An Open Letter to Legislators Regarding Red Flag Laws

Opinion by Dennis Petrocelli, MD

Red Flag Gun Grab Laws
An Open Letter to Legislators Regarding Red Flag Laws

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- In the politically-charged aftermath of the recent mass-murders, legislators at all levels have expressed interest in “red flag” bills in an apparent effort to “do something.”

Shockingly this group includes several lawmakers that previously appeared to understand that the Second Amendment protected every individual's God-given inalienable right to self-defense against government infringement. Below is my effort to remind them that they are negotiating with forces that do not share the same values as our Founding Fathers and instead of negotiating in good faith for the common good they are using lies, tortured statistics, and strawman arguments to pave a road towards disarmament.

Dear [Legislator],

I am writing to you to request that you stop supporting “red flag” laws and additionally avoid any negotiation in an attempt to modify these bills to try to appease both those that understand the Second Amendment and those that would do away with it.

No one wants firearms in the hands of dangerous people. The radical anti-Second Amendment gun confiscationists (hereafter referred to as the “confiscationists”) such as Everytown for Gun Safety claim that if you oppose them, you must want guns in the hands of dangerous people. This absurd logic shamed the National Rifle Association to agree with the “concept” of “red flag” laws. Please do not be deceived as the NRA was.

The confiscationists have engaged in a campaign of deceit about the contents of these bills. In Virginia both Everyone and our Secretary of Homeland Security have asserted that these bills “get the guns” from people “exhibiting violent or unstable behavior.” These bills do not have any such language in them. Instead, these bills leave it entirely up to the court to decide whether what is presented meets the threshold for dangerousness.

The confiscationists gloss over how to identify dangerous people and how to respond to them in a manner that doesn't do violence to our Constitutional principles of justice. None of the “red flag” laws in existence define what constitutes dangerousness – they merely list lines of evidence that shall or may be considered. Our President's tweets about “red flagging” Mr. Cuomo and San Francisco's resolution to label the NRA as a “domestic terror threat” demonstrate that emotion is likely to win these “hearings,” not facts or science.

Although touted as an effective means to save lives, the actual data regarding these laws tell a different story. To stop one suicide, twenty peoples' firearms must be taken. In Virginia, to stop all firearm related suicides, 12,000 confiscation episodes would be needed per year. Red flag laws enacted in CT nearly twenty years ago haven't been shown to stop a single homicide, and more than twenty people killed themselves after they were disarmed.

Some legislators have convinced themselves that if these “red flag” laws are modeled after restraining orders, then they too will pass Constitutional muster. This is preposterous because the rights infringed by protective orders do not compare with those protected by the Second Amendment and the Fourth Amendment that would be infringed by “red flag law” actions. Additionally, these bills are pre-emptive oriented versus the inherently reactive nature of protective orders. Even the American Bar Association conceded in its discussion of “red flag” laws that protective orders “prevent further acts of abuse.” “Red flag” laws are designed to stop initial criminal acts, not prevent further violent acts.

Our Founding Fathers designed a system of government consisting of a series of checks and balances in the service of defending liberty. They knew that tyranny was an omnipresent threat, and that tyranny begins with the disarmament of the people. Must we look to the Hong Kong protestors, who wave American Flags, sing our anthem, and wish they had our First and Second Amendment protections, to realize what we have to lose here? Or will we whittle away our rights until those protests happen here in America?

I demand action, and I want common-sense gun laws: laws that fulfill the intentions of our Founding Fathers, as protected by the Second Amendment, that live up to the modern-day standard that JFK called us to:

“…we need a nation of minutemen; citizens who are not only prepared to take up arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as a basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. “

  • Common-sense gun laws recognize that there are at least 500,000 defensive gun uses per year and that as more citizens lawfully carried concealed firearms violent crime dropped.
  • Common-sense gun laws ensure that law abiding citizens are free to carry firearms where they go and allow them to share those firearms with those in need that they know and trust.
  • Common-sense gun laws respect the fact that criminals know no bounds and thus a law abiding citizen should not face threats to life handicapped by artificial magazine limits.

Finally, common-sense gun laws should respect those that want to practice often with their firearms without undue risk of hearing impairment by using suppressors.

Fulfill your oath to uphold our Constitution, and do not take up with those who would undo it.

