EDITORIAL: Fixing Colorado’s vexed ‘red-flag law’ will only save lives

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In this image taken from El Paso County District Court video, Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, center, sits during a court appearance in Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday, Dec. Nov. 6, 2022. Aldrich, the suspect accused of entering a Colorado gay nightclub clad in body armor and opening fire with an AR-15-style rifle, killing five people and wounding 17 others, was charged by prosecutors Tuesday with 305 criminal counts including hate crimes and murder. (El Paso County District Court via AP)

The state is awash in crises and issues demanding urgent attention by state lawmakers as they convene for the 2023 General Assembly, but addressing deficiencies in Colorado’s red flag gun law is a priority.

For the past few years, Colorado’s Extreme Risk Protection Order has allowed police and family members to temporarily confiscate guns from gun-owners who clearly, and provably, are so distraught, mentally ill or unstable that being armed makes them a deadly risk to themselves or others.

But the process is often neither certain nor easy.

It’s clear the law failed in the case of Club Q mass-shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich, according to police officials and reporting on the tragedy so far.

The Nov. 19 shooting killed five people and wounded 19 at Club Q, a Colorado Springs nightclub. Aldrich not only had a history of violence and mental illness, but law enforcement interventions the previous year most likely should have, but did not, prevent Aldrich from carrying out the Club Q shooting tragedy.

It’s clear there was an unsuccessful attempt by some officials to invoke the state’s red flag law against Aldrich after he threatened to bomb his mother’s Colorado Springs home last year.

What’s known so far about the case reveals a bevy of malfeasance by prosecutors in the case. El Paso County, a self-proclaimed “Second Amendment sanctuary,” may have used loopholes in state law to keep from ensuring Aldrich no longer had guns.

The three-year-old law allows police or family members to ask courts to remove guns and ammo from people who pose a threat to themselves or others. Colorado’s red flag law, passed in 2019, has been used more than 350 times, with initial petitions for protection orders being granted in nearly two-thirds of cases, according to state records.

But the red-flag law is by no means a mandate, and counties like El Paso can ignore the law. They, and other “sanctuary” counties and communities, likely do.

El Paso County has the lowest approval rate for red-flag law petitions filed in the state, according to reporting and analysis last month by Kaiser Health News.

One current easy solution headed for the Legislature would expand the list of those who can appeal to courts for intervention to include, possibly, health-care providers and school officials.

It’s unclear why anyone should not be allowed to begin the ERPO process, since applicants must provide proof to a court to begin the process. Substantial proof could easily come from neighbors, employers or fellow employees, shooting range officials or even gun-store clerks.

In addition to expanding the law, state legislators need to review the measure carefully for loopholes.

Some El Paso County police and political officials consider the red-flag law anathema to their political interpretation of the Second Amendment. 

County Republican officials there have long bragged about the county being a “Second Amendment sanctuary,” opposing the red-flag law and other common sense measures that seek to at least keep guns out of the hands of clearly and imminently dangerous people, like Aldrich.

El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder “has previously said he would only remove guns on orders from family members, refusing to go to court himself to get permission except under “exigent circumstances,” according to an AP story in December week. “We’re not going to be taking personal property away from people without due process,” Elder said as the law neared passage in 2019.

He and others have since backpedaled on some of the rhetoric. It’s clear, however, that state officials need to find ways to ensure gun-rights complicit local law enforcement officials follow and carry out Colorado law, rather than interpret or outright dismiss it.

Other gun restriction proposals this year, such as age limits and an assault weapons ban, will be expectedly controversial.  Proven and sensible red-flag laws are easy, effective and come installed with checks and balances.

Gun-rights activists regularly insist that the plague of gun violence is primarily a mental health issue. We agree. And legislation that removes deadly weapons from the hands of mentally ill people makes only perfect sense.

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GeneD
29 days ago

The ‘plague of gun violence is primarily a mental health issue’? No it is not. Death by firearm is now the leading cause of death in children. The majority of gun deaths among whites are suicides; the majority of gun deaths among blacks are homicides, and most victims of gun violence are killed or wounded by someone they know.

