(UnitedVoice.com) – With more than 39,000 firearm-related deaths every year, there’s no disputing the toll of the gun violence epidemic on American citizens. Breaking that figure down, it comes to more than 100 people dying every day from a gun-related injury, placing it among the five leading causes of death in the United States.
With the presidential election around the corner, now is the perfect time to take a look at one of several flawed aspects of Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s proposed plan to combat America’s gun-related epidemic.
Red Flag Laws
Under Biden’s plan, red flag laws would receive federal incentives like access to federal funds and assistance from the Department of Justice in the form of technical assistance and the development of best practices documentation.
Red flag laws, also called “extreme risk laws,” establish a legal process for confiscating firearms from people deemed too dangerous by family members or law enforcement officials to possess them.
Although those laws provide some due process rights, serious questions exist regarding the constitutionality of those laws. Common law, or the law as interpreted by the courts, does allow the limitation of protected rights in the presence of competing interests like public safety versus the right to bear arms.
When determining the constitutionality of a limitation, courts consider various factors, including the existence of another remedy that could achieve the same goal. Firearm confiscation under red flag laws is triggered when individuals are determined to be a threat to themselves or others. However, as the NRA recently noted, such a finding already sets up observation procedures by mental health professionals and involuntary committal in a mental health facility.
Future courts are likely to determine that providing mental health services provides a more effective solution to the underlying problem than merely applying the band-aid approach offered by gun confiscation.
A Final Word
Biden’s gun plan contains several other distortions, misrepresentations, and misconceptions. For example, he misrepresented the NRA’s stated position on smart gun technology and made a false claim regarding gun manufacturers’ limited immunity.
Enshrined in the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms remains largely sacrosanct in modern times. Yes, common-sense gun restrictions are in order and have the widespread support of the American public. However, effective policy demands an understanding of the Constitution and sincerity with the American people.
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