No, We Don't Need Red Flag Laws for Transgenders

AP Photo/John Amis

I never considered the idea that I might have to argue against red flag laws proposed by conservatives. Yet, here we are.

After the tragic school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, the usual debate over gun control arose as Democrats exploited the deaths to push their anti-gunner agenda. This is nothing new, so I am used to this.


But I also saw something I thought was strange. After it was revealed that the shooter was a transgender male who was born as a biological female, some on the right began advocating for banning transgender folks from the right to keep and bear arms.

The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, in a recent podcast episode, justified the idea of enacting transgender red flag laws. He said gender dysphoria seems to be “a pretty significant symptom of an underlying mental malaise.”

Podcaster Elijah Schaffer posted a tweet suggesting that those who believe transgenders have the natural right to bear arms should “rethink” this. He tweeted:

Every libertarian who’s made the argument of “every transgender should own an AR-15”

May want to rethink their worldview

TJ Moe, a contributor for The Blaze, argued that transgender individuals “shouldn’t be eligible to purchase any gun legally.” He wrote:


Regardless of whether one has a mental illness, red flag laws are not what conservatives should be proposing – especially not after a mass shooting. I’m see the exact same type of arguments used by progressives seeking to disarm as many Americans as possible.

The fact that Hale was a supposed transgender male does not make it okay for the government to violate the Second Amendment rights of others. Moreover, it makes no sense for conservatives to use the same fearmongering tactics that the left uses to persuade people to support more gun control legislation.

Leftists have long touted red flag laws as a way to prevent gun violence by allowing law enforcement to temporarily seize firearms from individuals deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. While this may sound like a good idea on the surface, there are several compelling reasons not to rely on this approach.

First and foremost, red flag laws violate due process and the constitutional rights of gun owners. Under these laws, individuals can have their firearms confiscated based solely on the suspicion of a third party, without being given the opportunity to defend themselves or even be heard in court. This is a clear violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, which protect against unreasonable searches and seizures, and guarantee due process of law.


Moreover, red flag laws are inherently subjective and can be easily abused. The criteria for determining who is a “dangerous” individual are often vague and open to interpretation, leaving room for personal bias and political agendas to influence the decision-making process. Indeed, it seems to me that this bias is one of the reasons why some conservatives are suggesting gun restrictions on transgender individuals. This could lead to innocent people being unfairly targeted and having their guns taken away without cause.

In addition, red flag laws can also discourage people from seeking help for mental health issues or other problems that might make them a risk to themselves or others. If individuals know that seeking help could result in the loss of their firearms, they may be hesitant to come forward and get the assistance they need. This could ultimately lead to more, not less, gun violence.

Furthermore, as most conservatives know, red flag laws are unlikely to prevent mass shootings or other forms of gun violence. Research has shown that most mass shooters do not have a prior history of mental illness, and that the vast majority of gun crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms. Confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens is unlikely to have a significant impact on the overall rate of gun violence. To put it simply, using the state to prohibit transgenders from owning firearms will not stop mass shootings.


To be clear, I’m not saying most conservatives are on board with the idea of violating the Second Amendment rights of some Americans because they are suffering from gender dysphoria. But I saw enough of it to warrant writing this piece. It would be a bad idea for conservatives, who claim to value limited government, to start advocating for the same type of measures championed by the anti-gunner lobby. This is not exactly the company you wish to keep, is it?

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