Are ‘Red Flag’ Laws Effective?

 

I did some digging into the question of the effectiveness of “red flag” laws in preventing gun deaths.  It appears that the technical term for these “red flag” laws is “extreme risk protection orders” (“ERPO”) laws.

My methodology was simple — I googled the phrase “empirical study red flag laws,” and reviewed the results that appeared promising.

My conclusion is that there is no credible evidence of the effectiveness of these laws.  In addition to presenting some information about this, I’ll give an example of how the media spreads false information about this, claiming that a study demonstrated the effectiveness of “red flag” laws when the study itself states that it does not reach this conclusion.

I.  The Rand Corporation Report

I found a report (here) by the Rand Corporation dated April 22, 2020, titled The Effects of Extreme Risk Protection Orders.  It notes that as of January 1, 2020, 16 states and the District of Columbia had enacted “red flag” laws.  This report appears to be an attempt at a literature review, as it does not present empirical data.

The Rand authors investigated eight outcomes:

  • Suicide
  • Defensive Gun Use
  • Gun Industry Outcomes
  • Hunting and Recreation
  • Mass Shootings
  • Officer-Involved Shootings
  • Unintentional Injuries and Deaths
  • Violent Crime

A separate web page (here) describes their “Research Review Methodology,” which appears to present a careful methodology consisting of “five steps: framing questions for review, identifying relevant literature, assessing the quality of the literature, summarizing the evidence, and interpreting the findings.”

Their main conclusions are:

  • Evidence that ERPOs “may increase” an outcome: “We found no qualifying studies showing that extreme risk protection orders increased any of the eight outcomes we investigated.”
  • Evidence that ERPOs “may decrease” an outcome: “We found no qualifying studies showing that extreme risk protection orders decreased any of the eight outcomes we investigated.”

Colloquially, this appears to mean there was no useful research that would support any conclusion whatsoever about the effectiveness of “red flag” laws.  Not that this stopped 16 states, and the District of Columbia, from adopting such laws.

There was a bit more information in this Rand report.  They found “inconclusive evidence” of the effect of ERPOs on suicide.  With respect to the other seven outcomes studied, “no studies met our criteria.”

II.  The Loyola University Chicago Law Journal Article

I found this article titled An Empirical Assessment of Homicide and Suicide Outcomes with Red Flag Laws, published in 2021 in the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal.  The author is Rachel Dalafave, identified as a J.D./Ph.D. candidate in Law and Economics, expected to receive her degrees in 2022 from Vanderbilt Law School.

As an aside, I felt a bit of a kinship with Delafave.  I, too, was once a law student with an educational background in economics and econometrics.  I thought that her article was a pretty good analysis.

Delafave evaluated changes in homicide and suicide rates in states that had adopted, or not adopted, red flag laws.  Incidentally, according to her article, the number of states that had adopted red flag laws had increased to 19.  Her principal conclusions were:

  • Red flag laws have no statistically significant effect on overall or firearm-related homicides.”
  • “[R]ed flag laws reduce firearm-related suicides by about 6.4%, with no statistically significant substitution to non-firearm suicides.”

To me, the first conclusion appears solidly supported by her analysis.  The second one seems a bit strange, so I want to address it further.  Her study does provide support for the proposition that red flag laws reduce suicides.

It appears to me that a limitation of this study is that Delafave’s analysis implicitly assumes that there were no other changes to the law, or other social changes, that would have affected homicide or suicide rates.  Changes in suicide or homicide rates that occurred after the adoption of a red flag law are assumed to have been the result of the red flag law.  I do not object to performing this type of correlation, but we should realize that there could be other explanations.  Post hoc ergo propter hoc is a logical fallacy, though it may be true in some instances.

I have a technical concern about Delafave’s reporting regarding suicide rates.  She found the following, which don’t appear consistent:

  • “[A] red flag law decreases firearm-related suicides by about 6.4% overall.”
  •  “The effect on suicides overall is therefore a statistically significant 3.7% for all groups.”
  • “I found no evidence of a statistically significant relationship between the red flag laws and non-firearm-related suicides.”

These statements are all supported by her results, but they are strange.  The decrease in firearms-related suicides (6.4%) is quite a bit larger than the decline in overall suicides (3.7%), and both are statistically significant.  However, the change in non-firearm-related suicides, while positive — meaning that they increased — is not statistically significant.

