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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment

Push for ‘red flag’ laws, background checks gains steam in wake of mass shootings

The push for so-called “red flag” laws and stronger background checks is gaining steam amid apparent support from President Trump and Democrats in Congress in the wake of the two mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, though it presents a delicate challenge for the president as he works to assure his supporters that he will “always uphold the Second Amendment.”

2020 DEMS EMBRACE FEDERAL GUN BUYBACK PROGRAM IN WAKE OF MASS SHOOTINGS

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Friday announced the committee is returning early from recess, on Sept. 4, to consider several gun control bills, including the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., also scheduled a Sept. 25 hearing on “military-style assault weapons.”

Trump has signaled his support for extreme risk laws, also known as Red Flag laws, as well as strengthening universal background checks.

“I support strong, meaningful background checks where people who are insane, mentally ill — where people like that should not have guns,” Trump said Thursday before a rally in New Hampshire. During the rally, Trump assured the crowd of supporters that he will protect their right to own a gun, saying, “It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger. It’s the person that pulls the trigger.”

Red flag laws allow family members and law enforcement to intervene when they notice warning signs of an individual — they can petition a court order that would temporarily remove guns from dangerous situations. But opponents argue implementing red flag laws could lead to a slippery slope and infringe on Second Amendment rights.

“With red flag laws, that’s a gray area because I believe it could potentially be a very big misuse of power,” Stephen Powell, administrator and training director of C2 Tactical, told Fox News. “The problem is the people who are wishing to do evil on our citizens they will always find a way to commit that evil.”

Many Democrats on the 2020 campaign trail have called for going much farther than Trump, including proposing a federal gun buyback program to help reduce the estimated 400 million guns owned by civilians in America.

Westlake Legal Group guns-for-sale Push for 'red flag' laws, background checks gains steam in wake of mass shootings fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox news fnc/politics fnc Benjamin Brown article 5388a009-3c54-5ad8-94f2-7bd1fc2665a8

Handguns for sale in a display case at a licensed dealer in Arizona. (Ben Brown/Fox News)

According to the latest Fox News Poll, an overwhelming and bipartisan majority of voters favor background checks on gun buyers and taking guns from people who are a danger to themselves or others, with two-thirds also supporting a ban on “assault weapons” — although that majority is largely driven by Democrats.

FOX NEWS POLL: MOST BACK GUN RESTRICTIONS AFTER SHOOTINGS, TRUMP RATINGS DOWN

The National Rifle Association has expressed concerns about red flag laws. Catherine Mortensen, an NRA spokeswoman, told Fox News in a statement that “to safeguard the rights of law-abiding gun owners, Extreme Risk Protection Orders at a minimum must include strong due process protections, require treatment, and include penalties against those who make frivolous claims.”

Westlake Legal Group ladies-shooting Push for 'red flag' laws, background checks gains steam in wake of mass shootings fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox news fnc/politics fnc Benjamin Brown article 5388a009-3c54-5ad8-94f2-7bd1fc2665a8

Members of the Well Armed Woman practice shooting at C2 Tactical, in Scottsdale Arizona.

One proponent, Meagan Cahill, a senior policy researcher at RAND Corp., says while “universal background checks and red flags definitely have the potential to help curb gun violence and even to reduce mass shootings,” there is a lack of data to show how effective these policies actually are.

“The problem of course is we don’t have a lot of evidence on exactly what the effects of many gun control policies that have been proposed are,” Cahill said, adding, however, that red flag laws and universal background checks are a good place to start.

While background checks have proven to be effective according to Cahill, “they are used in a limited fashion.” For example, they are not required for private person-to-person gun sales, which could be seen as a potential loophole to avoid the screening process.

A licensed gun dealer in Arizona told Fox News of several instances in which, after denying someone for a gun purchase, they would say they’re going to go to a gun show instead.

“We said, ‘Hey man, let’s just wait an extra five days just to see if we get a response.’ And, the gentleman was like, ‘you know what, F–k you guys, I’m not waiting I’m just going to buy one at the gun show,'” said the gun dealer, who requested to remain anonymous for fear of potential backlash to his business.

