Red Flag Law: A Minnesota Police Officer Violates Her Oath

No Red Flag Laws

Image by Carl “Bear” Bussjaeger

What follows is commentary I submitted in response to a column in the Minnesota StarTribune, penned by a police officer advocating a “red flag” confiscation law. I didn’t really expect them to publish it, and they didn’t. My goal in sending it to the Strib was to plant some seeds in the mind of whoever might screen submissions.

Commentary: Red Flag Laws

Colleen Ryan (“This ‘good girl with a gun’ believes it’s time for Minnesota to pass a ‘red flag’ law,” February 28, 2020) should be stripped of her law enforcement certification and criminally charged under 18 U.S. Code § 241. Conspiracy against rights. Since she made a point of ensuring we knew she spoke as a police officer, criminal charges under 18 U.S. Code § 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law may also be in order for her advocacy of a clearly unconstitutional “red flag” law.

What Officer Ryan failed to mention is that everything “red flag” proponents claim to want — to get guns away from those who are a danger to self or others — can already be done under existing laws. Someone who has made an actual threat can be arrested. A judge can make the surrender of firearms a condition of bail, and that can made a part of an ordinary protective order.

This what what Officer Ryan’s “red flag” proposal really does:

  1. Unconstitutionally eliminates due process before the taking; a judge issues the order before the subject has a hearing. As far back as 1921, the Supreme Court has held that “The due process clause requires that every man shall have the protection of his day in court, and the benefit of the general law, a law which hears BEFORE it condemns” (Truax v. Corrigan).
  2. Reduces the standard of evidence of danger to unsubstantiated feelings. Real threats are a crime. Real displays of danger to self support action under Minnesota statute § 253B.02(13)(a).

“Red flag” orders take property without giving the target a hearing first, without evidence, and then leave the allegedly dangerous person free to obtain any other dangerous implements.

“Red flag” laws are ripe for abuse. States that have passed them have already seen firearms taken not just from the subject of the order, but also innocent third parties, some not even in the same household.

In Florida, firearms were taken from an innocent man who happened to have a name similar to the order subject. In Colorado, a woman used the “red flag” law to harass a police officer in a dispute. Maryland officers killed a man who was foolish enough to insist that he was supposed to get a hearing before they took his property.

“Red flag” laws also don’t work. In the wake of the Parkland shooting, Florida passed its law and it has been used thousands of times. The result? Both homicide and suicide rates went up.

Officer Ryan has violated her oath “to uphold the constitution of the United States and of the State of Minnesota” to push an unnecessary and abusive act.


I might add that ex parte (the subject doesn’t get a hearing first) “red flag” orders do not meet the 18 U.S. Code § 922 prohibited person criteria, meaning the order cannot be entered into the FBI’s NICS background check system. A person who is subject to a “red flag” order is not a prohibited person and can still go out and buy another gun. A conventional protective order — with a hearing — does do this.

Feel free to share these talking points with other “red flag” advocates.

comments

  1. avatar RGP says:

    Well golly if everybody were honest and nobody ever told a lie and everybody was completely impartial and there were no such thing as bad people then red flag laws would be just great wouldn’t they??? There are some problems with that concept…

    1. avatar George WashingtonGl says:

      No…. they wouldn’t….
      Even if all those things were true, red flag laws STILL are illegal and are a TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE!!!!!!

      1. avatar Everyday_Carrier says:

        r/Woooosh

      2. avatar Scerry says:

        Here in NC, it’s called a 50b. under ‘family court’. By sophistry of ‘Defense of Women’s Act’, the Domestic Violence court, expects the elected county Sheriff to undermine his Constitutional authority, by fauxderal court decree. There are no criminal charges, ergo no jury. Victims are subject to being charged with a class H felonious to posses anything para-militant, even vest. Seen a guy victimized by a “Christian Ministries Climate Change Activist: to help the poor”, seems calling someone a cunt for not paying a bill (via email) is enough to justify a court order.

        BE WARNED, IF SERVED, YOU HAVE SEVEN DAYS TO SUBMIT YOUR RESPONSE TO THE ALLEGATIONS, IN WRITING, TO THE COUNTY CLERK OF COURT. If you do not file, the ‘court’ has no obligation to accept at the hearing.

    2. avatar Eric Swalwell says:

      Seems legit to me. I was talking to my bro Beto earlier and he assured me that people will obey the law, so I don’t get what point you’re trying to make. And, if worse comes to worse, then we can just use nuclear weapons.

