Rep. David Jolly (courtesy time.com)

After heaping scorn on his Republican colleagues in a time.com editorial, first-term Florida Congressman David Jolly sings the praises of  H.R.554, his “No Fly, No Buy” compromise legislation. This is how he characterizes its provisions:

“Under my bill, an individual who is turned down at the point of sale must be notified by law enforcement within 10 days that they were denied purchase because of their presence on the watch list. They are then entitled to a due process hearing within 30 days, where all unclassified information must be presented to them and the government has the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence why the individual should remain on the list and prohibited from purchasing a firearm. The proceeding is sealed to protect the interest of the government and the privacy of the individual.”

So, under Jolly’s not-so-jolly bill, an American seeking to purchase a firearm through an FFL could be denied that purchase up to ten days — without explanation. After notification the prohibited purchaser gets a due process hearing — hold on a damn minute!

Due process should mean that the accused gets a day in court before the government removes their property or Constitutionally-protected rights. If a hearing is held after the government action, it’s not due process. 

And then the government gets 30 days — on top of the ten-day delay — to present all unclassified information against a prohibited person — wait another damn minute!

If this legislation were law, the government would only have to show the American stripped of his Constitutional right to keep and bear arms the unclassified information against him that the government used to wield the gun ban hammer.

What’s the bet that any FBI, NHS, DHS, CIA or other .gov information on an individual’s terroristic activities — whatever secret criterion is used to make that determination — would be classified?

Which means the accused — make that convicted gets to see squat to mount their defense of their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. At their own expense.

And what’s up with “a preponderance of evidence” as the burden of proof required of the government to strip an American of his or her gun rights? What happened to the judicial standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt”?

Not to mention the fact that there’s no jury trial available, no accountability for the process (the hearing is sealed from public view “for the privacy of the individual”) and no way to get off the prohibited persons list.

I’m sorry, did I wake up in Communist Russia this morning? Somalia? Can I really say that I’m living in the Land of the Free when a Republican politician thinks this bill protects Americans’ liberty?

Batten down the hatches boys. This is going to be rough ride. The forces of fascism are amongst us and they’re assuming we’re not paying attention. I hope to God they’re wrong.

53 Responses to Rep. David Jolly’s “No Fly, No Buy” Bill: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

  1. Can I really say that I’m living in the Land of the Free when a Republican politician thinks this bill protects Americans’ liberty?

    Why are you under the impression that republicans care about liberty? These are the folks who came up with such clever ideas as torture, detention without trial, military tribunals with secret evidence and no accountability, national security letters (i.e. warrantless searches), spying on Americans’ communications without warrants or probable cause, and potentially a host of other programs that haven’t leaked yet.
    Republican politicians care about as much about liberty as democrats. The few standouts (e.g. Rand Paul or Ted Cruz) are constantly admonished by their own party, accused of aiding terrorists, and pressured to toe the line.

    • Most of the ruling class GOP despise and fear the people as much as the Democrats/ They’d disarm us if they thought they could get away with it.

    • Agreed on most Repubs, but if it helps Joe “Walter” Biden co-authored the Patriot Act… Food for thought.

    • There is no longer a distinction between the Republicans and the Democrats. They are wings on the same bird. THEY are the ruling class. Both parties have become progressives. Progressively, they are taking constitutional rights away from us. Drip, drip, drip….. our natural (or God given) rights are disappearing right before our eyes. The government wants to allow terrorists into the country via humanitarian efforts, I.E. refugees, and by not upholding the existing immigration laws AND disarm and shut us up in the name of security. WTF Americans. Wake the hell up and smell the coffee! Speaking of coffee, I’m stockpiling coffee and ammo. It will be the new currency in the coming struggles.

  2. *** Due process means a day in court before the government removes any of your property or rights. If a hearing is held after the government action, it’s not due process. ***

    Y’all really need a reality check on this. Anyone who’s ever been arrested has had the government strip them of their right to liberty and habeus corpus, prior to ever getting to see a judge. Due process means they have a right to a speedy trial, and a right to face their accuser, but if you think it means that you’re untouchable until you get a hearing, you’re delusional. The way you’re describing it, the judge would have to hear your case before you’re ever arrested. This may surprise you, but that isn’t how the legal system works in these here United States.

