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Thread: The Real "Info" on so called Red Flag Laws?

  1. #1
    Site Supporter Suvorov's Avatar
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    The Real "Info" on so called Red Flag Laws?

    Just ran across this on a friends FB page. Probably many have seen it.

    Red Flag Laws. Here’s what will happen...

    It’s a Sunday night and your family has all gone to bed. You let the dogs back in and lock the deadbolt like you do every night. All the lights are off now except a couple of night lights scattered throughout the house leaving that dim glow throughout your home. It’s bedtime and work and school are going to come early in the morning. You crawl in bed, kiss your wife and drift off to sleep being thankful for the air conditioning that allows you to pull that heavy quilt up over your shoulder despite the fact it’s still 85 degrees outside. A few hours pass...

    0200 Monday morning and your wife taps your leg and says, “baby I heard something outside”. As you sit up in bed you hear the dog growling in the living room and you know something isn’t right. You grab that trusty ole 870 and head into the living room. Your wife grabs her 9mm and heads down the hall to the kids rooms just like you have rehearsed. “Good boy” you say as you enter the living room, trying to calm both the dog and your wife just as splinters fly across the room and the front door flys open. “Oh shit!” As you shoulder your weapon and send a load of 00 Buck across your living room and see the perpetrator fall in a heap. Before the “thank God” can even run across your brain, you see a second man coming in the door and you fire again. This time you hear the pop of your wife’s 9mm as she has joined in the fight. It has to be those damn meth heads from down in town! Just then you are consumed by a wall of bullets as you see multiple muzzle flashes from just outside the door and you realize something isn’t right. You turn to yell at your wife to “get down” just in time to see her take a load of buckshot to the face and her brain matter splatter the wall behind her. You feel the burning as 5.56 bullets Riddle your body. One clips your spine as you’re scrambling away and paralyzes your lower body. The last thing you see before you bleed out is a SWAT guy from your local PD holding your teenage daughter on the floor with a knee in her back as she screams and cry’s because she just watched her parents being murdered.

    Why did this happen? You’re no criminal. You’re a Conservative and an honest family man. Your wife is a school teacher and your daughters are on honor roll. Why did this happen?

    Well two days ago, you and your wife went down to welcome the new neighbors to the community. Your wife made them some of her “world famous” cookies and you invited them to church on Sunday. Later that afternoon, you got a friend request on Facebook from your new neighbor, which you gladly accepted. They seemed a little odd, but in the few minutes you talked they were pleasant enough. The next day while you and your family sat in church, your new neighbor scrolled through your Facebook profile. He saw that “Trump 2020” post and got infuriated. See, he’s a staunch liberal and he hates your kind. The next thing he sees are the hunting pictures you took last fall when your daughter bagged her first buck. Now he’s seething with fury because he is wholeheartedly against the “slaughter of innocent animals”. Next he sees your post from the last range day with your buddy and sees those scary black assault weapons on the table and that does it! He has to do something about the racist domestic terrorist living next door. He picks up the phone, calls the local Sheriffs Office and reports you as a threat under the new Red Flag law. The SO follows their SOP’s and conducts a no knock warrant because you have now been denied due process and you are considered guilty until proven innocent.

    Now you, your lovely wife and two deputies have been killed for nothing. Your daughter will have absolute hell for the rest of her life. She will never be that successful person you dreamed for her to be because of the mental tragedy caused from seeing her parents murdered. The local news paper will report that you were killed after firing on and killing two deputies and that “over a thousand rounds of ammo and 22 guns were confiscated from your residence”.

    Oh, those two deputies were just following orders. They left behind families as well and had served their community for over a decade. They didn’t know you were a stand-up guy with a great family. They weren’t allowed time to investigate things under due process. They were told you had threatened your neighbor and were out in the street waving an AR15 around.