      1. avatar I1UlUZ says:

        Eric
        You and your bro always have the best ideas, nothing like a small tactical house nuke to increase property values. Ready to build glow in the dark lot, no threat of radon gas, new higher value homes help fund Raytheon home nukes program with the 11% federal excise tax* and rise local property real estate tax base. Kicking in non compliant rubes doors is fully supported by the front door manufacturers along with Lowes and Home Depot. Ask about installation.
        * 11% tax is only for current firearm owners.

  2. avatar Mike F says:

    Would city/county/state representatives that take an oath be potentially liable under U. S. Codes noted above?

    1. avatar Colorado Kid says:

      Doesn’t matter, because nobody has the balls to charge them. Wouldn’t it be great to see ANY/ALL elected official who violates their oath charged?

  3. avatar Joemoma says:

    No surprise that red Star didn’t publish you

  4. avatar Kendahl says:

    If someone can’t be trusted with a gun, he can’t be trusted without one either. Everyone near him is in danger. Lock him away, in a mental hospital or prison, so that he has no access to victims.

  5. avatar Nickel Plated says:

    “I might add that ex parte (the subject doesn’t get a hearing first) “red flag” orders do not meet the 18 U.S. Code § 922 prohibited person criteria, meaning the order cannot be entered into the FBI’s NICS background check system. A person who is subject to a “red flag” order is not a prohibited person and can still go out and buy another gun.”

    Huh, that’s interesting. Did not know that but seems to make sense. Since there’s no hearing and no official trial, you’re never actually convicted of anything.
    Some small, though very insufficient consolation. And I’m sure it depends state to state. If your’s has a state run system for background checks, like PA has for handguns, they will probably flag you in that if they can’t flag you in NICS.

  6. avatar Dale Menard says:

    Why don’t they just make murder, robbery and rape against the law? Wouldn’t that prevent them?

  7. avatar Mark N. says:

    1. A red flag order prohibits the charged person from possessing any firearm; hence, going out and buying one after being served with an order is a violation of the court order.
    2. All red flag laws require evidence before a temporary order can be issued, usually consisting of a sworn affidavit stating facts, not conclusions, as to why a person is a danger to him/herself or others. And affidavit is evidence, and if someone lies, it is (at least theoretically if not practically) punishable as perjury, and if found out, is clearly a basis for denying a permanent order.
    3. A “permanent” order (typically one year) can only be issued ONLY after a hearing of which the victim must be given actual notice. Further, an order can only issue based on proof by clear and convincing evidence, which is higher than a general civil burden of proof, but not quite proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
    4. By contrast, a cop can haul your butt off to the funny farm for a mental health hold on no more proof than probable cause.If you have firearms, they will be confiscated and held by the police. In some states, that alone is enough for a one to five year firearms prohibition.
    5. In ALL states, a domestic violence TRO is accompanied, if requested, by a firearms prohibition, and these provisions have been repeatedly upheld against due process attacks. As far as the courts are concerned, a temporary confiscation of firearms pending a hearing that must occur a short period of time after service of the order do not violate traditional notions of due process.

    The one thing I whole heartedly agree with is the proposition that there is no need for such laws, since there are plenty of laws on the books to deal with these situations.

    1. 1. Most red flag laws address possessed arms, not those obtained later.

      2. No, they don’t require evidence. As stated, real evidence supports charges under normal statues.

      3. I’m addressing the temporary ex parte order which is done without a hearing. That’s what red flag orders ARE.

      4. Baker Act-style laws — in the MN case, § 253B.02(13)(a) — require the same due process access to counsel that any standard arrest does. Red flag orders do not.

      5. Wrongo, bud. In all states, a domestic violence TRO requires a hearing. RED FLAG LAWS DO NOT ALLOW A HEARING FOR THE ACCUSED UNTIL AFTER THE TAKING.

      1. avatar Ron says:

        #5 In NC, a 50.b is an ex parte hearing, followed by an arrest, seizure of arms and ammunition.
        After the TRO hearing, if the case is tossed, ANOTHER hearing to see if the arms and ammo can be returned, if so, then you get to pay the sheriff for “storing” your arms and ammo.

        Not new, still sucks

    2. avatar Sho Rembo says:

      1. So a person who may actually be a danger to others, who has their firearms taken, will now become a very law-abiding citizen, and would never attempt to break the law. Ok, got it. Glad you mentioned that.

  8. avatar possum says:

    She wears a badge, she did this, she did that. She wears a badge, the oath to uphold the Constitution does not apply. Zieg Hiel

    1. avatar Kendahl says:

      It’s spelled Sieg Heil.

    2. avatar Miner49er says:

      Sieg Heil is German for ‘Hail Victory!’

      Here it is used in a sentence:

      “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”

      That’s how Richard B. Spencer saluted more than 200 attendees on Saturday, gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., for the annual conference of the National Policy Institute, which describes itself as “an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.”

