WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 9, 2019) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) responded to announcements of several pieces of federal gun control legislation that would further infringe on the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms and other constitutional rights:
FPC has always opposed so-called “red flag” laws, sometimes characterized as “Extreme Risk Protection Order” or “Gun Violence Restraining Order” laws, on practical, policy, and constitutional grounds. These “red flag” laws stand for the proposition that people are guilty, and can be disarmed, unless they can prove their way out of an accusation. In fact, in some jurisdictions, a court may consider evidence of recent acquisition of firearms, ammunition, or weapons as evidence to support the issuance of a “red flag” disarmament order. In other words, if someone recently exercised their Second Amendment rights, that constitutionally-protected conduct could be used to support their being prohibited from possessing firearms, and even lead to a warrant for the seizure of their property. As we know all too well, the only real recourse in these cases is for the accused to hire an attorney, at the cost of thousands of dollars, and hope that the court gives them a fair hearing. Worse, in an ex parte situation, the subject of a “red flag” order might not even know about the hearing or the order until armed law enforcement officers show up at their home to seize property, or them. “Red flag” laws are unconstitutional and dangerous, as FPC’s own research and countless reports have shown. If the government does not have enough evidence to investigate or charge a person with a crime, or even to hold them for a mental health evaluation, then the government has not met its burden for taking someone’s rights and property by force and violence.
FPC also strongly opposes so-called “universal background checks,” one of three core elements of the modern gun control agenda. Put simply, politicians and billionaire-backed special interests wish to constructively repeal the Second Amendment through transactional records, algorithms, and ever-expanding laws banning people and property. They refuse to acknowledge the true agenda of their “universal background check” legislation, which is to create a statutory framework from which they can bootstrap the other elements of their disarmament aims, including Minority Report-style “pre-crime” laws, government-sanctioned confiscation, and incremental, attrition-based bans on weapons, parts, ammunition, and more. As we know from our direct experience in hostile, anti-rights states like California, the modern gun control schema relies on background check-based transactional data as a framework to bootstrap the forced registration of people and property, later expanding or creating new categories of prohibited persons and items—including through “predictive model” gun control statutes, like “red flag” laws, that rely on speculation rather than real due process and proper adjudication of crimes or mental health conditions—overreaching law enforcement programs, like California’s “Armed and Prohibited Person System” and others like it, where the government sends armed police officers to seize persons and property that were forced into government databases.
FPC is also strongly opposed to using taxpayer dollars for unrestricted advocacy of gun control, whether through the Center for Disease Control, or elsewhere. No American taxpayer should be funding policy advocacy cloaked in the guise of “research”.
As we have said before, history shows that gun control is a one-way ratchet, with so-called “compromises” resulting only in more laws that affect law-abiding people and fewer ways to exercise Second Amendment rights. And there is no textual, circumstantial, or emotional exception to the Constitution’s guarantee that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Those who seek to implement more and stronger restrictions on Second Amendment freedoms have offered gun owners nothing in return for these false and malicious “compromises.” It should be no surprise, then, that gun owners have been and remain unwilling to participate in a “compromise” that isn’t. Indeed, there cannot be any compromise on our Constitution and the rights it protects.
Even if others’ lack of principles or conflicting political priorities may have allowed, or even encouraged, such legislative atrocities to be enacted as the National Firearms Act, the Federal Firearms Act, the Gun Control Act, the Undetectable Firearms Act, the Hughes Amendment, and many other gun control statutes, FPC stands firm in its commitment to the Constitution, the People, and individual liberty.
FPC calls on every member of Congress to not only oppose and vote against these and other gun control bills, but to immediately introduce and pass important legislation to protect and advance the Second Amendment rights without further delay. FPC also encourages President Trump to demand pro-Second Amendment legislation with the same fervor that he does other, far less important issues. That is the job they were elected to do, and that is the basis upon which we and American voters will measure them.
Individuals who wish to combat federal gun control can tell the House and Senate leadership, as well as their representatives, to oppose these gun control bills using FPC’s grassroots Action Tools at www.firearmspolicy.org/act and www.FightRedFlagLaws.com.
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. FPC advocates on a wide variety of important constitutional, legal, policy, and social issues, including free speech, due process, separation of powers, limitations on government action, and others. FPC works to advance individual liberty through programs including strategic litigation, legal action, direct and grassroots advocacy, research, education, and outreach.