More on Red Flag Laws

Red Flag Gun Laws – Chapter 4
We here at the USGOA are taking on a team project of sorts as we address the Red Flag Gun Laws that are so BIG in the news right now.
As this begins the posts published have been submitted by Admins and Moderators and are OPINION pieces, their opinions, and as such, may or may not represent the entire staff or membership OF the USGOA.
This article is written by Cary Cartter, a personal and longtime friend. Cary is a very knowledgeable gun hand, a former Marine and one of our Admins, and has stuck by me through thick and thin for quite a few years now.
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The latest attempt at control of what they want to be “their subjects” by the politicians with a totalitarian bent are the so-called “Red Flag Laws.” Specifically, these left-leaning people want to remove firearms from otherwise innocent persons without due process. I look at laws of this type as Slippery Slope propositions, since they often make it easier to erode the rights of the citizens, since a step has already been taken in that direction.
Let me make one thing clear up front: The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights says “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” I take that to mean that the individual right to keep and bear arms is not to be stopped, slowed down, reduced, prohibited, or prevented in any way, shape or form. ANY law that restricts the sale or transfer of a firearm (or any related item, including but not limited to ammunition, magazines, accessories, or components thereof) from one person to another without government control is an infringement on the Second Amendment Right of all citizens.

Now, I will be the first to admit that no, I don’t want a bunch of crazy people running around with guns. I’ll get back to that in a minute. What I DO want is for the individual to be able to decide whether or not they have the mental capacity and mental strength to arm themselves in case they need to defend themselves or others. There is no government agency, at any level, that has the authority to assume administrative control of this (or any!) enumerated right.

(For those who may not be following this thought yet, insert the Freedom of Speech as a substitute for the Right to Bear Arms – if the mindset is that the “arms” involved were meant for the technology invented at the time, get off the internet, write me a letter with iron gaul ink and a quill pen on parchment paper, have it hand delivered to me by a guy on a horse, and we can begin to discuss why you are wrong.)
Supporting or advocating for the removal of firearms because of a complaint about someone’s mental state is a step on a very slippery slope. The method of reporting, the authority and response of law enforcement agencies, the anonymity of the reporting party and the procedures to be followed vary from instance to instance, proposed law to proposed law (in some cases, enacted laws). Typically, John Doe can be reported by Jane Public to be a threat to his own or someone else’s safety. Law Enforcement is then directed to act on the anonymous tip, **seize any weapons in the possession of John Doe** and take Mr. Doe into protective custody, all without Mr. Doe having committed any crime. Sounds like the plot from Minority Report, doesn’t it?
Let’s take a look at some points of order with the above scenario:
-Who is Jane Public? Is she an expert on psychological issues? Has she studied the causes and effects of mental illnesses long enough to be able to spot a crime before it has happened? Or is she simply the disgruntled former romantic partner of John Doe, and bent on revenge in any way, shape, or form?
I imagine there are a fair number of divorces in this country that have had less-than-amicable results, where one person has wished for some way to “get back” at the other. A claim of suspected danger from the ex is a perfect way to put them through the wringer without getting your own hands wet.
-Amendment 4: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”
Probable Cause – a crime has been committed. Supported by oath or affirmation – a judge must have a sworn statement, made by the person searing the warrant, which means the judge must know who the prosecuting party is. Describing the … things to be seized – a list of items to be seized must be provided – not a blanket warrant saying “any and all firearms and/or weapons.”
The phrase “weapons” can be widely interpreted – knives, baseball bats, bare hands, any number of items that can be used to inflict bodily damage on another person – and unless a government entity has been demanding to know (assuming authority over a right) what weapons are owned by which people, how is a list of firearms and/or weapons owned by John Doe going to be made?
-Amendment 6: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”
None of these conditions are met in the above scenario, since no crime has been committed, only the “feeling” that something is wrong. Jane does not have to support the reasons for the warrant, either to the judge or John. John has no opportunity to confront the complainant in order to know the nature of the charges being used to deny him his Second and Fourth amendment rights.
Now, mental acuity: unless a person has been evaluated by psychological medical experts, there is no laymen’s method to determine the mental state of an individual. Oh, I’m sure you can tell when someone’s cheese has slid off their cracker, but unless an evaluation has been done there is no legal standing of that person’s mental state. The left, with their propensity to be “progressive” and “caring” and “inclusive”, has managed to outlaw having someone called crazy enough to warrant evaluation. It is considered impolitic to call up the Sheriff and say “Bubba done stepped over the line, he needs looked at.” Unless, of course, Bubba happens to own a firearm, then we go back to step one of the Red Flag Law.
Why are firearms the first item to be confiscated?
Because the Left has deemed them to be Not Good for the Public Safety.
The Left has decided that “they” (amorphous and anonymous) need to be in charge of telling the rest of us what is good for our own good. The Left should be allowed to make the rules as they go along, not following the same rules in their own life (see: celebrities and politicians who advocate for gun control and against border walls from within their walled compounds surrounded by armed guards).
Once it has been established that the Fourth amendment can be ignored in the quest to disabuse the people from exercising their Second Amendment, and the ability to prevent government from becoming a dictatorial body without fear of reprisal from the governed, then the rest of the amendments (and, by sequence, the entire constitution) can be removed from our grasps and done away with at their leisure.
The state of California is an example of the erosion of rights, and the slippery slope they are on. There are those who claim that a bloodbath will ensue anytime the already unconstitutional gun laws in place are either tightened or loosened; the ones against gun control will point to places within our country where tight gun control (meaning only the law-abiding will follow the law) has resulted in higher murder rates and other places within our country where relaxing the restrictions has resulted in lower overall crime rates; while those who favor control (not just of guns!) point to those same places and falsify claims about the same crimes.
A process to ensure the safety of all is needed, yes – but removing the ability of one to defend one’s self, either legally or physically, should not be the first step, and it certainly should not be done anonymously with no responsibility of the accusing party.

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