Police officers red flag confiscation order
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a red flag confiscation bill into law back in May. As a Whitmer press release issued at the time proclaimed, “At the bill signing, Governor Whitmer was joined by bill sponsors, legislators, public safety advocates, and law enforcement officials.”

The bill went into effect last week and now that court-ordered gun gun-grabs have become a reality, it seems some of those law enforcement officials are having second thoughts about this whole confiscation thing now that Michigan is the 20th state to have some form of a due process-free gun-grab law on the books.

From bridgemi.com . . .

However, as the time for the law to take effect moves closer, some police chiefs and sheriffs around the state say they’re worried about the ways their agencies will have to deal with the changes.

Robert Stevenson, the executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police in Okemos, said that while he supports the law because he does not believe people who are “not mentally balanced” should have firearms, he worries about the safety of the officers who will be taking the guns away.

Yes, well people don’t typically take it well when men in uniforms show up at their door with an order to confiscate their firearms. Particularly since the orders are almost always issued ex parte, without the targeted gun owner having an opportunity to challenge the request to disarm them in court before they’re issued.

Stevenson is envisioning a worst-case scenario.

“If you have somebody who says that they’re paranoid, and they’re dangerous, and they’ve got firearms, and somebody gets an order that tells this person you need to turn in your firearms, who’s going to go to this house with the dangerous, psychotic person that’s paranoid and try to take their guns from them?” Stevenson said.

“In what way is that going to happen?” he said.

Stevenson speculated about several potential scenarios:

What happens if the person with the order tries to hurt the officers? What if the person who was deemed suicidal becomes overwhelmed and still poses harm to themselves when their guns are being seized? What if the individual with an order has to be detained by force or even be killed, due to the threat they pose?

“I mean, you have got to imagine the optics are terrible, right?” Stevenson said. “We’re trying to save somebody in the family. We went to the police to save them, and they killed them.” 

He’s worried about the optics of police shooting and killing someone they’re attempting to disarm. Fortunately, that kind of thing never happens, at least according to the bill’s primary sponsor.

However, Sen. Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, who spearheaded the legislation, said that when she studied the laws in other states, such as California and Florida, she found no instances of a gun being fired during a seizure of weapons. 

Senator McMorrow apparently uses a very selective search engine. She must have missed the 2018 shooting death of Patrick Willis in Maryland. He had no idea he was the subject of a red flag confiscation order until police knocked on his door. At 5:17am.

That was an example of some very bad optics.

California gun confiscation team (courtesy policestateusa.com)

If only law enforcement had been included during the legislative deliberative process while Michigan’s red flag law was under consideration.

Matt Saxton, the executive director of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, said his organization was never asked to comment on conversations of how to enforce the new law. 

Saxton said that he asked multiple times to be part of the enforcement process with the governor’s office, but was instead left in the dark, not sure what to strategize for and what to envision when it takes effect.

Maybe Saxton, the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association head honcho, hasn’t yet met one if his organizations other employees, Dan Pfannes.

Pfannes is the MSA’s Deputy Director. He testified in favor of the then-proposed red flag law before the House Judiciary Committee back in April while the bill was still under consideration. So any concerns the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association may have had about the enforcement implications of red flag confiscation orders apparently weren’t enough to keep the MSA from supporting the bill’s passage.

Saxton said he doesn’t believe that extreme risk protection laws are the best laws that could be passed, but hopes they will keep both the public and law enforcement officers safe.

So the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association got behind the bill in the legislature. But now that they may have to be the ones to actually knock on doors, court order in hand, and demand Michiganders turn over their firearms, the enforcement implications have become, well, problematic.

Saxton said enforcement strategies will be left to local municipalities instead of having a statewide standardized strategy. 

Stevenson said law enforcement agencies are likely to collaborate with each other, asking neighboring departments for backup during the firearm retrieval process. 

What could possibly go wrong?

 

 

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64 COMMENTS

  1. I could be wrong but doesn’t the law allow anyone to file the red flag order? If that’s the case then “concerned citizens” could red flag Whitmer and her body guards. Perhaps the sponsors of the law and the members who voted to approve it? Just a thought.

    • That happened in Colorado. A mother of a guy who got shot by a cop filed a red flag petition against the cop who justifiably shot the kid.
      Mom went to jail.

