New Red Flag Law Introduced In Pennsylvania

Danger Red Flag Warning
Danger Red Flag Warning

HARRISBURG, PA-(Ammoland.com)- Pennsylvania lawmakers have introduced Red Flag laws in Harrisburg, which they consider “reasonable” to protect gun owners and others.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) are better known to the public as Red Flag laws. These laws let police seize guns of those that they believe pose a threat to themselves or others. ERPOs have been a controversial tool of law enforcement since the accused do not get to defend themselves against the accusations in court before a judge issues an ERPO.

Many in and outside the gun world believe that ERPOs violate the Due Process Clause in the United States Constitution.

Red Flag laws vary from state to state, but most states allow a family member or roommate to report a gun owner to the police as a danger to themselves or others. Police will go in front of a judge to get an ERPO issued. It is very rare for a judge to deny a request from law enforcement for an ERPO since the burden of proof is very low.

Police will then serve the ERPO on the subject. In many cases, police treat the serving of an ERPO as the same as serving a high-risk warrant. The state will seize all the guns from the gun owner but will leave them free on the streets. The gun owner will have to go to court to battle to get their firearms back from the authorities. ERPOs have been abused in the past. In one case, an ERPO was taken out on a Colorado police officer by a slain suspect’s mother.

ERPOs have also led to tragedy in the past. In 2018, police killed a 61-year-old Maryland man while serving an ERPO at 5:30 in the morning. The man’s sister filed for an ERPO due to a family dispute. According to the rest of the man’s family, he wasn’t a danger to anyone.

Rep Todd Stevens introduced the Pennsylvania House Red Flag bill (HB 1903). Stevens has introduced similar bills in the past. He has a rocky relationship with the gun community. He actively campaigned under an anti-gun platform.

Under Rep Stevens’ bill, the gun owner would have to provide evidence that they do not pose a danger to themselves or others. Gun rights advocates point that it is almost impossible to prove a negative. Also, the gun owner must hire an attorney or rely on a public defender. It could cost the accused gun owner thousands of dollars to recover their firearms. Removing the guns does not stop a mentally disturbed person from using another tool to hurt themselves or others.

Gun Owners of America has been pushing back against these Red Flag laws in the Commonwealth. According to Pennsylvania State Director Dr. Val Finnell, GOA views ERPOs as “gun confiscation order.” The gun-rights organization believes that ERPOs violate several parts of the Constitution.

“Red Flag Gun Confiscation Orders violate 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 14th amendment rights of gun owners,” Dr. Finnell told AmmoLand. “The hearing before a judge will be ‘ex parte,’ with the accused having no right to confront his accuser. There is no need for any evidence that a crime is actually being contemplated. All that has to be shown is that you are subjectively dangerous to someone at the incredibly low preponderance of the evidence standard.”

One of the biggest supporters of the Red Flag bill is Rep. Jennifer O’Mara. She claims not to be anti-gun, but she has ties to Bloomberg-funded anti-gun groups like Moms Demand Action. She also has the backing of CeaseFire PA, which is a rabid anti-gun group within the Commonwealth.

O’Mara claims that the Red Flag would prevent suicides. O’Mara doesn’t offer any solutions to suicide by overdosing, hangings, or other methods. Many think that the Pennsylvania legislature is concentrating too much on the tool and not enough on the problem of mental health.

In January, State Senator Wayne Fontana introduced Senate Bill (PA SB 134). That bill hasn’t moved since the end of January.


About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. 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 can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.

John Crump

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Vince
Vince
24 days ago

Red Flag laws are just a replay of the Salem Witch trials! Based on just emotionally biased witnesses and faulty thinking, they sent innocent people to their deaths.

Polar Bear
Polar Bear
24 days ago

all these crooked laws are being passed because they are not being challenged the right way. WE NEED to SUE those who sponsored/introduced the bill as well as all whose names are on those bills. being sued individually in civil court forces them to spend their OWN $$ on defense – THAT should send a message.

TerTer46
TerTer46
24 days ago

I think that it is HIGH TIME to contact your representative and use logical evidence that RED FLAG LAWS will not provide the solutions that the Bill writers think that it will. Show them that we believe in the constitution and point out the flaws that are inherent in their SNAP JUDGEMENT on RED FLAG LAWS.  Do your research and point out the flaws. I.E. People get shot over serving the “warrant”, Officers get Shot over serving the “warrant” and if the person is not really guilty, why would they want to bankrupt them in this process.  Why not have a hearing… Read more »

2gats
2gats
24 days ago

The politicians that voted for this and any judge hearing such a case ALL HAVE HOMES AND FAMILIES.

”representatives” taking the oath to uphold and defend the constitution and then working to undermine it are the definition of traitors committing treason.

traitors should be expeditiously tried and quickly shot. Their homes should be burned to the ground, their wealth confiscated to pay for the trouble they have wrought and their families should start over.

if we do not get serious about treason our children will be slaves…….and they will owe their misery to US!

don’t be a PU$$Y!

