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Tags: murphy | redflag

There's a Major Sticking Point in the New Gun Proposal

us president joe biden and sen chris murphy d conn

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn., outside the Oval Office of the White House, prior to a meeting about gun control reform in Washington, D.C. - June 7, 2022. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Dorstewitz By Wednesday, 15 June 2022 01:53 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Ten Republican senators agree, in principle, to a framework of federal gun control laws using a method Congress often employs to address problems — throw money at it.

Sen. Chris Murphy, tweeted, "We have a deal. Today a bipartisan group of 20 senators (10 D and 10 R) is announcing a breakthrough agreement on gun violence — the first in 30 years — that will save lives."

The Connecticut Democrat added, "I think you’ll be surprised at the scope of our framework," and added what it included:

  • "Major funding to help states pass and implement crisis intervention orders (red flag laws) that will allow law enforcement to temporarily take dangerous weapons away from people who pose a danger to others or themselves.
  • "Billions in new funding for mental health and school safety, including money for the national build out of community mental health clinics.
  • "Close the "boyfriend loophole," so that no domestic abuser — a spouse or a serious dating partner — can buy a gun if they are convicted of abuse against their partner.
  • "First ever federal law against gun trafficking and straw purchasing. This will be a difference making tool to stop the flow of illegal guns into cities.
  • "Enhanced background check for under 21 gun buyers and a short pause to conduct the check. Young buyers can get the gun only after the enhanced check is completed.
  • "Clarification of the laws regarding who needs to register as a licensed gun dealer, to make sure all truly commercial sellers are doing background checks."

Of all the items listed, the first one — funding states to enact and implement red flag laws — is the most problematic.

Such laws permit local police to arrive without warning at a person’s home and remove his firearms, if they have reason to believe he may be a danger to himself or others.

PolitiFact warned that "misinformation" about red flag laws was being distributed on social media.

"Beware of misinformation about red flag laws, including critics who say they lack due process, which is not accurate," the fact-checking organization tweeted. "Another false claim is that the laws allow people with a grudge, such as an ex-spouse, to take guns away."

The most fundamental elements of "due process" are adequate notice of a hearing, followed by the hearing itself, to give a respondent the opportunity to defend himself before the government removes his property.

In the case of red flag laws the initial hearing is conducted ex parte, that is, with only the accuser present. And more often than not the accuser is a disgruntled former spouse, ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, or a neighbor with a chip on his shoulder.

Nationally-syndicated radio host and Second Amendment supporter Dana Loesch laid the problem out to her followers.

"Red flag laws first render punishment and establish guilt through ex parte orders, after which the respondent must prove his/her innocence in a process that can take months—and at significant legal expense," she said.

In other words, instead of your accuser needing to prove your guilt, you may have to prove your innocence in order to get your property back.

Loesch then listed a number of facts about red flag laws, and linked them to her source — a Senate Judiciary Committee report. They included:

  • "Fact: A third of red flag orders are wrongly issued
  • "Fact: With most most red flag laws, weeks pass before respondents receiving any pre or post deprivation hearing and no court-appointed attorney is provided to respondents.
  • "Fact: With red flag laws, the investigation into any wrongdoing comes AFTER the penalty.
  • "FACT: Red flag laws won't stop at firearms. This new legal standard could easily be applied numerous ways."

Loesch also made an offer to PolitiFact.

"Happy to bring your reporters on air with me if they want a detailed education on each of the 19 states' processes, the uniform absence of deprivation hearings, clear and convincing standard, counsel, etc.," she said.

There’s no indication that PolitiFact accepted her offer.

Sen. Murphy concluded his explanation of the proposal’s framework by asking, "Will this bill do everything we need to end our nation’s gun violence epidemic? No," he answered, "But it’s real, meaningful progress. And it breaks a 30 year log jam, demonstrating that Democrats and Republicans can work together in a way that truly saves lives."

Although President Biden repeatedly claims that any gun control bill must include a ban on AR-15-style rifles, he confirmed that he would sign it the moment it’s drafted and approved.

Some have also called for enhanced background checks for all gun buyers — not just those under 21. Many gun owners would have no problem with that, so long as voter registrants, political candidates, and illegal border crossers are also subject to enhanced background checks.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.

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The most fundamental elements of "due process" are adequate notice of a hearing, followed by the hearing itself, to give a respondent the opportunity to defend himself before the government removes his property.
murphy, redflag
Wednesday, 15 June 2022 01:53 PM
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