California’s Red Flag Laws Endanger Second Amendment
California’s recent amendment to its “red flag” laws prove once again that anti-gun proponents will never be satisfied with anything less than the elimination of the right to bear arms altogether.
Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown signed the initial red flag law which set off a wave of similar laws in other states across the nation.
The law signed in October 2014, dubbed a “Gun Violence Restraining Order” because it allows families to seek for the courts to empower law enforcement to seize guns from a family member.
Other states that have followed suit include Florida, Texas, New Jersey, and ten other states. Similar proposals are before at least three additional states with Virginia as the latest.
15 States with ‘Red Flag’ Laws
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
3 States with Proposed ‘Red Flag’ Laws
In the state of Minnesota, Democrats took control of the state House at noon today with the first thing on their agenda to follow California’s lead. Red-shirted gun control supporters flooded the state capitol. Incoming speaker Melissa Hortman told the crowd that she relied on them to pressure the GOP-controlled Senate to pass the bill so Democrat Governor Tim Walz could sign it.
Virginia’s Democrat governor, Ralph Northam is pushing several gun-control measures he promises will both promote public safety while also respecting individual gun rights.
All such proposals have failed earlier in the Republican-controlled General Assembly and will fail this year as well. However, gun-control advocates and Northam say momentum is on their side for laws similar to those in California.
The Gun Violence Restraining Order law took effect on September 2018 but up till now, people have either not been aware of the law or were hesitant to turn in a family member.
The Los Angeles Times noted this lack of action last year when it reported fewer than 200 gun violence restraining orders were issued from 2016 to 2018. Los Angeles County with 32 had the most, but smaller counties, such as San Diego and Santa Barbara higher rates for their size with 18 and 21, respectively. Several counties had none.
Democratic lawmakers of the state responded to the clear failure of their bill by making it easier to confiscate weapons from an individual. Reuters reports that State Senator Anthony Portantino, author of the bill said the high school shooting in Parkland, FL motivated him.
Not satisfied with confiscating just weapons, California’s amended red flag law expands its reach to include ammunition and many firearm accessories.
Gun- rights advocates insist there are far better ways to identify unstable individuals and argue ‘red flag’ laws violate due process and the 2nd Amendment.
But the LA Times reports that “many of its backers view the gun law as a powerful tool ripe for expansion.” That was proven true last week as California legislators broadened the states Gun Violence Restraining Order to include teachers, employers, and coworkers in their ability to request a restraining order.
Craig DeLuz of the Firearms Policy Coalition criticized the new law, saying it threatened citizen’s 2nd Amendment rights. “Due process that happens after you’ve lost a fundamental right is not due process,” DeLuz said, adding that he thinks it’s problematic that the law relies on judges, not mental health professionals with proper training to determine if someone poses a threat.
Conservatives and The American Civil Liberties Union of California proved strange bedfellows in the fight against the state’s expanded law. A spokesman for the civil liberties group said that broadening the law created “a significant potential for civil rights violations.”
It has often been said that the trends set on the West Coast will become the norm across the country in a few years. With California’s quest to push the 2nd Amendment into the sea, it looks like it hasn’t taken that long.
Alan Dershowitz says his fellow liberals are foolish when they try to “read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution [because] … it’s too much of a public safety hazard. They’re courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don’t like.”