Arrington opposes federal Red Flag laws, supports state, local solutions to school violence

Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 7:43 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Congressman Jodey Arrington held a live event on Tuesday night, taking questions and comments from constituents as he laid out his position on proposed federal legislation in response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Two-thirds of the callers opposed raising the minimum age for gun purchases to 21, while an overwhelming majority supported dealing with the problem of school shootings at the state and local level, without relying on federal funds or regulations.

Arrington opposes federal Red Flag laws, saying “You’ve got to be really careful that you protect people’s due process rights. You protect against a government illegally searching and seizing property, so there are major guardrails that have to be in place, but it can be done constitutionally, but it’s best done, in my opinion, at the state and local level.”

“If the state of Texas thinks we need some version of an extreme risk protection order, there are 19 other states that do it, and there are certainly models out there, but I don’t want the federal government to design the mousetrap.”

Arrington says the federal government does not tailor their solutions to individual communities, so there are always “unintended consequences.”

“Policing is a local issue,” Arrington said. “I think the state of Texas has to decide what level of commitment that the citizens are willing to make to pay for safer schools.”

“Rural communities have less resources for everything.”

Arrington believes the state of Texas should design their grant program to help rural communities who are “far less resourced and far less likely to be able to afford to put all these measures in place.”

“I don’t want mandates from the feds,” Arrington said. “I want the state to decide how best to shore up and to fill gaps and to strengthen our security and invest in mental health.”

Arrington made these additional comments when we caught up with him after the event:

“My constituents are very informed, they know there are deeper issues legislation can’t fix, they understand our state and local government and officials have to make this a priority and make investments, both in hardening schools and mental health services, and it turns out they’re not looking for Washington to solve this problem,” Arrington said.

“The federal government has put our nation $30 trillion in debt, so I think the most appropriate place to decide what levels of investment are needed - and I think it should be a priority at the state - and the most fiscally responsible people will be our state officials and local leaders.”

“I think the federal government should make sure that our background check system works; I think that’s having a repository of information so you have an instant background check to prevent people who are mentally unstable or violent criminals or felons from being able to purchase a firearm.”

“I think making that system work better and plugging the holes is an appropriate thing for the federal government to address, but if you’re talking about hardening schools or providing services like mental health services and certainly if you’re talking about ‘red flag laws’ and some sort of limitation or additional scrutiny for a demographic like 18 to 21, I don’t want the federal government anywhere near that.”

“Our job is to protect people’s Constitutional rights, secure the liberties of our citizens, and make sure the 2nd Amendment isn’t infringed so that the good guys can defend themselves and their families and their communities.”

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