In Liberty,
Dennis Petrocelli, MD


Dr. Dennis Petrocelli has practiced forensic psychiatry for twenty years in Virginia. He is a contributing member of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a nationwide network of physicians, allied health professionals, scientists, and others who support the safe and lawful use of firearms. He recently appeared on the Gun for Hire Radio podcast to speak out against “red flag laws”:

 

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CaptainKerosene
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CaptainKerosene

Will Rogers famously said, ” America is in danger. Congress is in session.” If that isn’t his exact words it is very close. A joke among farmers is simple “I’m from the government and I’m here to help. The “red flag laws” as proposed allow anybody to file a complaint or information. False claims have no penalty against false information. Currently the instant background check system works only if the courts send convictions to the FBI to be included in the NICS check system. When somebody buys a firearm from a dealer or pawn shop they must complete a Form… Read more »

G-man
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G-man

One thing to remember is that these RED FLAG LAWS will be abused.

Will
Member
Will

@G-man,do you really think that’s possible ?

Will
Member
Will

@

jukk0u
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jukk0u

Dr. Petrocelli, may this letter be reproduced and used to contact our own representatives?

Will
Member
Will

There ain’t nothing to the contrary. Print it out,send it on it’s way.

tomcat
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tomcat

I like his last sentence “Fulfill your oath to uphold our Constitution, and do not take up with those who would undo it.” That speaks volumes.

Firewagon
Member
Firewagon

Just a thought, but how did any “Red Flag” law work out in preventing the Epstein suicide? Forget any and all suicides, No ‘Red Flag’ anything would have prevented ANY of those “mass killings!” Remember one whack stole and used his mothers guns…..should she have been disarmed living with a whackadoodledo son?

toomanyhobbies
Member
toomanyhobbies

“Common-sense gun laws recognize that there are at least 500,000 defensive gun uses per year and that as more citizens lawfully carried concealed firearms violent crime dropped.”

their numbers are a tad low, anti gun Time life figures have it at over 2,000,000, often with never a shot being fired, just to presence of a firearm scares off the criminal.

jim
Member
jim

Red flag laws really aren’t necessary. Several states have laws (Baker Act) that allow the police or mental health authorities to evaluate anyone and confine them to a mental health facility away from their firearms for 72 hours without any due process if they believe the individual is a danger to themselves or others. After 72 hours, the individual is either released if they are no longer considered to be a danger to themselves or others or they are offered the choice of remaining in the facility either voluntarily or under a court order if a judge agrees to issue… Read more »

Finnky
Member
Finnky

@jim – Note that after 72 hour hold, bar for continued confinement is quite high. If not met, with burden of proof on the state, victim is free to go with no further restriction from the state. With RFL – victim is in limbo, requiring legal assistance (at victims expense) to recover seized property – which is likely to never be returned, and if returned likely to be damaged. There is no 72 hour restriction, after which victim will be made “whole”, instead victim of the RFL is likely to suffer permanent loss regardless of whether they ever had any… Read more »

Vern
Member
Vern

Excellent article, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Those who want to steal our Constitutional rights also want to steal our country away from us and give it to those who have a global power grab in mind.
George Soros and his ilk have a lot to gain from the works of those on the left sticking their noses way up where there isn’t any fresh air, that must be what causes the lack of common sense and brain deadedness in the left these days.

Huapakechi
Member
Huapakechi

Since the deranged hoplophobe leftists demand we be disarmed “for safety’s sake” demand they answer what they are willing to give up in return.

They won’t answer.

Vern
Member
Vern

The left wants it all, they want us to give up everything we have, it gives them that warm fuzzy feeling whenever they succeed in taking rights away from Americans, even their own.

Vern
Member
Vern

They already have what we have or they would have quit calling for their relatives to follow them up here for what is left.

b68g
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b68g

one has to wonder what the supporters of the red flags laws would say if the tables were turned and let’s say their right to a speedy trial or the right to a lawyer was suddenly infringed upon? or if due process was taken away from them and they were considered guilty until proven innocent. I believe there are people out there that want to get rid of the CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES.

Colie
Member
Colie

GOOD POINT! Someone should call in a red flag on the legislators which vote for these red lag laws and see how they feel when the law crashes in on them in the early hours of the morning.

Vern
Member
Vern

Indeed there are.

