States such as Colorado, where majority Democratic lawmakers have supported a so-called “red flag” gun-control plan, are being warned that they may be ignoring a big problem.
Under “red flag” laws, people who are “deemed” a danger to themselves or someone else can be subject to a court order that deprives them of their Second Amendment rights.
At least until they go to court and argue that their rights need to be restored.
Colorado’s legislature, for the first time in years dominated entirely by Democrats, has adopted such a plan.
But the Second Amendment Foundation warns that the lawmakers, in their “Rocky Mountain High,” may be overlooking due process.
“Extreme Risk Protection Orders, generically known as ‘red flag laws’ that allow the seizure of private firearms based on a complaint filed with the authorities must include and guarantee due process, or they shouldn’t be allowed,” the organization said.
SAF founder Alan Gottlieb questioned the motives of politicians who support such gun confiscation without providing for the rights of affected gun owners.
Perhaps it’s the politicians that need to be restrained, he said.
“More needs to be done to keep politicians with power grab addictions away from people’s guns,” he said. “That is the ‘red flag’ kind of law we should all support.”
He pointed out how little thought seems to have gone into targeting guns in efforts to keep “potentially dangerous” individuals off the streets.
“If you send police to confiscate someone’s firearms because he is considered to be a threat to himself or someone else, but you leave that individual essentially on the loose, what’s to prevent that person from committing mayhem with a car or some other weapon?” Gottlieb asked. “We’ve seen what happens when someone plows into people with a vehicle in New York, Toronto, and Nice, France.
“On the other hand,” he continued, “we’ve also seen cases where people have been falsely accused, and it has essentially ruined their lives. Nobody should be subjected to such legal abuse, essentially being considered guilty until they prove themselves innocent, and in the meantime having their Second Amendment rights suspended or revoked. After all, this is still the United States, not a police state.
“The Fifth Amendment guarantees that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law,” Gottlieb said. “Our legal system has endeavored to zealously protect that right. We should expect the same zealous protection of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, because all individual rights are equally important. To violate one right in an effort to trample the other must never be permitted.”
VICE reported Colorado Democrats on Monday passed a “red flag law.”
The report explained it would “temporarily remove guns from people believed to be dangerous to themselves or others,” without defining whether the state lawmakers had even considered due process in their anti-gun agenda.
The report said Colorado becomes the 14th state to have such laws.
The law provides that “a concerned family member” can petition a court for such an order, and if that person can “demonstrate” someone may be a risk, police will seize that person’s firearms without any court hearing.
“The court has 14 days to schedule a hearing, after which they’ll decide whether to return the firearms or keep them for a year,” the report said.
Multiple counties in the state already have issued statements they oppose the move, and Gov. Jared Polis has threatened sheriffs they are not a “law-making” body.
Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams told CNN he would rather go to jail than enforce the “red flag” bill.
“It’s a matter of doing what’s right,” he said.