The gun dealer recalled another situation in which after, denying a person who had a medical marijuana card – because it is still considered illegal at the federal level – he was told, “You know what, there’s a gun show Saturday I’m just going to go buy one at the gun show.” He told Fox News “that’s happened several times.”

GUN CONTROL TAKES CENTER STAGE IN WAKE OF MASS SHOOTINGS

Alan Korwin, an expert on gun law and who has written 10 books on the subject, argues more legislation is not the answer.

“The presence of guns isn’t why we’re having murders,” he said. “The fabric of society is unraveling all over the place. And the idea that you can fix that with a statute is crazy.”

Korwin added, “We’ve always had lots of guns you used to buy guns mail order with no paperwork whatsoever. Why are people committing mass murder now? Nobody’s asking that question … the answer is not paperwork. The answer is dealing with the psychosis in society that makes people want to go out and frenzied kill people they don’t know.”

As the push for stricter gun control laws ramps up, the conversation also tends to argue the case from a mental health perspective– with the claim, these mass shooters often suffer from some type of mental illness, a notion Dr. Arthur Evans from the American Psychological Association says is inaccurate.

“Using a blanket statement like people have mental illness — we know from the research, the FBI has shown, that’s not the case. A study we’ve done at the APA … what we found is that there is no singular profile of a person who commits a mass shooting,” Evans said.

Westlake Legal Group powell Push for 'red flag' laws, background checks gains steam in wake of mass shootings fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox news fnc/politics fnc Benjamin Brown article 5388a009-3c54-5ad8-94f2-7bd1fc2665a8

Stephen Powell, administrator and training director of C2 Tactical, working with members from the Well Armed Woman.

While Evans argues against canvassing all people who commit mass shootings as mentally ill, he advocated for a change in how the country approaches mental health policy that targets “people who are not quite at that point of being in crisis but clearly need some kind of intervention.”

“If you listen to the typical interview after one of these kinds of shootings, you often hear people say, ‘Well I knew the person had some problems, things seemed to be off with this person, but I wasn’t quite sure what was going on …,’” he said. “Those people don’t meet the criteria for mental health diagnosis, but they clearly need some type of intervention and most mental health systems aren’t set up to handle those type of individuals.”

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The Dickey Amendment, which according to the National Institutes of Health passed in the mid-90s in response to gun violence being treated as a public health issue, has hindered Congress from using federal funds for gun violence research.

“It will be really helpful if the federal government can infuse more money into this area and really help fund research because it will help us better understand the policies that we have — both in terms of what are the effects on gun owners and what are the effects on violence, homicides, and suicides,” Cahill said.

That could be changing as an omnibus spending bill in 2018 clarified that the amendment doesn’t ban federally funded research on gun violence.

From a gun owner perspective, Powell acknowledges it’s a “tricky situation.”

“People that own firearms people who are in the firearm industry are all for the rule of law … but we also want to make sure we don’t have our rights infringed as well, so there is a balance of power there and it’s a tricky situation,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073433656001_6073430816001-vs Push for 'red flag' laws, background checks gains steam in wake of mass shootings fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox news fnc/politics fnc Benjamin Brown article 5388a009-3c54-5ad8-94f2-7bd1fc2665a8   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073433656001_6073430816001-vs Push for 'red flag' laws, background checks gains steam in wake of mass shootings fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox news fnc/politics fnc Benjamin Brown article 5388a009-3c54-5ad8-94f2-7bd1fc2665a8

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Missouri man says Walmart weapons incident was ‘not a hate-inspired act’: report

Westlake Legal Group AP19221596456716 Missouri man says Walmart weapons incident was 'not a hate-inspired act': report Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc ffa599bb-f070-5fc8-8a8c-c49c1a615848 article

The self-described Second Amendment advocate who authorities say walked into a Walmart store in Missouri last week, wearing body armor and carrying loaded weapons, reportedly admits his timing was bad given the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

But Dmitriy Andreychenko, 20, of Springfield, said he doesn’t regret the alleged actions.

“I just want people to know there was no evil to what I did,”  Andreychenko told Springfield’s KYTV-TV. “This was not a hate-inspired act. This was purely innocent — the timing was just so off. I would never want to hurt anyone.”

