A few days ago, President Trump gave a speech in the wake of the recent mass shootings. In this speech, he noted his support for new gun control in the form of “Red Flag” laws. Shortly after, several Republican members of the House and Senate signaled their support for laws of this nature.
These “Red Flag” laws allow concerned citizens to call attention to a person who is potentially a threat to greater society. Police officers then come to your door to confiscate your guns with no charges and no hearing. These laws have been enacted in a few states already, resulting in deaths in both Maryland and Massachusetts.
The President himself called attention to just one of many potential perils of this kind of legislation in a recent tweet. Referring to CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, he said the following:
Everyone thinks that a “Red Flag” law will only be used against the Parkland Shooter or the El Paso Shooter, but that is obviously false.
These laws will be used as a weapon of malice, pitting one neighbor against another over ideological differences, or a desire to disrupt someone’s life for any reason. “Red Flag” laws are ripe for abuse and dangerous both to the general public and those enforcing the law.
These laws also are in breach of the 2nd amendment right to bear arms, the 4th amendment protection against search and seizure, and the 5th and 6th amendments due process statutes. As such, these laws must not be passed.
The second amendment isn’t about an armed, warlike, or violent culture and it’s not just about the idea of fighting back against a tyrannical government. It’s also an acknowledgment that every person has the right to defend themselves against threats instead of relying on the police to show up.
You should be able to possess the means to defend yourself if you’re attacked in your home by an invader, or in public if you’re attacked on the street or the subway.
The right to self-defense is a basic human right. Those who would deprive a person of their right to protect themselves and their property, condemning them to the fate of simply hoping help arrives in time, are the real criminals.
Government action is inherently force, and in the case of “Red Flag” laws, government action requires violence against those who have committed no violence, as a means of preempting violence. It simply defies logic.
The Libertarian Party of Tennessee calls upon city, county, and state legislatures to pass legislation declaring those entities “gun sanctuaries” in which local law enforcement will not enforce federal gun laws.
We will encourage everyone across the state to contact their representatives to demand this action. Likewise, we will be driving efforts to oppose “Red Flag” legislation at the federal and state level through call efforts, email campaigns, lobbying, and public rallies.
Joshua Eakle, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee, commented, “The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution clearly states that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. ‘Red Flag’ laws are a socialist-style gun grab. Any legislator, Democrat or Republican, that supports this legislation is supporting authoritarianism in direct violation of their oath to uphold the constitution. As such, they should be held to account. Any American willing to stand up with us against this blatant attempt at government overreach are welcome to join us in this fight.”
We’ll leave you with the Libertarian Platform stance on self-defense:
The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. Private property owners should be free to establish their own conditions regarding the presence of personal defense weapons on their own property. We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition.