Gun control: Where Washington stands on Red Flag laws

After Thursday's school shooting in Santa Clarita, California, Washington faces renewed questions about national progress on gun control

Red Flag laws: Where Washington stands

Sen. Richard Blumenthal was on the Senate floor Thursday giving a speech about Congress's lack of action on gun control, when an aide interrupted him with a note that there had just been a shooting at a high school in Santa Clarita, California.   

"How can we refuse to see that shooting in real-time demanding our attention, requiring our action?" Blumenthal said. 

The Connecticut Democrat has been an advocate against gun violence since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred in his state. He has since joined with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham to push for a federal "Red Flag" law, which would most likely provide funding to states implementing the law. The law allows law enforcement to obtain a type of civil protective order, known as an extreme risk protection order (ERPO), from a judge. An ERPO gives authorities permission to temporarily remove firearms from people deemed an immediate threat to themselves or others. 

This Sunday on 60 Minutes, correspondent Scott Pelley and producer Ashley Velie report on Red Flag laws. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have adopted Red Flag laws, with 13 of them passing the law since the Parkland, Florida high school shooting occurred in February 2018.

"In the wake of all these mass shootings that have been occurring, the states really have felt it's been necessary to take on some greater form of gun legislation with more teeth," Velie said. 

Several mass shootings this summer got the attention of President Donald Trump. On August 5, after back-to-back mass shootings in the days before left 34 people dead in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump called specifically for Red Flag laws during remarks at the White House.

But according to reports, the president has since backed off of his support following impeachment proceedings and political pressure. 

"All seemed to be proceeding well, until there was a report of the president talking to Wayne LaPierre of the NRA," Blumenthal said Thursday. 

CBS News reporter Alan He asked Graham on Thursday about the status of Congressional negotiations on gun control. 

"You know, we're kind of stuck," Graham replied. "I think impeachment has sucked all the energy out of this place, and that's too bad." 

When pressed on the lack of legislative progress in the Senate—which has not been tied up with impeachment proceedings as the House has—Graham said he has been "waiting on the White House."

To watch Scott Pelley's report on the Red Flag law in Colorado, click here.

The video above was produced by Will Croxton and Brit McCandless Farmer. It was edited by Will Croxton.