GOA’s Michael Hammond: Gun Confiscation is Not a “Middle Ground”

February 21, 2019
For immediate release

GOA’s Michael Hammond: Gun Confiscation is Not a “Middle Ground”

Springfield, VA – In response to some media outlet’s coverage of so-called “red flag laws” — properly referred to as Gun Confiscation Orders — GOA’s legislative counsel, Michael Hammond provides a rebuttal:

“Some newspaper articles imply that Gun Confiscation Orders (fraudulently sugar-coated as ‘red flag laws’) somehow represent a ‘middle ground’ alternative to gun control.

“This is comparable to curing a ‘painful hangnail’ by shooting yourself through the head.

“No.  Radical, repressive, ‘middle-of-the-night-knock-on-the-door’ gun confiscation — with no due process whatsoever — is not a ‘reasonable alternative’ to anything.

“To the contrary, it is the ‘final destination’ of those who want to give the police the ability to obliterate your constitutional rights — by a simple telephone call.

“Here’s how Gun Confiscation ‘red-flag laws’ work:  In general, the police or an ‘angry ex’ can make a telephone call to a judge. And, based on that telephone call, the judge can issue an order stripping you of your Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

“With no actual hearing and no due process whatsoever.

“Now, many of the bills on the table (such as Colorado’s) would allow the judge to suspend constitutional rights by a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ — a standard far below proper due process.

“But it really doesn’t matter.  When the accuser is the only one on the line, the judge will normally ‘sign a ham sandwich.’  In an analogous proceeding in New Mexico, for example, a judge issued a restraining order against David Letterman for supposedly sending coded messages to a New Mexico housewife over her TV set.

“So, armed with the rubber-stamped revocation of the Constitution, the police will normally arrive at your door in the middle of the night, ready to ransack your home and, if you resist, to arrest or kill you.

“Think this is far-fetched?  Within the last few months, police summarily executed 60 year-old Ferndale, Maryland, resident Gary Willis while serving a ‘red-flag’ order at 5:17 a.m. in the morning.

“Sure, you can spend $10-20,000 to hire a lawyer and try to convince the judge he made a mistake.  This is a fool’s errand.

“These Constitution-revoking ‘quickie orders’ are made all the more ridiculous because they are completely ineffectual.

“A study by criminologist John Lott found that these Gun Confiscation ‘red-flag’ orders had absolutely no effect in the states where they were law — except, maybe to INCREASE the incidence of rape.

“Gun Confiscation Orders didn’t stop the shooting at Newtown. They didn’t stop the shooting at Thousand Oaks.  They didn’t stop the shooting at Aurora, Illinois.

“And they wouldn’t have stopped the shooting at Parkland for the simple reason that, as often as the police visited the shooter’s home, they failed to exercise remedies which were already on the table because they viewed him as ‘a low risk.’

“NEWS FLASH:  If the police are on record as saying a gun owner is ‘a low risk,’ it will be impossible to get a ‘red-flag’ Gun Confiscation Order.

“What’s at stake, in fact, is not policy.  It’s yet another effort by Michael Bloomberg to put ‘points on the board’ toward his ultimate objective of banning civilian possession of firearms.

“And, tragically, some newspaper articles are helping him achieve that goal.”

Michael Hammond, or another GOA spokesman, is available for interviews. Gun Owners of America is a nonprofit lobbying organization dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise. GOA represents over 2 million members and activists. For more information, visit GOA’s Newsroom.