    • I’m assuming that the No Fly, No Buy law would not involve a criminal charge. In other words, this would be a civil procedure not a criminal procedure, where due process has different parameters.

      • The two primary features of Due Process, in both civil and criminal contexts, are notice and a hearing. The best example of how low the bar is for Due Process is civil detention of “enemy combatants” based on a civil standard, rather than a criminal conviction (and the higher criminal burden of proof). The Government can deprive you of rights immediately, without notice or a hearing, but must at some point provide both. Another example is civil commitment, where the Government can generally hold a person for 72 hours before being required to have a hearing.

        • Here’s the problem: most of the arguments I’ve seen dismissing “due process” concerns cite arrests, pre-trial detention, eminent domain, etc as examples of why this is “muchado” about nuthin’. Problem: all of the above require an arresting officer to *witness* the suspect committing a crime, or a witness willing to fill out a complaint under oath that they witnessed the suspect commit a crime – or in the case of ED, a Constitutional provision for same. All of the above, save ED, require at bare-naked minimum *someone*, *somewhere*, actually alleging a crime has been committed and willing to swear that fact under oath. NONE of that applies to the no-fly-no-buy provisions. Further, the lists are lists of names, partial names, aliases, and partial aliases … not identities. It’s how Ted Kennedy was “on” the list when the list actually had “T. Kennedy”. In other words, these proposed laws are, effectively, an odd legal spawn: what can be only described as a class-action bill of attainder. It’s the equivalent of saying there’s a possible suspect, described as 5’10” with brown hair, so all males 5’10” with brown hair will have their rights removed from them unless/until they appeal.

        • Thank-you, Mike. Well said.

          Some folks commenting on this and talking about arrest are acting like cops can ‘legally’ just arrest anyone anytime for anything.

          That’s simply not true.

          Arrest is the first step of the “process,” but even arrest requires a barrier to be crossed….Probable Cause.

          Probable Cause is a higher standard than “Reasonable Articulable Suspicion,” and meeting that cause must also be articulable and ultimately SHOWN at Preliminary Hearing.

          Question for the lawyers: Is there a formal time limit in an “ordinary” case for Preliminary Hearing after arrest?

        • Nice. Informative take on the topic. Way to stick to the salient points.

    • “a preponderance of evidence” as the burden of proof required of the government to strip an American of his or her gun rights? What happened to the judicial standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt”?

      Preponderance of evidence is the standard in civil court, beyond reasonable is the standard for criminal court

    • From a legal perspective (I am not a lawyer) no law enforcement officer at any level can simply arrest you on a whim – they must have some reasonable cause to believe that you have committed a crime. They must also inform you at the time of your arrest what crime you are being arrested for. This being part of the judicial procedure I would have to conclude this is also part of due process.

      You are then guaranteed representation by a lawyer, either your own or appointed by the court, a speedy trial, and reasonable bail prior to trial, if you are charged with a crime. All due process.

      As I see it due process begins with a government official (law enforcement) having reasonable suspicion you committed a crime and continues all the way through your release due to insufficient evidence or your conviction of some crime, at which time some of your rights may be suspended temporarily (unless a capital offense) and some of your property may be forfeit.

      Any of those things happening due to being placed on a secret government list without being formally charged with any crime is NOT due process. Just my not so humble opinion.

      • i believe US citizens are arrested all the time without probable cause. As in, there is no prbable cause for arrest, in fact, but rather an angry cop, who invents, or “finds” probable cause, after the fact, to effect an arrest. A “blue line” of buddies, and union, allow for a feeling of power, which, unfortunatley, often curropts. Too often, LEO feel “they are the law”….they are not – the legislator, judge and jury are “the law”, but if you challenge their authority or judgement, “probable cause” will be found to arrest you, instead of just admitting they might be wrong. some great insight into this from 30 year LEO Rick at Think Like Cop on u tube. (i have never been arrested, pay LOTS of income tax, and biggest violation with LEO was 1 speeding ticket in my 55 years, but observe as many do).
        Power corrupts

        • are we angry pete? did i hit a nerve? people are arrested and thrown in jail all the time without factual cause, but rather those made up after the fact…sorry if this upsets you. call me some more name for expressing my opinion – i pay my taxes to fund LEO pay and retirement, so im entitled to one.

