It was only a few days ago that I asked the question “Is mental illness becoming a catch-all for shredding the Constitution?” Though somewhat rhetorical in nature, I felt the question needed to be asked due to the Orwellian willingness of our elected officials to create laws empowering the government to prohibit individuals from buying a gun and to allow local authorities to seize firearms—by force, if necessary—from citizens without due process.
No warrant. No arrest. No charges. All that’s necessary for this blatantly unconstitutional act is to get a judge to issue an “extreme risk protection order” (ERPO).
Already the law in five states—and growing—ERPOs are sometimes issued after a family member petitions the court. But they can also be obtained via a police department petition if they receive an anonymous report from anyone who sees a person they consider to be a threat, such as what we witnessed in Seattle, Washington, recently.
Based only on the word of neighbors who considered a Seattle man a threat because he “stared” at them and wore a holstered firearm—which is legal in his community—the Seattle Crisis Response Squad forcibly confiscated his weapons from his home and the home of a family member. The Seattle resident had no police record and had never been so much as charged with a crime before this incident.
Now the question about how mental illness could become a catch-all is about to go from being rhetorical to being reality, thanks to a bill co-sponsored by Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal and
Democrat Republican Republicrat Senator Lindsey Graham.
Called the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Act (FERPA), the Graham/Blumenthal bill is modeled after laws much like the one in the state of Washington. A similar bill has been proposed by Democrat Bill Nelson and Republicrat Marco Rubio, but their bill is only a grant program designed to encourage states to pass “red flag” laws. The Graham/Blumenthal bill federalizes ERPOs by giving federal courts jurisdiction over the states.
In a press release, Graham stated, “Our government encourages our citizens that if you ‘see something, say something.’ We (the government) also need to ‘do something.’” In a joint press conference held with Graham, Blumenthal shared how FERPA would have given authorizes the tools they lacked to stop Nikolas Cruz from murdering 17 people in Parkland, Florida.
Graham also assured Americans that “This is not about gun rights. I’m not worried about this law affecting me as a AR-15 owner at all.” Isn’t it swell that Graham’s rights are protected while others are not? Still, Senator Graham should be careful because an argument could be made that the unconstitutional actions of politicians such as himself are a threat to me and my family, which is all I need under red flag laws to petition the courts.
One last thought. Being the craven person that he is, Graham passed some of the political heat of this bill to Donald Trump, saying that “The President’s got to tell us what he wants.” No worries, Senator. Trump’s on board when it comes to seizing guns without due process.
Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.
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