Guest Commentary: The Dangers of Red Flag Laws

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

New York Democrats have been hyper-focused on two firearm strategies. The first has been to create a registry of gun owners in the state of New York with all the pertinent information that would be needed should a confiscation be desired by the gun-grabbing legislature and or state police. 


Recently, New York State pulled the firearm background check system from the federal NICS process. At the federal level, gun owners are ostensibly protected from being put on a gun registry. The New York State legislature has decided that any gun purchases that occur in the State of New York will go directly through the New York State Police. However, Governor Hochul was not completely happy with firearm background checks alone and added an ammunition background check rule in what appears to be an attempt at not missing out on any gun owners’ personal information.

The second strategy the New York anti-gunners are intent on implementing is the use of Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO), a.k.a. "red flag" laws, a.k.a. “gun confiscation without due process.” New York State has had a "red flag" law in place for some time, but in 2023 Judge Craig Stephen Brown declared New York’s ERPO unconstitutional on the grounds that a court is not equipped to determine mental health issues. Mental health was the justification for the law. Judge Brown made it clear that civil rights were at risk of being violated as a result. He also made it known that the ex-parte confiscation of guns without due process is a violation of Constitutional rights. 


 Why are gun owners so concerned with New York State putting a gun registry and "red flag" law in place? The answer is simple. Before you can confiscate firearms, you must first know the home addresses where they are located. Red flag laws are the confiscation tool that eliminates that pesky due process, and the registry is the location tool. Gun owners in the Empire State have learned that the super-majority Democrat state legislature has continually overstepped their legal boundaries with respect to 2nd Amendment rights when they are able. New York Democrats have deteriorated the trust of their Constituents.

 Recently, a New York Appellate Court upheld the controversial and dangerous Red Flag Law, and the state-run background check system has been in place since September 2023. Justification for the court’s decision relied on the notion that a judge can make the determination that an individual could be a risk. If the judge believes there is probable cause that a subject of a red flag petition is likely to cause serious harm to himself herself or others, the confiscation would be given a green light.


When talking with Cam Edwards, Editor for Bearing Arms, about the evolution of Extreme Risk Protection Orders in the State of New York, this is what he had to say: “Certainly with the New York State Police, Governor Hochul can’t demand that local law enforcement or County Sheriffs do this, but she is certainly encouraging them to file as many red flag petitions as possible.” He went on to say, “The New York State Police have actually run out of room to house all of the guns that they have confiscated.”

You can check out more of my conversation with Cam in the latest episode of The Loaded Mic podcast in the video window below. 

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