Is Ted Cruz Using Smart Tactics On ERPO Laws? You Decide


Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz

Texas/United States – -( The controversy over “red flag” laws, also known as Emergency Response Protection Orders (ERPO), is not going away. Anti-Second Amendment extremists have been pushing versions that are being signed into law. The first problem is that those versions have real problems. The second problem is that after the repeated screw-ups of the bumbling cowards of Broward County and the FBI’s fumbling of two tips prior to Parkland, there is a real desire to see some form of EPRO passed.

Now, Senator Marco Rubio is coming under fire for his support of one flawed bill – but Rubio is no foe of our rights. The fact is, Second Amendment supporters owe Rubio a huge debt of gratitude for outing the desire of Bloomberg and his ilk to ban all semi-automatic firearms during that CNN orgy of Second Amendment shaming they claimed was a town hall. Rubio, even though his current bill is flawed, is likely to be open to polite feedback about the problems with that bill. But that feedback needs to be backed up by a push from other pro-Second Amendment officials.

There is good news: Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a very strong supporter of our rights, is working to highlight matters of concern for Second Amendment supporters on the “red flag”/ERPO issue.

During a hearing on the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act, he questioned David Kopel of the Independence Institute as to which states did protect due process.

Kopel noted that Connecticut had an excellent procedure for starting the “red flag” process by requiring an independent investigation prior to a hearing. He also praised Vermont’s system for not only having penalties for false and malicious allegations, but also for allowing someone who did get placed in a “red flag” law to hand the firearms over to a federally licensed dealer or to someone else.

Some might complain that Cruz is “negotiating rights away” or selling out, but that is not the case. He's giving vulnerable pro-Second Amendment supporters cover to oppose the “red flag” laws proposed by anti-Second Amendment extremists. The testimony Cruz elicited in question also managed to reveal the insincerity of one major gun control group, which opposed a process to create a uniform “red flag” law with due process protections.

It’s not – it’s smart strategy. The fact of the matter is that we can’t beat every anti-Second Amendment proposal with nothing but assertions that it violates the Second Amendment. Sometimes, we need to have an alternative proposal so that elected officials who support the Second Amendment can have cover to vote against the worst anti-Second Amendment proposals.

In the best case, it means our rights remain intact for the short term, buying us time to educate the general public and win hearts and minds. In the worst case, it limits the damage done to our rights. But both options help keep the pro-Second Amendment officials in place, where they can slice away at bad laws, advance good legislation, and even limit damage when all else fails. Before you damn the pre-ILA NRA for the 1968 Gun Control Act, remember that LBJ wanted a federal licensing and registration scheme – and the NRA stopped it.

Keep in mind, Ted Cruz came off a shockingly close Senate race against Beto O’Rourke last year. He will need Second Amendment supporters to pull him over the line in 2024, whether for another presidential run or for re-election to the Senate. The focus every two years should be to not only keep him and those like him in office, but to send them reinforcements and to educate the public so as to increase our options against the anti-Second Amendment nonsense too many politicians introduce.

Harold Hu, chison
Harold Hutchison

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post,, and other national websites.

  • 51 thoughts on “Is Ted Cruz Using Smart Tactics On ERPO Laws? You Decide

    1. As always the devil is in the details. There are ERPO laws that would be infringements of the Second Amendment, and ERPO law which would not. The latter would impose an order for a person to not have access to firearms only after due process of law, including the right for the person intended to be denied access to firearms to present witnesses, question witnesses against him/her, and the like, and would be subject both to appeal and to automatic review after some period of time, and have as a basis for the order a clear showing that the person presented a danger to self or others. The norm in American jurisprudence (and Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence generally) is that one cannot be deprived of one’s rights without due process of law. We accept that the state may, provided it is done with due process, deprive persons of life (execution after conviction for a capital crime), of freedom of association and movement (imprisonment after conviction for a crime, involuntary court ordered psychiatric confinement, or on the basis of a restraining order), of freedom of speech (gag orders imposed by courts), of franchise (after a conviction for a felony in places that prohibit voting by convicted felons).

      The virtue of a properly drafted ERPO law is that it cannot be used as a general measure against firearms possession, since its application to any individual will require an adversarial court proceeding with presentation of evidence that the person represents a danger to self or others, and in which the person to be restrained may rebut the claim. The use of such orders is thus not only subject to due process, but is constrained by the availability of a court docket, so they will only be used in practice against people, who, like all recent school shooters, have presented clear signs of violent intent and mental instability.

