As I sit down to write this update, it’s Thursday morning and the House is preparing to vote this afternoon on a package of bills to create extreme risk protection orders. The partisan plan, brought forward by the Democrat majority, creates a process that allows the government to seize weapons from any individual who others say is likely to injure themselves or another person with a firearm.
I have serious concerns about the overly broad process for obtaining an extreme risk protection order, also known as a “red flag” order, and plan to oppose this legislation.
The bills give courts broad discretion to confiscate firearms from mentally sound, law-abiding individuals based on very little evidence. These bills also provide no right to counsel for the defendant, and no right to a hearing before the court issues an order and a person’s guns are seized.
I also think it’s important for us to take a step back and think about how dangerous these bills are for our local law enforcement officers.
When I was sheriff, the safety of my deputies was always top of mind. But no more so than when we had to send officers out to a rural area to knock on someone’s door and serve a warrant.
Just like warrants, serving extreme risk protection orders will put officers at risk.
This legislation calls upon officers to go knock on someone’s door and tell them to turn over the guns that the constitution tells them they have a right to own – without any evidence they have committed a crime and without any due process.
If the person doesn’t immediately relent and hand over their weapons, they can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. If an officer goes to make that arrest and the person resists in any way, they can be charged with a felony.
These “red flag” bills are not going to improve public safety. Enforcing the laws already on the books will.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by calling (517) 373-3906 or emailing [email protected]. I am always happy to hear from people in our community.
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