VCDL Update - Red Flag Law Action Required

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  • Bob A

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Patriot Picket
    Nov 11, 2009
    22,359
    Virginia Citizens Defense League
    Defending Your Right to Defend Yourself
    There is going to be a vote on Thursday, so we need to do the Action Item, below, ASAP!
    Here is an analysis of the critical issues in S. 2938, the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act”:
    1. Red Flag
    Due process is required before guns are taken and there are some other legal protections for the accused, which is good, but red flags are still not a good law. This version does not require the accused to get mental-health help nor does it provide it.
    Rather than an “unbiased adjudicator” who decides on issuing a red flag order, the person should be a judge.
    The bill, while guaranteeing the right to paid counsel, does not require the state to provide a public defender to those too poor to afford their own attorney. This lack of protection will disproportionality affect disadvantaged individuals.

    2. 18 to 21-year-olds will have a 3 to 10-day possible waiting period for any gun they purchase while their juvenile background records are checked. After 10 years, the waiting period sunsets. I assume this might be because they plan on automating juvenile records by then for quick access.
    Under this bill, if an 18 to 20-year-old has a juvenile felony conviction or gets convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence against a partner, that would prevent them from being able to purchase a firearm until they turn 21. NOTE: Virginia already has the juvenile records computerized. Under current Virginia law, a juvenile felony for murder, rape, robbery, or kidnapping is a lifetime ban. For any other juvenile felony, the person doesn’t get their gun rights back until they turn 29, at which point restoration is automatic.

    3. “Boyfriend loophole”
    If someone in a dating relationship is convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence against their dating partner, they lose their gun rights for five years if they don’t have any further issues. They can have their gun rights restored earlier by the state. The provision is not retroactive.
    It applies to a “recent dating relationship”, but the bill does not define “recent.” That’s going to make a mess in the courts.
    Neither of those things is an option for those crimes committed by a spouse or certain family members. Their prohibition can be a lifetime one. Why not fix this since we are updating this framework? This has been a problem since the Lautenburg Amendment passed over 20 years ago. Not fixing that issue shows this is not about fixing problems in the law but creating more.
    Taking away a civil right for a misdemeanor, any misdemeanor, is an abuse of the legal system.

    ACTION ITEM
    Silence is agreement or acceptance, so let’s make sure both Senator Warner and Senator Kaine know gun owners oppose S.2938. Let’s not give them the excuse of, “Well, no one contacted me to oppose the bill!”
    Phone numbers:
    Kaine: (202) 224-4024
    Warner: (202) 224-2023

    Webmail:
    Kaine: https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact/share-your-opinion
    Warner: https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactPage

    Talking points:
    Oppose S.2938!
    The Red Flag law does not require the accused to get mental-health help nor does it provide it.
    Rather than an “unbiased adjudicator” who decides on issuing a red flag order, the person should be a judge.
    The bill, while guaranteeing the right to paid counsel, does not require the state to provide a public defender to those too poor to afford their own attorney. This lack of protection will disproportionality affect disadvantaged individuals.
    The “Boyfriend loophole” applies to a “recent dating relationship”, but the bill does not define “recent.” That’s going to make a mess in the courts.
    While S.2938 has provisions to restore gun rights to those convicted based on a “recent dating relationship”, there is no such provision for spouses or certain family members. Their prohibition can be a lifetime one. Why not fix this since we are updating this framework? This has been a problem since the Lautenburg Amendment passed over 20 years ago. Not fixing that issue shows this is not about fixing problems in the law but creating more.
    Taking away a civil right for a misdemeanor, any misdemeanor, is an abuse of the legal system.
     

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