I’ve got a few pro-gun-control friends who say “I support common sense restrictions on people who shouldn’t have guns…”
So does every gun rights supporter.
“…including Red Flag Laws”
OK, we need to talk.
“Red Flag” laws have a bunch of problems:
1) They allow anyone – literally, anyone you’ve had a personal, business, romantic or habitation relationship with – to go to a judge and tell any story they want, literally, without you being there to defend yourself. And if a judge – whatever their motivations – agrees, then you’ll have armed cops swarming over your house, no different than if they’re serving a warrant on a drug dealer. By the way – Swat teams going after “armed subjects” have “assault rifles”, and get nervous.
What could go wrong?
2) You say you want to prevent suicide? OK – let’s say you actually *are* a danger to yourself. The laws allow the cops to take…your guns. Not the booze and sleeping pills, the rope, the gas ovens, the cars, the razor blades. They cart your guns away and apparently say “At least they won’t *shoot* themselves.”
And the thing is, there’s an actual law already on the books in Minnesota (253.05) that already allows people with legitimate concerns to get a 72 hour hold *for cause*, that *actually* is intended to keep people from hurting themselves!
3) And if someone is a danger to others? They, like Nik Cruz, have been legitimately threatening to hurt *others*? Yep, there’s a law for that – MN statute 518.01, if memory serves, which allows the cops to preventatively arrest people *for legitimate cause* if there’s an actual threat to *other people*.
“Red Flag” laws are less effective at preventing suicide than existing statute. They *do* less than current law at preventing actual crimes.
What *are* they good for?
Harassing law-abiding gun owners. Seriously – some local gun control activists have already promised to “Swat” local second amendment leaders if the laws pass. And you can already see the wheels turning in the minds of some sleazy divorce lawyers and political opposition researchers out there.
In states where these sorts of laws have been passed, that’s exactly what’s happened.
They are useless in dealing with suicide and crime, and good only for harassment.
What’s the defense?
And if your idea of a “defense” is “We’ve got to dooooooooo something” – just no. What you propose to doooooooo is worse than useless.
But give it a shot.