Buried in a story from WOSU about the introduction of new gun control legislation in Ohio by Gov. Mike DeWine that does not include a so-called “red flag” disarmament provision is an observation by Buckeye Lt. Gov. Jon Husted that reveals a genuine problem many Second Amendment activists contend is inherent in Red Flag laws.
The news agency said DeWine’s “STRONG Ohio” plan does not include a “red flag” tenet, nor is there a so-called “enhanced background check” portion.
The story explained how Husted said the new legislation was crafted to be constitutional “while respecting Second Amendment rights, and still manage to pass the Republican-dominated legislature.”
“Everything we are doing places no new restrictions or limitations on a law-abiding citizen to own a gun,” Husted noted during a press conference. “These proposals are focused on keeping guns out of the hands of people who, based on current law, are prevented from owning a gun.”
Then the lieutenant governor had another observation. He told reporters that “just removing the gun doesn’t mean you’ve kept that person or others safe,” WOSU reported.
At the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference in Phoenix, sponsored by the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, that very sentiment was repeated frequently by several different people engaging in different conversations about “red flag” laws. Police show up at someone’s door to take their firearms, but they leave the individual against whom the confiscation order is issued, essentially on the loose.
Rights activists from across the landscape contend Red Flag laws are really about taking guns from people, not getting help for anyone who may need it.
A case being reported in Redmond, Wash., by Seattle’s KOMO—the local ABC affiliate—may amplify such concerns. Redmond police recently confiscated several firearms belonging to an unidentified 23-year-old man who reportedly made “concerning Twitter posts posing with weapons and referencing the Joker movie” as a reason to petition the court for an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO). Reportedly, the disarmed Redmond resident posted a message on Twitter with a photo of him holding a pair of semi-auto rifles with the message “One ticket for joker please.”
The reference alarmed detectives, who were aware of heightened security concerns surrounding the premier of the new “Joker” movie in local theaters. The petition filed by police noted a recent “warning “from the U.S. Army about “the potential for mass shootings at the movie screening.” The man had prior social media postings in which he claimed to be an “incel,” which is an abbreviation for “involuntary celibate,” according to the police petition.
Evergreen State rights activists are criticizing the incident on social media. The story noted, “The man has not been charged with a crime but is expected to have a court hearing on Oct. 15. The man does not have a prior criminal history nor have police had contact with him before, according to Andrea Wolf-Buck with Redmond Police.” Liberty Park Press contacted Wolf-Buck, who confirmed that no charges were filed, but did say Redmond detectives have asked that the guns be held for one year under the ERPO, as noted by the Seattle Times.
A copy of the ERPO petition obtained by Liberty Park Press includes several images and additional Twitter posts. The Seattle Times said the man’s Twitter account appears to have been deactivated.
Published reports also said the man had a concealed pistol license “for two handguns,” but that is questionable, since there is no requirement in Washington to list guns one might carry with the CPL. He did purchase two sidearms, one a 9mm acquired earlier this year and the other a .380 ACP, purchased last year. Both were reportedly taken by police along with other firearms, without resistance.
A court hearing is scheduled Oct. 15. Meanwhile, since he has not been charged with any crime, the Redmond man remains free.
Meanwhile, back in Ohio, DeWine’s package was described as a “17-point plan” so it has several features. The absence of “universal background checks” reportedly disappointed Ohio gun control proponents, so they’re pushing ahead with a gun control measure for next year’s ballot.
But Dr. John Lott, founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of several books on firearms facts, appeared at the Phoenix conference, where he told the audience “there’s not one mass public shooting in this century that would have been stopped by having that (universal background checks) in effect.”
Do you think Red Flag laws have a place in today’s society or are they a pure violation of the Second Amendment? Share your answers in the comment section.
The Second Amendment Foundation is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.
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