    2. Ted is such a good Constitutionalist then he needs to act like it and reject the idea rather than try to negotiate a simpler solution. We have been negotiated to the point we are about to lose our 2A along with other Amendments. Ted is beginning to look like a RINO and that isn’t good. Red flag could belong to Ted, Rubio and Graham. They can hug it when they lose their job.

    3. No amount of “cove”, no amount of compromise, no amount of concession to due process, hides the fact that these laws, as written and implemented, are a gun confiscation.

      So long as these laws only remove firearms from the supposed dangerous person, they are a gun confiscation.

      If the person is a danger, why is he or she left with cars, gas cans, axes, knives, ropes, and a whole lot of other implements that can be used to kill with?

      As Nancy Reagan admonished, ‘Just Say No!”

    4. why is it that no talks about the origin of disarming the people comes from. it is from a foreign source. someone outsider, unelected body of world want to be controllers. they have their own constitution, there by our constitution not considered…Hint: this same foreign group of unelected officials are also the ones feeding the NGO’s THAT FORCE A THIRD WORLD POPULATION ON ALL NATIONS…open borders. we already have background checks, we need to do what those laws are suppose to do. stop trying to punish all for a crime of a few. they want this sanctuary garbage and release hard criminals and in the same context they want to strip law abiding people of the 2nd amendment right to protect themselves…WTF We do not need the UN DATA Collection Universal Background Check, it is the EU agenda. you CAN SEE THIS IN South Africa today with the dutch farmers who are being slaughtered and their farms taken. News people are delusional and dangerous because they are traitors and are weak. the EU hates the American Constitution,because it has its own Constitution that is about disarming a world population. EU constitution is very different in several dimensions. Hello, McFly… left, democrats, progressive left… Even Trump and the other RINO’s, how about the REAL Name…. the EU Agenda! head of the Influence. wow…real news we are fighting a foreign agenda. it is called the EU agenda.Richard Nikolaus Eijiro, Count of Coudenhove-Kalergi originator of Pan-Europe, which became the EU of today that the so called progressive left have sold out to.Richard Nikolaus Eijiro belief was,” The man of the future will be of mixed race. Today’s races and classes will gradually disappear owing to the vanishing of space, time, and prejudice. The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future, similar in its appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals.” this is what the EU wants.The EU has its own constitution. the EU today believes this same making a brown world race. WAKE UP AND KNOW YOUR ENEMY. The Zionist EU. Any politician, law maker, Judge or head of US education that is anti 2nd Amendment, is compromised, a Trojan horse for an external enemy.

      1. The average American is still stuck in normalcy bias. It’s very difficult to get most of them to look down the rabbit hole, let alone explore it. I agree with Cruz’s strategy, but the fact that we can’t simply point to the Constitution shows just how much damage these shadowy groups have already done to the country. I’d be careful with that word, Zionist, if I were you. It’s very easy to be labeled anti-semitic, and very hard to get past the propaganda to make people understand that Zionists aren’t really Jewish.

    5. Ted Cruz has been a pretty good Senator, and he needs to keep doing that.

      BUT he cannnot stand for President, as he is not eligible. THAT was overlooked last time, but anyone who wants to talk about being “constitutional” better NOT also be talking about non-Natural Born Citizens running for president or vice president. That includes ol Camelnose Harris, Beto the Rook, any of these somali born new female “reprehensibles”, or even the disgusing AOC who might be NBC but is NOT old enough (note I did NOT way “mature” enough, that’s for the voters to decide (I hope its obvious enough0


    7. Due Process is the core to our fundamental Rights; to so easily crack that core with feel good legislation, (which deprives a citizen of that basic dignity not only protected by, but guaranteed in, our Constitution and Bill of Rights), is foreign to our 243 year strong System of American Jurisprudence and must be challenged and vigorously fought against at every level of government, State and federal!

      Otherwise, a false safety results, gun confiscation first, due process second results, abuses of the system become the new norm, freedom and liberty reduced to mere cold words printed on paper, ink spots of no value!

    8. From the peanut gallery; Harold has some valid points. Folks can rant and rave all day long about “shall not be infringed” , but where does that really get you? Did someone “like” you on Facebook? Did you get a re tweet (or however that works)? What good did that attitude really do? Folks say things like “come and take them” or “stack it high and deep”, but are they actually doing anything to further the cause? IDK. If folks are waiting until they have to use guns and ammo to persuade, it will be too late. That is a fact. There is no real coordination, no logistics, no command structure. Hell, half these folks cannot spell to save their lives, much less see the long game. Using profanity and degrading others is no substitute for a logical plan.
      Bottom line, as of right now, you gotta play the “game” if you want to get something done. Get out there and vote, talk to others (talk, don’t rant like a damned fool), organize, support those already in power that are friendly. Make a real difference.

