Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is putting together legislation to require the U.S. military to adhere to state-level red and yellow flag laws for troops.
A red flag law allows family, friends, and others, to seek a court order to have guns removed from someone they view as a danger to himself or others. A yellow flag law is more narrow, allowing law enforcement to seek the court order for firearm removal.
Collins bill comes in response to the October 25, 2023, Lewiston, Maine, attacks, which were carried out by a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.
The attacker used a sniper rifle which was legally purchased.
Maine has a yellow flag law, but although police were alerted that the Maine shooter could “snap and commit a mass shooting” in September, according to CNN, no yellow flag action was pursued.
Moreover, Breitbart News noted on October 26, 2023, police in New York took Card to a West Point hospital for an evaluation in mid-July 2023.
Card had caught the attention of military officials after “acting erratically in mid-July” while taking part in training at West Point, the Associated Press reported. Police in New York were called and Card was taken to West Point’s Keller Army Community Hospital.
New York has a red flag law and the involvement of police in the West Point incident raised questions as to why the law did not come into play.
On December 22, 2023, WMTW pointed out that Collins “is working on a bill that would require branches of the military to utilize state-level weapons restriction laws, when appropriate, if they believe a service member poses a threat of harm to themselves or others.”