“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” – 2nd Amendment to the Constitution
A recently passed Oregon Bill would allow a police officer, or a family member to seek a court order that would require subjects to turn over their guns, for up to a year, if the petitioners and the court think they could be a harm to themselves or others. Apparently they don’t understand the term “shall not be infringed.”
According to the bill, the legislation, which now sits on Governor Kate Brown’s desk, the bill;
“Creates process for obtaining extreme risk protection order prohibiting person from possessing deadly weapon when court finds that person presents risk in near future, including imminent risk, of suicide or causing injury to another person. Establishes procedures for law enforcement officer or family or household member of person to apply for order. Establishes procedures for respondent to request hearing, and for continuance of order after hearing or if hearing is not requested. Establishes procedures for termination and renewal of order”
So how does the state decide who is deserving of an “extreme risk protection order?” Glad you asked!
“(6)(a) The court shall issue an extreme risk protection order if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based on the petition and supporting documentation and after considering a statement by the respondent, if provided, that the respondent presents a risk in the near future, including an imminent risk, of suicide or of causing physical injury to another person. “
The bill is being propped up by gun control advocates like former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, as a way to prevent the mentally ill from causing harm to themselves or others. The hilariously ironic thing about that line of thinking is that mental illness is perhaps the one thing courts are not allowed to consider when issuing this “protection” order.
“The court may not include in the findings any mental health diagnosis or any connection between the risk presented by the respondent and mental illness”
While petitioner’s must prove that the person in question is at “extreme risk.” The bill defines this as anyone who has a history of threatening violence, either against themselves or others. But a previous violent misdemeanor would also make someone eligible, so would a previous DUI.
The subject of one of these petitions has no right to contest the order before it is issued, although they can appeal it afterwards. Once a petition is issued, the subject would have 24 hours to surrender all their weapons, if they were to refuse to surrender their weapons, they could find themselves in jail for up to a year, a $6,250 fine, or both.
The bill wasn’t passed in good faith, according to Reason. Upon the bill passing through the Senate;
“SB 719 was sent not to the House Judiciary Committee—which usually handles criminal legislation, but is chaired by pro–Second Amendment Democrat Jeff Barker—but rather to the House Rules Committee. That committee’s chair decided to forgo a public hearing on the bill, and instead passed it out of committee the day before July 4, when half the Republicans committee members had already gone home.”
Ignoring the fact that this bill blatantly violates the second amendment, this legislation won’t accomplish anything, and can actually hurt those whom the bill is aiming to protect.
A suicidal person doesn’t need to use a gun to kill themselves, so it’s hard to see how it would protect someone from self-harm. While the bill could put victims of domestic violence at risk.
One of the criteria of petitioners includes not only law enforcement, but family members, and anyone you live with. Let’s say that a woman is in an abusive relationship and one day during the abuse she threatens to kill herself. The abusive partner could then turn to the court system and have them take away the weapon that could save the victim’s life.
Oregonians rights could also be trampled by judges with an agenda like Kenneth Walker , who has publicly stated that he wishes he could “dump all guns in the ocean.”
Hopefully Oregon’s senate will attempt to tear this bill up sooner, rather than later.