I don’t think that the correct conclusion to draw is that there was no substitution from firearm suicides to non-firearm suicides.  I think that the correct conclusion to draw is that if there was such a substitution, it was too small to be statistically significant with this sample size.

Part of my confusion, I think, results from Delafave’s reporting of point estimates.  It turned out that the standard error for the estimated decline in firearm-related suicides was larger than for total suicides.  Instead of reporting the point estimates of a 6.4% decline in firearm-related suicides and a 3.7% decline in total suicides, she could have reported 95% confidence intervals:

  • Red flag laws are correlated with a decrease in total suicides of 1.3-5.1%.
  • Red flag laws are correlated with a decrease in firearm-related suicides of 2.2-10.6%.

I want to quote her conclusion in full (my emphasis):

This Article exploits state-level variation across time in the existence of red flag laws—gun control laws that permit police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves—to examine their effect on homicides and suicides. The existence of a red flag law reduces firearm-related suicides by 6.4% and overall suicides by 3.7%, with no substitution to non-firearm suicides. Red flag laws are not associated with statistically significant changes in homicides rates. Policymakers should consider red flag laws an effective method to prevent firearm-related suicide, one of the most deadly and prevalent potential causes of death in the United States. In light of this evidence, red flag laws should be more politically palatable than other forms of gun legislation because of their targeted nature and potential to balance the interests of gun owners against the negative externalities of gun violence.

There is something missing from this paper, which is a consideration of the costs.  In addition to enforcement costs, a red flag law risks depriving people of their right to bear arms.  Policy-makers may or may not consider it worthwhile to do so, in order to reduce overall suicides by a small percentage.  However, that evaluation should consider how many guns are confiscated, albeit perhaps temporarily, to obtain that benefit.  This cost is not addressed in Delafave’s paper.

It is a good paper, in my view.  I think that she should have been more clear in making the distinction between correlation and causation.

This paper does not support the use of red flag laws to prevent mass shootings, or to address homicides in general.  The beneficial effect suggested by Delafave’s paper involves suicides.  Tragic as a suicide may be, I find it a less compelling argument for restricting gun rights than homicides, which sometimes involve an innocent victim.

III.  The Violence Prevention Research Project Paper

This is the bad one, in my view.

I found this paper from November 2019 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, titled Extreme Risk Protection Orders Intended to Prevent Mass Shootings: A Case Series.”   The principal author is Dr. Garen J. Wintemute, whose bio (here) indicates that he is the Director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis.

The paper presents information “for a preliminary series of 21 cases in which ERPOs were used in efforts to prevent mass shootings.”  It appears to be an initial report of the researchers’ effort to evaluate all 414 cases in which they report that ERPOs were used in California in 2016-2018.  They report having received 159 records thus far, and for some reason, provide a summary and case information for 21 of these.

For the life of me, I cannot see any reason for the publication of this paper.  It provides no useful information that I can discern.  It expressly states that it provides no evidence of the effectiveness of red flag laws — at least, that is my interpretation of the authors’ words, which are (my emphasis):

As of early August 2019, none of the threatened shootings had occurred, and no other homicides or suicides by persons subject to the orders were identified.  It is impossible to know whether violence would have occurred had ERPOs not been issued, and the authors make no claim of a causal relationship.  Nonetheless, the cases suggest that this urgent, individualized intervention can play a role in efforts to prevent mass shootings, in health care settings and elsewhere.  Further evaluation would be helpful.

I find this appalling.

I agree with the two highlighted sentences.  This paper presents no useful information, whatsoever, for evaluating the effectiveness of red flag laws.

The appalling part is that third sentence, which I did not highlight.  After admitting that it was “impossible to know” whether the ERPOs were effective, and admitting that they make no claim of a causal relationship, they make a completely unsubstantiated assertion: “Nonetheless, the cases suggest that this urgent, individualized intervention can play a role in efforts to prevent mass shootings . . ..”

No, they don’t.  These case studies show nothing useful whatsoever, as the authors admitted in the prior darned sentence!

I discovered this particular paper through a link from a Washington Post article summarizing the findings.  It followed the typical practice in such an article — a misleading headline, a misleading opening, with the inconclusive nature of the study not mentioned until later.  In this case, the headline and opening were:

‘Red flag’ laws may play role in preventing shootings, study finds

State laws that allow the removal of guns from people who present a threat to themselves or others may play a role in preventing mass shootings, according to a new study, a finding that could buttress support for “red flag” legislation being debated in Congress.

