I’ve been pretty consistent over the past couple of years on Red Flag laws as they pertain to guns. I’ve said that I am willing to lend an ear. But I would insist on two things.
First, Due Process will have to be granted as soon as possible. If you can expedite the process by which someone can be denied a Constitutionally-enumerated right without Due Process, then you can most certainly speed up the eventual Due Process. If after a certain period of time, if no Due Process is offered, then the gun(s) would have to be immediately returned to the owner. And this must be done immediately and at public expense.
Secondly, I would want VERY stiff penalties for those who abuse this reporting system. If you falsely accuse someone of major crimes there are remedies to make you pay for it. So must it be with Red Flag laws. You are denying someone a chance to exercise a Constitutionally-protected right and we must treat that with all the gravity it deserves.
But after contemplation I am going to have to change my view. I am no longer open to the concept. Why? Because there is no way it would NOT be grossly abused. I have zero faith in Government in terms of even-handedly administering Red Flag laws.
A good part of that is my innate distrust of Government. But another factor has been what we have witnessed the past two years with COVID. We have seen a national Army of Karens emerge out of restaurant lobbies and HOA meetings, ready to sic their government dogs on anyone who looks at them cross-eyed. Surveys have shown and real-life events have chronicled the staggering number of people who have been emboldened in this culture to see nothing wrong with snitching on people whose only provable crime is looking at things differently. My personal experience has shown once level-headed people who have turned into quasi-demons who have NO qualms about using the near-limitless power of the state to disrupt the lives of others.
There WILL be false reports filed. Lots of them. The same people who morally justify The State ruining the lives of others who jogged without being double-masked will most assuredly call the local constabulary to report the pickup driving dude down the road with the MAGA sign in his front yard. And since the reporter can only be punished if gross negligence is demonstrated in their reporting, then none will be sanctioned. Not a chance in hell.
The same monsters who suggested, seriously, that people should be denied health care if they didn’t get vaccinated for COVID will be the ones calling the cops on people they know have guns. And there is too much that can go wrong to justify giving these harpies ANY chance to disrupt people’s lives.
As for the Due Process angle, I have heard too many nightmare stories of the predictable bureaucratic quagmire one must endure to access the most rudimentary GOVT services. And that includes the restoration of firearms. Too often the person has had to wait an inordinate amount of time and charged unfair fees to be given back what is rightly theirs. I see no evidence that the efficiency of the delivery of Government services has improved in recent years. And if that same GOVT drags it’s feet in returning your property, you have little recourse apart from the expense of hiring legal counsel.
In short, it is the demonstrable ineptitude of our government and the emergence of a hyper-snitch community that has eroded any interest I may have once possessed in considering Red Flag Gun laws.