An argument, a spurned lover, a robbery, a gang initiation, a fight that escalates, road rage, the use of an improperly stored firearm, these are typical events leading to gun violence. But they are not the cause,

The cause is the easy access to and the tremendous number of guns in our society. Red Flag laws can help prevent clearly mentally disturbed individuals from carrying out gun violence tragedies, and one life saved is worth it. But until we begin the work of dealing with our love affair with guns, the carnage – over 40,000 killed each year – will continue.

And any law enforcement official who will not uphold the law of the land should turn in his or her badge.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
28 days ago
Reply to  GeneD

The ‘plague of alcoholism is primarily a mental health issue’? No it is not. Excessive drinking shortens the lives of those it kills by up to 26 years, leads to cancer, liver disease, and heart disease, increases the chances of domestic violence six-fold, and is one of the critical markers of criminal behavior.

Endless advertisements, an argument, a spurned lover, a drunk driver, road rage, the use of an improperly stored bottle of booze, these are typical events leading to alcohol deaths. But they are not the cause,

The cause is the easy access to and the tremendous amount of alcohol in our society. Prohibition laws can help prevent clearly addicted individuals from carrying out alcohol-related tragedies, and one life saved is worth it. But until we begin the work of dealing with our love affair with alcohol, the carnage – over 140,000 killed each year–will continue.

And any law enforcement official who will not uphold the law of the land should turn in his or her badge.

jim smith
jim smith
28 days ago
Reply to  GeneD

Re: ” Death by firearm is now the leading cause of death in children”

Not surprising since gang violence is a big problem and the average age range of adolescents recruited by gangs is 11-14 and it is estimated that somewhere between 15% to 22% of all gang members are under 15 years of age

Re: ” The cause is the easy access to and the tremendous number of guns in our society”

With an estimated 109 million gun owners with 434 million guns and billions or trillions of rounds of ammunition – if legal gun owners were a problem, you would know it and there would be a lot more than ~15-20000 firearm homicides each year.

Re: ” It was no accident that the current era of mass shootings followed”

Correlation does not imply causality and the fundamental problem you have is that in 2016 (for example) there were 667300 violent criminals in state prisons and 20900 in federal prisons. This works out to a total of 688200 or about 0.214% of the US population which means that about 1 out of every 466 people in the US that have been caught have no qualms about ignoring whatever laws you pass and killing or injuring someone and the gun is often their tool of choice. So the bottom line is (1) The human race in the US produces a few bad individuals prone to violence who just refuse to play by whatever rules you promulgate and until you find some way to identify these individuals and the courage to permanently eliminate them from society, innocent people are going to be killed (2) Because of these bad individuals, bad things happen every day to people who through no fault of their own were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Criminals will always have guns if they want them. If worst comes to worst they will be smuggled into the US from Mexico inside a bale of marijuana or shipment of fentanyl and sold on the black market.

GeneD
25 days ago
Reply to  jim smith

Attempting to defend the indefensible. Rather than ‘a few bad individuals’ causing more than 40,000 gun deaths and twice as many maimings a year, the majority of gun deaths are suicides, and the next highest group is made up by others known to the victims. Criminals are not the biggest cause of gun deaths, they like to keep potential marks alive, nor are the mentally ill; they are much more likely to be victims.

No, the biggest cause of gun deaths is,,,,wait for it…..GUNS and their misuse.

Just out of curiosity, Jim, of this epidemic of gun violence, with over 120 people killed every day, what would you consider the ‘right’ amount? Oh, and if guns get smuggled in from Mexico, guess what? They’ll be returning home, as most of the weapons used by the Mexican cartels and gangs are made right here in the good old USA.

jim smith
jim smith
24 days ago
Reply to  GeneD

Re: “Criminals are not the biggest cause of gun deaths”

True. Suicides are.

