Opinion: The dangers posed by red flag laws

Cops and citizens could become victims of these new statutes
if due process and other fundamental liberties are violated

From PoliceOne.com. October 30, 2019

In the last several years, a number of states have incorporated new laws that allow the police to confiscate firearms from individuals who have been accused of being a danger to themselves or others. The working details of these laws differ from state to state, and the names of the laws do too, but since the conversation has turned toward creating a federal version, it's been convenient to lump all of them together under the "red flag law" label.

In theory, these red flag laws allow the public to wave a symbolic "red flag" and notify law enforcement of looming problems, but the perceived advantages may be illusory, and the side effects may be worse if they're not carefully crafted with the necessary protections.

In this article, PoliceOne columnists Dick Fairburn and Mike Wood review key considerations for law enforcement regarding red flag laws.

The law enforcement perspective on red flag laws ... .....

"As they currently exist, red flag laws allow the state to confiscate property and violate individual rights without the benefit of constitutionally protected due process. Since red flag hearings are conducted ex parte, the subject receives no prior warning that charges are being levied against them, is unable to confront their accuser and is denied the opportunity to defend themselves."


Back to Top