“I just want people to know there was no evil to what I did. This was not a hate-inspired act. This was purely innocent — the timing was just so off. I would never want to hurt anyone.”

— Dmitriy Andreychenko, facing charges in Walmart incident

Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson said Andreychenko has been charged with making a terrorist threat in the second degree.

ARMED OFF-DUTY FIREFIGHTER HALTS ARMED SUSPECT AT WALMART STORE IN MISSOURI, POLICE SAY 

Andreychenko was accused of bringing weapons into the Walmart store Aug. 8, prompting a store manager to pull a fire alarm and send customers running. But an armed off-duty firefighter was able to detain Andreychenko until police officers arrived, Springfield police said.

Andreychenko was carrying loaded tactical weapons, according to reports. He was arrested at the scene and taken into custody.

The incident came five days after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, that resulted in 22 deaths. The next day, another shooter killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio, in an unrelated episode that has heightened discussions about gun control legislation and firearms safety.

“The gun was holstered. I never touched it after putting it on,” Andreychenko said.

Andreychenko told KYTV he called the Walmart store before he showed up with a gun to make sure it was allowed and said he was told he could.

The probable-cause statement quoted Andreychenko as saying he “wanted to know if Walmart honored the Second Amendment.”

Since January 2017, Missouri has not required a permit to carry a firearm, whether openly or concealed, for those age 19 or older, as long as the firearm is not displayed in a threatening manner.

On Aug. 8, Andreychenko had started recording himself with his cellphone while still in the parking lot of the Springfield Walmart. He got the body armor from the trunk of his car before grabbing a shopping cart and walked into the store, the probable cause statement said. No shots were fired.

MISSOURI WALMART THREAT SUSPECT ID’D BY POLICE, MUG SHOT RELEASED

“Missouri protects the right of people to open-carry a firearm, but that does not allow an individual to act in a reckless and criminal manner endangering other citizens,” Patterson said in a statement.

“Missouri protects the right of people to open-carry a firearm, but that does not allow an individual to act in a reckless and criminal manner endangering other citizens.”

— Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson

Patterson said he was thankful nobody was injured at the store, but said a Battlefield police Officer and citizen were injured in a vehicle collision as the officer responded to the Walmart.

Walmart issued a statement Aug. 9 that praised law enforcement for stopping the incident from escalating. It said Andreychenko was no longer welcome in its stores.

The Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said, “A person commits the crime of making a terrorist threat in the second degree when he recklessly disregards the risk of causing the evacuation of any portion of a building and knowingly communicates an express or implied threat to cause an incident or condition involving danger to life or knowingly causes a false belief or fear that an incident has occurred or that a condition exists involving danger to life.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Andreychenko would face up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted of the felony charge of making a terrorist threat in the second degree, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Fox News’ Bradford Betz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19221596456716 Missouri man says Walmart weapons incident was 'not a hate-inspired act': report Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc ffa599bb-f070-5fc8-8a8c-c49c1a615848 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19221596456716 Missouri man says Walmart weapons incident was 'not a hate-inspired act': report Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc ffa599bb-f070-5fc8-8a8c-c49c1a615848 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hannity: Crowd’s treatment of Philly police officers ‘beyond repulsive’; Dems ‘politicize’ shooting

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073460957001_6073463744001-vs Hannity: Crowd's treatment of Philly police officers 'beyond repulsive'; Dems 'politicize' shooting Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7313ccd1-8f7c-5d41-a9f6-7ede5a2197c6

Fox News’ Sean Hannity honored the Philadelphia police officers caught up in Wednesday’s shootout, saying they “deserved better” after video showed them being taunted during the incident where six police officers were shot.

“These officers saving countless lives putting themselves in harm’s way. And there are people that are taunting them, pelting them with objects. Treating them this way is beyond repulsive,” Hannity said Thursday on his television show. They deserve better.”

6 PHILADELPHIA OFFICERS WOUNDED IN SHOOTING

Hannity also blasted many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates for politicizing the shooting as it was taking place.