RE: “they like to keep potential marks alive”

But not their competitors in the business of drugs and other illegal activities

Re: “No, the biggest cause of gun deaths is,,,,wait for it…..GUNS and their misuse”

According to the CDC, in 2019 there were 38355 deaths from firearms and most were suicides while 14414 were homicides. If someone wants to ki11 themselves it’s a matter of individual choice where the person can pick the time, place and method and an argument can also be made that an individual’s life belongs to them exclusively and not you, the State or anyone else. In addition, suicide is not illegal at the federal level or in any state I can find and some states allow assisted suicide. Note also that the number of suicides committed with firearms (23941) was about equal to the number committed by other means (23570) so as long as there are other options, it’s not clear that restricting firearms would have any effect on the number of suicides.

Homicides are a different story. 14414 people murdered with firearms in the US works out to about 39 people per day. These are the “word doctored” figures the news media and anti-gun folks like to publicize because people relate to the magnitude of those numbers and it sounds like a lot of people until you realize this is out of a population of 326 million Americans. In that context, it works out to about 1 person out of every 23,000 people being murdered by a firearm and about 1 person out of every 923,000 (FBI data) being murdered with a rifle which includes so called “assault rifles”. Dwell on the magnitude of your individual significance next time you are in a stadium with 23,000 or 923,000 people and you will realize these events are rare. It is also estimated there are about 109 million gun owners and 20 million “assault style” weapon owners in the US which means on any given day 108,999,961 gun owners didn’t murder anyone nor did 19,999,961 “assault style” weapon owners – yet because the news media magnifies these relatively isolated and infrequent events to the level of an epidemic, the anti-gun folks answer is to restrict or take the guns away from people who harmed no one. The number of homicides with a firearm will never be zero – so if you think 1 person out of 23,000 or 923,000 is unacceptable then given the fact that deranged individuals and murderers are an intrinsic part of the human race and we currently live in a free society, “What number of illegal firearm homicides would ever be acceptable to you to the point you would say “we don’t need any more restrictions on the private ownership of firearms”?

Re: “what would you consider the ‘right’ amount?”

I’m okay with where we are if means the only alternative is to confiscate firearms from the majority of 109 million gun owners who have harmed no one. And if that bothers you and you want to do something about the problem, you could start by enforcing the laws already on the books and insist empathetic judges and DAs quit allowing people who use or possess a gun illegally to plea bargain away the illegal firearms offense. The feds are one of the worst offenders when it comes to enforcing laws. Straw purchases and lying on the 4473 form you have to fill out for a background check to purchase a firearm is a felony punishable by 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine – yet in 2010 76142 people failed the background check, 4732 were deemed worthy of prosecution and only 62 were referred for prosecution. Another thing you could do since most of the gun homicides are caused by gangs or repeat offenders is to advocate for a law that would impose a mandatory death sentence on any recidivist with a violent criminal history that uses a firearm to commit a crime regardless of childhood upbringing, economic impoverishment, mental health, age, IQ, ethnicity, $ex or gender identity.

Re: “They’ll be returning home, as most of the weapons used by the Mexican cartels and gangs are made right here in the good old USA”.

And a lot of the fully automatic versions along with the heavier weapons were transferred from the US military to the Mexican government and are stolen from or obtained from the corrupt Mexican military.

Last edited 24 days ago by jim smith
GeneD
21 days ago
Reply to  jim smith

No, the majority of gun homicides are committed by a person known to the victim; a spouse, an ex-partner, a drinking buddy…there are also twice as many wounded as murdered, often resulting in lifelong needed rehabilitation and needed trauma counseling. Also, each person murdered leaves behind a relationship network of loved ones and relatives of 7 people on average.

Ask them if they are ‘okay’ with the current level of gun violence in the US. And ask yourself what else we could be doing with the billions of dollars currently spent on health care for gun shot victims.

jim smith
jim smith
21 days ago
Reply to  GeneD

Re: ” No, the majority of gun homicides are committed by a person known to the victim”

Citations I can Google?