As quoted earlier, the study itself admitted that it made “no claim of a causal relationship.”  The disclaimers appear later in the article.

I find it very troubling that both the journal paper and the WaPo article drew unwarranted conclusions from essentially useless data.

IV.  My conclusion

I’d appreciate links to any other credible sources about the effectiveness of red flag laws.  My own conclusion, at present, is the same as the Rand Corporation Report.  I do not see any credible evidence that red flag laws prevent homicides, whether they are “mass shootings” or otherwise.  The evidence is inconclusive regarding suicides.

At this time, even if red flag laws were effective in reducing suicides by a small amount, I do not find this benefit to be a sufficient cause to give government the power to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.  This is not an empirical conclusion, but a political and policy judgment on my part.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I didn’t need research to tell me that. But then I’m in the industry that tries to protect people from themselves when they’re in immediate risk of harming themselves or when they’re in immediate risk of harming themselves or others.

    The reality is you cannot predict another human beings behavior.

    • #1
  2. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: Nonetheless, the cases suggest that this urgent, individualized intervention can play a role in efforts to prevent mass shootings, in health care settings and elsewhere.

    Diagramming this:

    Cases | suggest : intervention | (can) play / role .. in efforts

    I suspect that role is funding.  FACT CHECK TRUE!

    • #2
  3. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I didn’t need research to tell me that. But then I’m in the industry that tries to protect people from themselves when they’re in immediate risk of harming themselves when they’re in immediate risk of harming themselves or others.

    Have you ever run across the Assistant Village Idiot blog? He occasionally writes about such matters.

    Also, that bolded sentence needs fixing as shown. Oops.

    • #3
  4. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: I’d appreciate links to any other credible sources about the effectiveness of red flag laws.

    Very cool write up, JG!

    Try this link:  https://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/data-stories/gvro-2020-counts

    I just glanced through California’s numbers, but it does not appear to me that our gun violence restraining order regime has had much effect on reducing felonious use of firearms.

    Interesting though, the public safety agencies of San Diego County account for a hugely disproportionate number of GVRO petitions in the state.  Not sure what that means, or what effect it’s had.

    • #4
  5. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I didn’t need research to tell me that. But then I’m in the industry that tries to protect people from themselves when they’re in immediate risk of harming themselves when they’re in immediate risk of harming themselves or others.

    Have you ever run across the Assistant Village Idiot blog? He occasionally writes about such matters.

    Also, that bolded sentence needs fixing as shown. Oops.

    I missed an or. I wanted to repeate for effect. I’ll fix.

    • #5
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I didn’t need research to tell me that. But then I’m in the industry that tries to protect people from themselves when they’re in immediate risk of harming themselves when they’re in immediate risk of harming themselves or others.

    Have you ever run across the Assistant Village Idiot blog? He occasionally writes about such matters.

    Also, that bolded sentence needs fixing as shown. Oops.

    And I have not read him.

    • #6
  7. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: In addition to enforcement costs, a red flag law risks depriving people of their right to bear arms.

    The legal costs to challenge a red flag order can be prohibitively large for many people. The firearms are confiscated without due process, and the victim must pay a lawyer to help get them back. And can there be any doubt that malicious actors would use such laws to strip innocent people of their firearms? We have already seen how civil forfeiture laws are used to unconstitutionally seize private property from innocent people who do not have the resources to fight the system.

    • #7
  8. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    The focus on “spree shootings” is like focusing on hang-gliding accidents.   Instead, we could work on the 100,000+ deaths/year from ODs and now China is exporting a drug (iso) that is stronger than fentanyl. 

    • #8
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    We should spend the energy on medical errors.

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: In addition to enforcement costs, a red flag law risks depriving people of their right to bear arms.

    The legal costs to challenge a red flag order can be prohibitively large for many people. The firearms are confiscated without due process, and the victim must pay a lawyer to help get them back. And can there be any doubt that malicious actors would use such laws to strip innocent people of their firearms? We have already seen how civil forfeiture laws are used to unconstitutionally seize private property from innocent people who do not have the resources to fight the system.

    I’m not a fan of these laws.

    I question your claims about a lack of due process, as I don’t know the details.  Reading the CA information that Ray linked above suggests that the CA law, at least, provides for an initial ERPO of 21 days, with longer periods requiring a hearing.  The application has to be made and approved by a judge.  That looks like due process.

