Posted by 04 September 2019
Today the House Judiciary Committee is meeting to consider three gun control bills:
H.R. 1186 – To ban the import, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of an ammunition device that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Such devices that are already in the possession of an individual could be retained but could not be transferred to anyone else.
H.R. 1236 – To create a federal grant program for states to use to support activities concerning extreme protection orders. These orders, sometimes called "red flag" orders, allow law enforcement to seize someone's firearms if a court determines that a person poses a danger to himself or others. Such orders can be issued without conducting a hearing with the person in question under some circumstances.
H.R. 2708 – To prohibit anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime from possessing a firearm.
These bills are being advanced in the wake of two mass shootings in Texas. Congressional Democrats have been calling for stricter gun control since they took control of Congress earlier this year. The House of Representatives has passed legislation that extends the application of federal instant background check laws to private gun sales, but the Senate has failed to act on this legislation.
One of the most controversial proposals is H.R. 1236, which provides federal incentives for states to enact so-called “red flag” laws. These laws create a new class of protective order that allows law enforcement to seize someone’s guns without a court hearing in cases where there is an allegation that the person is a threat to himself or others. Supporters say this is a vital tool to prevent dangerous people from committing harm with firearms. Critics say it is a way for government to seize guns without due process.
If passed by the Judiciary Committee, these bills will likely come for a vote in the House of Representatives soon. However, there is little chance for action on them in the Senate.
Do you support laws that allow police to confiscate someone’s firearms if they believe the person poses a threat? Should these confiscations occur without a court hearing allowing the person to contest the confiscation?