Re: “Ask them if they are ‘okay’ with the current level of gun violence in the US…

Why? Their opinion has no more relevance to this discussion than anyone else’s

Re: “And ask yourself what else we could be doing with the billions of dollars currently spent on health care for gun shot victims”

Or you could “ask yourself what else we could be doing with the billions of dollars currently spent on health care for “opioid overdoses and opioid use disorder. Per the CDC 1.02 TRILLION dollars were spent in 2017 because more than 2.1 million people over age 12 had an opioid use disorder and over 47,000 opioid overdose deaths occurred. And now that opiods are harder to get because of a government crackdown limiting the availability, fentanyl has taken its place and I suspect the numbers are even higher.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
24 days ago
Reply to  GeneD

By your logic, you’re okay with 383 people a day dying from alcohol use unless “somebody does something.” Because the biggest cause of alcohol-related deaths is…wait for it…ALCOHOL and its misuse.

Just out of curiosity, Gene, of this epidemic of alcohol mortality, with over 380 people killed every day, what would you consider the “right” amount?

They’ll be returning home, as most of the weapons used by the Mexican cartels and gangs are made right here in the good old USA.”

Particularly because your side’s their vendor.

GeneD
24 days ago

You keep bringing up this false equivalency, a common ploy of ReTrumplicants, but what are you basing your alcohol statistics on? Gun and ammo manufacturers and corporations are capitalistic entities; they don’t have a ‘side.’ Although it is revealing when looking at the Congressional Rs who get ‘A’ ratings and big contributions from the industry’s arm, the NRA

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
24 days ago
Reply to  GeneD

They don’t have a “side”? Are you insane? Of course they have a side. Their “side” is in favor of selling as many guns as possible. Your statement is like an auto manufacturer saying it doesn’t care about selling cars.

You try to portray the flood of guns in our country as something that should be tolerated. This despite the fact that people who own a gun for home protection are statistically more likely to die from that gun than will ever use it for home protection.

I dealt with gun violence throughout my career. I sat with people as they explained how they just killed their spouse of many years over a card game or other stupid argument.

We tolerate these thousands of deaths because we are in love with guns and death. We buy these myths about “self-protection” and kill and kill, though rarely kill anyone who deserves it.

Civilized countries don’t tolerate this.

jim smith
jim smith
23 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

Re: ” Their “side” is in favor of selling as many guns as possible”

So what? That just says people buy guns because they want them

Re: “people who own a gun for home protection are statistically more likely to die from that gun than will ever use it for home protection”

Unless you have a more recent source, that statistic traces back to the 20 year old Kellerman study that did a poor job of correlating the firearm injury with the gun that was actually in the house. It was not a random sample of people in that it didn’t consider homes that had firearms with no incidents and when the raw data was analyzed, it turns out that in only 8 instances out of 444 cases studied could they actually determine if the firearm in the house was the one actually used to cause injury or death.

Re: ” Civilized countries don’t tolerate this”

It depends on how you cherry pick the countries. Mexico, Costa Rica, Philippines and Brazil have higher firearm homicide deaths than the US which ranks about 18th worldwide. And that assumes “civilized countries” run by dictatorships actually report accurate data.

Re: ” though rarely kill anyone who deserves it”

That’s because most gun deaths are related to criminal activities.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
23 days ago
Reply to  GeneD

You keep bringing up this false equivalency, a common ploy of ReTrumplicants, but what are you basing your alcohol statistics on?”

They’re directly from the CDC, Gene, and there’s no false equivalency–you clearly are more worked up about one type of death than others, despite the fact that one was actually outlawed via Constitutional amendment for a time. And of course, to a marxist like yourself, anything labeled as capitalistic you reflexively deem to be evil.

GeneD
21 days ago

Still resorting to name calling instead of providing facts and data to back up your screeds, eh? How sad and fearful it must be to live in your world of envy and grievance.

BTW, through hard work and some luck, Capitalism has been very good for me. But its excesses must be guarded against so its benefits flow equitably.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
14 days ago
Reply to  GeneD

I provided plenty of facts and data, Gene, you’re just too much of an ideological marxist to accept them. That’s why you’re putting so much energy into deflection and misdirection.

jim smith
jim smith
23 days ago
Reply to  GeneD

Re: ” Although it is revealing when looking at the Congressional Rs who get ‘A’ ratings and big contributions from the industry’s arm, the NRA”

So what? It’s called “lobbying” and is legal under the 1st Amendment. Other companies and organizations do the same thing to promote laws and policies they want – and some of them like Michael Bloomberg are anti-gun and donate more money (50 million in 2014) than the “NRA” to people and causes they support.