      • you can’t go to jail for it if YOU reasonably believed… there is no burden of proof, only that YOU reasonably believed. I reasonably belive that Whitmer is a danger to American citizens by ignoring the Constitution and acting contrary to it…. see how that works?

    • “I could be wrong but doesn’t the law allow anyone to file the red flag order?”

      Depends on the jurisdiction that has such an un-constitutional law. In Florida, its an immediate relative.

      If I’m in error, someone let me know, but isn’t a potential result of the soon-upcoming ‘United States v. Rahimi’ SCotUS case a ruling that any and all such bullshit laws are declared unconstitutional?

    • RED FLAG LAWS ENCOURAGE LIARS
      by
      Laurence Almand

      The recent passage of a number of “Red Flag” laws to steal guns away from “suspicious” people is just another gun-grabbing scheme concocted by anti-gun do-gooders.

      Such laws blatantly go against the principle of due process, and place the burden of proof upon the accused, not the accuser.

      Such laws deliberately encourage malicious liars who want to cause trouble for people they wish to harass and torment, for one reason or another.

      If a Malicious Mother-In-Law (there are plenty of those) or a Spiteful Spouse (there are plenty of those also) want to take revenge on someone, all they have to do is make false accusations, and the accused’s property is stolen.

      Suicide Prevention: Another excuse for such laws is that they prevent suicides. This is nonsense. In the first place, suicide is the right of the individual. A person’s life is his own, not the bureaucrat’s. In the second place, if a person wants to end his life he does not have to use a gun. Actor Robin Williams used an ordinary leather belt to kill himself. Shall we ban all the belts?

      Any gun owner who is maliciously accused by spiteful, lying people should immediately file a Defamation of Character suit, and make the liars pay for their false accusations.

      #

  2. This type of “no warning” gun confiscation scheme, which will have to be carried out by expensively-trained “gun grab” teams, will result in more shootings than would occur if there were no Red Flag laws.

    • It may not be a problem for long, thanks to ‘United States v. Rahimi’.

      Even then, I fully expect places like NY and California to set up specific kangaroo-courts with the flimsiest excuses being used to deny 2A rights… 🙁

  3. If these dumbasses can’t find a single instance of someone being swatted via red flag they’re not looking very hard.

  4. ALL Red Flag Laws are unconstitutional. We do not exist in a nation of laws where you’re guilty until proven innocent. We have a system the opposite; EVERYBODY CHARGED CRIMINALLY is innocent until proven guilty. Whitmer should be charged with abusing her authority by signing such a violation in to law. She’s as criminal as any convicted mass shooter.

    • “the orders are almost always issued ex parte, without the targeted gun owner having an opportunity to challenge the request“

      So isn’t every arrest warrant, and every search warrant, and every subpoena issued ‘ex parte’?

      Law-enforcement can show up at your door anytime unannounced, take you into custody and abridge your bill of rights with impunity no matter who or where you are.

      Even if you are “innocent until proven guilty“, LEOs can show up and enter your home, take you into custody and seize your personal property, all without you being offered an opportunity to challenge the action.

      Why do you think a Court can’t order the abridgment of your second amendment rights just as easily as they abridge your first, fourth, and fifth rights as well?

      • Something about just cause? Preponderance of evidence? How often are warrants issued based solely on the statements of an estranged spouse?

        hillary was right. You’re the perfect candidate for deprogramming.

        • The other critical, and disingenuously omitted part of the narrative is that all those other processes are temporary, preliminary steps that directly trigger due process.

        • Should, and does to a fairly low [ex parte / probable cause] level (as you and Walter described).

          The difference is that the others Miner mentioned is that the others don’t and can’t result in you permanently forfeiting anything that is yours by right without satisfying the much higher standards of:
          -An adversarial procedure where your accusers have to confront you under oath / face the penalties for perjury
          -The burden of proof being on the prosecution
          -Proof “beyond reasonable doubt”

      • MINOR49er, A Search Warrant is based on real Probable Cause. These “Red Flag Orders” are based on someone’s allegations which have not be verified in any way shape or form. Nice try.
        Everyone here KNOWS your real goal. Gun confiscation from law abiding citizens.