      1. There are no doubt some idiots or mentally deranged individuals who will be identified as “red flag” risks. But without legal steps required to protect the falsely accused, as it is already in some states, the 2cd Amendment freedom is lost before it ever gets a chance. Senator Cruz and Senator Rubio need out support.

      2. Cliff, yes, let’s just scrap the Constitution. Who needs it, right? You get your guaranteed 1st amendment right to post your stupidity, so why complain about infringing on the rest of our rights? You seem to forget that our *inalienable* rights are not granted by government. They are natural rights that pre-exist government.

        How “liked” are you? Can’t imagine very much, which why you are here posting your ignorant vitriol. What do we do to secure our rights? Here at Ammoland, many of us are active in preserving our rights. One of the reasons we are here – to learn and become more educated about what is happening politically, so that we can better direct our resources to where they are most needed.

        I am a member of several rights groups, frequently contact our politicians, talk to inquisitive people that are willing to learn, to educate them about our rights. I also teach people firearm safety and how to shoot. It’s amazing to see how once people learn, they begin to understand how firearm laws are not “common-sense” and are actually quite stupid and nonsensical – at least that is what they tell me when they learn about them.

    9. I hear a lot of talk about watering the tree of liberty, etc.. Big talk, mostly complaining. Ask yourself “what have I REALLY DONE to protect the rights of myself and others. Do you donate to GOA, TSRA, NRA, etc. Do you show up during state or congressional hearings? Do you write your congressmen, OR DO YOU JUST COMPLAIN, and strut around like a rooster?

      1. Dave, seems you are the one strutting around. We, here at Ammoland that are pro-rights, are quite active in rights groups, educating the public and contacting our politicians.

    10. Look, folks…there are some people out there that should not own guns, knives, pointy things, explosives, poisons, dogs, cats, have kids, etc. But since they may have these things that can be used to harm others or the general public, the government, in its duty to protect the public, needs tools to be able to act in a consistent and fair manner. I don’t think we need any new laws like ERPO’s but I believe procedures can be built, using existing laws and protecting due process and the rest of our rights. If we could get rid of the lib-tards who want to subjugate us, this wouldn’t be such a visceral issue. But alas…

      1. the government, in its duty to protect the public, needs tools to be able to act in a consistent and fair manner.

        NOPE. First off, WHERE is the government’s DUTY TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC part of the Constitution, beyond repelling foreign invaders, and calling up the militia to quel riot and civil disturbance?

        No, government’s MAIN JOB is to protedt our RIGHTS.. “The security of a free state” (that means “civil society, not formal government organisations) is OUR responsibility. If we continue to shirk that charge and cede that burden to government as we’ve continued to do, we will continue to have our rights sothered and outright removed by government.

        I have NO problem with the concept of determining that certain individuals ARE a danger to themselves/others. Such people were formally institutionalised. Bleeding heart liberal types decided that infringed upon their rights…. and maybe it did, but as some are wont to say, “if a man can’t be trusted in public with a gun, how can he be trusted in public without a custodian?”

        To enact some provisions to make such determinations and then, all due process rights of the individual being well protected (innocent until PROVEN guilty, or perhaps safe until PROVEN dangerous, property not seized until the determination has been made to a high standard of proof, right to competent and unbiased counsel, and to examine witnesses, INCLUDING the one making the report tht launched the investigation, AND safeguards against false reporting….. such as anyone filing a false report that leads to or could have led to an individual being taken into custody and his firearms seized WILL suffer the same consequences themself, and punitive action beyond that.

        We’ve seen more than enogh “SWATting” based on false reporting. NO ONE should be able to lauhch such an investigation and seizure without first being positively identified and locatable, and understanding that they are liable for serious consequences if their accusatin proves false.

        To my knowledge so far, NOT ONE of these laws recently enacted would survive constutitional examination. NOT ONE. Including the new one in my state.

    11. Hundreds of counties and their sheriffs are refusing to enforce the ERPOs as they are unconstitutional and would violate their oaths. That point has to be made loud and clear to politicians pandering to the slobbering fools that think these laws would have a substantial impact on ‘gun violence’. If enacted the politicians who voted them in should be at the top of the list of people to get them served on along with their armed security. Next, how about heading on down to the inner city to serve them on the gang bangers, who are responsible for the bulk of ‘gun violence’, The LEOs will soon tire of having their butts shot off by armed criminals and join the ranks of those opposed.

