With several anti-gun bills in front of Congress, AFP readers are encouraged to contact their legislators.
By Mark Anderson
While most of America has been distracted by Democrat-led efforts to impeach President Donald Trump, gun control bills have been piling up in Congress. Two of the measures have already been passed by the House, while five others were reported out of committee. The main two legislative items to closely monitor are the “Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019” (H.R. 1236) and the equally Orwellian “Disarm Hate Act” (H.R. 2708). Neither bill had made it to the House for a floor vote at press time, but AFP readers are urged to stay especially vigilant.
H.R. 1236, introduced in February by Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), with 206 cosponsors, was approved 22-16 by the House Judiciary Committee with an amendment to include H.R. 3076, which is similar legislation put forth by Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.).
A Judiciary Committee news release says that H.R. 1236 “provides incentives through grants for states to adopt laws providing for Extreme Risk Protection Orders to prevent those deemed a risk to themselves or others from accessing firearms.”
What the news release from the Democrat-controlled House fails to specify, however, is that, if passed, the bill would usher in America’s first-ever national red flag law—a particularly invasive measure that gets the mental health community, police, and the general public involved in identifying and assessing individuals whose behavior may indicate they’re prone to violence. On that basis, such individuals could be denied the right to purchase a firearm or even to keep any firearms they may already own.
Of course, anyone in a feud with another who has a score to settle, or anyone who might want to remove competitors in the fields of business, love, politics etc., need only report that their rival appears “unstable” in order to get the law involved in settling personal vendettas and targeting the Second Amendment rights of individuals on the basis of hearsay and highly subjective judgments—especially when the myopic mass media cartel labors to create an anti-gun mentality among a broad cross-section of Americans.
How are red flag laws working out at the state level? Consider Anne Arundel County, Md. On Nov. 5, 2018—well before the latest spate of “mass shootings” occurred and “red flag” proposals became commonplace—61-year-old Gary J. Willis was shot dead at his front door “by an officer trying to enforce Maryland’s new ‘red flag’ law in Ferndale [Md.],” CBS 13 affiliate WJZ of Baltimore reported. “Anne Arundel County Police contend the man answered his front door at 5 a.m. holding a pistol. He became incensed when police tried to serve him and seize his firearms. A fight broke out, and Willis fired his handgun, prompting police to return fire. According to reports, there were no other witnesses present to dispute the statement by the officers involved.”
In other words, official guns carried by police can be fired at will to kill—while rousing a citizen out of bed at the crack of dawn in a classical “old-Soviet” fashion for maximum harassment, confusion, and shock value, and local media simply take the police’s word regarding the events.
WJZ noted that during just the first month of Maryland’s red flag law, 114 “requests for removing guns” were issued.
Proponents of the red flag laws contend such laws may occasionally tag an individual planning a serious crime with guns. Existing laws, however, already can be enforced when a serious crime is in the works, whether or not firearms are involved.
This situation drives home the urgency for AFP readers to call their representatives and their senators to make doubly sure H.R. 1236 never becomes law to make such a nightmare a national fixture.
As for the Disarm Hate Act (Senate companion bill, S. 1462), the bill was approved 23-15 by the House Judiciary Committee to clear the path for a full House vote. The Senate version, at press time, had not yet seen any action in the Senate Judiciary Committee and has only 16 cosponsors. H.R. 2708 is intended to “prevent a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime or received an enhanced sentence for a misdemeanor because of hate or bias in its commission, from obtaining a firearm,” official sources say.
But given the fact that the charge of “hate crimes” is highly subjective, basing the denial of Second Amendment rights on such charges is fraught with peril to Americans’ civil liberties.
Other bills that need attention include the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019” (H.R. 8) and the “Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019” (H.R. 1112). Those two bills already passed the full House and have been pending in the Senate since March.
Another relevant piece of legislation, also introduced in February and reported out of committee but not yet voted on by the full House at press time, is the “Keep Americans Safe Act” (H.R. 1186). The Senate version, S. 447, was referred to the Judiciary Committee in February where it remains without action.
To contact any Senate or House member beyond their local offices, call the Capitol Switchboard, 202-224-3121 or 225-3121.
Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. Email him at [email protected].