    This is the reality of Red Flag gun laws. Innocent people will lose their lives. Red Flag laws will be used for petty and vengeful reasons without merit.
    Like many in the firearms community I want to give LE the tools needed to stop terrible crimes before they happen and most of these turds have telegraphed their motives ample times before actually committing crimes. I think "preemptive" strikes have a lot better chance of stopping these crimes than playing whack a mole with gun features or universal background checks. BUT - I am terribly concerned about the potential for abuse of these laws as has been shown in plenty of anecdotal accounts of divorces turned nasty or this "grave extreme" fictional account above.

    So I want to hear what the real truth about my concerns are from a LE perspective from the men and women who will be responsible for executing these warrants and those who may already be.

    Just how realistic a possibility is the above "horror story"? Are fears justified or simply a matter of too much tin foil?

    I'm not looking for debate on these laws (that can be done elsewhere) I'm simply looking for an explanation of how the "sausage" will be made.
    Last edited by Suvorov; 08-09-2019 at 03:04 PM.
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  2. #2
    I don’t see weapon confiscation due to an ERPO being done through no-knock warrants served in the middle of the night. An officer can’t just execute any warrant like that. The standard for a search warrant is that it is executed during daylight hours and officers will knock on the door and announce their presence and authority to enter. In order to be granted an “anytime” warrant, the officer must convince the judge that serving the warrant during the daytime would be unreasonable. This is easier said than done in many jurisdictions.

    Also, a search and seizure warrant can only be granted to search for certain types of things: evidence of a crime; contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed; property designed for use, intended for use, or used in committing a crime; or a person to be arrested or a person who is unlawfully restrained. The officers asking for the warrant must have probable cause that the persons or things to be seized are located in the place to be searched. If the court issues an ERPO against you, you aren’t illegally possessing your guns the second the judge makes his ruling. You first have to be served the order. Once you are served, you can’t legally have your guns while the order is in place. Only after you’ve been served and refuse to relinquish your firearms are you committing a crime.

    I think that a more likely way people will see these things done is that, first, officers will serve the order on the defendant. This will likely be done at their home or place of work. If the defendant refuses to relinquish their firearms to LE or to a family member or something like that, then the officers will apply for a search warrant for where they believe the guns are stored. If they want to search your home, it’s much safer to wait for the subject to leave the residence and then execute the warrant when you know no one is home.
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  3. #3
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    Law enforcement officers and judges are well aware that protective orders are often abused by the petitioner. Indeed, some unethical attorneys encourage clients to file for protective orders as a routine part of divorce proceedings. In Maryland, seizing firearms has long been an aspect of domestic violence protective orders. We are also aware that "red flag" laws expose gun owners to this type of legal harassment.

    In Maryland, petitions for protective orders (and arrest warrants and mental health emergency evaluation petitions must be sworn to before a judge or district court commissioner). Obviously, the petitioner may shade things to make the gun owner appear dangerous, but getting the guns seized is going to require the petitioner raise a right hand and affirm under penalty of perjury what occurred. Keeping the guns seized is going to require at least one additional court appearance by the petitioner. Medical professionals and law enforcement can petition as well. In my experience, medical professionals are reluctant to sign anything. Cops, by nature and training, investigate rather than believe every complainant so pretty solid evidence is probably there is police file a petition. Crisis center people, while medical professionals , tend to scrutinize complainants like cops do.

    A protective order does not serve as a search warrant, much less a no-knock search warrant. In my county, the sheriff's office is the lead agency for service of protective orders though county and city police may serve them as well. Due to the extreme risk associated with protective orders of any kind, you may well experience a late night or early morning visit by multiple sheriff's deputies. They may keep knocking, but they won't force entry while you're sleeping (albeit the loved one who filed the petitioner has the authority to let them in).

    If admitted to the residence, LEO's may seize weapons in view. Arguably, if you admit you have a firearm upstairs, the LEO may seize it even if you say not to do so. That significant other who promised to love you forever can also lead the LEO's through the house to your guns.

