Are you aware that several states have laws in place to circumvent your Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights, relating to guns. Are you aware that in most of those states it only takes one person to declare you as a danger to yourself or others to have your legally-owned firearms confiscated. After the declaration and with no chance for consideration or rebuttal, the firearms are removed from your possession. Often, this is done with a surprise, no knock raid in the pre-dawn hours.
Are you aware that this is being proposed on a National Level?
In some states, these “Red Flag” laws may be called Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) or a Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO). In most cases, they can be best described as being slightly more selective than the Salem Witch trials. Someone reported, therefore, you are guilty until proven innocent. The dunk tank or the fire pit will determine your innocence.
Before you declare me as being over the top in my hyperbole, what are you going to do when your front door bursts open at 3 a.m., when you know for sure you don’t have any warrants, drugs, or the like. I know I am going to assume home invasion and prepare to repel boarders.
In most cases, the SWAT team will have been sent to enforce compliance. They will crash through the door as a stack of armed and armored (mostly) men. In the fog of a “home invasion,” people (most likely me) will die. Don’t even think about what will happen to my dog.
Maryland passed such a law in mid October 2018. They have already used it at least 9 times as of the publishing of this article. In those 9 seizures, one has already been fatal to a citizen. I realize it is a small sample set, but two things concern me. First, the issuing judge and Maryland Law Enforcement community stated, “This is proof the law is working.” Did we initiate a Bureau of Pre-Crime while I wasn’t looking? Second, at this rate over 350 people will have their right to possess a firearm removed through extra judicial means, in the first year and roughly 35 people will be dead because of it.
Even if you take the word of the partisan group Gun Violence Archive, a group that claims there have been 307 mass shootings in the first 312 days of 2018. Of course, they include every incident of gang violence, bank robbery, and drive-by shooting as part of their statistics. Even inflating the numbers like they do, only gets them to 22 “mass shooting” victims in Maryland in 2018. If we exclude Baltimore from the rest of Maryland, that number drops to 3. Have you seen the gang violence statistics on Baltimore? I digress. So, by my math, they are willing to have roughly 50% more people die keeping “mass shootings” from happening? I guess, if the correct people (gun owners) are dying, it isn’t a bad thing to them.
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.
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.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
As most of you know, the Fourth Amendment and to some degree the Fourteenth have been under assault. Supreme Court deference to the state and its investigatory powers is strongly documented.
- Terry v. Ohio – Basically the “frisk at will” exemption
- Florida v. Bostick – The “he didn’t stop us from searching” exemption
- Schneckloth v. Bustamonte – An uninformed citizen is a legally searched citizen
- Mapp v. Ohio – We got the exclusionary rule. In other words if the search is illegal, then any evidence obtained is excluded from use in court.
This would be good news, except; Herring v. U.S. gives law enforcement the “good faith” exemption. Simply stated, if the police make a procedural mistake the fall out is on you, not them.
All of the above cases are my way of pointing out that the Supreme Court is unlikely to limit or strike down these new “Red Flag” laws. My fellow patriots, Constitutional Conservatives, and gun people; get off your butts and make sure your state is not attempting to pass such laws. If they are, get moving and work to pressure your (theoretical) representatives to follow the letter and intent of the Constitution and vote these travesties down.
As of the end of 2018, 13 states had passed “Red Flag” laws. Mostly the usual suspects on the left coast and New England; but, Florida is also on that list. Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are currently considering such rubbish.
You have been warned.