Boots & Sabers

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2144, 18 Feb 18

Red Flag Laws?

If written correctly, I could support a law like this.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The warnings around Nikolas Cruz seemed to flash like neon signs: expelled from school, fighting with classmates, a fascination with weapons and hurting animals, disturbing images and comments posted to social media, previous mental health treatment.

In Florida, that wasn’t enough for relatives, authorities or his schools to request a judicial order barring him from possessing guns.

Only five states have laws enabling family members, guardians or police to ask judges to temporarily strip gun rights from people who show warning signs of violence. Supporters of these measures, deemed “red flag laws” or gun-violence restraining orders, say they can save lives by stopping some shootings and suicides.


Without red flag laws, the main recourse available to family members is to have a troubled loved one committed to a psychiatric institution. Federal law permanently bans anyone who has been involuntary committed from owning guns, but such actions are more difficult to carry out than red flag laws, which are intended to be quick and temporary and have a lower standard of proof.


The red flag laws act as a sort of timeout, so someone in psychological distress can get counseling while their fitness to possess a gun is evaluated, said Laura Cutilletta, legal director of the Giffords Law Center.

We have rightfully made it very difficult to strip someone of their freedom and commit them to an institution. But there are clearly people out there who are mentally ill, chemically imbalanced, or truly struggling, and there are very few ways to protect society from them until they are stable again. Some middle road – like red flag laws – might be a way to help that. The key is that there needs to be rigorous due process and that process should default to the free access of civil rights.

It’s worth a look.


2144, 18 February 2018


  1. billphoto

    This is something I have advocated for years.  I had a coked out neighbor with a small arsenal that was shooting squirrels in his backyard AIMING AT MY HOME!  Took pictures, call the cops.  They banged on the door but no one answered so they said ‘sorry’ and left.  Never came back.

    How to construct and implement something like this will take a lot of consideration.  Given the bureaucrats have continually screwed the pooch on background checks, tips and so on, a lot of weight will need to be given to safeguards against incompetents and zealots.

  2. jonnyv

    YES. 1000x YES. This is similar to the proposal in the other thread I made of needing a police/doctor approval to purchase. The local police SHOULD know if there is an issue with someone in the neighborhood based on call history, etc. Giving them the duty to temporarily strip away someones rights with due process and “just cause” is a good way to start. But, it has to be handled very carefully.

    Start with something like this, it won’t end violent mass shootings. But we can take it 1 step at a time.

  3. Paul

    So what’s to prevent:

    a.) Doctor shopping

    b.) Certain LEO agencies selectively denying 2A rights like they did 50-60 years ago


  4. jonnyv

    Paul, sure… doctor shop. It could happen. People already do it for med weed. I am sure we could figure it out.

    Maybe have a 2 tier option for your LEO argument. An appeal system to a higher authority within the org? Just quick thoughts.

  5. Paul

    Go change your diaper, child.

  6. jonnyv

    Paul, when you don’t have a good comeback, you resort to name calling. It is really sad.

    But, I realize why you pick the avatar you did. I caught an episode of the Sopranos where Paulie Walnuts was busted sniffing undergarments. It makes total sense now. Does your mom upstairs lock her dedicates drawer? From here on our I will refer to you as PSPaul. PS for Pantie Sniffer.

    (Sorry Owen, do what you must).

  7. Paul

    That’s original, waterhead.

    My rights are not up for negotiations. Kindly fuck yourself.

  8. Paul

    But do run on muh Russia and muh gun control this fall.

    That’ll give us at least 62 seats in the Senate.

  9. Pat


    Maybe you’d like to chime in about an individuals acting like adults again?

  10. Paul

    Go back to Stormfront if you don’t like it.

  11. Charlie Hillman

    Thoughtful post – I would agree it is worth looking into.

    I have to say that I was a frequent participant in the old glory days of B&S. Sure we traded snarky insults but the majority of posts engendered lively on-topic discussion. There was the occasional “I see your point” and even a couple of “I stand corrected”. Now, every other comment is some yappy little dog.

    Owen, as one with a strong libertarian bend, I admire that you have done almost no moderation. But come on, this could and should be better.


  12. Owen


  13. billphoto

    Speaking for myself, when the vitriol reaches the stupid level, I follow troll rule number one; don’t respond.  Admittedly, I do poke fun at our trolls but I do try to keep it at that level which, oddly, is also Mr. Hillman’s point.

    OK, mark this one in the calendar day.  I agree with Mr. Hillman, Pat and johnnyv.  I think I’m in danger of my head exploding but good point.

  14. MjM

    Owen sez: “ The key is that there needs to be rigorous due process and that process should default to the free access of civil rights.”

    Owen is correct. Due process is required. And that is exactly why “red flag” will not work as intended. Indeed, such law might hasten a bad situation.

    Why? Because due process takes time…. lawyers and courts and investigation and testimony and discovery and appeals and appeals and appeals. If due process is suspended, then the such laws creep into arena of thought crime. And if a person knows they are about to be red flagged, whould they back off their diabolical plans, or accelerate them?

    As well, while many cases may appear obvious, even to us mere blog commentators, many more will be the of the “he said, she said” variety. Bank on that.

    From the linked article: “In Florida, that wasn’t enough for relatives, authorities or his schools to request a judicial order barring him from possessing guns.”

    Perhaps, but Broward County had reason enough to arrest Cruz – which would had led to search and seasure of his firearms- but instead chose not too….

  15. jjf

    Charlie, well, B&S could try to attract better-behaved intellectuals, or Owen could provide a little social pressure short of heavier moderation.  Or maybe B&S attracts conservatives who don’t have much self-control or sense of civil behavior.

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