        • jimmy,

          No. PC for a formal statute (or ordinance) has to exist for a legal arrest. If you are talking unlawful arrest, that’s another matter, and citizens have some recourse after the fact. Lawsuits for unlawful arrest happen quite frequently (too frequently).

          A cop can’t (legally) arrest someone just because he is angry. Although, many jurisdictions have “Disorderly Conduct” type laws that cover too broad circumstances. Still, he’d have to be able to meet the elements of that however it is worded.

          In fact, it is a FELONY in South Carolina (for example) for a police officer to fail to inform you of the SPECIFIC statute you are being arrested under if asked as the time of arrest. That is, the COP is guilty of a felony if he fails to inform when asked and it can’t be a vague answer.

          Real policing ain’t as shown on TV.

        • I would just say that, even in the rare case where an arrest is made without true probable cause, an officer would have to lie and swear out a complaint claiming probable cause, and claiming to witness the suspect commit a crime. They can’t simply stuff someone and put “just because” on the complaint.

    • RealityCheck, Being arrested is a very temporary process. If you are not charged with a crime in 24 hours you are let free.

      The government Is welcome to arrest them and try to charge them with a crime. However that would not happen with what is proposed. Instead they are stripped of their rights first then maybe they can appeal it later? No. I don’t go to prison first and then appeal for a trial while in prison.

  3. Gonna jump in before Mark N. does to remind RF that “beyond a reasonable doubt” is the standard for a criminal conviction; people in this country lose their children under a lesser standard. “Prepondrance of the evidence” is at least a higher standard than the “probable cause” and “reasonable suspicion” standards that the Dems have been proposing up til now. The plan still stinks but at least they are being forced to move in the right direction.

  4. I think all politicians should be put on the no fly no buy list until the budget is balanced, borrowed money from Social Security is repaid and the deficit numbers start going down.

  5. They’re placing a lot of faith in an already faltering court system. This act would probably drop thousands of new hearings into courts every month and the only people that would benefit are lawyers.

  6. Due process means a day in court to confront accusers before the government removes your property or Constitutionally-protected rights.

    No. Just no. That’s not what due process means. People are arrested — taken into custody and denied freedom — before trial, not after. Have they been denied due process? No.

    Arrestees are often subject to pre-trial detention, which can be lengthy. Our dear friend OJ spent a year in the can before his trial. Was that a denial of due process? No.

    If the G decides to claim your property under Eminent Domain, they don’t have to go to court for permission, although they may have to in order to set the compensation. Is that a denial of due process? No.

    If the founders wanted to provide that people could not be deprived of life, liberty or property without a trial, they would have said that no person can be deprived of life, liberty or property without a trial. They didn’t.

    • Again, the No Fly, No Buy law would not involve a criminal charge. It would not be subject to same due process provisions that apply to criminal cases.

      • So why are you thinking the criminal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” should apply?

      • You miss the point, RF. Your position is that due process requires a trial first. That is completely wrong.

        Nevertheless, I believe that Jolly’s proposal does violate the due process clause, not because it doesn’t involve a trial first, but because the time periods after denial are IMO unreasonable.

        The original Republican proposal required the AG to go to court within 72 hours. Considering that NICS has up to 72 hours to clear a purchase, I thought that the time period would pass Constitutional muster. In addition, if the G lost the case, it had to pay the applicant’s attorney fees. I know a lot of lawyers who would love cashing a government check.

        Jolly’s proposal is DOA, because it would require the G to tell a denied applicant why the denial was issued. Which would make the super-duper double-secret list not so secret, and we know that the G simply cannot have that.

        What if every jihad assh0le who wanted to know if they were on a list was to go buy a gun, whether he or she wanted one or not? The ones who were cleared would know that they are not under suspicion. The ones who are denied would know that they’re under suspicion and could take countermeasures.

