By: Teresa Mull
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has introduced two bills that would expand the government’s authority when it comes to controlling guns.
S.292, the “Extreme Risk Protection Order [ERPO] and Violence Prevention Act of 2021,” is a federal red flag gun confiscation bill that Rubio is pushing for the second time (he first introduced it in 2018 after the Parkland, Florida shooting).
A summary of the bill on Rubio’s website states:
Congress must pass legislation encouraging states to enact laws to provide law enforcement or family members the option of obtaining a court order to prevent firearm purchases and possession by individuals who pose a significant threat to themselves or others while providing due process protections. Florida, Rhode Island, and Maine – among others – have enacted risk protection order laws.
Under this proposed law, the accused would not “have a right to attend [a hearing to determine the confiscation of the accused’s guns], but sworn testimony by law enforcement or members of the person’s family or household would be presented,” reports politifact.com.
You can learn more about this bill here.
Rubio has also reintroduced the “Terror Intelligence Improvement Act.” According to Rubio’s website, the bill states:
When an individual who was the subject of a federal terrorism investigation within the last 10 years tries to obtain a firearm, allow the U.S. Attorney General to delay the purchase or transfer for up to ten business days and file an emergency petition in court to prevent the transfer. If the court finds probable cause that the individual is or has been engaged in terrorism, the Attorney General may arrest the individual.
Jordan Davidson of The Federalist notes that, “Individuals, the legislation states, do not have to be guilty for the FBI director and the Joint Terrorism Task Force to be alerted when they attempt to purchase or receive a transferred firearm…The transfer or purchase can then be completely shut down and the person arrested if a court finds ‘probable cause’ suggesting the individual was or even may be potentially involved in terrorism.”
These are just a couple of the many pending bills aimed at taking away our Second Amendment rights – and these two have originated from a so-called Republican.
Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay proactive.
GPM has consistently sounded the alarm on the dangers of red flag laws. Ted Patterson highlighted for us the most alarming effects of these laws:
1. Devious lawyers and family members with an ax 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.
Texas already has lame duck representatives like Jason Villalba – no friend to gun owners – who would use a special session to force gun control through the Texas legislature.
In Jerry Patterson’s case, his support of red flag laws is ironic considering how he was the Senate author of Texas’ Concealed Carry Law that went into effect in the mid-1990s.
It’s concerning that a former elected official who moved to reform Texas gun laws would want the Lone Star State to take a step backwards.
Republicans are under the impression that compromising for the sake of pragmatism is smart politics and will make them appear as “common sense” leaders in the public’s eyes.
This thinking could not be farther from the truth. Red flag laws are a clear violation of due process rights. No elected official who claims to be in favor of limited government can get behind red flag legislation.
The power-hungry left, having never seen a gun control bill they didn’t like, will absolutely build off of these laws.
Liberals are growing more rabidly anti-gun with each passing day. They are pulling no punches when it comes to trying to restrict your rights to self-defense. Some, like former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, are going so far as to call for the complete reversal of the Second Amendment altogether.
Remember: there’s nothing “reasonable” about red flag gun confiscation bills. Like all legislation the left dreams up, it’s just another way to invade your privacy and control what you do.
Teresa Mull (email@example.com) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons