Rep Massie Furious Over ‘Federal Red Flag Center’ Hidden in New Bill

Tom Wang /
Tom Wang /

On Saturday, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) took to social media to express his utter disbelief at the creation of the National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center. Because, you know, what could possibly go wrong with a government agency dedicated to deciding who’s too risky for firearms?

Massie expressed his dismay, questioning, “What the hell is this evil? A Federal Red Flag center; We did not authorize this.”

Massie didn’t hold back his anger, slamming the DOJ for conveniently dropping the bomb about the new National Red Flag Center right after the omnibus bill passed. Because obviously, why be transparent about where all that taxpayer money is going when you can just sneak it in after the fact, right?

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) echoed Massie’s frustration, emphasizing their lack of authorization for such a move while highlighting the inclusion of $200 million in the spending bill for a new FBI headquarters as part of their grievances.

This new agency aims to prevent individuals deemed dangerous from accessing firearms. The Department of Justice (DOJ) introduced this Center as a response to the need for training and assistance among various professionals—from law enforcement to behavioral health experts—in implementing laws and procedures to apply “red flag” laws that are designed to restrict gun access to potentially dangerous individuals.

In a press release, Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized that the creation of the Center illustrates the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts to utilize all resources made available by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in safeguarding communities from gun violence.

The introduction of the National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center, supporting so-called red flag laws, has sparked controversy. According to these laws, firearms can be removed from individuals judged to be a danger to themselves or others based on requests from law enforcement, family members, and medical professionals in some states.

Before this, gun control advocacy groups supported red flag orders or ERPOs.  ERPOs are granted by state courts through civil procedures to restrict individuals from acquiring or owning firearms if they are judged likely to use them for self-harm or to harm others. Twenty-one states, along with Washington, D.C., have passed such laws.

Conservative groups have vehemently opposed measures like ERPOs, contending that they are frequently misused to curtail individuals’ rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This constitutional provision explicitly affirms “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” emphasizing that this right should not be infringed upon.

In 2022, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action criticized “Red Flag” orders, asserting that they are intended to authorize the government to seize firearms from Americans without adhering to due process of law.

Critics, including prominent conservatives, have blamed House Speaker Mike Johnson for the Center’s unexpected creation, viewing it as an unwelcome outcome of the recent approval of a $1.2 trillion federal funding package meant to avert a government shutdown.

On the House floor, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) asserted that no Republican Representative could morally support the bill. She argued that it fundamentally contradicts their core principles, particularly for those who identify as “pro-life.” Greene’s attempt to remove Johnson came shortly after this critique, accusing him of betraying Republican trust by facilitating the passage of the bill.

Greene wasted no time in connecting the dots between the funding bill’s passage and what she sees as the government’s big brother tactics. According to Greene, “Merrick Garland just announced a massive Red Flag Operation…using EVERY spy tool the U.S. government has to infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights!”