    Civil forfeiture laws are not unconstitutional, by the way.  This is not a crazy, radical Leftist position.  It’s the opinion of our best conservative SCOTUS justices, like Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas.

    There is a tendency for people to think that any law that they don’t like must be unconstitutional.  Scalia was great on this point.  His comment was something like, every judge taking the bench should be given a stamp, “stupid but Constitutional.”

    • #10
  11. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: In addition to enforcement costs, a red flag law risks depriving people of their right to bear arms.

    The legal costs to challenge a red flag order can be prohibitively large for many people. The firearms are confiscated without due process, and the victim must pay a lawyer to help get them back. And can there be any doubt that malicious actors would use such laws to strip innocent people of their firearms? We have already seen how civil forfeiture laws are used to unconstitutionally seize private property from innocent people who do not have the resources to fight the system.

    Civil forfeiture laws are not unconstitutional, by the way. This is not a crazy, radical Leftist position. It’s the opinion of our best conservative SCOTUS justices, like Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas.

    “You were carrying a lot of cash. Prove it was not earned illegally or we’ll keep it.”

    • #11
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: In addition to enforcement costs, a red flag law risks depriving people of their right to bear arms.

    The legal costs to challenge a red flag order can be prohibitively large for many people. The firearms are confiscated without due process, and the victim must pay a lawyer to help get them back. And can there be any doubt that malicious actors would use such laws to strip innocent people of their firearms? We have already seen how civil forfeiture laws are used to unconstitutionally seize private property from innocent people who do not have the resources to fight the system.

    I’m not a fan of these laws.

    I question your claims about a lack of due process, as I don’t know the details. Reading the CA information that Ray linked above suggests that the CA law, at least, provides for an initial ERPO of 21 days, with longer periods requiring a hearing. The application has to be made and approved by a judge. That looks like due process.

    Civil forfeiture laws are not unconstitutional, by the way. This is not a crazy, radical Leftist position. It’s the opinion of our best conservative SCOTUS justices, like Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas.

    There is a tendency for people to think that any law that they don’t like must be unconstitutional. Scalia was great on this point. His comment was something like, every judge taking the bench should be given a stamp, “stupid but Constitutional.”

    They most surely are an illegal taking. 

    They are a violation of rights.

    Only a lawyer would say something is constitutional because of a ruling. The law is an ass.

    • #12
  13. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    I did a search on Google Scholar with your search phrase.

    53 Ariz. St. L.J. 907 (2021)
    Red Flag Laws: Popularity, Effectiveness, and Why Arizona Should Set Its Sights on Enacting One

    The effects of red flag laws on firearm suicides and homicides. 

     

    The other ones on the page were for financial red flags. So then I added ‘guns’ to your search and these additional ones come up.

    ‘Red Flag’laws: how law enforcement’s controversial new tool to reduce mass shootings fits within current Second Amendment jurisprudence

    The politics of gun control

    There are more.

     

    • #13
  14. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: In addition to enforcement costs, a red flag law risks depriving people of their right to bear arms.

    The legal costs to challenge a red flag order can be prohibitively large for many people. The firearms are confiscated without due process, and the victim must pay a lawyer to help get them back. And can there be any doubt that malicious actors would use such laws to strip innocent people of their firearms? We have already seen how civil forfeiture laws are used to unconstitutionally seize private property from innocent people who do not have the resources to fight the system.

    I’m not a fan of these laws.

    I question your claims about a lack of due process, as I don’t know the details.  Reading the CA information that Ray linked above suggests that the CA law, at least, provides for an initial ERPO of 21 days, with longer periods requiring a hearing.  The application has to be made and approved by a judge.  That looks like due process.

    Just for starters: Every year we see more leftist judges and DA’s. A reasonable person knows they are very likely to make their decisions and rulings based on ideology rather than the Constitution.

    • #14
  15. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: It appears to me that a limitation of this study is that Delafave’s analysis implicitly assumes that there were no other changes to the law, or other social changes, that would have affected homicide or suicide rates.  Changes in suicide or homicide rates that occurred after the adoption of a red flag law are assumed to have been the result of the red flag law.  I do not object to performing this type of correlation, but we should realize that there could be other explanations.  Post hoc ergo propter hoc is a logical fallacy, though it may be true in some instances.