        List. Blown.

        • If the no-fly list became the no-guns-ever list (not just a temporary hold), as the president wants it to, they could still do that. Go attempt to buy a gun. If NICS passes, he’s not on the list. If it fails, and he doesn’t have a felony conviction, or other preclusion, then chances are he’s on the list. Cover blown.

        • Ralph,

          If I understand where Mr. Farago is going, the problem is that we have no assurance that the bureaucrats who put people on the “watch list” have probable cause to put the names on the watch list. For all we know, a bureaucrat can see that you posted a pro-gun post on some website, visited pro Islam websites, asked “suspicious” questions on those sites, and then researched how to make gun powder … and then put you on the terrorist watch list for those reasons. Those actions most certainly do NOT constitute probable cause to suspect that you have committed a crime or are in the process of committing a crime. Would those actions raise suspicion in the eyes of some bureaucrats? Sure. But “suspicious” activity is not sufficient to deny someone their rights. Remember, it wasn’t very long ago that some government employees would claim it was “suspicious” if they saw a black man walking in a white neighborhood.

          If probable cause is not a requirement to get on the “no buy” list, and people on the “no buy” list cannot learn what got them on the list and challenge it, then that process is improper and is NOT due process.

          Look at any other action to deprive someone of their rights. A cop can only arrest someone (legally) when they have probable cause to believe that the person just committed a crime or is in the process of committing a crime. Or a cop can arrest someone when a prosecutor brings evidence of an actual crime before a judge who reviews the evidence and then issues an arrest warrant. What a cop cannot legally do is arrest someone because their actions are “suspicious”. But that is exactly what these various proposals do. Some bureaucrat claims that you are “suspicious” and BLAM, no guns for you … and you may very well not even be able to see and challenge the reasons that the bureaucrat claims you are suspicious. That is NOT due process.

        • @JasonM, believe it or not, a person who is denied by NICS is not entitled to an immediate disclosure of why. As you know, there are a number of reasons for denial that have nothing to do with the no fly list, such as citizenship or visa status, domestic tiffs, fibbing on the 4473 etc., and a denied jihadist would not necessarily know the reason for the denial for some time, and maybe for a long time.

          There was some concern among law enforcement that “no fly, no buy” would blow the list, which is why the Justice Department issued a statement that it wouldn’t. Take that with a grain of salt, since it’s clear that DOJ doesn’t care about arresting jihadists more than it cares about denying guns to lawful Americans.

          The Republican proposal would require almost immediate “no fly” disclosure if the applicant was denied for that purpose. It’s DOA.

        • You miss the point, RF. Your position is that due process requires a trial first. That is completely wrong.

          I disagree. In the present system – yes a person can be arrested first and wait for their trial – I don’t think we are disagreeing here. However, in regard to criminal cases, you get a trial (supposed to be “speedy and public”) before things really become permanent. Also, you do get things such as “time already served.” This proposal for the no guns for perceived or possible perhaps terrorists with a particular name – is 180deg from our current “due process.”

          A). There is no trial. They are immediately issued permanent punishment and can (maybe?) appeal after the fact.

          B). They are assumed guilty until proven innocent.

          C). No crime has been performed – and there are no victims.

          D). The process by which people are added to the list is secret.

          E). The list itself is secret. A person wouldn’t even know they are on a list until they paid for an airline ticket, paid for airport parking, paid for their checked baggage, and waited hours in the ridiculous smelly socks line, only to be told they can’t proceed – good luck getting a refund for all that – now we want to add firearms to the list of stuff to take away??

          F). Jolly wants to have secret appeals process? Are you kidding? “The proceeding is sealed to protect the interest of the government?” WTF.

          G). The list is horribly inaccurate. Horribly, and it only has names – not identities. Lots of people have the same name.

          H). Not only should the government not be dictating what individuals can and can’t engage in private business with commercial airlines, but they absolutely shouldn’t be doing it with firearms. The no fly list and the no guns list is communist totalitarian nonsense.

