment is what it is. At least that’s the way certain people are using this red flag crap.
    Just imagine some socialist genius deciding how much freedom you get.

  13. Graham later added, “The Second Amendment is not a suicide pact.”
    No, it’s a comprehensive restraining order on the federal government. What part of “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” do you not understand?

    1. Linda understands it, he is a two faced lying RINO weasel. Always has been, always will be.

  14. We don’t need stinking “red flag” laws to stop guys like the Parkland shooter! Just some common sense!
    As said, 40 plus police visits! Way more than enough!

    Red flag is an unneeded excuse for abuse!

  15. And who will pay for these court hearings. If someone accuses me of being a nut case, How would a widow on a small fixed income pay for a lawyer, court costs, and transport to a hearing.
    You may have to rethink this. Especially when the 113th congress passed a rule, law, whatever to disallow my ability to get a portion of my husband’s retirement from the military. And he was not notified of the specific requirement. That was on Obama’s watch. But the Republicans were there in the House at the time.

  16. If this type of mental health hearing takes place every day, as Graham states, what prevents us from simply utilizing that same process now? I have a problem with government violating any individual’s constitutional right based on something they might do in the future.

  17. Constitution be damned. full speed ahead!! Who cares about an individuals rights, eh? We need to do something. What’s that old fuddy dudddy Franklin
    know anyways when he said ‘ a person who is willing to trade his rights for security will soon realize he has neither”

  18. RED FLAGS could be put on anybody some hates or has a grude with. NO Red Flags are NOT a good idea. Anyone can be brainwashed by a video war game with subliminal messages. RED FLAGS are NO good and could be unconstitutional. VETs who have PTSD or anyone who has the effects of PTSD should not have a weapon but those who are are sound mind and know legally what to do and what not to do with a weapon NO WAY. Red Flag is another word for abuse and censorship of the 2nd Amend. NO NO NO.

  19. I’m beyond shocked republicans support this when they oppose banning peoplebon the terrorist watch list from owning guns. This is confusing

  20. Above all other senators, Graham should have a powerful concern for due process. But for some reason, he ignores it on this issue. Regardless, last I heard, red flag or Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws are the only untenable positions taken by President Trump. That said, politicians who support this notion will regret the day they ever heard of red flag laws. Their legacies will carry a Supreme Court scolding and perhaps be a landmark of their careers. But not to worry. Red Flag laws will be overturned soon enough.

    The Supreme Court isn’t about to jeopardize its own reputation by reducing the ability of private citizens to defend themselves. It’s especially important because currently, half the nation’s murders occur in only 63 counties while the other half are spread across the other 3,081 counties. Said another way, 15 percent had one murder and 54 percent of the nation’s counties had no murders at all.

    These laws were created to dilute the power licensed to the psychiatric community and transfer it to unqualified persons the democrats can influence, e.g., local judges and disgruntled aunts. These confiscation laws are still being trumpeted by democrats because their usual gun control arguments have been lopsided, illogical losers.

    Democrats and weak minded Republicans are victims of the bum’s rush. They’ve been hoodwinked by Bloomberg’s rhetoric and haven’t read his 2018 data. It reveals gun homicides declined seven percent, firearm injuries declined 10 percent, fatal child shootings (under 18) declined 12 percent and unintentional shootings plummeted 21 percent. Generally, since 1991, the murder rate has fallen by 45 percent and the overall violent crime rate has fallen by 48 percent.

    Additionally, shooting incidents involving students have been declining since the ’90s. During that time, citizens were buying a record number of firearms. In 2018, more than 26 million firearms were purchased, a number exceeded only by 27.5 million in 2016 when purchasers were mortified that Hillary might be elected.

    Further, a December 2018 Gallup Poll revealed that gun control is last on a list of what Americans cite as the most important problem facing the U.S. Seems government is the most important problem and immigration is second most important. Obviously, the socialist-democrats are pushing a solution in search of a problem.