      1. Those “hundreds of counties and their sheriffs” ARE doing what they swore to do; protect the Constitution. The problem is, these elected officials that are pushing the violations of our rights, swore the same oath when they took office & not a damn thing is being done to stop it. As a matter of fact, they flaunt their disdain for our rights in favor of perceived power of office. Every one of them should be impeached & hung as traitors…publicly. That mayhaps, would put an end to the treachery of the liberal elite (in their own minds) & allow the business of running a fair country be priority.
        It would be interesting to see the reaction of the MSM if their 1st amendment rights were being stifled like ERPO does with the others.

        1. How’s about some of those non-ERPO sheriffs arresting and charging the dirtbag politicians with felony perjury for swearing their oath of office then refusing to uphold it when they write, argue for, vote for, and pass into law these blatantly trasonous ERPO laws? That would mean a few tnings for them.. under folony indictment, no guns, step down from public office. Upon conviction, no guns, no voting, no public office or even government employment. Go get a job driving a truck. Oh, wait, you can’t get commercial DL with a felony record.

          Half a dozen egregious violators getting busted for their perjury would send a LOUD wakeup call to any other lawmakers or governors contemplating playing fast and loose with our RIGHTS.

    12. “The fact of the matter is that we can’t beat every anti-Second Amendment proposal with nothing but assertions that it violates the Second Amendment. ”

      But we can and should try. Not to mention there’s plenty of other reason to oppose these on principle, chief among them being that corrupt departments like Broward, which refused to arrest the shooter REPEATEDLY, won’t enforce these any more than they’ll enforce others.

    13. If WE can’t win the fight to protect The Bill of Rights simple on the principle that they are protected Rights. Then WE have already lost the war. Changing the narrative is a Folly. If a politician truly supports and defends the Constitution. They need no other reason. If they don’t then they need to be removed. Stop treating this as some kind of political game. It’s about Freedom nothing more. Stand and Fight or Kneel and be Repressed. It’s each persons choice. That choice should be clear. Keep Your Powder Dry.

      1. Och, proving Leftists don’t believe in what they claim – nonviolence. You believe in wishing harm upon others, mentally sick, and vile – typical of Leftists.

    14. So the only option is loosing… more and more… Unacceptable. Tack on national reciprocity to the red flag bill see how they like that. Make them trash the 2nd and 14th. Way past time to play nice! Take the fight to them!

    15. The author speaks of “winning hearts and minds”. I honestly don’t care about how theses people feel or what they think.
      We are right, and they are wrong. Period!
      This is how it starts.
      Give ’em an inch, they’ll take a mile.




      1. If Ted Cruz is a rhino, then who on Capitol Hill is not? Mike Lee and Ted Cruz are two of the best politicians you’ll find MOST closely aligned with the Constitution. No one is going to agree with everything a politician stands for or does. And Trump didn’t win because you and possibly others think Cruz is a rhino. Trump won because he was not a politician, and because he had no fear and spoke what he wanted.

    17. Ted Cruz owes the Second Amendment patriots of Texas… big time. One more “Support Ted Cruz” barbecue and Americans would have been buying Mexican beef. Ted better get his shit squared away.

      1. Yeah that’s right, slam Ted with all you’ve got! I’m sure you would have been much happier with Senator “Beto”. Ted only won by a piddly 2%. California and the northeast are shedding liberals fleeing high taxes like fleas and unfortunately they’re coming to Texas. You can talk tough all you want, but if Texas goes blue we’re all screwed. Remember, “go along to get along” John Cornyn is next on the blue target list. That will be an even tougher race than Ted’s. Go ahead… talk trash about Republicans and see where that gets you.

        1. @Bones4442, I see that I have not been clear. When I write, “One more “Support Ted Cruz” barbecue and Americans would have been buying Mexican beef.”, I meant that I have thrown so many beef barbecues to support Ted Cruz that one more and I would not have had any more cattle to sell at the livestock auction.
          I did not mean to give the impression that I supported Fopbert O’Rourke. My apologies for being unclear.

    18. As the Bill of Rights is a list of things off limits to government intervention,remember the 2 nd. ends with “Shall Not Be Infringed” all laws regarding arms are unConstitutional,senator Cruz should be reinforcing that alone.

      1. The concept of a tree bending is to temporarily give into a force that will break it and then get back up again. The idea is not to bend over and take it, forever. We are in the process of losing more rights and the crowd impacted by it cheers, because it found a rationale to to bend over and take it, forever.

    19. “The fact of the matter is that we can’t beat every anti-Second Amendment proposal with nothing but assertions that it violates the Second Amendment. Sometimes, we need to have an alternative proposal so that elected officials who support the Second Amendment can have cover to vote against the worst anti-Second Amendment proposals.”

      This is the kind of stupid attitude that has gotten us to where we are today.

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