Texas Red Flag Law
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By Rachel Malone

Last summer, a Red Flag Gun Confiscation scheme was proposed in Texas. Under that proposal, the ability to own guns could have been taken away from a person who hadn’t committed any crime and wasn’t even accused of committing a crime. The grassroots made it abundantly clear they weren’t going to stand for it because of the inherent lack of due process. They stood up and made their voice heard, and the “red flag” proposals went away — temporarily.

Now the legislature is back with “mental health” proposals that are actually long-term gun control and “red flag” in disguise.

First, the Threat Assessment Teams. SB 11 and other bills would mandate that schools instruct teachers, staff, and students in how to identify a threat. The standards are open-ended. Schools are instructed to utilize resources from the Texas School Safety Center. This Center’s current resources include suggestive statements identifying legal gun possession as a potential threat. That’s a problem.

In addition, compounding this problem, multiple bills seek to stigmatize and marginalize gun ownership. They are blatant attempts to paint the image that people who own guns, or shoot them, or carry them, or have them in their cars are atypical, may be prone to violence, and should be viewed with suspicion. They want to control the way you think about guns, and that’s wrong.

They also want even more control over firearms ownership. Texas already has a long list of people who may not possess firearms — some legislators would like to see that extended to include people who have been assigned fiduciaries to manage their affairs. Nationwide, this category would cover more than a quarter of a million military veterans.

So here’s why all of this is such a problem.

  • It violates due process to take away guns when there’s not even probable cause of a crime. This is far too low of a threshold for removal of a Constitutional right.

  • These proposals focus on psychiatric treatment — but they don’t recognize that psychiatric drugs may actually make these individuals MORE violent instead of less. This leads to the conclusion that modern mental health treatment may be a very WRONG solution for reducing violence.

  • Experts say that it is very difficult — perhaps impossible — to accurately predict future violence. Yet these proposals are based around being able to make these predictions!

  • Even if the legislative intent is pure, and even if the legislature wouldn’t dream of a law being used nefariously against gun owners, an open-ended law can always be interpreted in a hostile way that marginalizes populations such as gun owners.

Firearms are a valuable tool. Stigmatizing firearm ownership & safe, legal use of gun is wrong, and it’s dangerous. A gun is a useful defensive tool. My gun gives me a fighting chance at saving my life — or maybe yours. Guns are a tool. They are one of many tools that can be used for good or for evil, but in the hands of civilians, guns are used so much more often to protect innocent life than to harm it.

Don’t look to the nanny state to keep you safe. Their solution is to spread a wider net of control over your behavior. But evil will always exist, and all the government control in the world can’t stop it. The most effective legislative solution would be to repeal restrictions on law-abiding citizens carrying guns. Government needs to get the heck out of our lives and start respecting our personal responsibility of protecting ourselves.

Gun Owners of America stands firmly behind individual rights. That means we believe in limited government, we stand against unlawful searches and seizures, we honor property rights, and we work to uphold your Constitutional right to keep and bear arms in defense of yourself and your liberty. We will never compromise on those beliefs. And the legislature had better take note.

Courtesy Gun Owners of America


Friedman, Richard. (2017) “Psychiatrists Can’t Stop Mass Killers.” New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/opinion/psychiatrists-mass-killers.html

Get in the Fight to Stop Red Flag Laws! (2019) Gun Owners of America. https://gunowners.org/get-in-the-fight-to-stop-red-flag-gun-grabs/

Gun Ownership & Carry Prohibitions. (2018) Gun Owners of America, Texas. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JWt47oi_eDPcqaf4Zm0uSPTYdAtucQUZ/view?usp=sharing

Kirschner, David, Ph.D. (2014) “Mass Shooters Received Only Limited Treatment.” National Psychologist.


Lott, John, Ph.D. (2019) “Defensive Gun Uses By People Legally Carrying Guns Over the Past Two Months.” Crime Prevention Research Center. https://crimeresearch.org/2019/02/defensive-gun-uses-by-people-legally-carrying-guns-over-the-past-two-months/

Lott, John, Ph.D. (2019) “Why we shouldn’t depend on mental health professionals to detect mass killers.” Crime Prevention Research Center.


Malone, Rachel (2018). “TWO VIEWS: ‘Red flag’ law makes us vulnerable to ‘thought police’”. Austin American-Statesman. https://www.statesman.com/news/20180812/two-views-red-flag-law-makes-us-vulnerable-to-thought-police

Svitek, Patrick & McCullough, Jolie. (2018) “Prospects for “red flag” gun law in Texas plummet as Abbott sees “coalescence” against it.” The Texas Tribune. PATRICK SVITEK AND JOLIE MCCULLOUGH https://www.texastribune.org/2018/07/27/red-flag-gun-law/

The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective (1999). FBI.


