The concept of the “red flag law” is one that has taken root in many states. Beginning in 1999 with Connecticut, red flag law legislation is intended to allow for the temporary confiscation of firearms or deadly weapons when an individual is deemed to be an immediate threat to themselves or others. This “red flag” can be raised by family members, school administrators, police officers, and other parties to raise concerns regarding a person’s mental health. And while this concept may have benefits, it’s also taken some unnecessary and unconstitutional tolls on law-abiding gun owners.
Indeed, the red flag law has put many law enforcement officers in difficult positions. The reality is that the 2nd Amendment expressly protects an American citizen’s right to bear arms. So who is to draw the line in the sand regarding enforcing this constitutional right while also protecting individuals from harming themselves or others? For many officers, it’s a literal rock and a hard place they’re stuck between.
Law enforcement isn’t standing down without resistance. The red flag laws have made their way into 18 state legislations, and many sheriffs are doing what they can to stop it from becoming a nationwide order. The concept of a Second Amendment Sanctuary or a “gun sanctuary” was borne from this natural resistance to the threat of unconstitutionality. In these areas, adopted in states with heavy support for gun ownership, the red flag law is not enforced. In the eyes of those tasked with enforcing this idea of a “gun sanctuary”, constitutional rights must not be forsaken, and there are other ways of dealing with individuals who need help. “There are existing laws on the books that allow for law enforcement to investigate those individuals engaged in a mental health crisis,” Sierra County, New Mexico Sheriff Glenn Hamilton said in a recent US News article.
Of course, this effort to establish and protect Second Amendment Sanctuary cities puts these sheriffs at odds with other law enforcement arms. It’s important, therefore, that we continue to build support for the Second Amendment, lest our rights be further impinged upon. The education component of any campaign plays a big role here; many citizens may not realize the unintended and/or unconstitutional effects that these red flag laws have on our future as a free country. Perhaps instead of so much focus on red flags — which have unlimited potential for corruption and ulterior motives rather than genuine concern — more effort could be made into proper mental health support for those who need it and the right amount of education about responsible gun ownership.
The reality is that a red flag law can never protect against poor intentions, and in many cases this law can be applied in the wrong way, to the wrong person. This is a slippery slope on the path to losing our right to bear arms altogether, which is why it’s imperative to make sure more citizens know how important this fight is.
Learn more about the rise of Second Amendment Sanctuary cities in our newest video here:
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