        • “MINOR49er, A Search Warrant is based on real Probable Cause.“

          And an LEO affidavit is somehow different than “someone’s allegations which have not be verified”?

          Nope, the courts are all too ready and willing to deprive you of any and all of your bill of rights, based on verbal allegations.

          The vehicle search exemption to the constitution’s fourth amendment is another good example.
          Just for the sake of convenience to the police officers, your fourth amendment freedoms are abridged daily when police search your car without a warrant because “I think I smell pot”.

          We are all still waiting for the Supreme Court to declare red flag laws unconstitutional… Don’t hold your breath.

        • MINOR49er. An officer’s affidavit must be based on discernable facts which articulate the probable cause to REASONABALLY BELIEVE that a crime is or has been committed.
          You are right about the “Red Flag Laws” where the courts are too ready and willing to deprive a citizen of his firearm based on an allegation made by just about anyone.
          As to a vehicle search based on an officer’s using his nose to detect pot, it is really very simple. No other odor known to man smells like burning marijuana. The reason no warrant is need is due to “exigent circumstances” i.e.: the perp can destroy the evidence while the officer has to go for that Search Warrant. The officer don’t “think” he smells pot. He KNOWS he is smelling pot.
          I am more than confident that SCOTUS will declare you beloved “Red Flag Laws” unconstitutional.

      • minor –

        Probable cause in aa ongoing criminal matter is not the same as a crystal ball prediction about the possible occurrence of an event in the future. NOTE – all perpetrators of a red flag event in FL have civil immunity, last I checked

        As you well know, or you would not bother to post such tripe.

      • Because of the general requirement that the cops get a warrant, issued by a court, on sworn testimony of someone, usually police (I know, testilying) that a particular crime has been committed, and that evidence of that is in your house, or that you committed a crime, and need to be arrested for that.
        Red flag laws generally do NOT require sworn testimony from anyone, and the standard of evidence is much lower than that for a warrant.

  5. Or… what if… ::Gasp!:: Someone who is known to be a danger to themselves or others, even AFTER their guns have been taken, decides to use any of, what… a THOUSAND other ways to hurt themselves or others!?

    ANYONE who is too dangerous to be walking around with a gun is also too dangerous to be walking around WITHOUT a gun!!

  6. No concern for the citizens who may be killed without due process, only regret for the [just and deserved] potential consequences for the oath-violators involved.

    As long as these POSs keep stealing our oxygen, the suicide rate isn’t nearly high enough.

  7. Have the Marxist gov. Whitmer do the door knock herself. The Colonists didn’t react kindly when the British started the same thing. History has a way of repeating itself when we do not learn from it. If they are worried about mentally unstable people having firearms, then the first order should be to disarm all Democrats ( Marxists ).

  8. If any of these people were actually interested in saving anyone then they would be putting criminals behind bars instead of doing this foolishness.

    With 4 more years of Biden, this country might not even have any local cops or Sherifs anymore.

  9. You don’t think maybe the government would provoke firestorms to support the need for infringements on freedoms and liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, do you? Because I think pretextual confrontations is exactly what the left, masquerading as government, would love.

  10. ” ex parte, without the targeted gun owner having an opportunity to challenge the request to disarm them in court before they’re issued.”

    It is not a “REQUEST” – describing the demand for surrender as a request is complete horse crap! A request is optional like ” please hand me that bottle of ketchup.” We are coming in your home to take your guns and we will shoot you and your dog if you resist in not a f***ing request! Call it what it is – theft and an illegal violation of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

  11. Regardless of a person’s condition they are supposed to have due process which means some authority officially declaring them mentally challenged. You go to their home to take their guns without a valid warrant perhaps you deserve what you get.

  12. I despise the red flag laws as they are written, but I agree with the principle. I also despise warrants served at gun point, or worse no knock warrants. Almost no one NEVER leaves their home. A trumped up traffic stop, cuffs, then warrant service seems so much better than surrounding a house and engaging in a stand off, even when its a messed up warrant. I support policing withing narrow constraints…but I am also living in the city where a cop used bad or false info to server a warrant, kill 2 people and their dog, but they have not yet been convicted in court years after….

  13. Do they enforce the red flag law by putting the suspect in handcuffs, search their home, take their guns and then release the suspect back into their home?