Veterans Administration Has Revoked 260,000 Veterans’ Gun Rights… In Last 90 Days! (2016) Gun Owners of America. https://gunowners.org/oped04052016/

Rachel Malone is Texas Director of Gun Owners of America. 

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  1. “This Center’s current resources include suggestive statements identifying legal gun possession as a potential threat. ”

    Where is this in the Texas School Safety Center’s materials? I have taken their Threat Assessment and Management Course and I don’t remember them saying anything about legal firearms ownership being a threat indicator. I just looked again and I can’t find that language. Please point it out in their materials.

    The language of SB11 never uses the word “gun” or “firearm” and only uses the word “weapon” once, which is in the section about defining threatening behaviors. The text is:

    “Sec. 37.115. In this section, “threatening behaviors” include behaviors by a student that could result in the student’s expulsion or removal to a disciplinary alternative education program or a juvenile justice alternative education program, including verbal threats, fighting, the use or possession of a weapon, or assault.”

    This doesn’t seem like any kind of backdoor red flag bill. In fact, in reading the full section on Threat Assessment Teams, it’s pretty good. It forces Texas schools to report the behavior above, and provides remedies against districts that don’t.

    • JWTalyor You are simply a pathetic and desperate LIAR. the terms do occur multiple times, including reference to LEGALLY owned weapons in a household. Lots of the references are in image files and other non -searchable materials but they are there:

      Just one mention of the world weapon? Ths one image file has several mentions:

      JWTaylor your posts here in general are constant falsehoods and lies. You do know know firearms, you do not know firearms law. Do you think no one can check

      Were you being paid by the taxpayer when you took this course as you claim you did? So did you a) sleep though it ripping off the taxpayer, or b) just decide to come here and lie?

      • Chris, read my comment again. If you need to, get an adult to help you this time.
        Then apologize, like a grown up.

        • There are multiple mentions of weapons being in the home in the material. The citation showed two mentions of weapon in one graphic.
          You were caught being untruthful.

        • The linked image file says that the police somehow check the home and there are no weapons present. Then all goes well. What happens if there are weapons present?
          What happens if the parents decline to have their home searched even though there is no evidence of a crime. Are they or the child determined guilty with no other proof?
          Sure seems like a slippery slope with an angle of around 89.9 degrees.

        • PieceWorker,
          The image Chris linked above is not law, it is a threat assessment tool only. The process in the case that you lined out is exactly the same as it has always been. If law enforcement believes that there is a potential a threat, they would have to go to a judge and get a warrant to search the house, just like always.

      • “JWTaylor your posts here in general are constant falsehoods and lies.” (I didn’t copy the full tirade).

        There…feel better? Good, you get a cookie. (apologies to Rickles)

      • Chris and Pat89, focus your studies on reading comprehension. It is not your strong point.
        I wrote there was only one mention of the word weapon in SB11. My point being that SB11 had little or nothing to do with firearms.
        You two then referenced material from TSSC’s materials, WHICH IS NOT SB11.
        When it comes to my question about the TSSC’s ownership of a lawful weapon in the home being a threat, Chris’s reference actually proves my point. The reference material do not list a lawful weapon being in the home as a threat, as the OP said it did.
        You two made fools of yourselves because you were too childish to pay attention to what you were referencing. Pat89, you even had a warning in my second comment to go back and read more carefully. This was apparently lost on you.
        Will you both remain too immature to appologize?

        • Reading comprehension has always been lacking in the comment section on here. Who needs that anyway when you can just rile a crowd and gather the pitchforks.

          You fools who cant read make all of us look like idiots when you talk about how the antis don’t understand anything when you cant grasp simple English. If you’re not smart enough to comprehend, don’t respond, it’s pretty simple.

    • jwtaylor, your very own citation of this one section of the law/regulation proves your argument incorrect or deceitfully obfuscatious. The section you cite very specifically says, “Sec. 37.115. In this section, “threatening behaviors” include …. the use or possession of a weapon”. By that definition, my sub-teen grandson would have been definitively in violation when, under my supervision, he “used and possessed” my AR-15 at the range.

  2. The government has no business legislating anything regarding mental health. In 90%+ of cases, the diagnosis is 100% subjective and the “treatments” barely pass hippocratic muster. The reality is that severe mental disorders are blindingly obvious and absurdly rare while the remaining 99.9% of “diagnoses” are complete bullshit.