“All these people risking their lives serving and protecting the people of Philadelphia. Kamala Harris is in the comfort of a ‘fake news’ CNN studio, hawking a political agenda about something she knows nothing about,” Hannity said.

“Kamala Harris is in the comfort of a ‘fake news’ CNN studio, hawking a political agenda about something she knows nothing about.”

— Sean Hannity

“Several other 2020 Democratic hopefuls also. Yes, shamelessly, weighing in during the ongoing standoff. They don’t even wait for it to end.”

The Fox News host called the reaction by Democrats “sad.”

“Even now after another shooting Democrats the media mob they’re almost too giddy at a chance once again to politicize a tragedy. Very predictable very sad,” Hannity said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Hannity argued that the shooting had nothing to do with gun control and that most gun owners were responsible.

“Those of us who follow the law are responsible gun owners. We would be left totally unarmed and defenseless,” Hannity said. “Once you give away your rights you’re never gonna get them back.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073460957001_6073463744001-vs Hannity: Crowd's treatment of Philly police officers 'beyond repulsive'; Dems 'politicize' shooting Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7313ccd1-8f7c-5d41-a9f6-7ede5a2197c6   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073460957001_6073463744001-vs Hannity: Crowd's treatment of Philly police officers 'beyond repulsive'; Dems 'politicize' shooting Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7313ccd1-8f7c-5d41-a9f6-7ede5a2197c6

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Sen. Collins on gun control: Solution is possible if Dems don’t ‘play political games’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073433686001_6073431448001-vs Sen. Collins on gun control: Solution is possible if Dems don't 'play political games' Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc b88ceba8-a344-50a8-92e7-dc408063d307 article

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, appeared on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” on Thursday and said she was working on bipartisan legislation to close “loopholes” in the background check system. She mae the case for Democrats and Republicans finding common ground on gun control.

“If we can come together working with President Trump working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle and say that if you advertise the sale of a firearm over the Internet there should be a background check, that makes sense to me,” Collins said.

The senator said she wouldn’t support the recent House bill — calling it an overreach — but did say that background checks were something to unite around.

“I’m working with Sen. Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin and with the White House on making sure that we close some loopholes in the background check system to ensure that people with criminal records or who are mentally ill can not purchase firearms,” she said.

6 PHILADELPHIA OFFICERS WOUNDED IN SHOOTING

Calls to address gun violence are still echoing following a shooting during a garlic festival in Gilroy, Calif., two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month, and a dramatic standoff in Philadelphia on Wednesday in which six officers were wounded.

Collins made a case for why now is the time for some sort of legislation.

JESSE WATTERS: DEMS POLITICIZING PHILADELPHIA SHOOTING

“I think the difference this time is we had three incidents so close together. Then look at what happened in Philadelphia as well. And we have the president saying that he is on board. And so my hope is that the Democrats truly want a solution and some progress and that they’re not going to play political games with this issue,” Collins said.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073433686001_6073431448001-vs Sen. Collins on gun control: Solution is possible if Dems don't 'play political games' Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc b88ceba8-a344-50a8-92e7-dc408063d307 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073433686001_6073431448001-vs Sen. Collins on gun control: Solution is possible if Dems don't 'play political games' Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc b88ceba8-a344-50a8-92e7-dc408063d307 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Gun confiscation under “red flag” laws is unconstitutional

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072921449001_6072879108001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Gun confiscation under “red flag” laws is unconstitutional fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ef4925dc-7525-5336-b144-b1b2cbc96f6d article Andrew Napolitano

When tragedy strikes, as it did in two mass killings this month, there is always the urge to pressure the government do something.

Governments are animated by the belief that doing something — any demonstrable overt behavior — will show that they are in control. I understand the natural fears that good folks have that an El Paso or a Dayton episode might happen again, but doing something for the sake of appearance can be dangerous to personal liberty.

When the Constitution was written, the idea of owning arms and keeping them in the home was widespread. The colonists had just defeated the armies of King George III. The colonial weapon of choice was the Kentucky long rifle, while British soldiers used their army-issued version of Brown Bessies.

