One of the biggest criticisms I’ve had with the ACLU is that they refuse to acknowledge that the right to keep and bear arms is a civil liberty. They routinely ignore Second Amendment concerns and have even come out against the Second Amendment in the recent past.
However, from time to time, they do stand up against gun control policies.
For example, they take issue with some of California’s new gun control laws.
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday signed into state law a bill that enables employers, co-workers and teachers to obtain gun violence restraining orders against owners of firearms that are a potential threat to them.
The legislation, which former Democratic governor Jerry Brown had vetoed twice, expands an existing red flag measure that allows only immediate family members and law enforcement officials to seek an order for a person’s gun to be temporarily removed if they are decided to be either a danger to themselves or others.
Why does the ACLU oppose the bill?
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a nonprofit organization whose aim is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States,” opposed the legislation. The group believes that its enactment “poses a significant threat to civil liberties” as it allows employers, co-workers, teachers and those covered under the existing measure to seek the gun violence restraining order without first allowing the owner an opportunity to contest and make their case.
The ACLU also said the law could “lack the relationship or skills required to make an appropriate assessment.”
Well, they’re not wrong. I’m just surprised they actually had the intellectual integrity to make this stand.
In addition to this, though, there’s the fact that if someone represents a threat, it’s far better to report them to law enforcement so they can be investigated. If someone is planning a killing, I’d just rather they be arrested than temporarily disarmed. We’ve seen numerous cases recently where mass shooting have been stopped because someone reported the threat to the police and it was investigated, all without the “benefit” of a red flag law.
Seeing the ACLU on the right side of this is refreshing. I don’t expect it to last, mind you, because the money behind the organization tends to not be thrilled with the Second Amendment, by and large, but I’ll take what I can get.
Luckily, we don’t need them to make a lot of statements on this issue. This one may well be enough to put the kibosh on a number of other red flag law proposals. At least in some circles.
Mostly, though, I think this will be dismissed out of hand by anti-gunners who are quick to hold up the ACLU when it agrees with them but pretend inconvenient statements like this simply never happened in the first place. Hold onto this one, folks, because you’re going to want to use it in your internet debates for years to come.