Connecticut lawmakers are attempting to expand the parameters of their Red Flag law. That state–ironically nicknamed the ‘Constitution State’–was the first to pass what we would call a ‘red flag law’ nearly twenty years ago.
But now two Democratic legislators want to expand the law. Senator Gary Winfield and Representative Steve Stafstrom have sponsored the bill in the Senate and the House. They want to expand the current list of who can file a Red Flag. Currently, the law only allows prosecutors and police, but this bill would change it so that medical professionals and relatives could file one.
Hope you didn’t say anything to crazy Aunt Sharon last Thanksgiving when she showed the whole family her new Bernie Sanders tattoo! Because if you own guns and she doesn’t like you, she can file one of these ERPO orders and make your life hell!
You’ll Never See Your Guns Again?
Additionally, where police were required to do an investigation before such a report was filed in the past, the new version of this bill wouldn’t require that if relatives or medical personnel file them.
Great. So there is no investigation required before the paperwork is filed to hold a hearing on whether or not you lose your gun rights. Oh, and you won’t be at the hearing!
But Connecticut’s new proposals would go one step further. They would take away your gun rights indefinitely! This new version would force you to reapply every 180 days to beg to have your gun rights reestablished once this kangaroo court takes them away. This is freaking outrageous!
Expansion Is The Name Of The Game
We’ve been saying it for months–no, years! Many states have passed a ‘bare bones’ version of a Red Flag bill since the shooting in Parkland, Fl in the spring of 2018.
These ‘bare bones’ bills are far more likely to pass since they only permit police or medical personnel to file an ERPO. Maybe they allow your spouse.
But once the Red Flag bill has become law, it’s essentially a chassis for anti-gun legislators to expand it dramatically. Once they get it in the door, they can add any parts they like!
Often these legislators know that they couldn’t pass Red Flag laws if they were honest about their intentions. Instead, they pass a minimal version. Then they wait for a few legislative sessions to pass before they slip in little things that expand who can file them, how long your guns are gone, what the ‘evidence’ needs to be at your hearing, etc.
When you hear somebody say, “Red Flags aren’t that bad! My state’s version is really reasonable,” just remind them that it’s a ‘chassis law’, and they’re not done with the body, yet!