Red Flag Laws – What You Need To Know

Every time there is a mass gun shooting, there will always be cries for more gun control laws. The left-leaning politicians in Washington have started pushing what they call “Red Flag Laws” to be implemented in each state. What are these red flag laws? What do they hope to accomplish? Let’s define what red flag laws are first:

In the United States, a red flag law is a gun control law that permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves. A judge makes the determination to issue the order based on statements and actions made by the gun owner in question.[1] Refusal to comply with the order is punishable as a criminal offense.[2][3] After a set time, the guns are returned to the person from whom they were seized unless another court hearing extends the period of confiscation.[4][5][6]

Orders issued under “red flag” laws, also called risk-based gun removal laws,[7] are known by several names, including Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) (in OregonWashingtonMaryland, and Vermont); Risk Protection Orders (in Florida); Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) (in California); risk warrants (in Connecticut); and Proceedings for the Seizure and Retention of a Firearm (in Indiana).[8] As of August 2019, 17 states and the District of Columbia have passed some form of red-flag law. The specifics of the laws, and the degree to which they are utilized, vary from state to state.[9]

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From this definition, it is easy to see that red flag laws push the boundaries of the Constitution and threaten second amendment rights. If state courts can arbitrarily decide who should or should not possess a firearm, then the second amendment becomes a privilege instead of a right. If our Creator is the grantor of our rights per the Constitution, then no lower form of authority should usurp our rights away.

Obviously nobody wants criminals and evil people to have access to firearms, but according to red flag laws, a judge can hear a petition from one party and decide that another party “may” be a risk. Regardless of whether a person eventually is found to be no risk and their firearms are returned to them, they still have to endure the humiliation of being labeled a dangerous person and have their private property confiscated. It sets a dangerous precedent to allow the government to search and seize firearms before there is due process of law.

It is understandable why many people want red flag laws. They feel that a temporary condition of indignity and humiliation is worth preventing future acts of violence. The problem is, we have far too many activist judges in this country who will outright abuse their power simply because they do not like firearms or the typical gun enthusiast who does not share their worldviews. Red flag laws institutionalize targeted persecution in the same vein as racial profiling does. The only difference with liberals is that their form of persecution is shrouded in a cleverly packaged “moral high ground.” Strict Constitutionalists, however, see right through it for what it is…the back door to tyranny.

States where red flag laws exist.

Notice that most of the states with red flag laws are left-leaning who traditionally vote Democrat. The odd exceptions are Indiana and Florida. Gun enthusiasts should take heed that once these red flag laws go into effect, they are unlikely to ever be repealed. Furthermore, they will only make tighter gun control laws more likely. It would be wise to pay very close attention to which way your state is leaning on this issue. It would also be a very good idea to do research on judicial candidates and how they stand on gun issues.

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About the author: donaldbaker
I am a gun enthusiast from Kentucky. My father introduced me to the joy of collecting and shooting fine firearms. I hold a B.A. in History from the University of Kentucky and an M.B.A. from the University of Louisville. I love to read historical works and watch college sports.
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