ARIZONA NEWS

Penzone discusses pros, cons of ‘red flag’ legislation after shootings

Aug 8, 2019, 12:46 PM | Updated: 12:52 pm

(AP Photo/Matt York)...

(AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County sheriff said he’s not surprised that the Texas shooter’s mother’s tip to police wasn’t used to stop his attack.

“Her greater concerns were the type of weapon that her son possessed because she was concerned about his age and his maturity and other factors, that he could actually utilize it in a safe capacity,” Sheriff Paul Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James & Pamela Hughes Show on Thursday.

“So now we have a social issue or a parenting issue, versus a law enforcement issue.”

The 21-year-old man was arrested Saturday after killing 22 people and wounding another two dozen at a Walmart in El Paso. His mom contacted police weeks before the rampage out of concern that he owned a rifle.

Penzone said he likes the idea of “red flag” legislation, which would allow guns to be taken away from people believed to be dangerous, but he has concerns.

“I think that we need more tools to give us latitude that when someone is behaving in a way that causes concern, that we can incorporate courts or clinical professionals (as) part of the process to make a further determination,” he said.

“But in ‘red flag’ legislation, the burden cannot solely fall on the law enforcement professional … If we cross too far over, then we’ve undermined our constitutional ways that might not be in the best interest of law altogether.”

He said while taking guns away from criminals is a pretty clear-cut determination, there are more gray areas.

“Where is the threshold when we have a lawful authority to potentially seize a weapon because we believe someone is dangerous?” he said.

“(When) people express opinions or views that are offensive in nature but not criminal, we’re limited, and we have to be very, very careful to ensure that we’re not violating someone’s rights.”

But he said he could see such laws defusing certain potentially dangerous situations.

“Just say that you have a circumstance that is domestic in nature, and we know that it’s volatile because there’s emotions involved in that moment,” he said.

“If we can have more authority to take a weapon for a short duration until maybe that emotional stimulus is diminished or there’s further evaluation, then we can at least get the tool that is used for violence removed from the environment.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A paramotor pilot died after crashing crashing their aircraft south of Phoenix on Sunday morning, a...

KTAR.com

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Phoenix news stories from April 12-14

From a vetoed school cellphone ban to more Preston Lord case coverage, here are the top Valley news stories from over the weekend.

3 hours ago

Federal border response funds...

Nick Borgia

Arizona officials announce nearly $55M in federal border response funds

AZ Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema announced nearly $55M in federal border response funds to support Arizona's border communities.

5 hours ago

Joshua Holbert is accused of critically injuring a 13-year-old boy in a Glendale hit-and-run on Apr...

KTAR.com

Suspect arrested in Glendale hit-and-run that critically injured 13-year-old boy

A suspect accused of critically injuring a 13-year-old boy in a Glendale hit-and-run turned himself in Saturday, authorities said.

6 hours ago

A paramotor pilot died after crashing crashing their aircraft south of Phoenix on April 14, 2024. (...

KTAR.com

Paramotor pilot dead after crashing aircraft south of Phoenix

A paramotor pilot died after crashing crashing their aircraft south of Phoenix on Sunday morning, authorities said.

8 hours ago

A Silver Alert was issued for a 90-year-old woman with dementia last seen in Tolleson on Saturday, ...

KTAR.com

Silver Alert canceled after 90-year-old Tolleson woman found dead

A Silver Alert was canceled Sunday after a 90-year-old woman with dementia and depression last seen in Tolleson on Saturday was found dead, authorities said.

10 hours ago

Bradley Klose has been missing since April 4, 2024. (DPS Photo)...

KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for 16-year-old Peoria boy with autism

A Silver Alert was issued Sunday for a 16-year-old Peoria boy with autism who didn't make it home after work more than a week ago.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Penzone discusses pros, cons of ‘red flag’ legislation after shootings