Veterans Beware: Federal Red Flag Laws
Veterans beware- a Federal red flag law could destroy your gun rights. Actually, it appears they’re pushing to destroy everyone’s gun rights. But let’s look specifically at Red Flag Laws with regard to military veterans.
The concept seems oh-so logical. Confiscate guns from people who are a danger to themselves or others. Maybe you can stop a suicide. Maybe you can stop a mass shooting. Except…there is absolutely no due process in a red flag law that allows the gun owners any way to defend themselves against the accusations. And that especially includes military veterans.
Have you ever heard of laws that punish people on the basis of what they “might do”? That’s what a Red Flag Law does. And they do it based solely on the word of either a family member or a police officer. As we have seen before, family members with grudges can make a hash out of your life. They can even get you killed.
2 AACo PD Officers serving Red Flag order to remove guns from a house kill man listed on order.— Mike Schuh WJZ (@MikeWJZ) November 5, 2018
PD: Man answers door at 5:17am armed with a handgun, refuses to drop it. A fight ensues, his gun fires, police return fire, man dies at scene. Ofcrs nor others in house were hurt. pic.twitter.com/4PWQrTFCDp
Health Issues – Veterans Beware
The VA adjudicates veterans for disabilities. According to Military.com, there are 1.6 million of them with adjudicated “mental illness,” including 1 million with PTSD. Are they all at risk? If they were, mass shootings would happen by the millions. (Newsflash – they don’t).
We recently wrote about the gun bill introduced by Phil Roe (R) and Collin Peterson (D) that prohibits the VA from sending such determinations to NICS. HR 3826 hasn’t gone anywhere in the Democrat controlled House, especially not since the latest round of mass shootings. It’s the background check issue that could hurt our veterans the most.
If someone helps a veteran with their VA benefits, the veteran can be reported to NICS. Just because someone helped them. It’s wrong on so many levels. And the weapons can be kept for up to a year, sometimes longer. It’s difficult to get them back, even if the situation that prompted it was only a temporary one.
The President is promoting both Red Flag Laws and more intense background checks. Neither of which would stop a mass shooter. Many of those who have become mass shooters actually passed those background checks. Others had major warning signs and those signs were ignored by authorities. There will always be human error as well. The Parkland shooter, for example was well known to local police who did nothing. The mother of the El PAso shooter warned police that he had a gun, but because he was old enough to own one, they could do nothing.
There are always warning signs with these killers, as we’ve previously noted. Perhaps learning how to read them is better than codifying laws that can harm the gun rights of millions of people, including our veterans.
A spokeswoman for Republicans on the House Veterans Affairs Committee said via e-mail that the Roe-Petersen bill would not conflict with red flag laws since both would require a judicial authority to rule on whether an individual could own or buy a firearm.
The problem with that statement is this – the “adjudication” is when a judge signs the confiscation order based upon the information from the family member or police officer who reported it and the gun owner is not present. Police officers and family members or judges are generally not mental health professionals. Two weeks or more AFTER the guns are confiscated, there is usually a hearing. And in some states, the gun owner must PROVE that they are not a risk rather than being innocent until proven guilty.
It’s not going to get better any time soon, so veterans beware!