Don’t Exploit the COVID-19 Emergency to Push the Anti-Gun TAPS Act

gun buyback confiscation

(AP Photo/Nick Ut)

By Ryan Frasor

As liberty minded Americans, the focus of our fight must always be on protecting the God-given rights of the individual. Now more than ever we must be on alert for the bad actors who would gladly use the timing of a coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to give the government more power to abuse gun owners.

Unfortunately, Amy Swearer of the Heritage Foundation has once again published an article advocating a massive new law that places our individual rights – especially our gun rights — in jeopardy.

Enter the TAPS Act

In her recent article, Want to Keep Americans Safe Without More Gun Control? Meet the TAPS Act, Swearer claims that the TAPS Act will, “keep Americans safe without more gun control.” Swearer, however, is failing to realize the dangerous implications of this potentially devastating bill.

Already introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate, the Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety Act, otherwise known as the TAPS Act, is sponsored and co-sponsored by some of the most anti-gun politicians in Washington.

Representatives, Sheila Jackson Lee (D -TX-18) and Eric “nuke the gun owners” Swalwell (D-CA-15) are both co-sponsors of HR. 838, the House Version of TAPS.

The Senate version, S. 265, was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and is co-sponsored by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Sen. Rubio, who is one of the loudest advocates of “red flag” gun confiscation from either party, also introduced S.7, his own “red flag” bill last year.

The aim of the TAPS act is to create a national “pre-crime” program in an attempt to assess “potential” threats. Reminiscent of the dystopic concept envisioned by sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick in his short story Minority Report, the TAPS Act takes a hatchet to the Bill of Rights, and further enables government agents to target citizens before any crime is committed.

The TAPS Act establishes a “threat assessment task force” of non-elected bureaucrats whose primary focus would be to monitor elementary and high school students. It is taxpayer-funded surveillance of our children, and every American, without warrant or cause.

Aside from the creation of the “task force” to surveil law-abiding Americans, the TAPS Act bills fail to provide the necessary details about how such a program would actually function.

The following are just a few questions that aren’t answered by the bills’ text:

  • Does merely owning a firearm make someone a behavioral threat?
  • Do certain social media posts of political views make someone a threat?
  • Does application for government benefits count as a negative?
  • If an individual is deemed to be a threat, how are their constitutional rights protected?

Without an extensive re-write, current versions of the bill would open the door for state and local governments to choose their own interpretations, potentially imposing severe forms of gun control. If left in the hands of an anti-gun government — dare I say it, a Biden presidency — how far could the TAPS Act advance the gun control agenda?

The TAPS Act gives teeth to ‘red flag’

The combination of the TAPS Act and “red flag” gun confiscation is where things start to get really frightening. If adopted by a “red flag” state, the TAPS Act could easily be abused by unelected bureaucrats to unilaterally surveil gun owners and confiscate their firearms without due process and with no crime having ever been committed.

All of which begs the question, why is Amy Swearer advocating “red flag” gun confiscation and the TAPS Act?

In a 2019 article published in The Daily Signal, Swearer advocated “red flag” gun confiscation laws, so long as they protect due-process. Of course, by their very nature, “red flag” laws cannot incorporate due-process as was argued in this rebuttal to Swearer’s article.

In the 17 States that have already adopted some form of a “red flag” law, none protect gun owners’ due-process rights.

As more and more gun owners in America are forced to live under “red flag” laws, the gun control crowd continues to look for new ways to give teeth to these already dangerous laws. One such example would be to allow the government to monitor citizens and issue gun confiscation orders unilaterally i.e. the TAPS Act.

Real solutions come from increasing liberty

It is troubling to see organizations trusted by pro-gun Americans, publishing articles endorsing laws like the TAPS Act and “red flag” gun confiscation. In times like these, pro-gun citizens must unite in defense of our God-given rights, not conjure up new ways for the government to usurp them.

As liberty-minded Americans, we should always look to the pages of our Constitution for the solutions to our problems, rather than to dystopian science-fiction novels.

 

Ryan Frasor is a senior contributor and Firearms Policy Specialist for the National Association for Gun Rights, a 501(c)4 organization representing 4.5 Million Second Amendment members and supporters nationwide.

 

 

comments

  1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    I lost my confidence in Rep. Dan Crenshaw after he supported this bill, claiming that it protected Rights.

    Ramada, I don’t _think_ so.

    1. avatar Nanashi says:

      The clearest sign the one eyed Bergdahl is lying about supporting gun rights is his total absence on any bill for repealing existing gun laws.

    2. avatar Biatec says:

      The only bills that should ever be supported by someone who is pro Constitution is repeal of weapons laws.

      If you have to remind a candidate to be pro constitution they are not a good candidate. They get payed and they still “need to do something” It’s disgusting. I would rather them all do nothing ever than do something.

      1. avatar Hush says:

        Biatec says, “If you have to remind a candidate to be pro constitution they are not a good candidate.”
        Exactly right, correct and right on. Being pro constitution should be a given. However, it appears not to be so, since many politicians ignore the Bill of Rights and their oath of office. As has been stated in other comments on TTAG, look out for the but(s) coming from the butt(s) of any politician.