    Precisely.  Before I got to the last sentence of the paragraph, I was going to respond, “post hoc ergo propter hoc.”  It is inconceivable that a red flag law would be invoked in a vacuum.  Similarly, I would be intrigued to find out how any researcher can design a study that would truly isolate the red flag laws from these other factors.  

    And on the other side of the coin, how often are red flag laws used to deprive a person who in fact is no threat to anybody, but has significant need for self-defense, deprived of that ability?  Or invoked by an ex-spouse who finds him/herself in a child custody battle?  Or just for spite?

    • #15
  16. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: In addition to enforcement costs, a red flag law risks depriving people of their right to bear arms.

    The legal costs to challenge a red flag order can be prohibitively large for many people. The firearms are confiscated without due process, and the victim must pay a lawyer to help get them back. And can there be any doubt that malicious actors would use such laws to strip innocent people of their firearms? We have already seen how civil forfeiture laws are used to unconstitutionally seize private property from innocent people who do not have the resources to fight the system.

    I’m not a fan of these laws.

    I question your claims about a lack of due process, as I don’t know the details. Reading the CA information that Ray linked above suggests that the CA law, at least, provides for an initial ERPO of 21 days, with longer periods requiring a hearing. The application has to be made and approved by a judge. That looks like due process.

    After the 21 days, does someone get their guns back automatically?  Or do the cops etc drag their feet and have to be forced to follow the law, perhaps again requiring expensive lawsuits etc?

    When you get right down to it, “due process” can be whatever the government says it is.

     

    • #16
  17. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: It appears to me that a limitation of this study is that Delafave’s analysis implicitly assumes that there were no other changes to the law, or other social changes, that would have affected homicide or suicide rates. Changes in suicide or homicide rates that occurred after the adoption of a red flag law are assumed to have been the result of the red flag law. I do not object to performing this type of correlation, but we should realize that there could be other explanations. Post hoc ergo propter hoc is a logical fallacy, though it may be true in some instances.

    Precisely. Before I got to the last sentence of the paragraph, I was going to respond, “post hoc ergo propter hoc.” It is inconceivable that a red flag law would be invoked in a vacuum. Similarly, I would be intrigued to find out how any researcher can design a study that would truly isolate the red flag laws from these other factors.

    And on the other side of the coin, how often are red flag laws used to deprive a person who in fact is no threat to anybody, but has significant need for self-defense, deprived of that ability? Or invoked by an ex-spouse who finds him/herself in a child custody battle? Or just for spite?

    I could easily see a situation where a vengeful ex files a “red flag” type case which gets their ex disarmed, and the vengeful ex who has no intention of following the law, now has a defenseless target.

    • #17
  18. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: It appears to me that a limitation of this study is that Delafave’s analysis implicitly assumes that there were no other changes to the law, or other social changes, that would have affected homicide or suicide rates. Changes in suicide or homicide rates that occurred after the adoption of a red flag law are assumed to have been the result of the red flag law. I do not object to performing this type of correlation, but we should realize that there could be other explanations. Post hoc ergo propter hoc is a logical fallacy, though it may be true in some instances.

    Precisely. Before I got to the last sentence of the paragraph, I was going to respond, “post hoc ergo propter hoc.” It is inconceivable that a red flag law would be invoked in a vacuum. Similarly, I would be intrigued to find out how any researcher can design a study that would truly isolate the red flag laws from these other factors.

    And on the other side of the coin, how often are red flag laws used to deprive a person who in fact is no threat to anybody, but has significant need for self-defense, deprived of that ability? Or invoked by an ex-spouse who finds him/herself in a child custody battle? Or just for spite?

    I could easily see a situation where a vengeful ex files a “red flag” type case which gets their ex disarmed, and the vengeful ex who has no intention of following the law, now has a defenseless target.

    Or some liberal activists.

    • #18
  19. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Red Flag !

    Mischief just begging to be used ! What could go wrong ?

    Another tool in lefties tool box.

    • #19
  20. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: In addition to enforcement costs, a red flag law risks depriving people of their right to bear arms.

    The legal costs to challenge a red flag order can be prohibitively large for many people. The firearms are confiscated without due process, and the victim must pay a lawyer to help get them back. And can there be any doubt that malicious actors would use such laws to strip innocent people of their firearms? We have already seen how civil forfeiture laws are used to unconstitutionally seize private property from innocent people who do not have the resources to fight the system.