Huapakechi
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Huapakechi

What makes you think they aren’t all for those infringements on the Constitution? That contract with the citizens of this nation is (to quote “o”boy) “a charter of negative liberties”that prevents the arbitrary and unbridled brutality that is so often government policy in other nations.

jmb1911
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jmb1911

In the State of New Jersey has a “Red Flag Law” which officially took effect August 1,2019. Laws like Red Flag laws are ripe for picking and can be used against a law abiding gun owners for no reason. Due process is not factored into these laws and the anti gun groups have had their say in getting these types of bills drafted and enacted into law, As many readers of Ammoland know, New Jersey along with other progressive states have some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Yet those laws don’t deter, or prevent shootings by gang… Read more »

Ned2
Member
Ned2

If they pass any kind of red flag law we need to be prepared to turn the tables.
Call the cops on your libtard neighbors and local lefty politicos. Over and over again. Overwhelm the system. You can remain anonymous. Eventually, if we can bog down the system with enough bogus calls, they may realize their attempt is futile.

Time to fight back.

Finnky
Member
Finnky

@Ned2 – How is it a bogus call to send cops to check on someone who is threatening your liberty? Their actions put your life at risk (through RFL) – so it is not unreasonable to consider their freedom a risk to your safety. See a legitimate use of RFL!

Ned2
Member
Ned2

These calls are to be anonymous.
If you were to call the cops today on one of your neighbors, they would take your name, # and address. If the person you called on was innocent, they could press charges against you for harassment or “doxxing”. There would be repercussions.

VaRaised
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VaRaised

Where are you getting this? “In Virginia, to stop all firearm related suicides, 12,000 confiscation episodes would be needed per year.’ Based on the numbers I just looked at there was only ~1,200 suicides total in VA in 2017. That does not even break down by method. https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/annual/measure/Suicide/state/VA
VA Population: https://www.google.com/search?q=virginia+population+in+2018&rlz=1C1CAFA_enUS813US813&oq=virginia+popu+in+2018&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l3.13425j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/53785 slightly less in 2016

PatriotSickOfLibs
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PatriotSickOfLibs

You need to re-read the article ….. he clearly states that it takes 20 confiscations to prevent 1 suicide (Probability theory). Using your number of 1200, the number of confiscations required would be 24,000 PER YEAR.

Pistolpete
Member
Pistolpete

When will all of you wake up it has nothing to do will saving lives its all about disarming the public to usher in socialism which makes us all slaves to the government and forces 95 percent of the people to live in poverty. The cockroach baby murdering socialist democrats are buying votes with there so-called entitlements and the selfish free loaders are selling their souls for food stamp and cards and welfare checks.
pistolpete

nrringlee
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nrringlee

Common sense gun laws get invoked when conditions trigger their necessity. How many times have we seen situations where criminals and crazies evaded the law because no one called a spade a spade. Nicholas Cruz was hospitalized at least four times for mental health conditions and no one invoked the Baker Act. The Coward County Sheriff’s office visited his home 40 times at least for domestic disturbances and no action. The Odessa shooter obviously did not fear the sanction of a prohibited person in possession. And let’s not forget the administrative bungling involved in “forgetting” to add felons and nuts… Read more »

Vern
Member
Vern

Under the Left, there will be no liberty, nor will there be any security. Liberty and security are those things the left covets for themselves but not anyone else who isn’t a, member, of their elitist club. Even those who vote for them aren’t considered to be valuable enough to have membership.
As a matter of fact, if the left gets what they want, they won’t even need a voter base anymore.

Pew Pew Pew
Member
Pew Pew Pew

Send them a mountain of mail! Dear Mr. I am opposed to all gun control and especially red flag laws they are unconstitutional. The right to bear arms is a God given right. Not given by the government. We the people will not permit corrupt anti-gunner politicians who swore a oath to uphold the constitution to violate our Bill of Rights (Article 2, Section 4, US Constitution) “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” -2nd Amendment of the Bill of… Read more »

jmb1911
Member
jmb1911

Avery well written and informative article, right to the point. The anit gun groups and politicians continue to subvert the Second Amendment. They have admitted of confiscating guns which is unconstitutional. IT IS A RIGHT AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN THE ANTI GU POLS, AND GROUPS ARE NOTHING BUT SUBVERSIVES!!!! I have said this many time about the anti gun pols and groups being SUBVERSIVES which they are. The elected officials at the federal level who endorse and support gun control ne to be tried for treason. Those at the state, county and local levels also ned to be charged under… Read more »

JMR
Member
JMR

When the 2a says “shall not be infringed” that means that there’s no such thing as common sense gun laws, because all gun laws are unconstitutional.