TRUMP NEGOTIATING WITH SENATE DEMS ON GUNS

Each rifle had its advantages, but the Kentucky (it was actually a German design, perfected and manufactured in Pennsylvania) was able to strike a British soldier at 200 yards, a startlingly long distance at the time. The Bessies were good for only about 80 yards.

Put aside the advantages we had of the passionate defense of freedom and homeland, to say nothing of superior leadership. It doesn’t take any advanced understanding of mathematics or ballistics to appreciate why we won the Revolution.

It is a matter of historical fact that the colonists won the war largely by superior firepower.

Six years after the war was over, delegates met in Philadelphia in secret and drafted what was to become the Constitution. The document, largely written in James Madison’s hand, was then submitted to Congress and to the states, which began the process of ratification.

More from Judge Andrew Napolitano

By then, Americans had already formed two basic political parties. The Federalists wanted a muscular central government and the Anti-Federalists wanted a loose confederation of states.

The concept of a “red flag” law — which permits the confiscation of lawfully owned weapons from a person because of what the person might do — violates both the presumption of innocence and the due process requirement of proof of criminal behavior before liberty can be infringed.

Yet the memory of a Parliament that behaved as if it could write any law, tax any event and impair any liberty, coupled with the fear that the new government here might drift toward tyranny, gave birth to the first 10 amendments to the Constitution — the Bill of Rights.

The debate over the Bill of Rights was not about rights; that debate had been resolved in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence declared our basic human rights to be inalienable. The Bill of Rights debates were about whether the federal government needed restraints imposed upon it in the Constitution itself.

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The Federalists thought the Bill of Rights was superfluous because they argued that no American government would knowingly restrict freedom. The Anti-Federalists thought constitutional restraints were vital to the preservation of personal liberty because no government can be trusted to preserve personal liberty.

Second among the personal liberties preserved in the Bill of Rights from impairment by the government was the right to self-defense. Thomas Jefferson called that the right to self-preservation.

Fast-forward to today, and we see the widespread and decidedly un-American reaction to the tragedies of El Paso and Dayton. Both mass murders were animated by hatred and planned by madness. But because both were carried out using weapons that look like those issued by the military, Democrats have called for the outright confiscation of these weapons.

Where is the constitutional authority for that? In a word: nowhere.

The government’s job is to preserve personal liberty. Does it do its job when it weakens personal liberty instead? Stated differently, how does confiscating weapons from the law-abiding conceivably reduce the ability of madmen to get those weapons? When did madmen begin obeying gun laws?

These arguments against confiscation have largely resonated with Republicans. Yet — because they feel they must do something — they have fallen for the concept of limited confiscation, known by the euphemism of “red flag” laws.

The concept of a “red flag” law — which permits the confiscation of lawfully owned weapons from a person because of what the person might do — violates both the presumption of innocence and the due process requirement of proof of criminal behavior before liberty can be infringed.

The presumption of innocence puts the burden for proving a case on the government. Because the case to be proven — might the gun owner be dangerous? — if proven, will result in the loss of a fundamental liberty, the presumption of innocence also mandates that the case be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Republican proposal lowers the standard of proof to a preponderance of the evidence — “a more likely than not” standard. That was done because it is impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an event might happen. This is exactly why the “might happen standard” is unconstitutional and alien to our jurisprudence.

In 2008 Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the Supreme Court that the right to keep and bear arms in the home is an individual pre-political right. Due process demands that this level of right — we are not talking about the privilege of a driving a car on a government street — can only be taken away after a jury conviction or a guilty plea to a felony.

The “might happen” standard of “red flag” laws violates this basic principle. The same Supreme Court case also reflects the Kentucky long gun lesson. The people are entitled to own and possess the same arms as the government; for the same reason as the colonists did — to fight off tyrants should they seize liberty or property.

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If the government can impair Second Amendment-protected liberties on the basis of what a person might do — as opposed to what a person actually did do — to show that it is doing something in response to a public clamor, then no liberty in America is safe.

Which liberty will the government infringe upon next?

