By: Teresa Mull
A bill to expand California’s “red flag” gun confiscation laws is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) signature.
According to Fox News:
“California lawmakers approved a bill this week that would expand the list of people who could ask a court for a gun violence restraining order, reports said.
“AB2888 passed the state Senate 25-12. It would allow co-workers and school personnel to petition a court to temporarily remove guns from someone they believe poses a danger, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.”
California’s current “red flag” gun confiscation law, which went into effect in 2016, “can be used only by immediate family members, roommates, and law enforcement,” Fox reports.
Brown voted against a similar expansion measure in 2016.
Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), also known as red flag gun confiscation laws, are marketed as a method to disarm people who present a danger to themselves or others.
In the wake of school shootings in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas, power-hungry politicians have looked for every means possible to ram some form of gun control down law-abiding gun owners’ throats.
And the anti-gun crowd may have just found in red flag legislation its new go-to call in the gun control playbook.
While the intentions behind red flag laws appear reasonable, the civil liberties implications of such legislation raise numerous red flags (pun intended) that should concern law-abiding gun owners nationwide.
GPM’s Ted Patterson wrote an excellent piece detailing the potential dangers of red flag laws; here are the most alarming effects of these laws:
1. Devious lawyers and family members with an axe to grind can exploit these laws to harass gun owners.
Anti-gun family members, friends, or acquaintances can invent an accusation to justify the confiscation of an otherwise law-abiding gun owner’s firearm.
In their present form, many of these laws are written so broadly that gun owners could be reported for any type of violation, ranging from off-the-cuff remarks or casual disputes.
For the most trivial of actions, you could possibly find yourself in court having to fight to preserve your Second Amendment rights.
2. Indefinite time frames for gun confiscation.
There’s no telling how long ERPOs can last—weeks, months, or even a year. Gun owners would be compelled to go to court multiple times just to win their Constitutional rights back.
3. Red flag laws have bipartisan support.
For years, misguided gun owners have believed that only Democrats are capable of pushing gun control. Boy, are they wrong. Republicans in states like Colorado, Maryland, and Pennsylvania are actively pushing red flag bills. And with Jerry Patterson’s recent comments endorsing the possibility of red flag legislation, Texas could be following suit.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.