The U.S. Department of Justice has revealed its new model Red Flag Law legislation, the model legislation is supposed to serve as a blueprint for states who want to pick up the highly controversial law.
“Today we continue to deliver on our promise to help save lives while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans,” said recently appointed U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in a statement along with the rollout. “We welcome the opportunity to work with communities in the weeks and months ahead in our shared commitment to end gun violence.”
Going past what many existing state laws allow, the model legislation enables not only law enforcement or a family member to request such a gun seizure order, but also a “dating or intimate partner,” health care provider, or school official. It allows for ex parte orders, which famously “gets the guns first” without the subject of the order even knowing it has been filed, and makes the burden of restoring their Second Amendment rights an adversarial process.
Further, it requires the law enforcement agency carrying out the search and seizure order to report it to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, as well as any known state background check system, effectively suspending the subject’s right to keep and bear arms.
What it does not include is any form of counseling or mental health treatment, although the nature of such orders is to keep an individual “at crisis” from legally accessing or possessing guns. It is also vague about penalties or punishments for those filing false or harassing orders, leaving that up to the states to decide.
Some of the major issues that have been pointed out by those in the firearms community include:
-no recourse for those who have been “red-flagged” when it comes to getting their firearms back
-anyone truly facing a crisis would not be given any sort of help, they would only have their firearms taken
-no solid punishment for those making false reports
-suspending a person’s right to bear arms with an emergency order might leave them without their civil liberties for a long time if not forever