    • @ Ralph,

      We don’t want to make Jolly’s ideas part of our future “due process.”

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but the police don’t get to hold you in jail for how ever long they decide, without charging you with something. Also, the constitution states “speedy and public” trial – not arbitrary rights removed for arbitrary lengths of time based on arbitrary secret non-public lists with an appeal maybe available and occurring in secret in a non-public place. Absolute fvcking lunacy. I’d rather sit next to a terrorist on a plane with a bomb in his shoe and a gun in his pocket than have this legislation passed over the people of the US.

  7. If your government claims that it cannot protect you unles you do __X__, then only the first part of that statement is true.

    How many times do you need to hear that your idiot neighbors who needed a job (a/k/a: government workers) can’t do something, before you finally say “ok” and then tell them to pack their sh_t and go home?

    Jolly is making a police state for Ohole and Lynch.

  8. After this and Jolly approving an attempt to throw transgender shit into a bill about water and energy, I’m really glad he dropped out of the senate race. Hope he stays out of the congressional race too.

    After all this his has the audacity to call himself “A Conservative Who Really Means It”

  9. What if the government puts all NRA members on the list, based on classified information? All you are going to see at your hearing is a piece of paper with 99% redactions. Very, very scary.

    • Not if, but when. The whole point of all this hubbub is for the Progs to be able to put people on lists and start denying specifically enumerated rights. If the precedent is set, dark times are ahead…

  10. NOTE = H.R. – 5544 , not 554 . // – A database ‘ improvement ‘ act … LOL … Really ? Only if the improvement is to make it easy to declare EVERYONE a terrorist. With the stroke of a pen , 10 days will be changed to 10 MONTHS and 30 days will be extended to 3 years : ” Due to high volume , or computer glitches ” or any other excuse.

    This should have been killed when it first started in New Jersey !
    http://ctmirror.org/2015/12/11/n-j-already-using-u-s-watch-lists-to-screen-gun-buyers/

  11. The desperation is in the air. Cancel your NRA cards. Buy what you need to own. Prep for doing reloads. In spite of the fact that we have made great strides the last couple years, the opposition is just going to kick over the board, since they’re losing. And that means, yes, abandon the slave states. There may be more gun owners in California than there are people in Wyoming, but clearly they’re not up to the task. Move, double down, and get ready.

  12. We have been sliding down the slippery slope to an authoritarian state for decades and it is not just democrats and lefties.

    • agreed…politicians on down to those who enforce and refuse to say “this is not right”, but continue on for that nice pay and Caddilac retirement plan. Authority/power without question, with money, corrupts.

  13. Over 2,000 people on the terror watchlist have bought guns. And look at the staggering number of crimes the FBI will tell us they committed with those guns.

    That is if you think zero is staggering.

  14. Besides those in government that are indeed “Globalists “. There also appears to be a $#!tload of just totally incompetent people who somehow got a job as a politician representing the people…But has absolutely have no clue how the US Constitutional-Bill of Rights works. Obviously this guys not even qualified to operate a McDonalds let alone work for his constituents. How can these people be elected if they don’t understand their jobs?!
    Why has anybody moved ahead to recall incompetent bozos from their districts.? What are the taxpayers waiting for..? Just look at the nitwits from the DNC yelling “shame, shame–no fly, no buy. ” Does anyone think these people are qualified to even help someone tie their shoes.? Let alone run the Government? Would you hire people like this for your business?

  15. I am seriously curios if anyone can answer this question. What if I am 100% Forn-4473 legally allowed to purchase and own a firearm…….BUT somehow I am on a no fly list because of some weird glitch, would it be illegal for me to keep the firearms I already have, skip a NICS check via my CCW permit, purchase via a private sale, or lastly I receive a firearm via inheritance or as a gift? From what I have read the legislation only prevents “no-fly list” individuals if a NICS check its run. Theoretically I could be denied, get a letter in 10 days, go to court 30 days later to fight the firearm purchase denial and even the corrupt judge upholds that I can’t complete the firearm purchase, it would be completely legal for me to walkout of the court house and purchase a couple of firearms via a private gun sale.

    Am I wrong?

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