  14. Hmm. Anyone who lives in Michigan may want to consider discretely stashing a few firearms offsite for long-term storage.

    Of course this is rapidly approaching the point summed up so well in a very poignant pearl of wisdom, “When it is time to bury your firearms, it is time to use them.”

    • buy as many as you can…any way you can…and hide them everywhere you can…keeping them all in one place means you can easily be disarmed…

  15. deprivation of rights, unwarranted searches, an armed police invading your home, forced confinement, forced medical evaluation, denial of and no due process, all because a ‘state’ says so or because ‘police’ say so or some spiteful ‘reporting’ person says so ….. and in over 70% of ‘red flag type laws enactment’ cases its discovered after the fact of these very gross and life threatening and horrible unconstitutional actions there was no problem at all and no ‘mental health issue’ and no one was ‘endangered’ and no threat of danger and over 50% of the victims of this horrible act are injured by police and require hospitalization for injuries and 20% of family members are injured by police while they try to take the victim person (and there have been some killed or die while in the illegal custody), and the victim of this horrible act by the ‘state’ can’t do squat about it ’cause ‘qualified immunity’ and (for the state) ‘sovereign immunity’. And all the democrat politicians go “Yea Us! Its for public safety cause we say so!”

    Tyranny Police State much?

    SCOTUS already sort of handled this before in Caniglia v. Strom, ruling it unconstitutional to use a ‘community care taking’ (which is basically a ‘red flag law’ exercise) excuse to search or take person or property (including guns) without warrant. So it wasn’t specifically ‘red flag’ laws in specific words in the SCOTUS case Caniglia v. Strom, but same basic thing happened by invoking a ‘red flag law’ type of concept and its unconstitutional.

    • “deprivation of rights, unwarranted searches, an armed police invading your home, forced confinement, forced medical evaluation, denial of and no due process, all because a ‘state’ says so or because ‘police’ say so“

      This happens every day, arrest warrants and subpoenas are all routinely served to citizens in their homes, taking them into custody and/or searching and seizing their property, all without the subject being given an opportunity to challenge the action before the fact.

      I don’t understand your surprise regarding red flag laws.

      Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the United States jurisprudence system.

      • I don’t understand your taking what I posted out of context purposely to go off on another of your stupid excretions of crap. Perhaps you are not familiar with the U.S. Constitution.

        “This happens every day, arrest warrants and subpoenas are all routinely served to citizens in their homes, taking them into custody and/or searching and seizing their property, all without the subject being given an opportunity to challenge the action before the fact.

        I don’t understand your surprise regarding red flag laws.”

        You obviously don’t understand red flag laws. There is no constitutional due process in any red flag law in any state in the United States. I’m not surprised at all that you would not understand that we have something here in our country, and not on the planet you live on, we call the Constitution and there is this thing in there in that section called the Bill of Rights and in that section there is a thing called the ‘due process clause’ in the 5th and 14th items listed that we call ‘amendments’ to which the ‘United States jurisprudence system’ is required to adhere to.

        • Fed flag events are about something that HAS NOT HAPPENED

          All the so called equivalent events concern something alleged to have ALREADY happened.

          If some antigun kook poops in the street, a Rule-of-Law society doesn’t confiscate all the buttholes in town “just in case”.

          As the troll well knows…

      • MINOR49er, No Leftist, it does not happen every day. An Arrest Warrant is based on PROBABLE CAUSE which has been verified through investigation. A Subpoena is an order of the Court to give sworn testimony in a case pending. Neither is a deprivation of rights. Nice try, Leftist.

        • Mr. Beverly,
          I think it would be a huge improvement for this website if they found a way for commenters to block other commenters. If I had the capability of blocking the individual you are replying to, he would long ago been removed from ever again being able to besmirch my screen with his drivel. If you have any influence with the proprietors of this blog, please urge them to institute such a capability.

