Illinois -(Ammoland.com)- Illinois has become the latest state to pass a so-called “red flag law” which is also known as extreme protection orders. This bill is one of two new gun restrictions signed into law by the Republican, Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Red flag laws allow police to seize guns from people temporarily with very little [or NO] evidence. Gun rights groups like Gun Owners of America call these laws “gun confiscation orders.” All it takes is a family member, dating partner, or roommate to claim that someone is a danger to themselves or others to have his or her Second Amendment rights stripped away by a secret court hearing. A judge does have to approve the order, but according to the latest statistic, judges on average approve 95% of all order brought in front of them.
Illinois joins more than a dozen states with extreme protection order laws on the books. This number doubles the number of states with red flag laws since the tragedy in Parkland, FL. Gun rights advocates point to the fact that red flag laws have not prevented a single crime from taking place with a gun. The gun rights groups claim it is more likely to be abused than to prevent an act of violence.
Supporters of these laws claim that the gun confiscation would prevent suicides. This stance is countered by pro-gun groups who point to suicide rates in countries such as Japan where guns are all but banned. While suicide rates with guns in states with red flag laws did drop, the overall number of suicides in these states remained steady. The suicide victims just used a different method to kill themselves.
Gun groups also point out that criminals do not follow the laws and a piece of paper is not going to stop them from an act of violence. Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and yet it is known by the nickname Chiraq due to the amount of gun violence in the streets. Gun groups question why criminals would pay attention to this new law if the criminals ignored the old laws that were already on the books within the city.
Anti-gun groups, such as Moms Demand Action and Every Town for Gun Safety, claim that an extreme protection could have prevented the Parkland shooter from having firearms. The Parkland shooter had multiple contacts with police and law enforcement was aware of the killer, but never pursued actions that they could have taken within the current laws against the shooter.
Gun rights advocates also point out that the targets of such orders are not present or notified of the court cases to take away their firearms. Because of the absence of a defense, they point out that the judge only gets a single side of the story before deciding to strip away someone’s rights. They argue that this is not due process.
The estimated legal cost in overturning an extreme protection order is around $10,000 with no guarantee that the person will get their rights restored or property returned.
Considering the length of time it takes to appeal the order in addition to the cost of fighting the order, many people will not or cannot challenge the stripping of their rights. This legal situation is especially evident in the more impoverished communities where someone might have to choose between eating and fighting for his or her rights.
The second bill signed by the Republican Governor would put in place a 72-hour waiting period to purchase any firearm within the state. Republicans in the state argue that the 72-hour waiting would not prevent any violent crime, and studies seem to back up their argument. Studies done by the Rand Corporation shows that gun waiting periods do not reduce violent crimes.
In fact, the gun waiting period has made victims of violent crimes more at risk. One case was the situation of Carol Bowne in New Jersey. Browne had a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, Michael Eitel. Browne did not believe a piece of paper was going to stop Eitel and decided to she needed to have the means to protect herself.
Browne applied for a gun permit due to the threats against her by Eitel. Unfortunately, her gun permit did not come in time to be of use against the unhinged ex-boyfriend. Eitel killed Browne in her driveway with a knife. Browne never had a chance to defend herself by using a firearm.
Rauner said he was “proud” to sign these bills but would also veto any bill putting more restrictions on gun dealers. GOA and the NRA both came out against these bills.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.