    Could the events recounted in the pillow-biting scenario occur? Conceivably, but this would almost certainly result of law enforcement developing probable cause to arrest you, not just to seize your firearms. In that case, evidence would have been obtained that indicates you committed a crime. (Again, however, an arrest warrant also does not provide an automatic search warrant and certainly not a no-knock warrant.)

    Unfortunately, I had to retire just as the red flag law was implemented ("Unfortunately" refers to retirement, not my enthusiasm for serving red flag petitions.). That said, surprisingly few of them have been issued or served compared to the numbers I feared. Officers in another county were forced to shoot and kill a subject when serving such a petition, but by all accounts, he knew they were police and reached for his gun. While tragic, it was not the horrifying scenario posed by the author.
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  4. #4
    Site Supporter Suvorov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnc36rcpd View Post

    If admitted to the residence, LEO's may seize weapons in view. Arguably, if you admit you have a firearm upstairs, the LEO may seize it even if you say not to do so. That significant other who promised to love you forever can also lead the LEO's through the house to your guns.
    Thanks,

    This is EXACTLY the kind of information I was asking for. In a state like Kalifornia where I live and that has widespread firearms registration - I would assume that the Police would have a list of registered firearms that would accompany them to the person they were serving?
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  5. #5

    The Real "Info" on so called Red Flag Laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Suvorov View Post
    Thanks,

    This is EXACTLY the kind of information I was asking for. In a state like Kalifornia where I live and that has widespread firearms registration - I would assume that the Police would have a list of registered firearms that would accompany them to the person they were serving?
    Yes, in a state or municipality that requires firearms to be registered, the police will have access to that information.
    Last edited by DanM; 08-09-2019 at 05:02 PM.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Suvorov View Post
    I'm simply looking for an explanation of how the "sausage" will be made.
    Granted my perspective is limited to my own experiences with one department, in one particular jurisdiction, with the judges I've encountered. But very few court orders, in my experience, are enforced "in the dead of night with no knock and announce".

    It's not unprecedented for law enforcement to serve ex parte court orders to seize property (and people). I've seized people and removed them from their homes after judges have issued arrest warrants. I've also removed children from homes, after judges have determined there was sufficient reason to believe they were in danger of abuse/neglect. These are all emotionally charged events for the people being affected...a lot more emotionally charged than the instances when I've seized property (vehicles, tools, drugs, and yes guns) under court orders.
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  7. #7
    Fornicates with shovels Hambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suvorov View Post
    Just how realistic a possibility is the above "horror story"?
    About as realistic as superhero comic books. Seriously, that post is fucked up.
    Reed, the dicks have their job, and we have ours.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hambo View Post
    About as realistic as superhero comic books. Seriously, that post is fucked up.
    I hear ya, but you have to understand the political pressure being brought to bear in California to “do something” makes the story more believable to us. See the tone of this piece:
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics...php?psid=gLxgZ
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  9. #9
    That post/article is ridiculous. “No knock” search warrants aren’t clandestine operations. There are still announcements being made, when breaching the door and clearing the house. You want everyone to know that you’re the police.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanM View Post
    I don’t see weapon confiscation due to an ERPO being done through no-knock warrants served in the middle of the night. An officer can’t just execute any warrant like that. The standard for a search warrant is that it is executed during daylight hours and officers will knock on the door and announce their presence and authority to enter. In order to be granted an “anytime” warrant, the officer must convince the judge that serving the warrant during the daytime would be unreasonable. This is easier said than done in many jurisdictions.
    A federal search warrant has to be executed during daytime hours unless otherwise authorized. My state has no such requirement. That will vary between jurisdictions.
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  10. #10

    The Real "Info" on so called Red Flag Laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by TC215 View Post
    A federal search warrant has to be executed during daytime hours unless otherwise authorized. My state has no such requirement. That will vary between jurisdictions.
    You are correct. I should have mentioned that I was referring to federal search warrants and warrants from my previous jurisdiction and that what I wrote wouldn’t apply in every jurisdiction.
    Last edited by DanM; 08-09-2019 at 06:43 PM.
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