        1. avatar Biatec says:

          Indeed

    3. avatar Red in CO says:

      Agreed. Red Flag laws are quite literally gun confiscation, and anyone should supports them should be tarred and feathered at the very least (though admittedly tarring and feathering a former SEAL is probably more trouble than its worth). Crenshaw is a traitor

  2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    Remember in November, everyone. Especially to my fellow Californians. I’m hoping that the 2020 Census will result in a few congressional seats being shifted from here to other, more conservative states.

    1. avatar LifeSavor says:

      Haz,

      !!!Amen, brother!!!

    2. avatar enuf says:

      Sure, California is a cesspool of Hoplophobic Politicians holding the majority and doing the most dumbass crap.

      But these are good bills and would do a lot of good for our gun rights:
      https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr838/BILLS-116hr838ih.pdf
      https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/s265/BILLS-116s265is.pdf

  3. avatar LifeSavor says:

    The TAPS Act is perfidious; it is meant to erode all of our liberties, to trade them for the ‘protection’ of the state. It is tantamount to treason. The first line of the above essay should be in the forefront of our minds whenever we deal with the state, whenever we go to the ballot box.: “As liberty minded Americans, the focus of our fight must always be on protecting the God-given rights of the individual.”

    Thank you for this well-written ‘call-to-arms’!!

    1. avatar enuf says:

      Absolute nonsense. You could not have actually read the bills to be saying such drivel.

      The full text of these proposed bills:
      https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr838/BILLS-116hr838ih.pdf
      https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/s265/BILLS-116s265is.pdf

      These bills have nothing to do with guns and are not red flag laws.

      1. avatar LifeSavor says:

        Enuf,

        Thank you for the links. I have read the bills and fully disagree with you. These bills sound good but the outcome will be similar to that which we see today with Child Protective Services (CPS). While CPS does some good, there are many thousands of cases of parents losing their children because they disagreed with a physician’s recommendations, or because a social worker had a ‘suspicion’ or dislike. We know families who have been threatened by CPS because they had their children on gluten-casien-free diets. We lived in secrecy for years as we recovered our daughter from Autism; it was necessary because the treatments, although in no way dangerous, were frowned upon by mainstream medicine. The TAPS bills provide a new level of survellience and government determination of ‘health’.

        The TAPS Bill’s may be well -intended, but it is dangerous to establish new government oversight to determine who is a threat and who is not. Such a system WILL be mis-used, abused, and used to promote government objectives at the local level, regardless of that which is good for the individual.

        Again, thank you for the links.

  4. avatar GS650G says:

    I bet the enemies lists are being updated in anticipation of this passing somehow.

    1. avatar enuf says:

      Read the full text of these proposed bills:
      https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr838/BILLS-116hr838ih.pdf
      https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/s265/BILLS-116s265is.pdf

      These are not about guns. Have nothing to do with guns.

  5. avatar Something Laughably Stupid, No Doubt says:

    But what does illegal gun runner James Campbell have to say about this matter?

  6. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

    “You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

    Rahm Emanuel –

  7. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    The TAPS Act is as un Constitutional as all the many other current infringements of the 2 nd. amendment, hey Amy into the circular file with you and the TAPS act.

    1. avatar enuf says:

      Not true. The TAPS Act has nothing to do with guns. It has to do with the US Secret Service Safe Schools initiative and the lessons learned in their study of the Columbine and other targeted attacks.

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    Well that sux! Keep yer powder dry😩

    1. avatar enuf says:

      Have you ever considered simply not walking thru water while carrying your gun powder?
      🙂

  9. avatar enuf says:

    The full text of these proposed bills:
    https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr838/BILLS-116hr838ih.pdf
    https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/s265/BILLS-116s265is.pdf

    Ryan Frasor is completely and absolutely wrong. These are not RED FLAG LAWS. These bills have nothing to do with guns, they even say so explicitly. There is ZERO threat in these bills to our gun rights. These bills are exactly what we should have done years ago, to follow-up on the post-Columbine report of the US Secret Service on preventing targeted attacks in schools.

    This pair of bills is about finally leveraging the lessons learned in the USSS Safe Schools Initiative. The very same methods used to protect the President can be used in preventing violence in schools and other places:

    Early Detection – Someone almost always knows, but the information is missed and not acted upon.

    Threat Assessment – Is the threat real? Is it immediate? What is the severity?

    Planned Intervention – Picking the time and place, often this amounts to taking a troubled teen out of class or interviewing him or her (YES, GIRLS ALSO PLAN VIOLENCE) at home.

    It all works. It works in the school system my daughter graduated from.

    And none of it has anything to do with guns.

    1. avatar Tired of the bs says:

      So when they deem a student to be dangerous and then confiscate the parents weapons it’s not about guns? Asshole.

  10. avatar MAX BEER says:

    I remember when we Florida gun owners were supporting Rubio for the US senate. Now he is trying to sell us out!

  11. avatar bob says:

    Rubio is a RINO douche bag.

  12. avatar Martin Buck says:

    (a) In New Zealand we had a mass shooting of erstwhile unpopular people, now flavour of the month. Nek minute (Kiwiism) we had no big boy semi Auto rifles. And we haven’t had another mass shooting since. Still got the 10/22s though. Heaps more rabbits and possums than feral deer and pigs, less work to find, too. When fellahs act like dicks, take their toys away.
    (b) We have no constitution. Guess we’re fucked. Oh well. Good luck surviving Coronavirus with your genius leader in charge. God bless us all.

  13. avatar David dolcater says:

    I agree, when a fella acts like a dick, take HIS toys away, but not EVERYBODY’S toys!

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