This is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal and legislative news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights. For a deeper dive into the topics discussed here, check out this week in gun rights at FPC.
Kansas legislature introduced bills to keep officials from assisting the federal Government from enforcing “red flag laws”
The “Kansas Anti-Red-Flag Act” would prohibit any private citizen or official from aiding federal authorities in enforcing any federal red flag law. Kansas lawmakers have pre-filed bills in both the state house and senate. The laws are aggressive preemption provisions respecting “extreme risk protection orders,” or as we commonly dub them, “red flag laws.”
We’ve written extensively about red flag laws and their awful consequences, and it seems every other week there’s still another one to cover. These awful policies flip due process on its head, harm innocent people, and frustrate an already tenuous relationship between law enforcement and the communities they police. Suffice to say, I’m massively sensitive to the objectives of the Kansas Anti-Red-Flag Act. That’s why I wish I could say I felt like the Act was more than a signaling device.
To be clear, I’m broadly supportive of the concept of sanctuary provisions, of which this Act is a species. Some even, quite melodramatically, called it an Act to “make Kansas a sanctuary state for danger.” That said, we should demand sanctuary provisions that actually work. In so far as the Kansas Act would render federal law “null, void, unenforceable and of no effect in the state of Kansas,” it just gives an excuse to overturn the entire Act under the supremacy clause.
There are ways to write sanctuary laws that work. A lot of those mechanisms are present in the Kansas Act. Things like penalties for state officials who enforce or give aid to feds can work. A blanket statement, and criminal penalties for federal agents enforcing federal law just guarantees the law will be struck down. Of course, this is a powerful statement. It might even be a statement worth making, but it should be made in a separate act. If Kansas wants to show solidarity with its people, it should meaningfully bind its own hands from enforcing red flag laws before taking jabs at the feds via the supremacy clause.
Open Source Defense releases analysis of Virginia gun control draft
Open Source Defense, a refreshingly optimistic organization working to make people proud to be associated with gun rights, released an analysis of Virginia’s looming gun control package. It’s thorough and takes into account often ignored factors like race, compliance, and more.
It’s definitely worth a look if you want a deep dive of the Virginia situation, although we still have no idea what the ultimate bill package will look like, if it comes at all.
Poll: 36% of Dem primary voters favor confiscation of firearms
Polls are always of dubious utility. Small sample sizes, biases, and more crap up the signal-to-noise ratio. Still, people rely on polls as if they’re a known and proven acid test. I view polls more as something to glean inferences from, which helps keep my blood pressure at moderately elevated rather than dangerous levels. All that said, a new poll from Zogby Analytics ran recently, polling 443 likely Democrat primary voters, and of those, 36% supported confiscating legally owned firearms from Americans.
Of course, an online poll of 443 is as scientific as a dowsing rod, but still, 36% gives us something to think about. Many might balk at that number, but to me it shows that we might be winning. In 1959, gallup indicated that 60% of Americans favored banning possession of all handguns. Now, this poll shows us that of Americans with a predisposition to disfavor gun ownership, only 36% polled supported the ban.
While it’s not the 0% I’d like it to be, I’m happy to take progress wherever I can see it. Keep talking to your friends, family, and neighbors about gun ownership. Keep normalizing it to more people, while being approachable and friendly. That’s how we’ll drive these numbers down to where they belong.
Rules, schmules, says the government in challenge to “prohibited person” status
We can often feel like government ignores its own rules. This is because it usually does. One such instance was the quite chaotic approach taken by the government in United States v. Hunt-Irving, a challenge to federal law preventing all felons, even non-violent ones, from owning a gun.
After being supplied more than a 100 day extension to file their brief, the government requested two more last-minute deadline extensions before ultimately filing a brief at the last moment, which was a chunky 5,000 words over the limit. A bold strategy.
Matthew Larosiere is the Director of Legal Policy at the Firearms Policy Coalition.