Friday, October 25, 2019

ERPO's are bad law

Freedom of the Press is free only if you own the press. Below is my recent letter to the editor of the Cookeville Herald-Citizen. It seems doubtful after this much time that they will publish it. So, here it is.

October 5, 2019
Editor, Herald-Citizen:

Advocates of Extreme Risk Protective Orders (ERPO’s or Red Flag Laws) are really more interested in depriving citizens of their lawfully owned guns than they are in public safety.

H.R. 3076, currently under consideration in Congress, is flawed from the beginning, by authorizing confiscation of private property following an ex parte hearing. This means that the respondent first learns of being targeted when heavily armed G-men show up at his door before daybreak to seize his guns.


The order can be issued based on the petition of a “family or household member” or a third party (hearsay). The respondent doesn’t know who filed the complaint. He has had no chance for his side to be heard. The respondent has thus had his 6th Amendment right to face his accuser denied. Talk about turning American jurisprudence on its head!

He has had his 4th Amendment rights violated, through unreasonable search and seizure. From here, it is an uphill battle to prove the negative, in order to gain his 2nd Amendment property back. 

Due process? Are ERPO advocates trying to bury the 5th and 14th Amendments as some useless relics of the past?

Practically speaking, what could possibly go wrong in the implementation of this bill if it becomes law? One person, under Maryland’s ERPO, has already been killed by the police when they came for a pre-dawn visit. 

If a person truly “poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself or herself, or another individual”, wouldn’t it make more sense to take that person into custody? Not if your end game is denial of 2nd Amendment rights to as many citizens as possible. 

Otherwise - - Jail the gun and leave a dangerous person on the loose -- that’s lunacy!

Respectfully,

Liston Matthews

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