February 18, 2019 President’s Day
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Here is today’s Texas Minute.
|– Michael Quinn Sullivan
Monday, February 18, 2019
|· So called “Red flag” laws have been proposed around the country by Democrats. Eager to disarm Americans, they seek an end-run around the Constitution. The laws would allow a mere complaint about a person’s emotional state—to raise a “red flag,” as it were—to be all the justification necessary for law enforcement officials to seize that person’s firearms. The individual would then have to fight in the courts to prove their innocence in order to get their guns back—a costly process at best, and prohibitively expensive for most.
· We have already seen due process turned on its head in the realm of “civil asset forfeiture,” where government entities seize property allegedly used in the commission of a crime. You may have seen these cases before: The State of Texas vs. a 2001 Dodge Ram Pickup, for instance. The rub comes when property owners are never charged or found guilty of anything. They then must hire lawyers and sue to get their property back.
· Conservatives have been fighting for years to reform unjust civil asset forfeiture laws. We’ve seen those laws abused against people who are unable to fund a lawsuit to prove their property was innocent!
· Proposed “red flag” laws are even more unjust. While the Second Amendment protects citizens’ right to keep and bear arms, red-flag laws deprive individuals of those rights without due-process. Firearms can be seized, and their owners are left to hire lawyers to get them back. Along the way, the state is never required to prove any crime, much less prove one beyond a reasonable doubt. And the firearm owners are never given access to a jury, or even to an appeal!
· When Americans are deprived of their basic constitutional rights, they suffer an irreparable harm.
· Some groups, like the National Rifle Association, say they support a unicorn-like middle ground. They naively support red-flag laws, but only where due-process is allowed. But the entire point of these laws is to seize firearms from people who have never been convicted, must less accused of any crime. By its nature, a red-flag law is a violation of due-process. The very nature of red-flag laws is for a fundamental constitutional right—ownership of a firearm—to be violated on the basis of mere suspicion.
· Fortunately, others groups recognize the threat and are fighting back. Gun Owners of America correctly notes that such laws represent an unconscionable abridgment of fundamental rights, which would soon go beyond just the right to own and possess a gun.
· “Peaceful, law-abiding citizens could be forced to defend themselves in a court of law against an accuser who thought they were dangerous just because of their ethnic background.”—Rachel Malone
· “The burden of proof [for a red-flag order] is very low. Any family member, roommate, or neighbor can go to the police to seek an order. Studies show that 98% of all warrants that police seek are approved by the courts. It has cost the accused upwards of $10,000 to get their gun rights back.” – John Crump, writing at AmmoLand.com
· Even Texas Gov. Greg Abbott briefly flirted last year with exploring the use of red-flag laws in the Lone Star State. Fortunately, he dropped the idea after Republican activists and officeholders, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, spoke out against it.
|State Representative 98
Giovanni Capriglione – R
State Senator 10
Beverly Powell – D
U.S. Representative 24
Kenny Marchant – R
(202) 225-6605Something not right?
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Number of the Day
|The number of states that honor the License to Carry issued by Texas.