Red flag laws are a major problem for most in the Second Amendment community. They do a couple of things that create that problem.
For one thing, they take guns without any real due process. Depending on the state, authorized parties can petition the court to take your guns away without you even knowing there’s a hearing. The first you know about it is when law enforcement shows up at your door.
Another issue is that while they’re ostensibly about protecting the public, they leave the supposedly dangerous party on the streets. I mean, yeah, they might not have a gun, but if they have access to a vehicle, they can hurt a whole lot of folks, as we have seen previously.
Yet in Bend, Oregon, law enforcement seems pretty pleased with themselves over their extensive use of red flag laws.
Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz told city councilors Wednesday evening that the city makes the highest use in the state of Oregon’s Red Flag Law.
In 2020, 95 ERPOs were filed statewide, 19 of which were in Deschutes County. Of those, 16 were initiated by Bend PD.
In 2021, Deschutes County had 24 protection orders filed, 15 of which were also from Bend PD.
So far this year, Bend PD has initiated five of the six orders filed within the county.
“If we can help prevent someone being injured or killed by firearms, that’s really important and it’s something we have a responsibility in our community to do,” Miller said.
Wow. That’s something to be really proud of, isn’t it?
Again, if these people are such a danger to themselves or others, why are they left on the streets? Every state in the nation has a law on the books that allows someone to be admitted against their will for at least 72 hours for evaluation by mental health professionals. That would at least get them off the streets and get them some degree of help.
Instead, they use red flag laws that strip someone of their right to keep and bear arms.
What’s worse, though, is that the party in question later gets their day in court, where they have to convince the judge–who is generally not a mental health professional–that they’re not a danger to anyone.
At least with admitting someone, though, you get them help. This leaves people out on the streets to suffer in silence and possibly make them even more likely to lash out and hurt someone.
What’s worse is that officials will use this to justify the existence of red flag laws. They’ll cite all of these instances as evidence that such laws are beneficial.
However, I’m curious how many of these folks who had their guns taken away were a threat and just how many had the wrong political opinions or something equally stupid.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know for sure.
Bend law enforcement isn’t accomplishing what they claim they’re accomplishing. All they’re doing is feeding into a system that pretends guns are a problem all on their own and once they’re removed, everything is all hunky-dory.
It’s not. Not by a long shot.