  16. Despite what the media tells y’all there have always been laws to deal with mental issues and ways to handle it. It’s easier in some places than others but overall it’s called police work and that isn’t always easy. Now you’ve got the easy button and it scares ya because it came with consequences.
    And yes this has set them up for direct and immediate gunfights that doesn’t have the support of The People but of course chief political aspirations is worried about “optics”.
    Politicians are good at driving wedges and now that folks know they’ve little to lose that won’t be lost regardless it’s game on. Comply or be killed are now the only two options. Sane or crazy aren’t even in the equation except for post event excuses.
    I’m gonna melt some more butter for the popcorn

  17. In this day and age of crazy, see NYC, I do not blame LEOs for being hesitant being forced into this position.

  18. Any real cop who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution should resign in the face of this red flag doctrine (I refuse to use the word “law” here, as it is dead on its face because it’s flagrantly unconstitutional).

    This isn’t just a 2nd Amendment issue. It’s a 4th and 5th Amendment issue. Without proper due process BEFORE rights/property are taken, there can be no rule of law because there is no rule of law.

  19. In my small town in the 1950’s Cops regularly took guns away from far right abusive husbands, it was nothing new and despite no red flag laws Cops back then came up with a dozen different reasons to take guns from people and arrest them when they wanted to, especially if it was a slow boring night.

    I was at a gun show and being rather bored because it was a slow day I talked to a cop standing nearby and asked him this question: “In our state it is legal to carry a weapon openly, if you saw me doing this could you arrest me just because you did not approve of this? The Cop laughed and came up instantly with a half a dozen excuses to take my weapon and arrest me all of which I could not have won against in court. The Cop then said “Which way do you think a jury would vote”? I had to admit the Cops do not enforce laws they make them up as they go along.

    The most enjoyable part of being a Cop (one Cop told me once) is taking guns away from people and then destroying them. Try and get your gun back from a cop if you do not have a big bank account and an expensive lawyer and political friends willing to put the heat on them to give you your gun back.

    A friend of mine had his gun stolen, it was then recovered way down in Florida after it was used in a crime. Ten years later my friend still had not got his gun back because the cops stonewalled him everytime he tried to get it back. Later in time they just told him to forget it as they could no longer find his gun in the inventory of impounded guns. It was a lie of course.

    • And yet you wish to give the cops the right to control who does and who doesn’t get a gun.

      No cop has ever told you anything in a conversation. They may have asked what type of meds you’re on and who your social worker is so they can contact them.

      Why would you make up such bs stories if you had a valid point? I guess I answered my own question there.

    • dacian, the DUNDERHEAD. And just how do you know these “wife abusers” were “right wing?” You were at a “gun show?” JBOL! And you spoke with a cop who told you that nonsense? Doubtful at best or an outright prevarication on your part. I am betting the latter. I am sure you have some friends, but I doubt that any of them own a firearm.

      And still can’t tell us the firing sequence of a cartridge?

  20. Reading through the comments, I am stunned at so many glossing over the core fact…

    Red flag Confiscations are about events THAT HAVE NOT HAPPENED. The government shows up with overwhelming force, without warning. over something THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED. If you do not comply, they kill you. If you don’t comply IMMEDIATELY, then you have committed multiple crimes.

    Concepts like “probable cause” and “due process” DO NOT APPLY in the face of such government actions. Moderating/preventing the lethal force of government action is the reason such concepts were invented.

  21. RED FLAG LAWS ENCOURAGE LIARS
    by
    Laurence Almand

    The recent passage of a number of “Red Flag” laws to steal guns away from “suspicious” people is just another gun-grabbing scheme concocted by anti-gun do-gooders.

    Such laws blatantly go against the principle of due process, and place the burden of proof upon the accused, not the accuser.

    Such laws deliberately encourage malicious liars who want to cause trouble for people they wish to harass and torment, for one reason or another.

    If a Malicious Mother-In-Law (there are plenty of those) or a Spiteful Spouse (there are plenty of those also) want to take revenge on someone, all they have to do is make false accusations, and the accused’s property is stolen.

    Suicide Prevention: Another excuse for such laws is that they prevent suicides. This is nonsense. In the first place, suicide is the right of the individual. A person’s life is his own, not the bureaucrat’s. In the second place, if a person wants to end his life he does not have to use a gun. Actor Robin Williams used an ordinary leather belt to kill himself. Shall we ban all the belts?

    Any gun owner who is maliciously accused by spiteful, lying people should immediately file a Defamation of Character suit, and make the liars pay for their false accusations.

    #

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