    I’m not a fan of these laws.

    I question your claims about a lack of due process, as I don’t know the details. Reading the CA information that Ray linked above suggests that the CA law, at least, provides for an initial ERPO of 21 days, with longer periods requiring a hearing. The application has to be made and approved by a judge. That looks like due process.

    Civil forfeiture laws are not unconstitutional, by the way. This is not a crazy, radical Leftist position. It’s the opinion of our best conservative SCOTUS justices, like Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas.

    There is a tendency for people to think that any law that they don’t like must be unconstitutional. Scalia was great on this point. His comment was something like, every judge taking the bench should be given a stamp, “stupid but Constitutional.”

    They most surely are an illegal taking.

    They are a violation of rights.

    Only a lawyer would say something is constitutional because of a ruling. The law is an ass.

    You might want to consider the possibility that Justice Thomas knows more about Constitutional law than you, as did Justices Rehnquist and Scalia.  They are not “asses.”  They are among the most distinguished jurists in the history of our country.  Nor are they advocates of the “living Constitution” doctrine of jurisprudence, which scarcely deserves the name.  They are the pioneers of modern originalism, upholding our history and traditions.

    Disregarding our actual, historical jurisprudence, in favor of imposing on the Constitution whatever opinions and policy preferences you might have, is usually a characteristic of the radical Leftists.  It is fairly common among Libertarians, too.  This is unfortunate.

    • #20
  21. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: In addition to enforcement costs, a red flag law risks depriving people of their right to bear arms.

    The legal costs to challenge a red flag order can be prohibitively large for many people. The firearms are confiscated without due process, and the victim must pay a lawyer to help get them back. And can there be any doubt that malicious actors would use such laws to strip innocent people of their firearms? We have already seen how civil forfeiture laws are used to unconstitutionally seize private property from innocent people who do not have the resources to fight the system.

    I’m not a fan of these laws.

    I question your claims about a lack of due process, as I don’t know the details. Reading the CA information that Ray linked above suggests that the CA law, at least, provides for an initial ERPO of 21 days, with longer periods requiring a hearing. The application has to be made and approved by a judge. That looks like due process.

    Civil forfeiture laws are not unconstitutional, by the way. This is not a crazy, radical Leftist position. It’s the opinion of our best conservative SCOTUS justices, like Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas.

    There is a tendency for people to think that any law that they don’t like must be unconstitutional. Scalia was great on this point. His comment was something like, every judge taking the bench should be given a stamp, “stupid but Constitutional.”

    They most surely are an illegal taking.

    They are a violation of rights.

    Only a lawyer would say something is constitutional because of a ruling. The law is an ass.

    You might want to consider the possibility that Justice Thomas knows more about Constitutional law than you, as did Justices Rehnquist and Scalia. They are not “asses.” They are among the most distinguished jurists in the history of our country. Nor are they advocates of the “living Constitution” doctrine of jurisprudence, which scarcely deserves the name. They are the pioneers of modern originalism, upholding our history and traditions.

    Disregarding our actual, historical jurisprudence, in favor of imposing on the Constitution whatever opinions and policy preferences you might have, is usually a characteristic of the radical Leftists. It is fairly common among Libertarians, too. This is unfortunate.

    I called no person an ass. I called the law an ass.

    CAF does not pass the smell test.

    But, hey, you have a law degree, so I guess you know more about rights than I do.

    • #21
  22. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    CAF does not pass the smell test.

    But, hey, you have a law degree, so I guess you know more about rights than I do.

    “Nobody understands the law but the lawyers, and they don’t know right from wrong.”
    –Jerry Pournelle

    And the inability to distinguish right from wrong, legitimate from illegitimate law, declines as the legal profession becomes ever more infected with “progressive” people.

    • #22
  23. Illiniguy Member
    Illiniguy
    @Illiniguy

    I’d like to put another issue into play. In the mad rush to enact “common sense” gun laws, it’s important that those who would object to this sort of thing have to learn how to play defense and settle for what they can get. I’m talking specifically about those states, like Illinois, which passed a “red flag” law (click here), of which I was a chief co-sponsor.

    The reason I jumped onto the bill, and had a big part of drafting the final product was that the bill came over from the Senate with such open-ended provisions that anyone could have filed a petition against anyone else, and upon a finding of probable cause, the respondent’s weapons could have been seized with no practical protections of civil liberties and would have forced the respondent to undertake lengthy and expensive measures to get them back.