    Me personal favorite example is Autism.
    Nobody has even a clue as to the neurological process that causes the behavioral symptoms. There are a handful of disorders that we can corroborate with a PET scan, but Autism is not one of them. Thus, the only diagnostic criteria are behavioral observation and are thus 100% subjective. Then there’s the DDM standard that puts Autism in the same “spectrum” as other “conditions” that have completely different symptom presentations without any solid backing as to what causes these symptoms.

    Don’t even get me started on the VOODO that is SSRI pharmacology. Yes, we know they can treat some symptoms of depression. However, since we don’t know what CAUSES “depression” (again a 100% subjective diagnostic standard) all we can know is that in a handful of sad people, feeding them these pills seems to make them less sad. As a form of short-term emergency treatment, it’s sometimes better than nothing, but you’re basically trying to “fix” a slowly booting PC by opening up the case and randomly jumping wires.

    The reality is that mental health in this country is a disgrace. There is no support structure for people with severe issues and both the right and the left ardently oppose any realistic solution. Now, the left has turned a tiny handful of very sick people into a crow bar to punish people who 99.9% of the time have no actual medical condition. The right has swallowed the libertardian “free market” solution of just shoving more pills down these people’s throats.

    • I’ll tag this on here since you broached the subject:

      “…These proposals focus on psychiatric treatment — but they don’t recognize that psychiatric drugs may actually…”

      …be worse than the supposed condition and may in fact be the ONLY thing that psychiatrists can do other than electric-shock therapy or lobotomy to alter human behavior, both of which have unpredictable outcomes that CANNOT BE REVERSED.

      To date psychiatry has a big book full of learned discussion of symptoms and fancy names for each. They have no such book outlining tried, tested, EFFECTIVE treatments for any of those maladies they so carefully categorize.

      Is it really necessary to go back and itemize the abuses the Soviet Union made of psychiatry to marginalize, institutionalize and traumatized their political opponents?

      • “Is it really necessary to go back and itemize the abuses the Soviet Union made of psychiatry to marginalize, institutionalize and traumatized their political opponents?”

        To mutilate via paraphrase: “If you don’t want to fly combat missions, you are not crazy. If you did want to fly combat missions, you would be crazy, and thus prohibited from flying combat missions.”

        The current application would be that if someone wants to own a gun, that is prima facie evidence that person should not be permitted to own a gun.

  3. Here’s the thing, folks… “due process” should not apply where public safety from guns is involved. Guns are too dangerous to allow just anyone to have one. The community knows best who is a danger, who should not have guns in the house. A vigilant community can provide location-specific actions needed to prevent gun violence. Neighbors, relatives, co-workers know more about someone’s capacity for harm that police can ever hope to know.

    “Due process” is a legal term/concept. When bypassing laws is necessary to increase the feeling and fact of public safety, the law must yield. We cannot allow “due process” to stand in the way of doing what is right.

    Being technically accurate about the law isn’t important when you are morally correct. (paraphrase)

    • Satire noted, but it’s worth remembering that due process is a two way street like all our rights (that pesky “social contract” again) and is a promise made to us in exchange for us not similarly ignoring the agreed-upon peaceful processes when it comes to removing our elected leaders.

      • “…or us not similarly ignoring the agreed-upon peaceful processes when it comes to removing our elected leaders.”

        Not sure “we the people” have the best part of that bargain.

      • Satire noted, but it’s worth remembering that due process is a two way street like all our rights (that pesky “social contract” again) and is a promise made to us in exchange for us not similarly ignoring the agreed-upon peaceful processes when it comes to removing our elected leaders.

        What a nonsense post. What the gun contol lobby wants is equivalent to: because of an Antifa rally with crimes committed in California, authorities in Florida could ban speech for antifa members.

        Our rights are not a pre-crime “two way street” at all in the way you frame it. You don’t lose rights to due behavior of others, and you also do not generally lose rights even when you commit a crime when it comes to rights not associated with that crime.

        do you think the Democrat official who tampered with votes in Florida lost their free speech or jury trial rights generally after they “ignored” “the agreed-upon peaceful processes”???

        • “What a nonsense post.”

          Wow. @barnbwt’s non sequitur zoomed right by. But, I have always found that us trashing our allies is a winning strategy for the opposition. We need more of it.

        • The idea that there is a social contract trading obedience for rights is a core statist claim. It is logic that destroys all rights and is inherently specious.

    • Yeah, Okay! Thanks for the reality check with how things are going to be done under the “New World 🌎 Order!” I’m sure the SJW Shill Mobs, Snowflakes, Mainstream-Gobbels Newspeak- media outlets, and OUR rogue “Government representives *Ha-ha-ha.*” , all know what’s best for us ALL !!! Can’t wait for the “Re-education camps !!!”

