A new wave of dangerous laws is being pushed across the United States. These laws don’t require due process and your rights are removed without a crime ever being committed. If this sounds familiar, then it may sound like something out of “Minority Report” with Tom Cruise. Sadly, it isn’t a Hollywood blockbuster, it’s the new America. At least it will be if you don’t fight back.
“Red flag” laws, also known as “extreme risk protection orders” or “gun violence restraining orders,” have now passed in 12 states. Even some Republican-controlled states (Indiana and Florida) have passed these laws. They are dangerous to freedom, unconstitutional and should be more properly termed “gun confiscation orders.”
So how exactly do these “red flag” laws work? There isn’t one answer for this as states implement them differently. Generally speaking, the police are notified by someone (usually an immediate family member) that a person is a threat to themselves or others. The police gather evidence from the family member and take it to a judge. The judge then determines if there is sufficient evidence of a threat. If he believes there is, he then issues an order for the police to confiscate the individual’s guns.
It may be tempting to support this type of law because you are told it is only meant to stop “dangerous” people. But what happens when they expand these orders beyond their original scope?
For instance, some states have limited these gun confiscation orders to “immediate family” members. But some states, like Oregon, are already expanding their orders to include neighbors, medical professionals, teachers and other school staff.
How far will these orders expand? Who else will be able to report you as “dangerous?” What about social media followers, gamers, church attendees or fellow shoppers? Each new shooting will bring a new variable, and a push to expand the law further.
At what point do they just throw out evidence and start looking at entire classes of people and deem them all “dangerous?” What about veterans with PTSD? What about people of a certain political ideology? The reality is, once the government has the power and ability to implement these laws, justification will be made to expand them.
Remember, no crime has been committed, and the person who loses their rights does not get to defend themselves before those rights are removed. Some have the audacity to call this “due process.” It’s not due process if you aren’t part of the process. Going to court after your guns have been removed, to petition to get them back, is also not due process.
Everyone, gun owner or not, must stand up and oppose any form of these unconstitutional “gun confiscation” laws. We can’t allow Idaho, or our country, to be turned into a place that removes rights and/or imprisons people for crimes they haven’t committed.
Tell your legislators to oppose “gun confiscation orders” in Idaho.
Greg Pruett, of Caldwell, is president of Idaho Second Amendment Alliance.