Friday, August 9, 2019

Red Flag Laws

Most of the proposed legislation seems to be modeled after Indiana's Red Flag law:

Sec. 2 . A circuit or superior court may issue a warrant to search for and seize a firearm in the possession of an individual who is dangerous if:
(1) a law enforcement officer provides the court a sworn affidavit that:
(A) states why the law enforcement officer believes that the individual is dangerous and in possession of a firearm;  and
(B) describes the law enforcement officer's interactions and conversations with:
(i) the individual who is alleged to be dangerous;  or

(ii) another individual, if the law enforcement officer believes that information obtained from this individual is credible and reliable;
that have led the law enforcement officer to believe that the individual is dangerous and in possession of a firearm;
(2) the affidavit specifically describes the location of the firearm;  and
(3) the circuit or superior court determines that probable cause exists to believe that the individual is:
(A) dangerous;  and
(B) in possession of a firearm.

Sec. 3 . (a) If a law enforcement officer seizes a firearm from an individual whom the law enforcement officer believes to be dangerous without obtaining a warrant, the law enforcement officer shall submit to the circuit or superior court having jurisdiction over the individual believed to be dangerous a written statement under oath or affirmation describing the basis for the law enforcement officer's belief that the individual is dangerous.
(b) The court shall review the written statement submitted under subsection (a).  If the court finds that probable cause exists to believe that the individual is dangerous, the court shall order the law enforcement agency having custody of the firearm to retain the firearm.  If the court finds that there is no probable cause to believe that the individual is dangerous, the court shall order the law enforcement agency having custody of the firearm to return the firearm to the individual.
(c) This section does not authorize a law enforcement officer to perform a warrantless search or seizure if a warrant would otherwise be required.

The highlighted sections should get everybody's attention.

The first highlighted section, highlighted in yellow: One of the cornerstones of due-process is the right to face and rebut your accuser. That standard served for over two-hundred years and prevented the weaponizing of the legal system.

The second highlighted section, highlighted in pink: How specifically?

Let me paint a word picture. Suppose that many of the individuals who are "flagged" are young men, many of whom might be living with their parents. The way this law is written, all of the weapons in the house, including the parent's, are at risk of being seized.

Faced with that risk, how many parents are going to kick Billy-Bob, Jr. out of the house?

It is fashionable to believe that the parents created the child and that kicking Billy-Bob out is likely to be a good thing. Many progressives will breath a sigh of relief when the parent's guns are seized thinking "Nobody should have guns, and most certainly failed parents should not have guns."

I posit that it is more likely that the parent(s) in the house are one of the few things keeping Billy-Bob's propeller in the water.

Realistically, what are the chances that Billy-Bob won't find another weapon after Roscoe P. Coaltrain raided the family compound?  And how would you describe Billy-Bob's current attitude toward authority figures? Hmmm?

The third highlighted section, highlighted in orange:
Warrantless seizures. Sure, there is language in the tail-feathers of that section saying the bill does not authorize LEOs to perform warrentless searches or seizures...right after telling them how to do it and cover it with paperwork after-the-fact.

If the jurisdiction's political climate is anti-Second Amendment, then any cop who wants a promotion will aggressively, extrajudicially, seize every gun they lay their eyes on. Further, they will aggressively pursue every "tip" activists send them and error on the side of confiscate vs. not-confiscate.

It starts with guns. Money is next. Then easy-to-liquidate assets like vehicles.

It is a few small steps from seizing weapons sans warrants to seizing your cell phone and wallet because they can; because it might, maybe save somebody from being hurt.

You don't even have to believe that cops are evil or different than everybody else. All you have to believe is that most of them don't want to be stuck on third-shift, traffic detail for the rest of their lives. They want to win. They want to get ahead. And if the game demands that they turn in more weapons per month than the next guy...they will deliver.


  1. Red flag laws are a red line. If any red flag law is passed/implemented, that is sufficient reason for me to sit out the next election. I won't vote for a traitor. Especially if it's a case of him/her being the least evil option...


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