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072921449001_6072879108001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Gun confiscation under “red flag” laws is unconstitutional fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ef4925dc-7525-5336-b144-b1b2cbc96f6d article Andrew Napolitano   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072921449001_6072879108001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Gun confiscation under “red flag” laws is unconstitutional fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ef4925dc-7525-5336-b144-b1b2cbc96f6d article Andrew Napolitano

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Gun confiscation under “red flag” laws is unconstitutional

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072921449001_6072879108001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Gun confiscation under “red flag” laws is unconstitutional fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ef4925dc-7525-5336-b144-b1b2cbc96f6d article Andrew Napolitano

When tragedy strikes, as it did in two mass killings this month, there is always the urge to pressure the government do something.

Governments are animated by the belief that doing something — any demonstrable overt behavior — will show that they are in control. I understand the natural fears that good folks have that an El Paso or a Dayton episode might happen again, but doing something for the sake of appearance can be dangerous to personal liberty.

When the Constitution was written, the idea of owning arms and keeping them in the home was widespread. The colonists had just defeated the armies of King George III. The colonial weapon of choice was the Kentucky long rifle, while British soldiers used their army-issued version of Brown Bessies.

TRUMP NEGOTIATING WITH SENATE DEMS ON GUNS

Each rifle had its advantages, but the Kentucky (it was actually a German design, perfected and manufactured in Pennsylvania) was able to strike a British soldier at 200 yards, a startlingly long distance at the time. The Bessies were good for only about 80 yards.

Put aside the advantages we had of the passionate defense of freedom and homeland, to say nothing of superior leadership. It doesn’t take any advanced understanding of mathematics or ballistics to appreciate why we won the Revolution.

It is a matter of historical fact that the colonists won the war largely by superior firepower.

Six years after the war was over, delegates met in Philadelphia in secret and drafted what was to become the Constitution. The document, largely written in James Madison’s hand, was then submitted to Congress and to the states, which began the process of ratification.

More from Judge Andrew Napolitano

By then, Americans had already formed two basic political parties. The Federalists wanted a muscular central government and the Anti-Federalists wanted a loose confederation of states.

The concept of a “red flag” law — which permits the confiscation of lawfully owned weapons from a person because of what the person might do — violates both the presumption of innocence and the due process requirement of proof of criminal behavior before liberty can be infringed.

Yet the memory of a Parliament that behaved as if it could write any law, tax any event and impair any liberty, coupled with the fear that the new government here might drift toward tyranny, gave birth to the first 10 amendments to the Constitution — the Bill of Rights.

The debate over the Bill of Rights was not about rights; that debate had been resolved in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence declared our basic human rights to be inalienable. The Bill of Rights debates were about whether the federal government needed restraints imposed upon it in the Constitution itself.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR OPINION NEWSLETTER

The Federalists thought the Bill of Rights was superfluous because they argued that no American government would knowingly restrict freedom. The Anti-Federalists thought constitutional restraints were vital to the preservation of personal liberty because no government can be trusted to preserve personal liberty.

Second among the personal liberties preserved in the Bill of Rights from impairment by the government was the right to self-defense. Thomas Jefferson called that the right to self-preservation.

Fast-forward to today, and we see the widespread and decidedly un-American reaction to the tragedies of El Paso and Dayton. Both mass murders were animated by hatred and planned by madness. But because both were carried out using weapons that look like those issued by the military, Democrats have called for the outright confiscation of these weapons.

Where is the constitutional authority for that? In a word: nowhere.

The government’s job is to preserve personal liberty. Does it do its job when it weakens personal liberty instead? Stated differently, how does confiscating weapons from the law-abiding conceivably reduce the ability of madmen to get those weapons? When did madmen begin obeying gun laws?

These arguments against confiscation have largely resonated with Republicans. Yet — because they feel they must do something — they have fallen for the concept of limited confiscation, known by the euphemism of “red flag” laws.

The concept of a “red flag” law — which permits the confiscation of lawfully owned weapons from a person because of what the person might do — violates both the presumption of innocence and the due process requirement of proof of criminal behavior before liberty can be infringed.

The presumption of innocence puts the burden for proving a case on the government. Because the case to be proven — might the gun owner be dangerous? — if proven, will result in the loss of a fundamental liberty, the presumption of innocence also mandates that the case be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Republican proposal lowers the standard of proof to a preponderance of the evidence — “a more likely than not” standard. That was done because it is impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an event might happen. This is exactly why the “might happen standard” is unconstitutional and alien to our jurisprudence.

