By Brian Anderson, May 1, 2014.
Gabrielle Giffords was on Capitol Hill again today urging Congress to pass a law that would ban anyone accused of domestic violence or under a temporary restraining order from owning guns. It sounds like something everyone can get behind, even the NRA doesn’t oppose this type of legislation, but there are a few glaring flaws in the proposal.
As if on cue, Connecticut Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy have announced plans to introduce a bill that would forbid anyone under a temporary restraining order from owning a gun.
“It’s just common sense that someone who is the subject of a temporary restraining order shouldn’t be able to buy a gun,” said Murphy.
Oh no, when a democrat says a gun control law is “common sense” you know it’s anything but. Blumenthal said the law is important because those under temporary court orders are often the most likely to commit violence.
“That period is the height of vulnerability. That’s the point when violence is the most likely,” said Blumenthal.
Under current federal law, those under permanent court orders are barred from owning firearms, but not those under temporary court orders. The Murphy/Blumenthal bill would require those under temporary court order to surrender their weapons to law enforcement officials.
We all want to protect people from domestic violence, but here are my problems with this new gun control push:
We have this presumption of innocence in this country. You’ve heard the saying: “Innocent until proven guilty.” Under this law, someone who is accused, but not convicted, loses their 2nd Amendment rights. People lie. Especially in volatile relationships. A vindictive partner could make up a story just to get the guns taken away from an ex. Courts are quick to believe domestic violence stories and often issue restraining orders without a shred of evidence.
It can take months or even years to clear one’s name in a false domestic violence case. In the meantime, the accused is stripped of his or her rights. Is it fair to take someone’s guns away for years and ban them from buying new ones over a he said/she said situation? Better yet, is this even remotely Constitutional?
The next problem we encounter with this law is the fact that when police confiscate firearms, they tend not to want to give them back. Even after someone has cleared their name, they run into roadblocks in trying to regain their lawfully owned guns. In many places, like Los Angeles, you can’t just go down to the police station and pick up your guns. They will only release the guns to a licensed firearms dealer, which means even though someone is completely innocent of any crime; they still have to pay money to a gun dealer get back something they own.
And that’s the best-case scenario. The internet is filled with horror stories of gun owners that have had their weapons confiscated and couldn’t get them back from the police even after their were found not guilt of a crime.
Problem #3: When cops confiscate firearms, they don’t take very good care of them. A gun collection is a major investment and police-caused damage drastically reduces the value. I know someone who had his guns taken away by the LAPD. When he eventually got them back, the cops had sprayed pink sh*t all over them and the finishes and stocks were scratched and dented.
If a case takes years to clear, those confiscated guns are sitting on a shelf in a police evidence room with no oil protecting them from corrosion. Find me a gun owner that goes years without cleaning and lubing his/her firearms and I’ll show you someone that has guns that are worthless and don’t work.
And along those same lines, when police take custody of a weapons collection, they also take the ammunition and accessories. When they give them back, all you get are the guns. The cops keep the ammo, holsters, and even the magazines.
With this domestic violence law you have a situation where a completely innocent person can have their rights and guns stripped of them without any criminal conviction. This completely innocent person could be out hundreds or thousands of dollars because of damaged firearms and stolen accessories. And they can go months or years without any way to protect themselves because they are banned from owning or possessing guns while they clear their name.
Once again, a liberal gun control law that claims to save people actually just punishes law-abiding gun owners. I have no idea why the NRA doesn’t oppose this, but I sure do.