GeneD
21 days ago
Reply to  jim smith

Kind of cherry picking your data, hmmm Jim. USA leads the world in gun deaths per capita and in gun deaths for children – now the leading cause for our children. The data on gun deaths in homes with guns still hold. And my point was that Republicans are very unlikely to take action against the hand that feeds them, even if it is dripping blood from those Americans killed and maimed from gun violence. Ten years ago, Republicans said it was okay to mow down 1st graders with assault weapons by their lack of response to Sandy Hook. Once again, most gun deaths, homicide or suicide are not related to criminal activities, and are not stranger killing stranger.

jim smith
jim smith
19 days ago
Reply to  GeneD

Re: ” USA leads the world in gun deaths per capita”

No they don’t. Even the left leaning Wikipedia admits the US ranks about 9th and about half are suicides

Re: “most gun deaths, homicide or suicide are not related to criminal activities, and are not stranger killing stranger”

Suicides definitely aren’t. Citations for homicides?

Re: ” USA leads the world…gun deaths for children”

Yes about 5.5 per 100,000 kids or about 0.0055%. And one reason it is the leading cause in children is because the number of children being killed in auto accidents has continued to drop since 1999 when it was 10 per 100,000 to where it is now at about 5 per 100,000 while the number of firearm homicides in children has risen to about 5.5 per 100,000. So what do you propose to do to lower that number and what number would ever be acceptable to you?

Re: ” lack of response to Sandy Hook”

The Sandy Hook killer planned his attack for months and stepped over his mother’s dead body to steal her gun. How could Republicans have prevented that?

Don Black
Don Black
29 days ago

Yes, Red Flag laws are necessary to protect people. We used to seize guns on an emergency basis until the owner could come later to recover them when it appeared that there was less danger to the people involved. The police took it upon themselves to protect people. We did it out of a desire to protect people and we felt that we could take the risk based upon our belief others were in danger. In today’s world, the police would be ridiculed by some group for violating their rights. The media would jump on it. Law enforcement officers should be using the law with oversight by the courts. I am not sure how you can put a short term loss of your weapons over the safety of others with a court overusing it. But, that is where we are. When it comes to emergencies, many individuals rights take second place to the safety of others. But, in today’s world, everyone is special and no one else matters. We all have to be protected from every little insult or anything that would mean that we were not the most important thing in the world. The safety of the whole is more important than your individual feelings.

FactsOverFeelings
FactsOverFeelings
28 days ago
Reply to  Don Black

I think someone has kidnapped Don and replaced him with a socialist! He’s arguing against every one of his own arguments that he’s made for years! “The safety of the whole is more important than your individual feelings.”

Don Black
Don Black
24 days ago

Sorry. My arguments have always been for the safety of everyone. The police reform bill is a danger to everyone except the criminals.

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
29 days ago

This situation is a consequence of money poured into “rewriting” the Second Amendment by the National Rifle Association (“NRA”), other “gun rights” groups, and gun manufacturers, as well as the lucky (for gunners) appointment of Antonin Scalia to the United States Supreme Court.

Prior to the Supreme Court decision of District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008, federal law was clear: the Second Amendment related to maintenance of the state militias, and did not create any individual right to firearm possession unrelated to militia service. Scalia, together with the conservative bloc on the Court, rewrote history to find a hitherto unrecognized personal right to firearms possession in the Second Amendment. It was no accident that the current era of mass shootings followed.

Gun rights being perceived as a uniquely conservative concern, it followed as night the day that conservative politicians, such as those who dominate El Paso County, would tolerate no “infringement” of the right to blow away anyone that a gun nut found irksome.

