A nightmare scenario is developing for Florida’s Second Amendment supporters, as data rolls in regarding their new “red flag” laws.
“Red flag” gun laws are designed to prevent certain individuals from possessing a firearm, often when those folks have shown signs that they could be of harm to themselves or others. The concern here is that the system is easily abused, as it relies on citizens to report the danger. If a person wanted to rob their neighbor’s home, but were afraid to do so due to the threat of a gun in the home, they could simply call the police and have their intended target’s Second Amendment rights suspended.
We want to believe in the good intentions of our fellow Americans, but with something as serious as the Constitution, perhaps these assessments are better left for the professionals.
What’s scarier still is just how frequently the laws have been used.
The law, supported by legislators of both parties , has been applied more than 3,500 times since, with the pace accelerating during the last half of 2019. Even so, an Associated Press analysis of the law showed its use is inconsistent, with some counties and cities using it rarely and others not at all.
Advocates of Florida’s red flag measure say before it existed, it was often difficult to remove firearms from those making threats or suffering severe mental breakdowns. Investigators did not act on reports that the Parkland shooter was threatening to carry out a school massacre. But even if they had, it is likely he would have been allowed to keep his guns because he had no felony convictions or involuntary, long-term mental commitments, they say.
The law is also being administered in highly varying degrees around the state, with police forces citing their knowledge of their communities as a reason why fewer “red flag” law calls turn into confiscations. In areas where the police are intimately involved in the community, such a concern is often handled with a personal touch that lessens the need to rely on the court system.
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