This morning, Mitch McConnell called the White House to discuss gun control. Specifically, the Senate Majority Leader needed the White House to tell Republicans what kind of gun control bill to pass.
For the past two weeks, we have been hammering the Left's gun control proposals. We have bombarded Congress with hundreds of thousands of FaxBlasts telling Republicans and Democrats alike that a vote for the left's gun ban or universal firearm registration scheme would end their political careers.
The pressure is working. Just in the past couple of days, we have seen Republicans and moderate Democrats start to reverse course on their gun control surrender. A semi-automatic gun ban is looking less likely than it did a week ago. The same is true for the Democrats proposed gun registration scheme.
But the GOP is persistent. They are desperate to "do something" on gun control, even if that something involves chipping away at your rights.
That is why McConnell called the White House. He wanted guidance on what gun control package the GOP should pursue.
And the White House had an answer: Red Flag gun confiscation legislation.
We all agree that criminals and the mentally ill should not be allowed to own guns. But that is already written into Federal law. The government already has the power to disarm Americans who are charged with felonies or violent misdemeanors or involuntarily admitted to a mental institution. Those confiscations become permanent if someone is convicted of one of these crimes or adjudicated mentally defective by a judge.
While there are a range of reasons the government can use to disarm a gun owner, all cases require prosecutors to actually accuse someone of breaking a specific law. The accused has to be notified of the charges and then given a chance to defend themselves. But technically, the gun owners don't have to mount a legal defense. It is the government's obligation to prove guilt and if they fail, then the gun owner is presumed innocent and gets their guns back.
That is how due process works. Red Flag laws, however, would make one major change to this process: prosecutors would no longer have to accuse or even prove that a gun owner did something wrong broke the law. Instead, gun confiscation orders could be authorized if prosecutors can convince a judge that a gun owner is most likely dangerous.
I don't want to get too far into the weeds, but this is a radical shift in the standard of proof required to confiscate someone's guns. Instead of having to prove someone is 'guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,' Red Flag laws allow courts to approve gun confiscation orders based on the 'preponderance of evidence' standard. What that means is that instead of having to prove that someone is guilty of a crime, the government only needs to convince a judge that it is more likely than not that the suspect will commit a crime at some point in the future.
But here is why Red Flag laws are so dangerous. The actual gun owner isn't notified until after his or her guns have been taken away. When prosecutors are trying to convince the judge that the person is dangerous, the accused is not even allowed to know about the hearing. They only get a chance to defend themselves after their guns have been taken away..
There is a case in Florida that illustrates how dangerous this is. Johnathan Carpenter was shocked when he received a certified letter in the mail revoking his concealed carry permit. Thinking that it must have been a mistake, he went to his local Sheriff's office to find out why he was losing his right to keep and bear arms.
The Sheriff's Office informed Carpenter that he was having his guns confiscated because a Florida court had determined that he posed an imminent danger to those around him. The specific allegation was that he threatened his landlord.
The problem was none of what the Sheriff's Office was saying was true. They had confused him with another John Carpenter. This should have been easy to clear up. For example, the real suspect is 5' 8" while John is 5' 11". The real criminal also has tattoos that John Carpenter clearly doesn't have. Simply lifting up his shirt would prove that this was all one big mistake.
But because of the way Red Flag laws work, he was never given this opportunity. The Judge authorized the confiscation order in secret. John Carpenter has to wait weeks before he can plead his case in court. And in the meantime, the Sheriff ordered him to surrender all of his firearms.
Make no mistake: Red Flag laws allow the government to confiscate guns from innocent Americans. And the GOP wants to make this a nationwide program!
This is how the Republicans want to compromise on gun control. Instead of banning semi-automatic weapons, the GOP is offering to meet Democrats halfway and give the government the power to disarm innocent people.
The Left is ecstatic. This is what they have always dreamed of, and now Republicans are offering to just give in and pass it.
The Republican Establishment is scared. They believe that if they don't pass new gun control, they might lose their seats. They are putting your rights on the chopping block to save their careers. They think they can actually come out ahead by chipping away at the 2nd Amendment.
It is up to YOU to prove them wrong!
Stop this unconstitutional bill in its tracks,