How can red flag laws turn good folks into future criminals?
Imagine that one day you are sitting at your table and having dinner after a long day at work. Suddenly, your door is busted in by a policing agency, with guns drawn. Your dog starts barking and is immediately shot by the intruders.
You are promptly handcuffed in front of your now screaming and crying wife and kids.
An agent comes in and asks if you own firearms because they are here to confiscate them. Why? Well, red-flag laws of course. Your neighbor saw you coming back from the range and coupled that with your political sign in the front yard.
You are an extremist!
This sounds farfetched, but unfortunately, this is a reality for many who are targeted for “future crimes” or the threat of a crime, despite not having committed any sort of infraction.
According to an ABC News article, “red flag laws are an important tool because they allow intervention to happen before it gets really bad and puts some power in the hands of ordinary citizens to do something” according to Dr. Amy Barnhorst, Associate Director for the California Firearm Violence Research Center, UC Davis.
Does this mean that you are being charged with a crime, or having property taken from you in violation of your guaranteed rights just because someone else has determined that you might be a risk?
If there is a “credible threat” to yourself or others, the government can now take your firearms for a period of time. How long is unknown.
Hold on, if you are violent, have mental issues, or are a criminal, how could you have gotten the firearms in the first place?
According to the same article, gun laws don’t help because they are not going to catch everyone, especially those without a criminal history, those who have never been psychiatrically hospitalized, or don’t meet the criteria for the prohibition of owning a gun.
In addition, at-risk purchasers could be answering the questions untruthfully, especially about substance abuse and mental health problems.
So let’s get this straight. Criminals might lie and get through the system that they are forcing everyone to go through — the waiting periods, the background checks, and registration??? Color me SHOCKED!!!
So to help get after that, instead of bettering the systems in place by linking health care providers’ systems and the NICS background systems, or the police criminal backgrounds with NICS, the logical answer is to turn everyone into the Gestapo and report on their neighbors or family members.
This couldn’t possibly go wrong, right?
Why does this matter? Well for one thing it violates the majority of the Bill of Rights, especially if used in the way that most people are sure it will be, to silence dissent, or cancel people with opposing views.
If a neighbor has a sign out for a political candidate, a neighbor can call and make baseless accusations. If combing their social media, the PD finds they have pretty strong views, now we have probable cause.
So we can see the violation of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Amendments, with the lesser known being the right to a trial and knowing the charges levied against them (6th), right to a trial by jury of their peers (7th) and excessive fines or confiscation (8th) and potentially the 9th being the right of private property.
We can also see that because you are armed, it could lead to a confrontation, hence the no-knock warrant/forced entry to get you by surprise.
I am all for law enforcement and agree with limiting some access to firearms based on actual threat, but the current call for more confiscation, banning, or red-flag laws is un-Constitutional. We need to all collectively bombard our representatives to fight against such brazen attempts to disarm our population.
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Author: Ian Bolser