In 2008 Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the Supreme Court that the right to keep and bear arms in the home is an individual pre-political right. Due process demands that this level of right — we are not talking about the privilege of a driving a car on a government street — can only be taken away after a jury conviction or a guilty plea to a felony.

The “might happen” standard of “red flag” laws violates this basic principle. The same Supreme Court case also reflects the Kentucky long gun lesson. The people are entitled to own and possess the same arms as the government; for the same reason as the colonists did — to fight off tyrants should they seize liberty or property.

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If the government can impair Second Amendment-protected liberties on the basis of what a person might do — as opposed to what a person actually did do — to show that it is doing something in response to a public clamor, then no liberty in America is safe.

Which liberty will the government infringe upon next?

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072921449001_6072879108001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Gun confiscation under “red flag” laws is unconstitutional fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ef4925dc-7525-5336-b144-b1b2cbc96f6d article Andrew Napolitano   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072921449001_6072879108001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Gun confiscation under “red flag” laws is unconstitutional fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ef4925dc-7525-5336-b144-b1b2cbc96f6d article Andrew Napolitano

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Chuck Schumer wants FBI to sign off on body armor sales

Westlake Legal Group AP19181137643665 Chuck Schumer wants FBI to sign off on body armor sales New York Post fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fnc/politics fnc d31ff31a-7f88-5b43-985e-283c9e7c10a0 article

Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday proposed new legislation to require the FBI to sign off on body armor sales to civilians.

The announcement comes one week after mass killer Connor Betts — clad in body armor — opened fire in a trendy Dayton, Ohio, neighborhood and killed nine people before he was gunned down by police.

Schumer said anyone can now buy a bulletproof vest for $185 and a tactical mask for $10 under current law, Schumer said at a press conference at his Midtown office.

“With the click of a mouse, scroll of a thumb, dialing of a phone, someone up to no good can get this,” he said. “What we have learned is that a good number of those intent on mass shootings buy body armor,” the Senate minority leader said. “They want to kill as many people as possible.”

The restrictions would not apply to law enforcement personnel.

Read more from the New York Post.

Westlake Legal Group AP19181137643665 Chuck Schumer wants FBI to sign off on body armor sales New York Post fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fnc/politics fnc d31ff31a-7f88-5b43-985e-283c9e7c10a0 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19181137643665 Chuck Schumer wants FBI to sign off on body armor sales New York Post fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fnc/politics fnc d31ff31a-7f88-5b43-985e-283c9e7c10a0 article

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine: New gun measures crafted by Second Amendment supporters, will respect due process

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Gov. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, said his state’s new proposed gun-control measures have been crafted by Second Amendment supporters and will respect due process, during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

Guest host Bill Hemmer asked DeWine about red-flag law skeptics, saying many of them have voiced concerns about a potential lack of due process and the possible weaponization of such a measure. It would let a judge order the confiscation of firearms from certain people who pose threats.

“The previous governor tried what they called a red-flag law. It did not have the procedure. It did not have the due process,” DeWine said. “We developed this particular bill in consultation with a number of our Second Amendment friends.”

He added, “They have always told me, look, we know there’s some people that we need to separate them from their guns temporarily, or maybe longer than that. But, we’re really worried about due process. We’re worried about a neighbor getting mad at a neighbor and coming over and calling the police and the police go confiscate the guns. So, we put this together with them. It has due process in it. You have to go to court. A judge has to make that determination.”

CORY BOOKER: RED FLAG GUN LAWS ‘NOWHERE NEAR ENOUGH TO STOP’ MASS SHOOTINGS

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DeWine also addressed calls for better emotional counseling in schools for young adults and cheered the Ohio state assembly for allocating funds to arm schools and boost mental health options.

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“We’ve got to do better in reaching people at a very, very young age. We have, in the budget that was just passed by the general assembly, and I congratulate them for giving us the money that we need, we have the ability now to arm our schools, give our schools the ability to have better counseling, [and] more mental health,” he said.

