The matter of Fourth Amendment protections for firearm owners has yet to fully have its day in court. The promising outcome from Caniglia v. Strom on May 17, 2021 does point to gun owners having protection from firearm seizure when a warrant is absent. The Caniglia case was reported nearly a month ago by Cam Edwards, and in his correct estimation, it can have effects going forward concerning due process for those trapped up in such situations, and how the high court views them:
It’s encouraging to see the Supreme Court unanimously agree that Edward Caniglia’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated when his firearms were seized without a warrant, but I suspect that a challenge to a state’s red flag laws would result in a much more divided opinion.
While this case didn’t directly involve a Second Amendment challenge, it’s also good to see that even the progressive wing of the Court concluded that the seizure of Caniglia’s legally-owned firearms infringed on his constitutional rights. It may not indicate a sea change from the liberal justices, but at least in this case they declined to treat the Second (and Fourth) Amendment as a second-class right.
While I agree with Edwards’s suspicion that “red flag” laws might yield a more divided opinion, this case will in my opinion have an impact on litigation against all of the unconstitutional seizure policies. In a concurring opinion, Justice Alito conceded the Caniglia case does not address “red flag” laws directly, but I’m sure the case will be cited in case documents filed in lower courts.
On May 25, 2021 Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) both had no issues introducing a federal “red flag” bill. This introduction comes as a slap in the face to the justices who ruled unanimously in Caniglia, only a little over a week after the opinion was rendered. Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, from comrade Feinstein’s release states the bill aims to in part:
…help states enact laws that allow family members and law enforcement to acquire temporary court orders to have guns removed from dangerous individuals.
One state that has already enacted such a law is California, where an extreme risk protection order law was passed in 2016 after a gunman killed six students in Isla Vista. The shooter had exhibited warning signs on social media and his mother warned local law enforcement about his behavior. Unfortunately, they were powerless to stop him from obtaining a gun.
However, only 19 states and the District of Columbia currently have extreme risk protection order laws. This bill is intended to make it easier for more states to enact these life-saving laws.
I understand Feinstein’s quixotic feelings to use her beloved California as an example of the “way” to do things, but sorry, California’s “gun control” measures have shown to be ineffective. The latest blow to the Golden State was having their “assault weapon” ban smacked down and the magazine capacity debacle that persists. Feinstein brought this proposal up in light of Caniglia, with the court themselves stating that the constitutionality of a number “red flag” laws probably should be explored. Instead of waiting for challenges to these laws to make their way to the high court, Feinstein decided to draft a bill to encourage more states to draft these proposals. To me, this is just hubris.
Constituents and voters in California have short memories. Feinstein’s overall prohibitionist attitude to many freedom related things goes way back. Forget guns. We know dearest Dianne has no warmth for firearms in her heart. But how about the AIDS epidemic of the 80’s? In 1984 when Feinstein was mayor of San Francisco she had all the “gay bathhouses” and “homosexual clubs” closed. You can read the articles on your own and make up your own opinions:
What does this have to do with firearms, or “red flag” laws? This is just a stunning example of singling out one population and discriminating against them. The AIDS epidemic was, and still is, a very real danger to our population. None of what I’m suggesting is to downplay the effects of the time period. However, let’s focus on the prohibitionist mentality versus say the educational element they also employed (which they admitted showed results).
We know the end game, she had gay clubs shut down. If Feinstein or any other politician in 2021 were to suggest the closure of gay bars or clubs they’d be, rightfully so, run out of town on a rail. The message to the voters over there in California is that this woman is no friend to freedom. So why should anyone be taking her advice on instituting a law that aims to strip people of their fundamental rights without due process? She led a witch hunt against homosexuals in the 80’s and she leads witch hunts against gun owners. It’s high time we dust off our history books and put things into perspective. If their educational program was working, why did she have the clubs shut down?
The Fourth Amendment and our right to due process is sacred. Extreme risk protective orders, aka “red flag” laws, don’t do anything to serve public safety. What’s already on the books can serve the same purposes, but do so constitutionally. All 50 states have involuntary commitment laws. Further, any person that an individual thinks is a credible danger can report that person to the police for investigation.
The failings have been in the executing of the laws we have, and the dangerous games prosecutors paly in plea bargaining and fostering a revolving door justice system. Most every episode of “Cam and Company” has a recidivist report showing the executive and judicial failures to actually serve and protect the people, allowing criminals to roam free.
Also on the topic of “red flag” laws is the fact they have already been weaponized to target people over personal disputes. A recent case out of Florida dealing with the regular restraining order process many states already have in place highlighted the failings of such measures and found a man’s firearms were confiscated in violation of his rights. With “red flag” laws in place, there is nothing stopping someone that has a beef with another person from triggering one of these orders on them in retaliation over personal matters.
If the encouragement of usurping people’s rights does not bother you, then perhaps we can draw from the text of the bill something that may:
IN GENERAL.—The Attorney General shall establish a program under which, from amounts made available to carry out this section, the Attorney General may make grants to eligible entities to assist in carrying out the provisions of the legislation described in subsection.
They want, we the people, the tax payers to foot the bill. I don’t know about you, but I’m not comfortable paying for measures that strip civil liberties.
Feinstein “saved” the gay community by shutting them down. That’s what she does, shuts things down. In her own words:
If I could have gotten 51 votes for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, ‘Mr. and Mrs. America, turn em all in,’ I would have done it
If I had my way, I would ban the possession of assault weapons anywhere in the United States of America, but there were not going to be the votes for that
Dianne, your credibility has been gone for a long time, it’s time to retire.