BELLEVUE, WA – 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 Second Amendment Foundation said today.
Amid rising concerns about due process in the enforcement of such laws, which have already resulted in one fatal shooting in Maryland, SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said there is always the potential for abuse without careful scrutiny. He questioned the motives of some politicians who support “red flag” laws without consideration for the rights of affected gun owners.
“More needs to be done to keep politicians with power grab addictions away from people’s guns,” the gun rights advocate observed. “That is the ‘red flag’ kind of law we should all support.”
He also noted that these laws seem more concerned with taking away peoples’ guns and less concerned about keeping potentially dangerous people 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,” Gottlieb questioned, “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? 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,” he said, “guarantees that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. 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.”