Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said Wednesday that with lawmakers pushing for red flag laws after the El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio shootings, he is concerned Americans' constitutional rights could be hindered.
"First of all, understand when we're talking about international terrorism, they don't have full constitutional rights whereas people in the United States do," Johnson told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
"We're always dealing with how do you handle the not guilty yet? It's a vexing problem. I'm not saying it's an easy issue."
Red flag laws, designed to protect the public when there are warning signs an act of violence could occur, also must focus on people where there is "clear and convincing evidence," and complete due process of law must remain in play, Sen. Johnson said.
"What we're talking about here in terms of federal laws are really just grant programs hopefully to provide the guidelines so you have robust due process and focus on extreme risk," Johnson said. "You don't want to go down a slippery slope, but you have to take these problems seriously."
Further, the laws will be enacted by the states, Johnson said.
"What we should be doing in Congress is hold hearings and find out how are those laws operating," he said. "Have there been abuses? Do we have enough due process? I'm not aware they're considering a federal red flag law in the judiciary committee other than programs to provide the guidelines or encourage states to pass their own versions. We're talking about state law here."
He said the issue of involuntary commitment also would need to be considered.
"We're talking about similar issues in terms of mental health issues and taking away people's freedom or constitutional rights," Johnson said. "These are serious issues."
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