Graham: 'Calling the President Names Is Not Going to Solve This Problem'

By Susan Jones | August 6, 2019 | 5:08am EDT
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) chairs the Judiciary Committee (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

( - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News on Monday it's time to "act" against "disturbed" people who are "full of hate."

He said blaming the president, as many Democrats are doing, is not going to improve the situation:

"You know, calling the president names is not going to solve this problem. For the last 24 hours, it's been really over the top. I'm looking for a Democrat to work with, not to insult. So, I'm hoping I can find some Democrats that will work with me, starting with the idea of red flag laws. I think these protective orders have a lot of hope to solve some of these cases."

Graham noted that Indiana was one of the first states to pass a red-flag law, also called an "extreme risk protection order."

Here's what we do. This is not going to be a federal law, it'll be a federal grant program. To get the federal grant, you have to have due process. There has to be an imminent threat of harm to oneself or to others before the police -- and it can only be the police -- can go to a judge.

You have a hearing. You got to have a 'more likely than not' standard that there's an imminent thread of bodily injury. Seven days later, you have a full blown hearing. Clear and convincing evidence where the gun owner can come in and defend themselves and the government has to prove by clear and convincing evidence that they're -- the person is disturbed, a danger to themselves or others.

And if that test is met, they can seize the guns and get the person the help they need. In -- in Parkland, Florida, crews had 32 to 40 visits by the cops. They had no way to stop him. He did everything but take an ad out in the paper, 'I'm going to kill people.'

So what I want to do is encourage these laws with robust due process, and I think that's the president's goal also.

In his remarks to the nation, President Trump endorsed red flag laws as one possible response to mass shootings. "We must make sure those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms and that if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process," Trump said.

Graham told Fox News that he and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) are working on legislation, and "we're getting close" to agreement.

"We're going to run it by the White House. We've talked to gun owning -- owner groups. We've talked to the cops, and we're trying to come up with a serious solution to a serious problem."

Graham continued:

We're trying to empower police officers to do something before it's too late with plenty of due process. We're not trying to take anybody's guns away from them. We're trying to get guns out of the hands of people who are dangerous, who actually may kill themselves or somebody else.

That's the goal. We're trying to shut down these social media sites that spew hate. We're trying to find solutions. And for the last 24 hours, it's been pretty disappointing to hear all the rhetoric directed at President Trump.

President Trump is not the problem here. The Congress for years has been talking. It's now time to act. And if Senator Blumenthal and I can come up with a package that has protections for the gun owner but allows the cops to do something before it's too late, I hope we can get a vote in the Senate and it will pass.


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