The American Bar Association, an organization meant to be an impartial entity to represent lawyers, is now urging states to enact laws which would give law enforcement the ability to confiscate a citizen’s firearms. The ABA adopted Resolution 118B which reads in part, “urges governments to enact statutes, rules, or regulations authorizing courts to issue gun violence restraining orders, including ex parte orders.” The key phrase, which is causing outrage among gun owners is ex parte orders, which means that law enforcement officials can confiscate firearms from someone minus a rebuttal from the gun owner. Not surprisingly, these gun confiscation laws started in California with the states Democratic lawmakers.
The National Rifle Association is not pleased with all with the ABA or their adoption of Resolution 118B. The NRA rightfully asserts that gun confiscation laws which don’t allow the gun owner to have a say in court violate due process, something that Democratic lawmakers in California and the ABA are not interested in when it comes to gun rights and the Second Amendment.
The National Rifle Association issued a statement saying, “Over the years, the American Bar Association has defended the due process rights of some very unpopular groups, including, enemy combatants, terror suspects, and convicts on death row. The organization also advocates that stringent due process standards be applied to the disposition of positive rights, such as “universal access to healthcare,” and welfare benefits. Such advocacy might give some the false impression that the ABA holds a principled position on due process rights in general. When it comes to the due process rights of gun owners, however, the ABA has abandoned any pretense of principle and adopted the prevailing left-wing orthodoxy.” The NRA is correct in their opposition to Resolution 118B and gun confiscation laws which circumvent the due process of law. However, Democrats in California and in Washington D.C. make it clear they do not feel due process under the law applies to firearms ownership despite this being a protected right in the United States Constitution.
As recently as last month a legal and sane gun owner in New York, Don Hall, who is a Vietnam Veteran, had Oneida County police officers unexpectedly show up one day at his house. They were there to demand Mr. Hall turn over all his firearms because he had been deemed mentally defective by the state. Mr. Hall told the police he had never been treated for mental disease and that police were making a mistake. Not wanting a confrontation, Mr. Hall turned over his firearms and then had to hire a lawyer to get them back.
At the time, Oneida County police officers claimed that Mr. Hall must have done something to set off New York State’s SAFE Act. In this act there is a provision for gun confiscation. When Mr. Hall’s lawyer presented evidence to a judge that his client is mentally sane and had not been treated for mental illness, the judge ruled in Mr. Hall’s favor, and had his firearms returned to him. Mr. Hall stated of the ordeal, “I was guilty until I could prove myself innocent. They don’t tell you why or what you supposedly did. It was just a bad screw-up.”
Mr. Hall and his lawyer were not told specifically under what legal authority Mr. Hall’s weapons were seized, but they are positive it was done so using the SAFE Act. The act, which was put into New York State law in 2013 following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School includes a section for health providers to inform on patients they feel are going to harm themselves or others.
The adoption of gun confiscation laws is starting to gain attention on both sides of the issue as the mainstream media fans the flames of violent crime committed with firearms. However, as the MSM typically does, they leave out facts such as most violent gun crime occurs with weapons which were illegally obtained. Only in a small portion of cases are violent gun crimes committed with legally obtained firearms.
Cases like Mr. Hall’s had a happy ending, but not everyone might have the money to hire a lawyer. Additionally, what constitutes a threat that a health care provider can report someone one? The ambiguity in the SAFE Act and similar laws is surely going to be something presented before the Supreme Court.
Any law, which circumvents due process under the law, sets a dangerous precedent and must be stopped. Hard-working Americans who are not convicted felons shouldn’t have to live in fear of having their firearms taken away simply because their physician misinterprets something or simply has a dislike for their patient being a gun owner.