Several states have passed red flag laws allowing law enforcement to temporarily seize someone’s firearms. Red flag laws threaten Constitutional rights of individuals by denying them the right of due process of law.
State laws vary on the specifics of taking firearms from an individual. There are high standards in some states which require approval by a judge. Police officers must show documented credible threats made prior to seizing property.
Red flag laws in some states do not require a judge’s approval before someone’s property is taken. The individual must go to court to get their property back.
Red Flag Laws change the legal philosophy of our nation
Red flag laws threaten to change the legal philosophy of “innocent until proven guilty” into “guilty until proven innocent.” Constitutional rights to due process of law. Two amendments in the Constitution clearly outline the right of due process of law.
The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution each contain a due process clause. Due process deals with the administration of justice and thus the due process clause acts as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the government outside the sanction of lawhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Due_Process_Clause
An Individual’s freedoms is not removed all at once. One right is taken from the people followed by another until no rights are left.
Innocent people have property seized
An individual in Vermont had his firearms seized under red flag laws because of threats made by a family member. According to Addison County (Vermont) Independent News Service, two 14-year-old Middlebury Union Middle School students planned a school shooting. A statement by Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley reads:
“We executed what is called an ‘extreme risk order’ (Monday) night at a relative’s house who had all these firearms,” Hanley said. “They were locked up (in the home), but one of these kids said he had access to them and could get them. So we took advantage of that extreme risk order statute that was passed. We needed to separate the person from their ability to do this.”
Everyone wants to end gun violence. The debate centers around the methods used. The danger of the logic in Vermont is that they could use the same argument in high crime areas. A neighborhood with high levels of home burglaries is an excuse to confiscate all firearms in that area.
If Red Flag laws are allowed to remain as part of our legal system, and the right of due process removed, how will they be used to attack other Constitutional rights?
Due process blocks law enforcement from arresting and indefinitely detaining them. Government could take your property without any legal justification. Individuals could be denied their day in court to get it back.