In recent years, the frequency and severity of mass shootings, and gun violence in general, has led to public and media outcries to pass laws restricting access to firearms for those deemed a danger to themselves or others. The most common of these gun laws are called “Extreme Risk Protection Orders,” or “Red Flag Laws.” As of April 2020, at least 19 states have enacted Red Flag Laws across the United States.
While these laws are meant with good intentions, there are unintended consequences that have a negative impact on our nation’s law enforcement.
Depending on the state, a family member, significant other, or law enforcement can petition a judge for a temporary order to seize someone’s firearms.
Everyone can agree that people who are a legitimate danger to themselves or others should have their guns taken away. The problem is that the language in many of these laws lack clarity. As a result, many of these laws are extremely vague. For example, a petition can be made against someone with little to no evidence.
Critics argue that these emergency orders provide state governments to violate Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights with little due process.
This will put officers in unnecessary danger by taking guns from someone who has no reason to have their guns taken away.
Sometimes these gun laws have even been used against officers. Earlier this year a woman in Colorado tried to have an officer’s gun taken away. In today’s political climate it’s hard to trust that a judge will make sound decisions and stand by police officers in these situations. This could be used as an attempt to start disarming police officers in liberal cities.
While everyone wants to curb gun violence in America, these laws provide an opportunity for the government and third parties to violate individual Americans’ Constitutional freedoms. At their worst, they threaten law-abiding gun owners and law enforcement officers alike. We must remain vigilant to make sure that these laws are sound and do not erode our rights.
It’s an undeniable fact that the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on virtually every sector in every country in the world. These unprecedented times have affected the law enforcement officers around the U.S. in devastating ways, and it’s unlikely we’ll see a return to normalcy anytime soon. Read more here.