This past week, gun control advocates arrived on Capitol Hill to pressure Congress to pass new gun control measures. But unlike the radical groups that have been demanding sweeping gun bans, these activists promoted what they call "moderate" and "common sense" solutions.
They are recommending things like increased school security and even allowing licensed teachers to carry concealed weapons. But the centerpiece of their "compromise" proposal is something called the Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act. Also sometimes referred to as the "Red Flag" law, this bill would allow police to confiscate firearms from allegedly "dangerous people."
The law already lets police do this. All it takes is charging a suspect with a crime. If police believe someone is dangerous, they can always charge them with a crime and then petition the court to separate them from their firearms until the trial is complete. If they are convicted of a felony or violent misdemeanor, then the confiscation order becomes permanent.
That is called due process. If the government wants to suspend someone's rights, they must charge them with a crime and give the accused a chance to defend themselves. And it is the government's responsibility to prove that someone is too dangerous to own a gun...
But the Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act would get rid of this requirement. If this passes, police around the country would be allowed to confiscate Americans guns without even charging them with a crime!
Here's how the confiscation program would work. Normally, police and prosecutors need to present evidence in court and prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that someone is guilty. That is what it takes to get a long-term confiscation order.
The Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act, however, would lower the evidentiary bar. Instead of having to prove someone's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the government would simply need to meet the "reasonable suspicion" standard.
Reasonable suspicion is essentially a little more than a gut instinct. For example, if a police officer is responding to a robbery and sees a car that matches the suspect's description, the officer can use reasonable suspicion to pull the car over and check the driver's identity. But that's it. Reasonable suspicion is only enough to conduct brief stops. It is not enough to make an arrest and is certainly not enough to suspend someone's rights...
But under the Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act, it would be. The bill would allow family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and, frankly, even complete strangers to turn gun owners into police to have their firearms confiscated. No real evidence, just hearsay.
If someone claims that a gun owner is dangerous, that would be enough to start the confiscation process. Angry neighbors and estranged family members would suddenly get the power to turn gun owners into police. Officers and prosecutors would then be able to use this hearsay to petition a judge for a confiscation order.
Only after someone's guns were taken away would they get a chance to defend themselves. But if they can't convince a judge that they are innocent, then the confiscation order would be extended for up to a year.
And all of this happens without the gun owner even being technically accused of committing a crime. They are literally innocent. This bill allows police and prosecutors to disarm innocent people and the GOP is pushing it through!
With the Mueller hearing over, there has been a lot of talk this week about the concepts of "exoneration" and "innocent until proven guilty." Every American has a constitutional right to presumed innocence. It is the government's responsibility to prove their guilt if they do something wrong. That is why so many defendants refuse to take the stand in their own defense at trial. If the government is failing to make their case, there is no need to testify. Defendants do not need to prove they are innocent.
But the Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act flips this upside down. Instead of presumed innocence, the gun owner petitioning the court has already been disarmed. The presiding judge has already examined 'evidence' and signed the confiscation order by the time the gun owner makes it into court. They are presumed guilty. And if they can't change the judge's mind, then the confiscation order gets extended for up to 12 months...
The GOP is doing everything they can to hide their gun control maneuvering from the headlines. Back in March, they held their first gun control hearing immediately after the Mueller report was released. The GOP wanted to make sure that the media was focused on something else.
It is not a coincidence that they scheduled this most recent hearing the same week that Mueller testified before Congress. They're hiding behind the media's around-the-clock Mueller coverage. Even CSPAN didn't cover the hearing...
There's no beating around the bush on this. Congress is talking about giving the government the power to disarm innocent Americans and suspend their constitutional rights without even having to charge them with a crime.
The Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act was written by Marco Rubio (R-FL) and co-sponsored by Susan Collins (R-ME) It is being pushed through the Judiciary Committee by Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Now, other Republicans are jumping on board.
The GOP is deliberately scheduling these gun control hearings so they can hide behind the news cycle. The last thing they want is for you to know what they're doing. But now, you do know! And with that knowledge comes a responsibility to fight back!
The GOP thinks that this confiscation bill is a "compromise." They are marching forward with their plan to disarm American gun owners and the worst part is, Pres. Trump has promised to sign this bill if it reaches his desk.
You CANNOT let this happen!