Las Cruces Commentary: New Mexico’s “Red Flag” Gun Safety Law

Las Cruces Commentary: New Mexico's "Red Flag" Gun Safety Law

Credit Peter Goodman Commentary: New Mexico’s proposed Emergency Firearm Protection Act, raises some tough questions and some easy ones. Easy is whether or not the 2nd Amendment prohibits it. Nope. From 1789-2008, the U.S. Supreme Court read that amendment as not protecting individual (non-militia-related) gun ownership. When the Supreme Court (wrongly, I’d say, but it’s done) created an individual right, striking down an extremely strict prohibition on guns in Washington, D.C., the Court made clear that the right was not unrestricted. The Court stated that restrictions based on mental health or felonies, or on the types of weapons involved, would still stand. Does the 4th Amendment prohibit it? Tougher call. Do the procedures allowing at least a temporary state taking of property comport with due process requirements made applicable to states by the 14th Amendment? The ACLU opposed Rhode Island’s 2018 measure, until the legislature tightened the standard for granting a petition, created penalties for providing false evidence of a threat, allowed only law enforcement to file petitions, required concrete evidence, and granted the right to legal counsel in hearings. Tougher still are several value judgments that balance the rights of frightened family members against the rights of a gun owner they believe is dangerous to self or others. As introduced, EFPA allowed “family” to petition the court to remove guns, and defined “family” to include ex-wives, former in-laws, and persons the gun-owner has had a child or an intimate relationship with. Opponents said that definition invited frivolous, even […]

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