“If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government’s ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees.” President Bill Clinton
Red Flag laws empower law enforcement and others to petition a court for an Extreme Risk Protection Order, sometimes called a Gun Violence Restraining Order, that allows the police to confiscate an individual’s firearms who has been “deemed” a threat to themselves or others. That person doesn’t need to commit a crime – all that is needed is an accusation from a family member, scorned ex, so-called friend, pissed off neighbor, etc.
At their core, these laws allow the police to convene a ‘Kafkaesque’ secret proceeding, in which an American can be stripped of his or her Second Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights, without being able to participate in the hearing or argue their side of the dispute. The standard is not whether there is probable cause to believe that the gun owner has committed a crime as the Constitution would require but rather some subjective determination that the owner may represents some imagined “danger,” to themselves or others.
Dozens of gun owners in Oregon and Maryland have already had to turn in their guns after requests were filed understate red-flag laws. In Maryland alone at least 114 requests for such seizures were filed the first month the law took effect. Of course Maryland’s law has not been without its fair share of controversy. At 5 a.m. on November 5, two police officers came knocking on 61-year-old Gary Willis’ door to serve him a court order mandating that he turn over his guns. What seemed like a typical court order, quickly turned deadly as one of the cops shot and killed Willis in a struggle. This incident is an ominous sign of what will probably become a weekly news report as more guns are confiscated from law abiding citizens.
If the Constitution can be suspended in a secret hearing, where does this lead? With Democrats taking control of the House and many elitists RINOs still holding office in the Senate, a federal Red Flag Law could be that “come together” moment that the United Nations would love – a disarmed American citizenry.
Ted Deutch, a Democratic Congressman from Florida who represents the Parkland District, said he fully expects the House to focus on guns bills with more partisan support such as bump stock bans and Extreme Risk Protection Orders.
Lindsay Graham, Republican from South Carolina, introduced a red flag bill in the Senate last year. And while he may have grown a spine in standing up to left-wing Democrats over the border wall, past actions have proven that his spine is very flexible. I fully expect him to “reach” across the aisle to join gun control advocates in pushing gun confiscation.
Marco Rubio, another not so Conservative Republican joined the gun control chorus by sponsoring a red flag bill with Democrat Senators Joe Machin, Bill Nelson and Jack Reed after the Parkland school shooting. He even flirted with the idea of regulations on magazine clips, raising the minimum age to buy certain firearms and “tweaking” the current background check system.
Rick Scott, former governor of Florida, now a US Senator, poses an interesting threat to gun rights. Despite his ostensibly pro-gun rhetoric, as governor he signed Florida’s SB 7026 that not only raised the age to buy a firearm to 21 and imposed a three day waiting period for all firearm purchases but the law contained a red flag provision.
Mitt Romney, the junior Republican Senator from Utah, as governor of Massachusetts signed an assault weapons ban. The “fallout” from the Parkland shooting has “made” him reconsider the validity of enhanced background checks and his hatred of Trump could possibly see him crossing the aisle to support Extreme Risk Protection Order, aka Red Flag Laws.
According to Bloomberg, Trump is “weighing” a plan to encourage states to enact Red Flag Laws using the state of Indiana as an example. Indiana’s law allows police to “temporarily” confiscate guns forcing them to file a report to the court on why the person is dangerous and then, only if the judge agrees that probable cause exists, can the police keep the guns they confiscated. And everyone knows that judges never rely on their political affiliation or beliefs to determine right and wrong.
Red Flag Laws are not the first law or government attempt to by-pass the 2nd Amendment. Over 200,000 veterans were reported by Obama’s Department of Veterans Affairs to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, not for being a danger to themselves or others but for the “crime” of not being able to manage their finances. Obama had Senior Citizens and the disabled in his sights for the same treatment.
Unfortunately the confiscation of firearms has been a government practice for years, throughout societies across the globe – many of which have led to democide.
“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty.” Adolf Hitler
Source: Bipartisan Support for New Federal Gun Controls Is a Red Flag, Mises Inst.; Red-Flag Laws Only Lead To Gun Confiscation, Guns in the News; Kafkaesque ‘red flag laws’ strip gun owners of their constitutional rights, USA Today