The "Red Flag Law" Emergency Risk Protection Order

Updated: Aug 10, 2019

The U.S. Senate is working towards, what is being referred to as, the “Red Flag Bill”. U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) are proposing the bipartisan Emergency Risk Protection Order (ERPO) statute. This measure would allow the courts to authorize the suspension of 2nd amendment rights potentially resulting in the suspension of permits and the seizure of firearms. This would also result in the suspected individual being flagged in the federal background database. The proposal also offers grants and incentives to states that participate.

Similar “Red Flag Laws” were previously adopted in Richard Blumenthal’s home state in 1999. These laws allow a third-party to petition the courts to remove an individual’s 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. The proposed bill seemingly omits the constitutional 5th Amendment right to due process as the accused individual has no opportunity to present their case before the court’s decision is made. However, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made the following statement insisting that the bill would respect due process.

“Time to enact common-sense legislation in Congress to empower states to deal with those who present a danger to themselves and others — while respecting robust due process,” said Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Alternatively, the Firearms Policy Coalition was quoted with the following;

“If a person is an actual threat to themselves or others, or engaging in criminal activity, then there are thousands of existing federal, state, and local laws by which families, friends, or law enforcement can more appropriately and effectively respond to those facts and circumstances,”.

Ultimately the issue that this presents is, now the burden of proof is on the accused rather than the court system. You can appeal the ruling to suspend your 2nd Amendment rights, but it is sure to be a drawn out and costly endeavor. The Emergency Risk Protection Act (ERPO) seemingly provides no structure for those accused to receive help or be taken into custody. At the end of the day, no amount of gun control can legislate evil.

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