“Virtually every one of these cases, as you said, somebody’s looked up a long time ago and said, hey, this guy is giving all the signs, antisocial behavior. This guy is a menace and we need to be able to do something. The schools need the tools, we are now giving them the tools to do that.”

The previous governor, John Kasich, also a Republican, recently said he had to resort to executive orders after the legislature failed to pass a red-flag law during his tenure.

Fox News’ Bill Hemmer contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group DeWine-Guns Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine: New gun measures crafted by Second Amendment supporters, will respect due process Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/fox-news-sunday fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 88bd73c9-277c-5e80-a3ea-dfadbbc758b7   Westlake Legal Group DeWine-Guns Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine: New gun measures crafted by Second Amendment supporters, will respect due process Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/fox-news-sunday fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 88bd73c9-277c-5e80-a3ea-dfadbbc758b7

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Andrew McCarthy: ‘Red flag’ laws are constitutional

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Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy appeared on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” Friday where he said possible “red flag” laws are constitutional and could be helpful toward stopping shootings.

“Would these laws catch other potential shooters and are they reasonable restrictions. To my mind, they don’t have any kind of an intrusion at all on reasonable law-abiding gun owners,” McCarthy told guest host Jon Scott.

Republicans and Democrats have been debating gun control issues and background checks on the heels of back-to-back mass shootings this past weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Late last month a shooter killed two adults and a child at a garlic festival in Gilroy, Calif.

DAYTON MAYOR SAYS ‘WE ARE GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS SENSELESS VIOLENCE’

McCarthy dismissed reservations against “red flag” legislation saying that the argument doesn’t hold up.

“I don’t think it’s a proper objection to it that the laws or the regulations could be abused or the courts could make bad decisions. I mean if that was a reason not to take action then we would never take action,” MacCarthy said.

The former federal prosecutor pointed out it was time to put politics aside on the issue.

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“The issue here is what works and we ought to try to get past all the hysteria and get down to the business of empirically what is it that would really actually help us reduce these shootings,” McCarthy said.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6070892318001_6070947814001-vs Andrew McCarthy: 'Red flag' laws are constitutional Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f2068a3b-9e05-5ca6-8cee-e14de19e283c article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6070892318001_6070947814001-vs Andrew McCarthy: 'Red flag' laws are constitutional Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f2068a3b-9e05-5ca6-8cee-e14de19e283c article

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Karl Rove: Background check bill depends on Trump

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Former White House senior advisor Karl Rove appeared on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” Friday where he said gun control legislation, particularly a background check bill depends heavily on President Trump.

“If the president backs a background check bill and he takes with him Senator McConnell, who would endeavor to make certain that that bill has enough support that it’s written in such a way that it can get 60 votes in the Senate, then it can happen,” Rove said.

Congress finds itself under public pressure to respond to this past weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Less than a week before those shootings another incident took place in Gilroy, Calif., where two adults and one child were killed during a garlic festival. This week the FBI announced they launched a domestic terrorism investigation into the shooting,

EL PASO, DAYTON COULD DEFINE AUGUST — A HISTORICALLY TURBULENT MONTH

Rove told Cavuto the president’s “cover” on the issue would allow Republicans to push past criticism from the National Rifle Association and pass legislation.

“If Senator McConnell thinks that he can shape it in such a way as to get 60 votes then that’s going to give… if you got a choice between the president of the United States Donald J. Trump saying to Republican voters ‘I’m in favor of this’ and the NRA saying ‘we’re not in favor of this,’ the president’s going to win that argument,” Rove told Cavuto.

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Rove also factored in the public’s support on the issue.

“Public polls support for universal background checks and granted that’s an amorphous title, that’s not a bill, that’s not the detail that’s a title. But if you look at the support for that concept it is up there in 90 percent and almost 90 percent among Republicans,” Rove said.

Westlake Legal Group trump-splir Karl Rove: Background check bill depends on Trump Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/your-world-cavuto fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 51962ebc-872e-5d18-8093-fe3adc73a8cf   Westlake Legal Group trump-splir Karl Rove: Background check bill depends on Trump Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/your-world-cavuto fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 51962ebc-872e-5d18-8093-fe3adc73a8cf

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