Questions to Pose When Discussing Red Flag laws

I will admit, I love Beth Alcazar! She’s an awesome firearms instructor, writer, and person! :smiley:

Having gotten to know her since I started at the USCCA, I now hear her Southern twang as I read her blog posts. She always hits the nail on the head with her take on the issues, the questions in this post are great talking and thinking points for Red Flag Laws:


From the blog post:

’Investigators said James Adams and his son, Alfred Dewayne Adams, were involved in an argument Sunday night. They further stated they believe James told Alfred he was going to bed. Alfred then walked into the bedroom and James shot him in the chest. Some of the neighbors and some other family members can tell us about stuff that was happening through [sic] the years.’ This life could have been spared by utilizing a red flag law.

Some Questions

“This life could have been spared by utilizing a red flag law?” That’s quite a statement. And I wanted to post a few questions to Moms Demand Action. First of all, I wanted to ask: If the father truly used a weapon in self-defense, would a “red flag” law have disarmed him … and then spared the life of his violent son? Would the father be dead, then, in this particular situation? Beyond that, do “red flag” laws cover all weapons in the home? What if the suspect had decided to use a knife? Or what about prescription drugs or poisons? Does it cover a person’s bare hands and/or body? Could we confiscate those weapons, as well, whenever we feel there’s “some stuff that was happening through the years?”


Huge questions to pose to those who are in favor of Red Flag Laws:
Do Red Flag laws cover all weapons in the house?
What about knives or other weapons that could be used to hurt and kill?

Beth closes the article another great question:

Ultimately, we have to ask: Will “red flag” laws actually target violent people … or just people with guns?

What other questions do you use to help show your view of Red Flag laws?

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My first question would be are there any repercussions for abuse of the law? From what I have seen of the laws that have been enacted, there are zero for an accuser, and you don’t get to face them either. Some of them can be very broad in who can turn someone in as well. Enough so, as I have said before, I am very very concerned about an ex that would use it for extortion (or similar).

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I just ask the other person that if these laws are to “protect” people then why are known gang members not being flagged by the very people who claim they want to protect us?

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My question is simple. Where in the Constitution does it allow us to punish a citizen for what they “might” do?

Assuming pretty much everyone here owns a car that can exceed the speed limit, how many of you would be OK if a police officer stopped you in the parking lot of your office, and gave you a speeding ticket for speeding you might do in the future?

Why don’t they prosecute people who lie on the 4473? Don’t see too many felony convictions there…

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If I’m that target of a Red Flag claim, at what point is due process rendered (e.g. when do I get to have my day in court?) and does this infringe on my 6th Amendment rights? (in addition to my 2nd Amendment rights)

As @MarkinMT stated, what is the penalty for abuse and false claims? (needs to be criminal in addition to civil)

Will a (or multiple) red flag claims have the unintended consequence of flagging me on the 4473 ?

When measuring the statistics around success/failure of Red Flag programs, what objective evidence is being used? Someone might have harmed themselves, or someone around them…they might not have…a weapon may have been used, it may not have. I found it interesting that the Susan Brooks (an Indiana Republican who supports Red Flag laws) sites a study done by the University of Indianapolis study to a 7.5% decrease in gun suicides…but was there an overall decrease in suicides or did they just use another method (also the law is only about a year old, where/how are they getting their data?)

I guess my last question was actually about five…but you get the idea.

This is interesting because the practice has been in process for domestic violence in most states for a long time. For instance, in Kentucky, a person can petition for an Emergency Protective Order based upon claims of past threats or violence. These claims require little in the way of substantiation. Once filed, a judge decides, based upon the unsubstantiated claims of the petitioner, whether to issue an EPO which will generally require no contact and confiscation of firearms from the respondent. Once served, a hearing on the EPO must occur within 14 days to determine if there is evidence of domestic violence or abuse by a preponderance of the evidence - not beyond a reasonable doubt. If a court decides there has been domestic violence or abuse, a Domestic Violence Order (or an Interpersonal Protection Order depending on the relationship between the petitioner and the respondent) that can last for up to 3 years and is renewable.
Red Flag laws are subject to be misused and abused based upon even flimsier levels of proof. And I agree, there needs to be criminal penalties for their abuse but it is unlikely to happen because there really isn’t going to be evidence except someone’s feeling that the person is a danger to themselves or others. Unless it is fact based and can be substantiated, it will be useless.