It seems reasonable enough — most mass shooters are deranged and therefore we need to do more to keep guns out of the hands of people who are seriously mentally ill.
It’s something even most gun owners will agree with.
The devil, of course, is in the details.
Two states are currently considering laws allowing law enforcement to confiscate guns from people deemed “dangerous” with no more than a court order.
In Delaware, lawmakers are considering the so-called “Beau Biden gun control act,” Guns.com reports.
Introduced Tuesday by state Rep. David Bentz, D-Christiana, House Bill 302 would require health care workers to report to law enforcement anyone they feel is a danger to themselves or others. Police, obligated to investigate, could then petition the court to order the person turn over their guns pending a hearing. Courts could also authorise officers to seize firearms and ammunition under some circumstances.
You read that right; a nurse could call the cops, tell them you’re a danger and you could have Johny Law knocking at your door telling you to turn over your firearms. Given that many doctors are for gun control, it’s a given that many would figure you owning a gun at all means you’re a “danger to yourself or others.”
“This legislation will protect our communities by restricting access to firearms for those who are considered a danger to themselves or others,” said Gov. John Carney in support of the legislation. “It will also ensure our health professionals and law enforcement are working more closely together when it comes to the issue of firearms.”
Oh and that whole “temporary” thing? Yeah, maybe not so much.
In addition to the provision to temporarily take guns from those subject to a court order, under its current language HB 302 would remove the firearms rights of some with a history of mental health treatment as well as those who been found not guilty by reason of insanity, guilty but mentally ill, or mentally incompetent to stand trial.
So basically, if you’re on antidepressants — like one-in-six of Americans — a court order would get your 2nd Amendment rights removed, permanently.
“The Beau Biden bill achieves a balance between promoting public safety and sensible gun control policy while protecting the due process and Second Amendment rights of Delawareans,” assured Bentz.
In New York, similar legislation is being considered, the New York Daily News reports.
A coalition of influential gun control advocates joined forces Wednesday to call for legislation that would make it easier to keep guns away from dangerous individuals.
The groups urged state lawmakers to adopt legislation that would allow judges to temporarily prohibit individuals considered likely to harm themselves or others from possessing or purchasing firearms.
Again, we have a proposed “temporary” confiscation, based on the testimony of… well pretty much anyone in this case.
Under the proposed measure, family members or law enforcement could petition a court for “Extreme Risk Protection Orders,” which, if granted, would allow officers to temporarily confiscate firearms and prevent the purchase of additional weapons by those deemed at risk of causing harm to themselves or others.
The person would be then be given the chance to challenge the order in court.
“This legislation empowers loved ones and law enforcement to take immediate legal action to protect public safety if they notice dangerous behavior by people who may be at risk,” Tricia Pleu of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America said.
So in this case, it wouldn’t even require a medical professional, all it would take is an estranged spouse in front of a sympathetic judge to get your guns taken away — all in the name of public safety in a state which already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.
Oh, and again, no crime required, this is a civil action.
State Sen. Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan), a sponsor of the bill, said existing law falls short because it normally requires someone to be charged with a crime before their weapons can be confiscated.
“This creates a civil process where the sole question is whether the person is likely to cause harm,” Kavanagh said.
Lord how horrible, someone actually has to be accused of a crime and convicted before we can strip them of their rights.
Hopefully, sane people in the legislatures of both states can keep these abominations from becoming law, although I would imagine a legal challenge would be forthcoming quickly as well. It’s hard to see how laws which would remove a Constitutionally-protected right without real due-process would stand scrutiny, but stranger things have happened.