As the editorial properly points out, the failure of the prosecutors in El Paso County to file a “red flag” petition to remove Aldrich’s firearms, a petition wholly justified by the facts known to law enforcement at the time, is obscene. The fact that nothing will change there is all the more so.

jim smith
jim smith
28 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

Re: “Second Amendment related to maintenance of the state militias”‘

If that was the intent the 2nd Amendment would have said the right of the “state” or “state militias” as opposed to the right of the “people”

Re: “federal law was clear”

Yes it was “clear”. The purpose of the Second Amendment is “clearly” written into the Constitution in the Preamble to the Bill of Rights where it says “The convention of a number of states having at the time of their adopting of the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse, of its powers that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added”. Note that when the Second Amendment was written, every weapon was a weapon of war, there were no restrictions on the private ownership of weapons by law abiding, private citizens and the militia was equally matched with the Continental Army. After all, if they weren’t equally matched, it would be pretty hard to deter or “prevent misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers – so in reality, the citizen militia of today should have the same firearms as the current US military. Unfortunately we are no longer equally matched because we have let our gun rights be eroded by buying into this notion if we just compromise to accommodate the people who – for whatever reason – don’t like guns they will quit trying to take away our gun rights. History has shown that no matter how much we compromise, it’s never enough so we need to stop compromising.

Last edited 28 days ago by jim smith
Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
25 days ago
Reply to  jim smith

The National Guard, which is the current constitutional militia, has a lot of the same arms as the U.S. Army.

In the early days of the Republic, guns were registered, and counted (via a gun census), by both the states and the federal government.

Funny how the NRA never mentions that part.

Funny, too, how challenges to gun control routinely failed in the courts before Heller. (When the Second Amendment was written, it was illegal to possess a loaded firearm in the city of Boston. No one claimed it violated the amendment.)

When the town of Dodge City was established, the town banned the possession of firearms within city limits. No one sued because that “violated” the Second Amendment. And Dodge City was not alone. Many towns enacted such laws. The infamous Gunfight at the OK Corral was a result of a violation of the law there that forbade the carrying of firearms within the city limits. No one thought that was unconstitutional.

And then Scalia chimed in…

jim smith
jim smith
25 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

Re: “The National Guard, which is the current constitutional militia, has a lot of the same arms as the U.S. Army”

According to current US law, 10 USC 246 there are 2 types of militias – organized and unorganized. The National Guard is part of the organized militia and almost everyone who is not in the organized militia is in the unorganized militia. 
.
Re: In the early days of the Republic, guns were registered, and counted (via a gun census)”

Citations I can Google? And that wouldn’t surprise me if the goal was to determine how many arms the militia had. That would be a lot different than today when the real goal of registration is to facilitate future gun confiscation.

Re: ” When the Second Amendment was written, it was illegal to possess a loaded firearm in the city of Boston”

That’s a lot different than saying you couldn’t own it

Re: Funny, too, how challenges to gun control routinely failed in the courts before Heller”

The SCOTUS admitted they made incorrect rulings before like with Roe v Wade

And it’s not surprising when you have a former SCOTUS justice saying the 2nd Amendment should be repealed and an indication by some that believe life experiences, ethnicity, etc should be relevant when interpreting the Constitution. And because they appear to have succumbed to politics and in some cases the idea of a living document without the passage of amendments and have refused to rule on several controversial gun laws over the years, gun laws have been allowed evolve in a direction I believe were not foreseen or intended by the founders

Re: “And then Scalia chimed in…”

Scalia said there are limits on people with firearms which is true. If you misuse a firearm or kill someone illegally you can be denied your right to own any firearms and be incarcerated or executed. He also said there are limits on where you can legally carry and use a firearm. But if you read the text of his comment, you’ll notice it carefully avoided saying the government had a right to ban any firearms they don’t like

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
24 days ago
Reply to  jim smith

Re: In the early days of the Republic, guns were registered, and counted (via a gun census)”
Citations I can Google? And that wouldn’t surprise me if the goal was to determine how many arms the militia had. That would be a lot different than today when the real goal of registration is to facilitate future gun confiscation.

