“Two senators — one Republican and one Democrat who, as one of them said, disagree about “90% of the time” on gun policies — teamed up Thursday to introduce the latest proposal to address mass shootings,” cnn.com reports, “a bill that would allow federal courts to issue gun restraining orders against potentially dangerous people.” Uh-oh . . .
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut unveiled the “Federal Extreme Risk Protection Act,” which is modeled after existing laws in multiple states that attempt to intervene and disarm people who exhibit warning signs of violent behavior.
“If this becomes law, every state will have an opportunity to go to a federal judge or magistrate and inform them that this person is about to blow,” Graham said.
Perhaps not the best choice of words for Senator Graham. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. That said . . .
There is nothing right about this new bill. It would establish the same due-process-free process for federally mandated gun confiscation that’s spreading on the state level:
Graham and Blumenthal’s bill would allow law enforcement officers and family members of a suspicious individual to file a petition with a federal court requesting a protection order that would prohibit that person from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
The individual would get a hearing [ED: after an ex parte order] and can protest the order within 72 hours of it being issued. The protection order could then be held in place for up to 180 days and could be renewed if new evidence is presented.
The bill also includes penalties for anyone who knowingly files false allegations against an individual to have their gun or guns taken away.
Blumenthal said a federal law was needed to ensure consistency across state lines.
“Guns and shooters cross borders,” he said. “There’s nothing to prevent them from going from one state to another. That’s why a federal solution is important.”
So what’s to prevent an anti-gun rights federal government from declaring the NRA a terrorist organization, then using federal “gun violence restraining orders” to confiscate firearms from certain or indeed all NRA members? And then, because it’s a federal law, deploy federal agents to enforce it?
What’s to stop the feds or their allies from ginning-up a Nixonian “enemies list” of gun owners and hitting them with a federal GVRO.
Guns. That’s what.
Could it come to that? God I hope not.
If the NRA and pro-gun pols don’t shoot this idea down with extreme prejudice I’m done with them. You hear me? Done. Not to mention . . .
“I think the President is key here,” Graham said. “I think the President’s got to tell us what he wants.”
Blumenthal and Graham both sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is set to hold a hearing next week on the Parkland shooting and gun violence.
The Post-Parkland nightmare continues . . .
NB: If someone can find the bill text and link below I’d be much obliged.