      • “Thanks for the reality check with how things are going to be done under the “New World 🌎 Order!””


        “Slavery is Freedom; Ignorance is strength”…and like that.

    • “RFLs will be THE way to disarm Those People the establishment disagrees with.”

      Found out yesterday that “RFL” (short or written out) triggers people, and is like a scarlet letter on the forehead of certain groups. “RFL” is to be disused in order to demonstrate a caring kindness for people who feel unsafe around such language. Expect legislation soon, to make the term a low class felony, so as to put more people in “prohibited” status.

  4. What do you think would happen if some law enforcement agency decided to use the red flag laws to target the gang bangers? No need for a warrant as long as they have the court order they just show up and demand said bangers turn over their firearms hilarity ensues protests would follow.

    • “What do you think would happen if some law enforcement agency decided to use the red flag laws to target the gang bangers?”

      If LE (or their politicians) ever intended to take on the gangs over guns, the event would have happened already. Taking guns from those generally law abiding, and not the member of a gang is quite easy. Taking guns from gangs would result in an immediate army of gangers surrounding the cops, who would then have to shoot their way out of the area. Policing criminals is much tougher than intimidating the average person.

    • “Texas already has sufficient ERPO laws.”

      It would be more accurate to state that Texas does not have enough EPRO-style laws, because bad stuff keeps happening. Just one more law will surely do it.

  5. Although not as extreme, Kentucky, is implementing a “preventive” suicide/mental health program through out its Schools, after the Marshal High School incident…

  6. Anyone Notice how gleeful NZ” law enforcement” was to start the confiscations…You noticed all the “Globalist” censorship right?! Our “Rogue ” Government appears to be setting up the frame work right now….m

  7. Much of the prior posts are just flat out wrong. I scanned thru them, not going to bother with all of that noise.

    For multiple decades the US Secret Service has been keeping Presidents and others in their care safe thru what amounts to psych assessments. The approach has three basic steps:

    1. Early Detection
    2. Threat Assessment
    3. Planned Intervention

    This very same approach is used in schools, and it works. Has worked in school districts near where I live. The Secret Service has a training program to help schools develop their own threat assessment teams. Prevented attacks rarely make the national news, sometimes they make the local news. When there’s no blood and guts and horror, it ain’t newsy enough.

    Yes, we do need a way to identify and disarm violent wack jobs whether they are would-be terrorists or wannabe wife murderers or some other deadly anti-social behavior. For two reasons

    1. They kill people. that’s a bad thing.
    2. We get blamed for it and have to spend our time and money defending our rights.

    I don’t care if they are called “Red Flag” or “Mental Health Holds” or any other thing. We should be embracing the techniques that have kept Presidents alive for many long years while also writing proposed laws and fighting for the due process protections we say are needed to protect a Constitutional Right.

    • “I don’t care if they are called “Red Flag” or “Mental Health Holds” or any other thing. We should be embracing the techniques that have kept Presidents alive..”

      Do I understand correctly? You are saying we should be comfortable with pre-crime arrest, detention, confiscation of property, all without a hearing before a judge by the person being targeted? A hearing where the target is allowed legal representation, the ability to face the accusers, the presumption of innocence? Comfortable in an ex parte proceeding that has no consequence for false accusations?

      • Nope, you missed it.

        We should be embracing techniques that have worked for decades AND writing the legislation to put in the protections we say are needed.

        It’s in there.

        • “Nope, you missed it….We should be embracing techniques that have worked for decades”.

          Any pre-crime punishment is a violation of human rights, no matter the good intentions of whatever system. The political reality is laws to protect the individual cannot survive the opposition of people determined to dictate every facet of other people’s lives. The states with EPROs are run by demoncrats, and protections for the individual will never be enacted. Effective protections would gut the notion of “Emergency”, because a bench trial would be necessary, which takes time, delaying the response to the “emergence”. Such a condition is unacceptable to gun grabbers. Without safeguards, the public will be abused.

          Generally, I have a preference for pre-crime punishment because current law permits an abuser to kill their victim, and even though that outcome was predictable current law requires the overt crime of murder (unless the victim formally reports an assault – and then there are the domestic abusers who do not assault before the murder). On the other hand, I firmly believe in constitutionally protected individual rights that prohibit pre-crime punishment.

    • Be very careful comparing what the US Secret Service does compared to local efforts. The fact of the matter is that the President is a far harder target than just about anyone else. This weeds out the true threats. The same is not true for just about any other target. Yes some of the “techniques” that they employ can be applied to local issues, but someone who is a threat to a local school is not going to be a threat to the most guarded individual in the world.