Jeff’s probably citing “Arming America” by Michael Bellesiles, which is a discredited work based on falsification of the the very thing he’s claiming.

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
24 days ago

Yes his work was discredited. Which is why I would never cite him as an authority.

No, I’m referring to Thomas Jefferson and the militia census of 1806. States also conducted gun censuses. What they found was usually depressing from a gun standpoint: Many of the guns they found were in disrepair, many inoperable and unsafe.

And the establishment of the U.S. Army made “militia” arms largely irrelevant. In today’s militia, aka the National Guard, the feds pretty much cover the bill for firearms.

jim smith
jim smith
23 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

Re: “No, I’m referring to Thomas Jefferson and the militia census of 1806… Many of the guns they found were in disrepair, many inoperable and unsafe”

Like I said – it wasn’t about a prelude to gun confiscation like it is today – it was just the opposite – to ensure every citizen in the militia was armed

Re: “And the establishment of the U.S. Army made “militia” arms largely irrelevant”

Only because the feckless SCOTUS has refused to acknowledge the militia law passed by Congress (10 USC 246) and declare the 1934 National Firearms Act and the 1986 Hughes Amendment unconstitutional as well as some state laws that forbid the formation of a citizen militia

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
21 days ago
Reply to  jim smith

“Citizen militia” isn’t a thing. The militia of the Constitution is under the control of the state. That’s why there are state national guards.

States have always had the authority to outlaw non-official paramilitary groups.

jim smith
jim smith
18 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

Re: ““Citizen militia” isn’t a thing. The militia of the Constitution is under the control of the state. That’s why there are state national guards”

Not true. Not according to 10 USC 246. And if that was really the intent of the militia mentioned in the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment would not even be necessary since anything federal government is prohibited from doing is left up to the states.

Re: States have always had the authority to outlaw non-official paramilitary groups”

Not sure the states have the authority but they have done it because as near as I can tell we have a feckless SCOTUS that has never ruled on to Constitutionality of the prohibitions.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
23 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

Lol, you’d never cite him as a authority –yet you’re literally parroting the claims he made based on falsified data that got his work censured.

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
21 days ago

No, nothing I wrote is sourced through Bellesisles. I haven’t even read his book.

If you’re going to call me a liar, just say it. Otherwise, back up your claims.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
14 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

No, nothing I wrote is sourced through Bellesisles. I haven’t even read his book.”

Funny that you’re parroting the same claims that he made. That definitely makes you a liar.

jim smith
jim smith
28 days ago

Red flag laws really aren’t necessary. All states have laws (~Baker Act) that allow the police or mental health authorities to evaluate anyone and confine them to a mental health facility away from their firearms for 72 hours without any due process if they believe the individual is a danger to themselves or others. After 72 hours, the individual is either released if they are no longer considered to be a danger to themselves or others or they are offered the choice of remaining in the facility either voluntarily or under a court order if a judge agrees to issue one. No sane gun owner is going to choose the court order option because it will automatically adjudicate the individual as being mentally defective and under current US law (see BATF form 4473 question 11f) that will disqualify the individual from possessing any firearms now or in the future.

So why don’t these laws work? The problem is in most cases the mental health facility will not accept a person unless they are medically cleared – especially if drugs or alcohol are involved. This typically requires the individual to be taken first to a hospital emergency room (ER) for a stay that can last hours or even days – and because ER facilities are not lockdown facilities and no one funds a 24/7 guard to watch them, they often slip out of the ER unnoticed.

Current law allows the US government to require all hospitals that accept Medicare to treat anyone regardless of immigration status or ability to pay so if the federal government wants to fix something, they should use the same legal arguments to require all hospitals that accept Medicare to provide at least one ER examining room that can be locked down to securely detain any person who is on a mental health hold until they can be transferred to a mental health facility for evaluation

It is also noted these laws are partially about “danger to self” and according to the CDC in 2016, 22018 people killed themselves with firearms and 22175 did it by other means and the proposed red flag laws that only confiscate firearms would not prevent an individual from employing “other means” – but confinement to a mental health facility would.