    After weeks of negotiation, the final bill went to the floor. It substantially tightened up the requirements for standing to go into court to enforce an order, and if an order was granted, it forced the petitioners to go back into court within 14 days to justify their actions, under penalties of perjury. It was my effort to keep people who may have some other axe to grind (ex-spouses, pissed off paramours, officious busybody neighbors and the like) from using the bill as a means to just make trouble.

    https://youtu.be/dv964VnuoY4

    While we were debating the bill, the NRA came out against it. Needless to say, word on the floor spread fast. I was given the unusual privilege of speaking twice on debate:

    https://youtu.be/LbrUSBtj864

    (I’m not very good at embedding videos)

    I guess what I’m saying is that we’re fighting a rearguard action here. The events at Columbine, Parkland, Sandy Hook and Uvalde are outliers in the debate over guns, but they’re the best (and most cynical) means of supporting the arguments of those whose sole aim is to restrict and ultimately do away with the guarantee against government action to take away our right to self-protection. Red flag laws aren’t perfect, and certainly won’t end the cycle of mass violence, but we have to engage in the fight. This was the way by which I chose to do it.

    • #23
  24. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: In addition to enforcement costs, a red flag law risks depriving people of their right to bear arms.

    The legal costs to challenge a red flag order can be prohibitively large for many people. The firearms are confiscated without due process, and the victim must pay a lawyer to help get them back. And can there be any doubt that malicious actors would use such laws to strip innocent people of their firearms? We have already seen how civil forfeiture laws are used to unconstitutionally seize private property from innocent people who do not have the resources to fight the system.

    I’m not a fan of these laws.

    I question your claims about a lack of due process, as I don’t know the details. Reading the CA information that Ray linked above suggests that the CA law, at least, provides for an initial ERPO of 21 days, with longer periods requiring a hearing. The application has to be made and approved by a judge. That looks like due process.

    Civil forfeiture laws are not unconstitutional, by the way. This is not a crazy, radical Leftist position. It’s the opinion of our best conservative SCOTUS justices, like Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas.

    There is a tendency for people to think that any law that they don’t like must be unconstitutional. Scalia was great on this point. His comment was something like, every judge taking the bench should be given a stamp, “stupid but Constitutional.”

    They most surely are an illegal taking.

    They are a violation of rights.

    Only a lawyer would say something is constitutional because of a ruling. The law is an ass.

    You might want to consider the possibility that Justice Thomas knows more about Constitutional law than you, as did Justices Rehnquist and Scalia. They are not “asses.” They are among the most distinguished jurists in the history of our country. Nor are they advocates of the “living Constitution” doctrine of jurisprudence, which scarcely deserves the name. They are the pioneers of modern originalism, upholding our history and traditions.

    Disregarding our actual, historical jurisprudence, in favor of imposing on the Constitution whatever opinions and policy preferences you might have, is usually a characteristic of the radical Leftists. It is fairly common among Libertarians, too. This is unfortunate.

    I called no person an ass. I called the law an ass.

    CAF does not pass the smell test.

    But, hey, you have a law degree, so I guess you know more about rights than I do.

    Yes, I almost certainly know more about Constitutional rights than you do.  Doc Bastiat and Doc Robert know more about medicine than we do.

    You probably haven’t studied the issue, and when informed by someone with knowledge, you should consider learning something.

    • #24
  25. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: In addition to enforcement costs, a red flag law risks depriving people of their right to bear arms.

    The legal costs to challenge a red flag order can be prohibitively large for many people. The firearms are confiscated without due process, and the victim must pay a lawyer to help get them back. And can there be any doubt that malicious actors would use such laws to strip innocent people of their firearms? We have already seen how civil forfeiture laws are used to unconstitutionally seize private property from innocent people who do not have the resources to fight the system.

    I’m not a fan of these laws.

    I question your claims about a lack of due process, as I don’t know the details. Reading the CA information that Ray linked above suggests that the CA law, at least, provides for an initial ERPO of 21 days, with longer periods requiring a hearing. The application has to be made and approved by a judge. That looks like due process.

    Civil forfeiture laws are not unconstitutional, by the way. This is not a crazy, radical Leftist position. It’s the opinion of our best conservative SCOTUS justices, like Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas.

