Poll: Most Independents, Republicans Believe Red Flag Laws Would Be Abused by the Government

Virginia Tech Gunman ATF officers patrol around Dietrick Hall after a lockdown of the campus was lifted at the school in Blacksburg, Va., Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011. (Steve Helber/AP)
Steve Helber/AP

Most independent and Republican voters believe that the government would ultimately abuse “red flag” laws, a Convention of States Action/Trafalgar Group survey released Wednesday found.

The survey asked, “Do you believe that the ‘red flag’ gun control laws designed to temporarily take guns away from individuals has the potential to be abused by local authorities and government officials to disarm their political opponents and/or citizens who disagree with them?”

Overall, a plurality of voters, 46.7 percent, believe that “red flag” gun control laws, which essentially allow for a petition to temporarily remove firearms from a person of interest, could be abused. Another 22.5 percent are unsure, and 30.8 percent do not believe it could be abused.

However, most independent voters, 52.3 percent, believe that government officials have major potential to abuse “red flag” gun control laws, while another 23.3 percent believe there is no risk of abuse. Nearly a quarter, 24.3 percent, are unsure.

Most Republicans, 72.2 percent, agree with the majority of independent voters that such laws “have the potential to be abused.” Another 13.8 percent remain unsure, and 14.1 percent said there is no risk of abuse.

Democrats are the most trusting, as 53.5 percent do not believe authorities and government officials will abuse such laws, followed by 16.4 percent who believe the laws could be abused, and nearly one-third, 30.1 percent, who remain unsure.

The survey was taken June 16-19, 2022, among 1,084 likely general election voters and has a +/- 2.9 percent margin of error. It comes on the heels of senators appearing to agree on a bipartisan gun control deal following mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.

“I think we’ve reached agreement,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said. “And we’re just dotting the Is and crossing the Ts right now. I think we’re in good shape.”

The deal includes “financial incentives for states that agree to adopt red flag laws” detailed under Section 12003, titled “Use of Byrne Grants for Implementation of State Crisis Intervention Programs.”

“The funds are to be used to create ‘mental health courts,’ ‘drug courts,’ ‘veterans courts,’ and establish ‘extreme risk protection orders,’ aka red flag laws,” Breitbart News’s AWR Hawkins reported.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has described the tactic as the federal government bribing the states “to deprive citizens of their Second Amendment rights.”

According to reports, Republican leadership on Wednesday said they opposed the bipartisan deal:

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