gun control

Do you support a federal ‘red-flag’ law?

Yes

Yes

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet supports a federal red-flag law, he told The Post.

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

Mike Bloomberg

Former New York mayor

“Pass a federal red flag law that expands extreme risk orders to 50 states — and funds state efforts to maximize the policy,” Bloomberg's gun-safety plan said.

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Michael Bloomberg
Bloomberg

Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg supports a federal red-flag law, a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney supports a federal red-flag law, he told The Post.

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John Delaney
Delaney

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports a federal red-flag law, she told The Post.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Deval Patrick

Former governor, Massachusetts

Patrick supports a federal red-flag law, a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

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Deval Patrick
Patrick

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Yes. [Sanders] supports legislation to ensure we keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers and “red flag” laws such as the one in place in Vermont, which allows for temporary removal of firearms from those deemed by a state court a danger to themselves or others,” a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer supports a federal red-flag law, he told The Post.

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Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“Yes. Congress should pass a federal extreme risk law and create a grant system to incentivize states to enact their own laws that clearly define extreme risk,” Warren told The Post.

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Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“Yes. Those who are a verifiable risk to themselves or others should not have access to firearms,” a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

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Andrew Yang
Yang

Marianne Williamson (Dropped out)

Author

Williamson is no longer running for president. Williamson supports a federal red-flag law, she told The Post.

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Encourage states to pass them

Encourage states to pass them

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“Yes. Biden will incentivize state 'extreme risk' laws,” a campaign spokesperson told The Post. “Extreme risk laws, also called 'red flag' laws, enable family members or law enforcement officials to temporarily remove an individual’s access to firearms when that individual is in crisis and poses a danger to themselves or others. Biden will incentivize the adoption of these laws by giving states funds to implement them. And, he’ll direct the U.S. Department of Justice to issue best practices and offer technical assistance to states interested in enacting an extreme risk law.”

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Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is no longer running for president. “An extreme risk protection order (ERPO) empowers family members or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from individuals showing warning signs of hurting themselves or others,” Booker's gun-safety plan said. “[Booker] will incentivize states to pass ERPO laws, along with robust due process protections.”

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Cory Booker
Booker

Julian Castro (Dropped out)

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro is no longer running for president. Castro's gun-safety plan pledged to “institute extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws. Empower families, household members, and law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from an individual at risk of harming themselves or others by supporting state governments with grants to implement and enforce these laws.”

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Julian Castro
Castro

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard did not answer this question by publication.

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

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Background Seventeen states and the District have adopted “red-flag” laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders, that allow courts to temporarily block access to guns for individuals deemed mentally unfit following a petition from family members or law enforcement. Supporters say the laws have been used to preempt mass shootings and suicides where they have been implemented.

President Trump backed a federal “red-flag” law following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, but quietly abandoned it. A September 2019 Washington Post-ABC News poll found 86 percent of the public favors such a law.

States that have adopted “red-flag” laws

Has adopted “red-flag” law

Has not

ME

VT

NH

AK

WI

WA

ID

MT

ND

MN

IL

MI

NY

MA

OR

NV

WY

SD

IA

IN

OH

PA

NJ

CT

RI

CA

UT

CO

NE

MO

KY

WV

VA

MD

DE

AZ

NM

KS

AR

TN

NC

SC

DC

LA

MS

AL

GA

HI

OK

TX

FL

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

States that have adopted “red-flag” laws

Has adopted “red-flag” law

Has not

ME

VT

NH

AK

WI

WA

ID

MT

ND

MN

IL

MI

NY

MA

OR

NV

WY

SD

IA

IN

OH

PA

NJ

CT

RI

CA

UT

CO

NE

MO

KY

WV

VA

MD

DE

AZ

NM

KS

AR

TN

NC

SC

DC

LA

MS

AL

GA

HI

OK

TX

FL

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

States that have adopted “red-flag” laws

Has adopted “red-flag” law

Has not

ME

VT

NH

AK

WI

WA

ID

MT

ND

MN

IL

MI

NY

MA

OR

NV

WY

SD

IA

IN

OH

PA

NJ

CT

RI

CA

UT

CO

NE

MO

KY

WV

VA

MD

DE

AZ

NM

KS

AR

TN

NC

SC

DC

LA

MS

AL

GA

HI

OK

TX

FL

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

How candidate positions were compiled

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic presidential campaign asking whether it supports various changes to U.S. gun policy. Candidates with similar stances were organized into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role, and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town hall meetings and other news reports and surveys. See something we missed? Let us know.

This page will update as we learn more about the candidates’ plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president. If a candidate dropped out after a question was published here, their stance is included under the "Show former candidates" option. If they dropped out before a question was first published, the Post did not reach out to get their stance.

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Candidate illustrations by Ben Kirchner.