    There is a tendency for people to think that any law that they don’t like must be unconstitutional. Scalia was great on this point. His comment was something like, every judge taking the bench should be given a stamp, “stupid but Constitutional.”

    They most surely are an illegal taking.

    They are a violation of rights.

    Only a lawyer would say something is constitutional because of a ruling. The law is an ass.

    You might want to consider the possibility that Justice Thomas knows more about Constitutional law than you, as did Justices Rehnquist and Scalia. They are not “asses.” They are among the most distinguished jurists in the history of our country. Nor are they advocates of the “living Constitution” doctrine of jurisprudence, which scarcely deserves the name. They are the pioneers of modern originalism, upholding our history and traditions.

    Disregarding our actual, historical jurisprudence, in favor of imposing on the Constitution whatever opinions and policy preferences you might have, is usually a characteristic of the radical Leftists. It is fairly common among Libertarians, too. This is unfortunate.

    I called no person an ass. I called the law an ass.

    CAF does not pass the smell test.

    But, hey, you have a law degree, so I guess you know more about rights than I do.

    Yes, I almost certainly know more about Constitutional rights than you do. Doc Bastiat and Doc Robert know more about medicine than we do.

    You probably haven’t studied the issue, and when informed by someone with knowledge, you should consider learning something.

    I know about God Given rights, and what is wrong. That seems lost on you.

    It is wrong for the government to take your money without any hearing. CAF is wrong. And yet, your legal mind can’t see that.

    I dare say Jefferson and Adams would be on my side. I know most Americans are.

    Now, you use the term Constitutional rights. I speak of God given. Just because some man tells me I have a right to keep slaves does not make it so. 

    • #25
  26. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Are they effective is really the wrong question.

    Are they constitutional is the correct question. It’s certainly a much better starting point. Otherwise you’re approaching the question backwards.

    • #26
  27. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    Are they effective is really the wrong question.

    Are they constitutional is the correct question. It’s certainly a much better starting point. Otherwise you’re approaching the question backwards.

    The reductio ad absurdum of “are they effective” would have us all confined to our homes, under video surveillance, with our hands on the table at all times “so we know you aren’t going to make any sudden moves, punk”.

    I cannot imagine John Adams, Thomas Jefferson et al reacting with anything but horror to the prospect of citizens being stripped of their property on an official’s whim, without benefit of trial–arrest only with probable cause, habeas corpus, witnesses, evidence, citation of laws violated, legal representation, burden of proof, etc.

    • #27
  28. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    FYI. I try pretty hard, but I’m not that good at gun policy. It doesn’t matter because most of the gun grabbers including Michael Bloomberg personally, are really stupid and lazy. Then I ran into this guy. 

    I would suggest somebody needs to arm themselves comprehensively against these psychos. Every little bit helps. 

    I had never seen this before. They want to regulate fire arms like airplanes based on wattage output. lol 

    Then throw in, I’m not good at some of this stuff like forcing insurance on individual guns. 

    Use every angle you can come up with. It doesn’t matter in Minnesota because the gun grabbers are so stupid, here, but somebody has to do every angle so they don’t take any ground. 

    This was quite a conversation. lol 

     

     

    • #28
  29. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    Are they effective is really the wrong question.

    Are they constitutional is the correct question. It’s certainly a much better starting point. Otherwise you’re approaching the question backwards.

    Except that many of the people arguing for gun control don’t care about whether something is constitutional, and so the only chance we have of them not imposing more laws on us is to convince them that their proposed “solution” is ineffective. Unfortunately, at least some don’t care about that either, and demand that lawmakers “do something” regardless of whether the something is constitutional or effective. 

    • #29
  30. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    Are they effective is really the wrong question.

    Are they constitutional is the correct question. It’s certainly a much better starting point. Otherwise you’re approaching the question backwards.

    Except that many of the people arguing for gun control don’t care about whether something is constitutional, and so the only chance we have of them not imposing more laws on us is to convince them that their proposed “solution” is ineffective. Unfortunately, at least some don’t care about that either, and demand that lawmakers “do something” regardless of whether the something is constitutional or effective.

    It’s really shocking how purposely stupid these people are. Only 1 out of 100 gives a damn about being cogent in any way. 

    Bloomberg gave up on influencing policy in Minnesota and he simply started throwing millions at elections. What little I’ve seen him talk about gun policy on YouTube he looks as stupid as all of them.

    • #30
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