“Red flag” confiscation laws are a legal abomination. By design, they deliberately eliminate due process protections by suspending an individual’s Second Amendment rights without a hearing (at least one where the targeted gun owner is present).
Red flag laws, or gun violence restraining orders as they’re sometimes called, also eliminate the need for evidence, since the presence of actual evidence of a true threat is already grounds for a regular protective order under current laws. Laws with due process protections that may include arrest (since a criminal threat is a crime, after all), Truth About Guns reports.
Tennessee’s Sen. Sara Kyle [D-Memphis] and Rep. Gloria Johnson [D-Knoxville] have found additional ways that would give their state a “red flag” law that’s far worse than any bill I’ve seen to date in any other state or at the federal level.
TN SB1807 | 2019-2020 | 111th General Assembly
As introduced, allows a court to issue an emergency protection order upon a finding that a person poses an imminent risk of harm to the person or others if allowed to purchase or possess a firearm; authorizes a family member, household member, intimate partner, or law enforcement officer to petition for such an order. – Amends TCA Title 36 and Title 39.
- Aside from the usual family/household member or police, an order may be requested by anyone who ever went on a date with the subject (any “intimate partner”), any time, anywhere.
- The petitioner — no matter how spurious their claim — cannot be hit with any court costs.
- The ex parte (not present) subject of a “red flag” confiscation order, however, is hit with the court costs, including those normally charged to the petitioner (“all court costs, filing fees, litigation taxes, and attorney fees shall be assessed against the respondent”).
- The target of a confiscation order cannot have a hearing for at least five days, and it can be up to thirty days before one takes place.
- And the pièce de résistance: An order may be requested by any Tennessee resident against anyone anywhere in the world (the respondent — target — doesn’t have to be a resident of Tennessee, though how they’d enforce those orders in other jurisdictions isn’t quite clear).
- An order can be “served” on the target simply by mailing it to their last address order can be “served” on the target simply by mailing it to their last address.
- The Tennessee bills specify that confiscation petitions “shall be liberally construed procedural in favor of the petitioner.
- Specific allowances for destroying the business of targets who are federal firearms licensees.
- Inventory must be disposed of within 48 hours, or locked in a safe; simply barring the targeted person from the premises while his employees do business is not allowed (unless another person is named on the federal firearms license).
The new bill contains dispossession mandates that would clearly violate the 1934 National Firearms Act and fails to take many other unique considerations into account.
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Dean James at Right Wing Tribune