Which Law Would Have Prevented Chicago Shootings? WH Press Secretary Cites Red Flag Laws

Melanie Arter | June 3, 2022 | 9:51am EDT
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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the Daily Press Briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 2, 2022. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the Daily Press Briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 2, 2022. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – When asked Thursday what gun laws would have prevented 47 people from being shot in Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre cited red flag laws, which allow the police or family members to petition the court to take away guns from someone deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

“You got Chicago, for example. They already have plenty of very strict gun laws — some of the strictest in the country. Forty-seven people shot there over the Memorial Day weekend. Nine of them died. So, which law would have prevented any of that? Do we think that all these people in Chicago who are shooting each other are legally buying their guns?” Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked.

JEAN-PIERRE:  So, here’s — here’s a couple of examples for you. I was just talking about the red-flags law. There are some examples here of how they’ve prevented tragedies. In California, a study showed that a California red-flag law has assisted in the prevention of 21 mass shootings between 2016 and 2018.

Florida, since passing a red-flag law in 2018, there have been notable cases of few — of the law intervening in multiple cases of potential violence — of potential violence. In Connecticut and Indiana, for every 10 to 20 preventions under the red-flag laws, there was one fewer death than would otherwise have been expected.

So, when enacted, it does help. There are things that we can do, and one of the things that the president talks about with expanding — expanding the background checks, if we’re able to do that, we are going to take more guns out of the hands of criminals, and that is incredibly important.

So, there are things here that can be worked out, that can be done that is not going to prevent every tragedy but will take us to a better place where we can protect our families.

DOOCY:  Okay, and my last one will be: You guys at the White House had some very hard headlines this week about inflation and about baby formula.  If there’s nothing new that you can point to in the speech tonight, did you just schedule it to get people talking about something else?

JEAN-PIERRE:  People have died. People have died in the past couple of weeks, in particular. We had 19 kids die in Uvalde just recently of — a mass shooter came into their classroom and killed them, plus their two teachers.

We had — we had people doing everyday things on a Saturday, like some of us do, go to the grocery store, and 10 of them were murdered. Just last night, in Tulsa, we’re learning of people who were, again, killed.

So, this is not about politics. This is not about partisan politics here. This is something that he has worked on since he was a senator. This is very important and real for the president and for the grieving families that he has met with, sadly, in the last two weeks.
So, this is an opportunity, again, to call for action, to get Congress to move, and, you know, it is — it is disheartening to hear that this could potentially or — if I’m hearing this right, could be used as a political tool, and that’s not what this is. This is not about partisan. This is about people’s lives.

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