Republicans blast Biden admin’s ‘Red Flag Operation’ as one that will ‘violate’ Second Amendment rights

Gun Rights

Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Florida on Saturday where she will tout a Biden administration effort to provide “training and technical assistance” to individuals “responsible for implementing laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of people who pose a threat to themselves or others.”

The new program drew immediate backlash from some Republicans who called the effort a “massive Red Flag Operation.”

The National Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Resource Center, according to a Saturday Department of Justice press release, will specifically provide assistance to law enforcement officials, prosecutors, attorneys, judges, clinicians, victim service and social service providers, community organizations and behavioral health professionals.

“ERPO laws, which are modeled off domestic violence protection orders, create a civil process allowing law enforcement, family members (in most states), and medical professionals or other groups (in some states) to petition a court to temporarily prohibit someone at risk of harming themselves or others from purchasing and possessing firearms for the duration of the order,” DOJ noted.

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Kamala Harris, Joe Biden

President Biden listens to Vice President Kamala Harris during an event in the East Room of the White House on February 23, 2024, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

During her visit to Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a February 2018 mass shooting, Harris is expected to introduce the effort and call “on states to pass red flag laws” and use federal funding to implement existing laws, according to the White House.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that the effort will provide “valuable resources” to those seeking to keep firearms out of the hands of those deemed a threat to themselves and others.

“The launch of the National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center will provide our partners across the country with valuable resources to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others,” Garland said. “The establishment of the Center is the lates t example of the Justice Department’s work to use every tool provided by the landmark Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to protect communities from gun violence.”

Merrick Garland

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement the effort will provide “valuable resources” to those seeking to keep firearms out of the hands of those deemed a threat to themselves and others. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Through the resource center and its website, the Justice Department noted that “states, local governments, law enforcement, prosecutors, attorneys, judges, clinicians, victim service providers, and behavioral health and other social service providers will have direct access to critical information that will enhance their ability to reduce firearm homicides and suicides.”

“The website will be maintained and updated to include newly developed resources for the field created through the Center, in partnership with [the Bureau of Justice Assistance],” the DOJ said. “The website also provides a platform for the Center to highlight emerging and promising practices in successful ERPO implementation and connect states and localities to innovative strategies to reduce gun violence and save lives.”

The creation of the resource operation quickly drew the ire of some House Republicans who blasted the effort as a “Federal Red Flag center” that the DOJ will use to “violate” the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

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“What the hell is this evil? A Federal Red Flag center; We did not authorize this. Announced, of course, just hours after the omnibus passes,” Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie wrote in a post to X.

Echoing Massie, Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene expressed concern in a post on social media over how the effort could be used to target certain Americans.

“Merrick Garland just announced a massive Red Flag Operation that the DOJ will be running by using EVERY spy tool the US government has in order to violate American’s Second Amendment!! This comes right after Johnson fully funded Biden’s weaponized DOJ!” Greene wrote on X.

Greene’s comment on the effort comes one day after she filed a motion to vacate Johnson, accusing him of having “betrayed” the “confidence” of the House GOP Conference by ushering through a $1.2 trillion federal funding bill to avoid a partial government shutdown.

The Biden administration has been steadfast in its mission to implement a variety of gun control measures since President Biden took office in 2021.

During the president’s State of the Union address earlier this month, Biden called out the National Rifle Association and demanded strict gun control measures, such as banning so-called assault weapons.

Thomas Massie, Joe Biden, Marjorie Taylor Greene

The DOJ effort quickly drew the ire of some House Republicans, including GOP Reps. Thomas Massie and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who blasted the effort as a “Federal Red Flag center.” (Getty Images)

“I’m proud we beat the NRA when I signed [the] most significant gun safety law in nearly 30 years because of this Congress. We now must beat the NRA again. I’m demanding a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Pass universal background checks,” Biden said at the time.

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“None of this — none of this — I taught the Second Amendment for 12 years. None of this violates the Second Amendment or vilifies responsible gun owners,” he continued.

The DOJ did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment about the ERPO effort.

Fox News’ Emma Colton and Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.

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