By J. D. Heyes
If you own a gun and happen to lose your temper, get into a fight, or some other random act of minor violence — and you live in Colorado — you just might find the police at your door in the near future demanding you turn over all your firearms until a judge says you can have them back.
That’s right, Colorado — once a solidly red, pro-Constitution state that has been hijacked by the authoritarian Left — has become the latest state to pass a so-called “red flag” law that empowers courts to usurp due process and the Second Amendment to enforce gun confiscation based only on the word of one person.
In other words, fiction has become reality.
You may recall a 2002 film, “Minority Report,” starring Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell. According to the Internet Movie Database, the movie is based on “a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes.” The unit relies on three human-like “pre-cogs,” short for “pre-cognizant” individuals who, collectively, are able to ‘see’ the future — that is, until they make a mistake.
In any event, this is the essence of how red flag laws work: Based on the testimony of an aggrieved person claiming to be ‘concerned’ that a spouse, or a friend, or a relative, or some other associate may hurt themselves or others with a gun, a judge can order that person’s guns confiscated by police and removed from the individual’s home.
And all without hearing a single word of defense from the individual — the polar opposite of the founding American legal principle of innocent until proven guilty.
Regarding the newly passed Colorado law, Fox News reports:
Colorado became the 15th state on Friday to adopt a “red flag” gun law, allowing firearms to be seized from people determined to pose a danger — just weeks after dozens of county sheriffs had vowed not to enforce the law, with some local leaders establishing what they called Second Amendment “sanctuary counties.”
The law didn’t receive a single Republican vote in the state legislature, and has led to renewed efforts from gun-rights activists to recall Democrats who supported the measure.
In a long and defiant statement on Facebook posted late last week, Eagle County, Colo., Sheriff James van Beek bashed the law as a perhaps well-intentioned but a nonetheless “ludicrous” reminder of the Minority Report film while detailing several objections from fellow law enforcement officers.
Van Beek said the law treats any accused gun owner, automatically, like a “criminal,” while discouraging people from seeking out psychiatric help. He also said the law ignores a reality that “a disturbed mind will not be deterred by the removal of their guns.”
Like other red flag laws, according to Fox News:
Colorado’s law, approved by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, allows family, household members or law enforcement to petition a court to have guns seized or surrendered based on a showing that someone poses a danger under the “preponderance of the evidence,” a civil standard which means that the defendant is more likely than not to be a threat.
Subsequent court hearings could extend police gun seizures up to 364 days. Also, under the law, gun owners must demonstrate “clear and convincing evidence” — a higher legal standard — if they want to keep their firearms.
Two constitutional amendments — the Fifth and the Fourteenth — say that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” Red flag laws clearly violate these; sheriffs are right to oppose them.