Byron Donalds Votes Against Gun Control Bill Due to ‘Poison Pill’ Red Flag Laws

June 29, 2022 Updated 2:04 PM ET

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds at the Patriot Talk Show, May 6th, 2022.
U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds at the Patriot Talk Show, May 6th, 2022.

June 29, 2022 Updated 2:03 P.M. ET

NAPLES (FLV) – U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Florida, said Tuesday he voted against the bipartisan gun legislation because it supported funding for red flag laws, which he called a “poison pill.”

Congress passed the bipartisan legislation Friday but it did not receive Congressman Donalds’ vote. President Joe Biden signed it into law. Donalds talked about the legislation at The Patriot Talk Show

“The thing that’s the poison pill are the red flag laws,” he said. “They didn’t create a national red flag law but they gave money to states for states to create red flag laws.”

Red flag laws allow courts to prevent people who show signs of being a danger to themselves or to others from having access to firearms. It allows the seizure of guns before someone can commit a crime. 

Donalds explained that red flag laws are a violation of someone’s due process rights. 

“Essentially there was a court hearing that you don’t know about where it is decided to take your weapons from you,” he said. “And then you have to petition a court to go get your property. We don’t do that in our criminal justice system. You are allowed to address your accusers.”

Florida has a red flag law lawmakers approved after the Parkland shooting. Senate President Wilton Simpson said Florida’s red flag law is different from other states. 

Law enforcement would need to go out and witness that a person is about to personally harm yourself or someone else. 

“It has to come from law enforcement and we put a very short time frame in there to get adjudicated so a judge has to sign off on it,” Simpson said. “It can’t be a crazy relative.” 

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Even if law enforcement officers witness that someone will harm themselves or another person, they need a judge’s approval before prohibiting someone from possessing a firearm.

“So we made it a two part process. Law enforcement only and the judges have to confirm it,” Simpson said. 

If someone believes their weapon was wrongly taken from them, that hearing would need to take place in 14 days and it has to be adjudicated in front of the judge. 

Congressman Donalds said the law does not do anything for school hardening. However, he said portions of the law focusing on mental health made sense.

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