  8. I despair that these approaches will be effective. I also despair that they are likely to have negative impacts on the 10,000 (at least) or so innocent folks for every potential mass shooter identified.
    A particular fear wrt ‘effective’ is that if the approach appears to work and the ‘successes’ are reported, the actual mass shooters will modify their behavior to reduce the chance of being detected. This might have little effect on the number of mass shooting. It would just increase the ratio of innocents whose rights are violated per actual shooter detected.
    Looking beyond the rare, but increasingly frequent, mass shooting, we have more significant issues with suicides and violence towards women. The similar laws that try to identify the ‘shooters’ and remove their guns are also problematic, but at least may catch/save more innocents. I think I saw an article in TTAG about such laws in Indiana and Connecticutt that had mixed results wrt suicides. California, Oregon and Washington have enacted versions. While I would not have done so, it does seem prudent to allow them to run for a couple of years to see if they do any good.
    I was not quite clear above: It seems prudent to let these 3 states experiment with this before other states adopt such laws without a strong due process aspect.
    OTOH, expecting rational review/decisions from these 3 states on gun issues fits the old definition of insanity.

    • “It seems prudent to let these 3 states experiment with this before other states adopt such laws…”

      This was a critical element of federalism…letting States decide what best works for them, rather than impose federal laws across the board. But once the states became vassals of the central committee, such experimentation is constrained to only that which benefits the central government.

    • Just listened to a discussion by John Lott on the radio. His studies shoe, so far, that states with red flag laws have seen little change in suicide rates and general violent crime. The number of rapes have gone up.
      So, perhaps my suggestion of seeing whether or not such laws have good effects is already happening. Such laws do not appear to work.

      • “His studies shoe, so far, that states with red flag laws have seen little change in suicide rates and general violent crime.”

        As a gun-grabber, I would tell you that logic and data demonstrate that such laws are effective because the rates did not go up. To reverse a trend, the increase must first be arrested. Once the momentum comes to a stop, the momentum can reverse over time. Conservation of Energy. The force of law prevents momentum from increasing, then, once stopped, the force of law modifies “normal” behavior such that the trend reverses. The reversal can be accelerated by the force of even more, and/or more restrictive laws.

  9. People don’t tell me that some ‘person/s’ will not weaponize these laws if passed. We ALL know that they will. They just won’t come for you first, right!

  10. I’m embarrassed for the State of Texas. This bastion of State Sovereignty letting snowflakes lead them around the nose. It is getting really old with these ignorant people. Not a single amendment if the first 10 can be twinkled, repealed. No extra amendments can be created trying to do anything to the Bill of Rights, basically recognized as the Bill of Rights. These are Rights given us by God as the Holy Spirit led the Founding Fathers. We don’t have to recognize any unlawful “Laws” created unlawfully. Anyone even discussing the possibility of having a meeting to talk about changing or repealing the First stem Amendments has already broken the HIGHEST LAW OF THE LAND. These Laws of the U.S. Constitution has committed treason against the People’s Government. At the very least, High Crimes and misdemeanors. They need to be pulled from their immediately that day by US Marines. Politicians going into their government jobs serving us who are making basic salaries in the private sector with modest bank saving and then leave with $50 million dollars need to be immediately investigated to prove funds were legally earned without having taken bribes or using insider information. If found guilty, RICO EVERYTHING, ARREST, SCHEDULE THEM A COURT DATE. We were given gun rights so we can protect ourselves from you government criminals. We are not going to become a third world Shit hole. Gun confiscation will be met with arms. You will suffer greatly in attempting this law breaking move. Course you’re not brave enough to attempt this yourselves. You will be sending our fellow countrymen to try it. I believe you find out our military are not treasonous larks like yourselves. We will seal you inside of your safe places, your rabbit holes. Don’t think there whereabouts are truly unknown. Of course the WORD of GOD tells of your treachery, it also tells of your future demise. Take it to heart, what We the People night not be able to do, donuts to dollars Jesus Christ WILL. Gold, fiat money, stolen artifacts, nothing you can take to the grave with you will be of any assistance against your bath of fire you will be taking…..for eternity. The Wrath of God in that Day if the Lord will have you begging for God to crush upon you. The very mountains you hide in. Your butts are grass and God’s Wrath will be the Ultimate riding lawnmower. Accept the free gift of Salvation before it’s too late. And to Texas and her once proud people who claim she is a Nation unto herself, grow another set.

  11. If your children can be taken away from you even though you haven’t committed any crime and haven’t even been accused of committing a crime, why not your guns?

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