In the wake of tragic mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend, Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris told the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees that she can’t wait to start rounding up guns.
Speaking to AFSCME members on Saturday in Las Vegas, Harris was questioned about her gun control platform. The Washington Examiner wanted to know “if her plan would include legal gun owner databases or gun confiscation.” They especially wanted to know if police officers would be sent out to bang on the doors of “residents who own banned firearms.” She was eager to answer.
“I’m actually prepared to take executive action to put in place rules that improve this situation.”
Executive action means she isn’t going to sit around and wait for Congress to make laws, she’ll do it on her own initiative. Just to be clear on what it was she was planning on shoving down America’s throat, she explained how she already did it in California.
“I also have as part of my background and experience working on this issue, when I was attorney general, and we put resources into allowing law enforcement to actually knock on the doors of people who were on two lists.”
One of the two lists that California used was people who “had been found by a court to be a danger to themselves and others.” The others “were precluded and prohibited from owning a gun because of a conviction that prohibited that ownership.”
According to Harris, “we sent law enforcement out to take those guns, because, listen, we have to deal with this on all levels, but we have to do this with a sense of urgency.” Opponents of the law recognize that there are legitimate applications, but the potential for abuse is enormous. It arguably “infringes” on the Second Amendment right to bear arms as well as due process safeguards in the law. One sided procedures can often occur.
The National Rifle Association has been vocal with their opposition, but softened their stance by 2018. The NRA is somewhat willing to support such laws but only if there are well defined safeguards built in. Any such law should require that a judge find “clear and convincing evidence” that the individual in question “poses a significant risk of danger.”
Many fear that too loose wording will result in those who’s social media posts raise any level of suspicion, warranted or not, will result in visits from law enforcement and unconstitutional gun confiscation.
Even though the NRA is willing to consider such legislation, they haven’t endorsed any of the current varieties in use. Last summer, they went to court over Pennsylvania’s version “because it objected to allowing initial hearings ex parte.” Ex parte means only one side appears in court. The defendant has no opportunity to explain their side of it.
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The NRA has been promoting a 2019 study which shows “red flag laws have no significant effect on murder, suicide, the number of people killed in mass public shootings, robbery, aggravated assault, or burglary.”
Some counties and cities have even gone as far as to proactively prevent gun confiscation round-ups by adopting “Second Amendment sanctuary” laws. According to Wikipedia, “As of 2019, some 75 jurisdictions have declared themselves sanctuaries that oppose emergency protection orders and enforcement of gun background checks.”