      1. avatar Ragnar says:

        Who gives a crap about Richard B. Spencer or what he did somewhere?

      2. avatar Void says:

        So less support than Obama had from the New Black Panthers. Yup totally relevant.

      3. avatar pwrserge says:

        Yeah… remind me why I care about Spencer more than I care about any othe CNN commentator.

      4. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        fyi
        Richard Spencer is a self described socialist. Perhaps a Bernie supporter.

      5. avatar DinWA says:

        Is there something you are attempting to imply regarding “the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent”?

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    “A Minnesota Police Officer Violates Her Oath” is not news. When a cop honors his or her oath, that’s news.

  10. avatar Rick Hess says:

    Figures she would be a cop in Somalia west.

  11. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I look forward to all the cops haters to start using Red Flag laws to disarm the cops. There have been two attempts already.

  12. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    fyi
    Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) will host a Lobby Day in Nashville on March 10th to push for Constitutional Carry legislation. GOA and TFA will also advocate for pro-gun measures such as eliminating fees for carry permits and campus carry.

    https://gunowners.org/goa-tfa-host-constitutional-carry-lobby-day-in-nashville-march-10th/

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    I wish they would drop drop the veiled pretense that RFL are for public safety or prevention of shootings. They want a way to strip their opposition of firearms, take away their jobs as a result of the RFL action, and ultimately silence critics in the future.

    Come on out as an authoritarian and stop being a chicken.

    1. avatar oldguy52 says:

      They just keep chipping away. It’s like death by 1000 cuts.

  14. avatar wayne bakus says:

    Not the last cops, the gate has been opened for abuse..

  15. avatar Salty Bear says:

    This has been your daily reminder that cops are literally the only threat to your 2nd amendment rights.

    1. avatar Scerry says:

      Not quite, it’s the counter productive BA graduates who push statistical outliers as an excuse to subvert the individual through the sophisticated sophistry of character assassination.
      Sometimes they need their own prejudice rammed through their teeth, so they can choke on it.

  16. avatar Mad Virginian says:

    The elephant in the room is the word feelings in these red flag laws. This mess must be not should be brought to as court first before any personal property is taken from anyone. He or she looked at me wrong my feelings are hurt. When crooked law enforcement showed up at any persons home or business like someone pushing these red flag laws see how they like their rights being taken away. Feeling vary from person to person, red flag laws are a danger to Americans freedom!

    1. avatar Scerry says:

      These regulations are already on the books nationally, IMS when deputies are standing in my bedroom. The castration court is sanctioned under the guise ‘defense of women’s act’, and is not a criminal charge. So, no trial by jury, it’s ALL up to the BAR member seated physically above. In a criminal trial, there is a minimal standard of evidence. In kangaroo court, emotion is the currency, character assassination the gold standard.
      My BROTHER claimed I threatened him, writing in the complaint that I had pushed him off the trunk of a car in 76′. The complaint form was so frivolous, the ‘body’ of the fauxderal court form was covered 75% with instructions on how to get me out of the house and detain me. Another indication of the control he seeks.
      Here is the kicker, the entire Bachelor of Arts Racket, is contingent upon an individual putting further restrictions on what you are ‘allowed’ to do. From what I was told by an atty, SCOTUS has upheld that even possession of a vest is grounds to be charged with a class H felony. So until someone is charged, there is no way to challenge the statute as constitutional.
      At the hearing, got the plaintiff to admit he was in his room with the door closed, the defendant was in his room with the door closed, and he couldn’t clearly hear what was said. The authoritarian wouldn’t accept written statements, including an affidavit from our 90+yr old grandmother (out of state, can’t travel). Tried his damnedest usurp the 5th. Spent 20+hr typing over a dozen pages, 4pg denying all allegations. When he asked, told him the four pages were titled ‘the accuser is the abuser’, no interest. Told him I was being abused, water off a ducks back. When it came time to render a decision, he made the claim ‘All the facts are in the plaintiff’s favor, as the defense has presented no evidence’. Said he was required to give a six month order.
      Can’t live in the house which my parents left. More to do with having been sold without permission, an action he openly stated in court he wouldn’t do. My DL has a RF, get caught with a firearm, ammo, or even a vest, class D felony. I’m willing to roll the dice, but time is running out.
      Sometimes a BB player has to take a charge for the team, if nothing else to expose the other teams over aggression. Any idea who might be willing to help in legal terms? Second amendment foundation has yet to get back. Too many people are unaware of the current red flag statutes, let’s expose the fraudulent court system/BAR.

      Divorce court is the BAR’s most profitable sector, just another part of the ‘family court’ system.

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