Red Flag Laws. If you don’t know what that is, let me summarize for you.
The Dangers of Red Flag Laws
It is a guilty-until-proven-innocent, pre-crime confiscation of one’s firearms. It is triggered when anyone (literally anyone) makes a Red Flag accusation against you (or whoever). I’m not kidding. It’s that easy.
There doesn’t have to be a truthful reason to initiate the process. The police or SWAT team will come to your home, unannounced (probably at 3AM), and take/seize all of your guns when someone triggers the Red Flag law against you. The responsibility will then be upon YOU to PROVE your innocence in court (with all associated costs thereof).
Does anyone see ANY problem with this? Do you think that maybe there’s a wee bit of probability for ABUSE here? Is there not a violation of at least our 4th Amendment rights with Red Flag law? Or what about our 1st Amendment rights?
Red Flag Law Abuse
Lets say you’re an outspoken advocate on “the right”, utilizing your 1st Amendment right of free speech. It ruffles the feathers of the snowflakes on the left (for example). They in turn melt-down in anger (which they do), and call the police to trigger a false Red Flag accusation in retaliation (which they will do). Think it won’t happen? Think again.
Here’s another one. You break up with your girlfriend. Or you’re getting a divorce. She is so vindictive that she calls the police to falsely report a triggerable Red Flag offense. The next thing you know, they’re breaking down your door in the middle of the night to seize your firearms.
You’ve got a neighbor who really hates guns. Especially the scary looking ones. They know you have them and think you’re one of those “gun nuts”. They’ve seen you take your scary one out to your vehicle to go and target shoot at the range. It frightens and angers them to the extreme extent of reporting you via a Red Flag triggering phone call to the police. The process has been put in motion (guilty until proven innocent) and they arrive at your home to confiscate ALL of your firearms.
Listen, I could go on and on with hypothetical examples. It’s nearly endless the scenarios that someone could use to falsely accuse another of a Red Flag law violation.
The Leftist’s Dream Come True
Here’s another thought. All of you know (or should know) how nearly EVERY leftist politician wants to take your guns. This fact has actually become stunning to me. Have you heard the words that have come out of the mouths of the current batch of Democrat presidential candidates? Clearly in no uncertain words, they do want your guns. It’s as though they are under communist influence (they ALWAYS take the guns first). So, if these politicians seize power, they WILL use so called Red Flag law as one way to achieve their goal.
But wait, IT GETS WORSE…
Red Flag Laws are Fundamentally Flawed
I recently read an article at the Washington Examiner. It is written by Donald Kilmer, a law professor and practicing attorney who has litigated dozens of restraining order matters, defended against state and federal gun charges, and prosecuted several Second Amendment public interest cases.
He says “They’re all [Red Flag laws] meant to disarm dangerous people — but they’re all fundamentally flawed.
The following are excerpted from that article:
Everyone is debating “red flag” laws like they’re some new thing, but California has had variations of them for decades. We call them domestic violence restraining orders, civil harassment restraining orders, workplace restraining orders, elder abuse restraining orders, mental health seizures and prohibition orders, and, more recently, gun violence restraining orders.~Donald Kilmer
They’re all meant to disarm dangerous people — but they’re all fundamentally flawed.
None of these red flag laws would have prevented recent mass shootings. And in my 23 years practicing law in the heart of Silicon Valley, I have litigated dozens of these cases. I’ve seen firsthand the practical enforcement problems that emerge in real-life cases.
These kinds of court orders are usually obtained from a judge ex parte. That’s fancy Latin for: The judge only hears one side of the story, it is not your side, and you may not even know about it until after the fact. Then they immediately strip you of fundamental constitutional rights for the duration of the orders. You’ll get your “full due process” hearing, but not until later.
And any violation of these orders is separately punishable as a crime. So even if you are innocent of the underlying conduct that inspired the “red flag” order, if you violate the order pending your hearing, you can still face criminal charges.
That kind of situation is ripe for danger. In one situation in Baltimore, police ended up shooting a man when they came to collect his guns under a “red flag” law.
In one case in Southern California, a client had to pay a $1,000 ransom, that was reduced from an initial “offer” of $4,000, to get his 50-gun collection back.
Experienced counsel to defend you in a “due process” hearing will run about $15,000 in fees. If you lose and want to appeal, expect to spend another $25,000 to $100,000 in fees and costs. And even with all of that, you might still lose.
To win these hearings, you have to refute an allegation that you pose a danger to yourself or others where a judge already issued a temporary ex parte order that concluded you were already a danger. Many judges will likely err on the side of caution, and against your rights.
As a practical matter, if the government’s interest is in separating a potentially-dangerous person from guns, it makes no sense to leave other guns that belong to family members in the home. So, if you live with someone that gets a red flag order issued against them, then you and others living in the same home risk losing your guns, too.
Even if you win, the judge isn’t going to just hand your guns back to you at the end of the hearing. It’s probably a good idea to “lawyer up” just to go through the process of recovering your guns, so you don’t go to jail or prison for accidentally breaking an obscure firearm law or regulation. You wouldn’t want to set off a red flag.
Are Red Flag laws simply good intentions with a MAJOR flaw? Or are they groundwork for abuse and gun-grabbing power?
Do Red Flag laws violate the 2nd Amendment? Do they violate the 4th Amendment? What about the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th?
Rather than requiring probable cause that someone has committed a crime, red flag laws are based on the supposition that a crime could occur based on the subject in question. NO PROBABLE CAUSE REQUIRED!
States With Red Flag Laws
So far as I know, 16 states have implemented some form of Red Flag law as of this writing:
Additionally, the following states have evidently introduced Red Flag legislation in their state legislatures:
Republicans Caving To Red Flag Laws
In addition to all of that, apparently Republicans Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio are also considering Red Flag law at some sort of national level. At least that’s what I’ve read. Whether or not they actually promote this for real, remains to be seen.
Listen. I don’t have the answer (at least a simple answer) for the “violent people” problem (using guns) that we’ve seen of late. But the answer is NOT penalizing the 99.9% majority, law abiding citizens in this country.
WE HAVE A SOCIETAL ROT PROBLEM
In my view, Red Flag laws are ripe for abuse and violate the principles of our 4th Amendment, not to mention the 2nd Amendment itself. This whole notion of pre-crime is going from science fiction to reality. It’s here.
The gun-grabbers are utilizing every single opportunity to add more “cuts” (death by a thousand cuts) to our rights and freedoms. I’ve really come to believe it is largely sinister. Incidents involving guns are cherry picked to achieve specific goals. While the problems in major cities such as Chicago and Baltimore (just a few examples) are orders of magnitude worse but ignored. It’s a violent people problem.
We are the only so called free country on earth. The rest of the world’s ruling elite (globalists) are chomping at the bit to take us down. We have enemies within. Clearly. And they are succeeding, one slice at a time.