Red flag laws are harmful to more than just the Second Amendment

Red flag laws are harmful to more than just the Second Amendment

Gun Rights

The gun control debate is fired up in Colorado again. Both sides are heated over House Bill 1177, which codifies the use of extreme risk protection orders (ERPO). The Colorado House approved HB1177 Monday and sent the so-called red flag bill to Gov. Jared Polis, who has indicated he will sign it. Even if you don’t identify with either side of this debate, it is not hard to see how deeply flawed this legislation is. Red flag laws are menacing threat to many constitutional rights other than the Second Amendment. First, it helps to explain what exactly this law proposes. Let’s assume you are concerned about your uncle, who uttered some troubling comments. You’re worried that he is a danger to himself and others — and you know he owns firearms. You, the petitioner, file an affidavit claiming such things, and quickly meet with a judge. The judge reviews your claims and decides on whether or not to issue the ERPO. If an ERPO is issued, your uncle, the responder, is then forced to turn in his guns. For starters, this whole scenario blurs the line between civil and criminal legal actions. Your uncle has committed no crime, but somehow warrants a judicial order and a knock on the door (if he is lucky) by the police. If the language of this bill was purely criminal, it would be dead on arrival; it’s no accident that half of the Bill of Rights explicitly enumerates the rights of the accused. […]

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