    Unarguably, our government cannot be trusted with the 2nd Amendment, just as our founders warned us. The primary problem with this nationwide hysteria to enforce red flag laws is none are crafted with sufficient protections for the accused. Apparently, we’ve been deluding ourselves that the U.S. judiciary would rather let ten guilty parties go free than convict one innocent person.

    Additionally, these laws generally place enormous responsibility and pressure on police officers and judges to dispense pretrial punishment, just in case an owner might be mentally afflicted. This kind of punishment is overly severe to be based on amateur opinions afforded by all the red flag laws enacted thus far. I have no doubt that the Supreme Court will strike these laws down but in the meantime, many firearms owners will suffer needlessly. Lawsuits are sure to follow.

    Since we’re dealing with mentally troubled persons, any law should include analysis by licensed psychiatrists, one chosen from each side, before an indictment. Doubtlessly, we all know of judges and law officers who are far from qualified for such professional undertakings. I also doubt that they’d volunteer to diagnose mental illness if their jobs depended on doing it correctly.

    This movement makes it clear that democrats want control without responsibility. I used to wonder why democrats saturate media outlets with soothing pleas for conversation instead of acting on their clear and ultimate goal of total confiscation. I assumed they stopped short of the extreme because they know firearms owners won’t tolerate confiscation without unimaginable fury.

    Fact is democrats will temporarily settle for controlling little things like angry partners, bayonet lugs, ammunition taxes, bullet shapes and so on. But it’s still part of a common democrat flimflam. Eventually they’ll again get around to universal background checks that are impossible to manage without universal registration.

    They need a universal firearm registry because it fundamentally transforms 140 million owners into dependents. Once they know who the owners are, they’ll choose which of them are allowed to be licensed. It’s the consummate entitlement. The democrat party cannot survive without more than half the nation being dependent on the government. Democrats trade entitlements for votes. It’s the heart of their strategy.

    Justice demands that the accused be afforded at least a modicum of professional analysis and an official opinion by two or more psychiatrists. Democrats screech in the streets if denied a full measure of due process but close their eyes on the subject of self-defense by firearm. These laws open the doors to scorned partners, angry neighbors, children seeking a parent’s wealth and arrogant judges.

    The natural next step for any Nazified government was to codify empowerment of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, neighbors, judges, police officers, boyfriends, girlfriends, classmates, teachers, faculty, employers, co-workers and everyone except those actually qualified to judge mental competence.

    And you can count on democrats finding new restrictions that violate due process. Soon they’ll want to choose an upper age limit for people to be “allowed by the government” to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment. It makes me wonder about the motive for Red Flag ERPO laws.

  21. I don’t think a person should be able to go and tell the law enforcement you are a danger to society and they come take your self protection from you without anyone hearing your perspective on the claim.

  22. Gun Violence – There are a lot of emotional arguments on both sides, so let’s break down the official numbers from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention): New numbers are 38,000 deaths a year; however, the ratios are probably the same
    • There are 32,000 deaths a year from Gun Violence in the USA – 40,100 in car accidents (2017)
    • 60% are suicides = 19,200 (conveniently omitted fact)
    • 3% are accidental = 960 and 4% are justified = 1,280
    • 33% are homicides = 10,560
    • However 80% of them are gang related = 8,448.
    • That leaves 2,112 in society of 312 million
    • As we all know, it is not politically correct to discuss the prevailing Black-on-Black crime and Latin Gangs – Back population is 14%, however they represent more than 50% of the homicides.

    No NRA member has ever been charged on gun violence, so why are they always implicated in that in public opinion.

    Guns do not kill – people do.

    Criminals would not comply with any gun control laws. Most mass shootings have occurred in gun-free zones – why – a safe place for the shooter.

