Red Flag laws are popping up across the country in an effort to do something about mass shootings and other issues some people place on guns. If you happen to live in any of the 17 states that currently have Red Flag laws in effect, you may want to do something about it before they’re used against you.
Like diseases and accidents, you might think, like many people, that it can’t happen to you — until it does. By then, it’s too late. Only a truckload of money and a great lawyer can help you fight the results of these laws. It doesn’t have to be like that. Instead of waiting, plan ahead and take action now.
Though 17 states and the District of Columbia all have Red Flag laws, they all vary. There are limits as to who can use them against you and how long the results go into effect. For instance, in California, the time that you can be legally forced to give up your guns has increased from 1 to 5 years, and the people who are allowed to enact this law against you have also changed.
States with red flag laws include:
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
- Connecticut and
- The District of Columbia
Each state has its own parameters and consequences. Be sure to learn the laws of your state, so you can protect yourself from them or enact them as needed.
One of the many problems with red flag laws is that they rely heavily on opinion. If you’ve ever been the victim of a rumor mill, you know just how much weight one opinion can carry, especially when there aren’t any others to combat it.
The solution is to make yourself visible in positive ways. We offer a few suggestions below on how to do this.
- Clean up your social media. If you’ve even jokingly mentioned doing bodily harm to someone, it’s time to take those posts down. Don’t even take the chance of putting them on a “Friends Only” setting, just to be safe.
- Let your deeds shine. This could mean volunteering at a local center, attending town meetings, or other activities that allow you to be seen in a sane and positive way.
- Be active in politics. Don’t just vote. Write your representatives and take a good look at the issues on the ballot. It’s up to us to change the laws, but we have to do it through proper channels.
- Avoid setting off alarms. The premise of red flag laws is to limit firearm access to those who are dangerous. If you’re thought to be a danger to yourself or others, someone may petition the court to have your firearms removed. And they aren’t only removed for the period of time when you are considered a danger, but a period of time deemed by the courts. The key, of course, is to not be dangerous, but also to be proactive so that if anyone ever said you were dangerous, it could easily be refuted.
- Assume anyone can enact a red flag law. In states like California, a former teacher who hasn’t seen you in 6 months can petition to have your firearms removed. And since they can take your firearms before you’ve ever been in front of a judge, it’s best to just assume that the people around you have the potential to change how you benefit from the Second Amendment.
- Maintain mental health. If you’ve been going to see a therapist, it’s no one’s business what you’re talking about, but it’s easy enough for them to learn whether or not you’ve been keeping your appointments. Maintain a consistent schedule and behavior so that your mental health and how you take care of it is difficult to question.
Red Flag laws are purposely designed to get fast results. But due process seems to get left behind when it comes to these varying restrictions. It isn’t that the government is trying to get around due process so much as it is that they are trying to prevent more deaths and injuries by guns.
Regardless of what our opinions may be on this particular method, we have to act within the letter of the law and seemingly prepare a defensive attitude before we even have to deal with the issue directly. Today, that means developing a public persona that is as bulletproof as possible so that if someone wants to take your guns, they end up being the ones looked at oddly in court, not you.
Copyright 2019, UnitedVoice.com