Biden is Pushing This Scheme Forward in a Big Way

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posted on April 7, 2024
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Gage Skidmore courtesy Flickr

President Joe Biden (D) is doubling down on pushing “red flag” laws, also called “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” (ERPOs). The Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) recently began the National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center.

Vice President Kamala Harris (D) announced the creation of the center, which will be funded by taxpayers—many of them gun owners who could fall prey to such laws.

According to a DOJ press release, the resource center will be managed by the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), and it will “provide training and technical assistance to law enforcement officials, prosecutors, attorneys, judges, clinicians, victim service and social service providers, community organizations, and behavioral health professionals responsible for implementing laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of people who pose a threat to themselves or others.”

As America’s 1st Freedom has reported, rather than just infringing squarely on the Second Amendment like “universal” background checks would, “red flag” laws also walk all over the right to due process, which is protected by the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights. These laws typically permit the government to seize a person’s firearms and, thereby, at least temporarily take away a person’s Second Amendment rights. Their version of ”due process” perhaps comes later.

In fact, the first time a person finds out that they are the subject of such an order might be when law enforcement shows up at the front door to confiscate their firearms. Even if the person later has an opportunity (this is often a very expensive option) to tell their side of the story at a hearing, the damage to their rights and reputation was done the moment the guns were removed.

As the NRA Institute for Legislative Action previously noted regarding “red flag” laws, aside from due-process concerns, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the 2022 Bruen case “suggests that (these) gun confiscation orders are unconstitutional solely on Second Amendment grounds.”

Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion declared that, in order for a firearm regulation to pass constitutional muster, it must fit within the text, history and tradition of the Second Amendment right. Specifically, the opinion noted that [w]hen the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct. The government must then justify its regulation by demonstrating that it is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. Only then may a court conclude that the individual’s conduct falls outside the Second Amendment’s ‘unqualified’ command.”

That, of course, poses an obvious and serious problem for the constitutionality of “red flag” laws, which are thought of as “new” solutions to address the actions of violent criminals. Unfortunately, for law-abiding American gun owners, the president hasn’t shied away from any gun-control schemes just because they are unconstitutional. His new National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center is further proof of that. 

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