    America does not have a gun problem. We have significant problems with education, culture, and socio-economics. How much does our culture of violence and lack of respect (self and authority) impact the younger generation

  23. *** Let’s keep things in a proper prospective ***
    FBI: More People Killed by Hammers, Clubs than with Rifles of Any Kind
    By AWR Hawkins August 12th, 2019
    The most recent FBI crime stats show that more people were killed in 2017 with hammers and clubs than were killed with rifles of any kind.
    • 467 people were killed with “blunt objects (hammers, clubs, etc.) while
    • 403 were killed with rifles.
    And it must be noted that the category of “rifles” used by the FBI includes bolt action, pump action, single shot, and semi-automatic, as well as those the left describes as “assault weapons.” This means only a percentage of the 403 deaths attributed to “rifles” would have been carried out with an “assault weapon.” So the gap between the number of persons beaten to death with hammers and clubs verses those killed with “assault weapons” would be even greater than the gap between those who died in a hammer/club attack versus those who died being shot with “rifles” of any kind.

    2017 crime figures showed
    • 1,591 people were killed with “knives or cutting instruments” while
    • 403 were killed with “rifles.” This means nearly four times as many people were stabbed to death as were killed with any kind of rifle.

  24. In essence, Red Flag Laws legalize “swatting” law abiding citizens.Someone doesn’t like you r doesn’t like the fact that you own firearms… they just phone in a complaint and you’re guilty until proven innocent and two unalienable rights are out the window. Those who are unwilling to kill and die to defend their lives, rights and property will inevitably and deservedly lose them.

  25. What is to prevent the government confiscating guns from individuals who disagree with their rhetoric? Sorry but after the FISA court abuses being used against an American citizen and then the president. No thank you Lindsey. As for due process we saw that at work in the Mueller investigation and look how many people lost everything they had for their due process.

    1. difference is with a FISA request they go before a judge and get a court order to spy on you, with these red flag rules all they need is someone to accuse you and they come confiscate your property. So one question I have is what happens if you have children and someone accuses you of being a danger do they take your kids too? how could they justify you keeping them if you are supposedly a danger?

  26. No red flag laws anyone can call on you just not family that is a lie so if someone doesn’t like you or you want in their house to steal things get their guns taken first

  27. People, in my opinion, are losing sight of what is at stake here, if something is not done now, whether it has any results or not the MSM and Dems will gain the upper hand in this battle to keep our guns. There is no way people will allow confiscation, that is why we have our guns to start with so consider losing a battle to win the war.

    1. “Red Flag Laws” are confiscation.. without a trial, hearing or even showing of just cause before a judge and, once the Gestapo has taken your firearms, how do you imagine the people will not “allow” confiscation. What part of that are you failing/declining to understand? Surrender now and fight later?with what?

  28. There are around 15 million AR-15’s in the hands of Americans, not counting all the other guns (I can only guess at that number!). Banning sales to day or placing more restrictions on sales, those weapons will still be out there. Turn them all in, highly unlikely (still not working in New Zealand). First eliminate “Gun Free Zones”. make concealed carry easier to obtain. An armed American in that mall may have made the difference. Another 55 MPH sign doesn’t deter speeders any more then a gun free zone stops idiots with an agenda…..

  29. Why should the People trust President Obama’s best friend in the US Senate. I am from South Carolina, and learned several elections ago that Lindsey Graham can’t be trusted with your Freedom!

  30. I was seriously thinking of donating to his campaign, but not now.

  31. Apply this “logic” to all 10 of the Bill of Rights. And we need waiting periods, so as a government agency can first approve, before prayers may be said in public gatherings, before news articles can be printed, before tv can report stories. Because words have murdered many more than guns. And why does anyone “need” a car that goes 100 m.p.h.? There is no speed limit in America that allows that. And Common Sense dictates we should have a National 30 m.p.h. speed limit. That will allow you to get where you need to go, it will save innocent lives (many more die from cars than guns), save gas, cur emissions. But this Washington B.S. is not about saving lives. It is about Hate for America, freedom, the Bill of Rights and POWER over Americans.

    1. These are not national laws – its incentives for states to incorporate their own laws. Several states already have Red Flag laws.

      And no – words have not killed more people than guns. I may be hurt by words, but statistically in the US I’ll reach for a gun to kill.

  32. Wow… i didn’t think i would ever say this, but i actually agree with Lindsey Graham.

    1. I have agreed on occasion with the Senator formally known as Lindsey Graham. But this is the first time in 2 years I have agreed with the current version of Lindsey.

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