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
24 days ago
Reply to  2gats

What about the people who enforced the orders against the victim and broke down his door, shot his golden retriever, handcuffed him, screamed obscenities at his wife and children while pointing guns at them, and then tore his house apart looking for something he purchased legally and with which he did nothing wrong, and then went out for beers afterward to laugh about it?

They all took “oaths.”

What is your suggestion for them?

Last edited 24 days ago by JSNMGC
JSNMGC
JSNMGC
24 days ago
Reply to  2gats

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Rather than encouraging acts of violence and calling people pussies for not doing something you haven’t done and which you will not do, why don’t you join those who: Put pressure on GOA to call-out politicians who support these laws (like the military veteran, Ron DeSantis). The NRA has never done this and the people trying to “fix the NRA” have not promised to do this in the future. It’s just another scam to get yet more money into the hands of lawyers and anyone who sends them money is an idiot. Call the offices of politicians… Read more »

TexDad
TexDad
24 days ago

Since the accused is not able to provide evidence or an argument against issuing the ERPO, preponderance of the evidence is not a low standard, it is no standard at all.

Tank
Tank
24 days ago

Forged conceptually as a snitch network in Nazi Germany WWll. Gestapo/STASI/ZERZEITSUNG template 100%. AbSOULutely a loss of protected freedoms & individual rights based on another’s perception or manipulation of a terrible Law. Huge sociocultural devolvement & mistake. Just creates more societal friction, tension loss of rights – due process. An inner city urban nightmare. People playing THE-RAPIST’s practicing home brewed psychology, Nosey Neighbors, Ex Girlfriend, Wife, boyfriend, co-worker @ a job, or even people of a different culture/religion/race/creed/country who are jealous/envious/retaliatory/politically charged polemics/emotionally triggered/vindictive/manipluative personalities-archetypes incapable of minding their own business or respecting other’s rights or beLIEf’s. With Agitprop/Propaganda/Gas Lighting… Read more »

Last edited 24 days ago by Tank
Tank
Tank
24 days ago
Reply to  Tank

Yep.
FUBAR beyond recognition of any Moral Compass or respect other’s inalienable immutable rights.

Look who’s butt hurt now:

Biden’s former ATF nominee Chipman accuses White House of abandoning him during confirmation

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-former-atf-nom-chipman-accuses-white-house-abandoning-during-confirmation

Last edited 24 days ago by Tank
Hazcat
Hazcat
24 days ago

Federal level law is coming soon. It will be even worse and yes, many republicans will vote for it. They’ll say it’s for the good of the community and roll out the old ‘if you haven’t done anything you don’t have to worry’ and lie about you having your day in court. Get used to it and BOHICA.

swmft
swmft
24 days ago
Reply to  Hazcat

getting to the point need to booby trap doors ,Im glad i have hi impact doors with 6 point locks ,put them in after Andrew but keeps all the trash out too. front window is a takeout from a bank driveup no one wanted the 31/4 bullet proof so . stupib thing county made me put shutters on that one no county testing would not take the level 4 rating stupid

freethinker
freethinker
24 days ago

Like California laws of this type, and other State laws of this type (and now like federal provisions in the NDAA of this type), ultimately these must be challenged up to the U.S. Supreme Court in what is now the “post-Caniglia-v.Strom” legal environment.

Do nothing, we get nothing. Challenge the laws with plaintiffs that have standing to sue, we can succeed.

Cheers.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
25 days ago

These articles typically don’t address the outcomes. Of all the red flag law enforcement actions in Florida: How many resulted in the subject being confined to a mental institution where he cannot hurt himself or others? If the person is still walking around, what good was the enforcement action? How many resulted in the subject being convicted of a crime? How many resulted in the complainant be charged with making a false report? What is the penalty for making a false accusation? Have any enforcers above the rank of sargeant been the subject of accusations? Did other enforcers bring the… Read more »

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
25 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Who enforces these laws? “They.”

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
25 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Did you know the management at Levi Strauss don’t like the 2nd Amendment?

Bear attacks are on the uptick – better watch out.

Tank
Tank
24 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Levi Strauss is CFR/Zionist.

Richard Haas lucky sperm club.

CFR President Richard Haas
https://www.cfr.org/expert/richard-haass

Haas – Levi Strauss
https://www.forbes.com/profile/haas/

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
24 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

People would rather discuss blue jeans and bears than civil rights.

It’s no wonder we are where we are.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
24 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

What the downvotes mean is:

  • “They” don’t want these laws enforced against “them;”
  • “They” will enforce these laws against you, because “they” don’t want to lose their government job (“they” are terrified of working in the private sector); and
  • “They” still want you to bring your child to “their” child’s birthday party even after “they” enforced red flag laws against the local dentist because his pink-haired niece fabricated a story.
JSNMGC
JSNMGC
24 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

This is “them” in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I86-UWcp4E&ab_channel=AudittheAudit

When “they” tell you only 0.05% of them are “bad apples,” be sure to agree and thank “them” for “their” service.

What would Brian (in the video) have done if “they” didn’t come to protect and serve him?

Terry
Terry
24 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

“What is the penalty for making a false accusation?”
Well, it should be 50 years in the electric chair starting at one volt and increased one volt per day.