Officials begin confiscating weapons from law-abiding public
The Second Amendment has been repealed in Massachusetts as police officers begin confiscating guns and weapons from law-abiding American citizens.
This week, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill giving police new powers allowing them to confiscate guns “at their own discretion,” without the need for due process.
Under the new legislation, law enforcers are legally allowed to raid an individual’s home and confiscate their weapons, whether they committed a crime or not.
Daily Caller reports: Bill H4670 enables the police, a family or household member, including roommates, relatives or significant others, to remove firearms, firearm identification cards and ammunition from any individual deemed to be a danger to oneself or others.
Surrendered goods can be confiscated for up to one year, with the ability to renew the order, but an individual can try to appeal the ruling.
Baker defended the so-called ‘red flag law’ over twitter calling it a “model for the nation.”
Massachusetts is the 12th state to enact such gun seizure laws, according to Huffington Post.
It is also the seventh state to do so since the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The bill also establishes a licensing procedure for stun guns after Massachusetts’ top court deemed in April that banning the weapon was unconstitutional.
This law creates a responsible way to help prevent gun deaths and suicides while protecting individuals’ second amendment rights. #ERPO [2/2] https://t.co/Ozf8ZPQ0bx
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) July 3, 2018
According to Mass Live, Janet Goldenberg, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, said the bill will address suicides and homicides. Goldenberg said two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides, and suicide is often impulsive.
In addition, people who are in a vulnerable moment “may end up becoming mass shooters,” according to Goldenberg.
“This is a bill that lets family members who know their loved ones the best have the opportunity to intervene before it’s too late,” Goldenberg said.
Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick, chairman of the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight and the sponsor of an earlier version of the extreme risk gun bill, said people cannot continue to accept gun violence “as the new norm.”
“If we can save one life by enacting this legislation then it’s worth it,” Linsky said.
The Gun Owners Action League, Massachusetts’ gun rights lobby, opposes the bill.
GOAL says the policy would violate the rights of gun owners without doing any good since it would let a judge or police officer confiscate someone’s guns without ensuring that the person gets any mental health treatment.
“It’s no longer about suicide prevention, it’s a gun confiscation bill,” said Jim Wallace, executive director of GOAL.
Gun rights advocates have said the state should focus on treating people’s mental health problems, rather than confiscating their guns.
Rep. Nicholas Boldyga, R-Southwick, proposed an amendment requiring anyone who is the subject of an extreme risk protective order to get a mental health evaluation and receive state-run counseling.
Other House Republicans agreed that if someone is suicidal or in danger of hurting others, the person needs the state to provide mental health counseling, rather than just confiscate their guns.
“We’re quick to go after someone’s fundamental constitutional rights, but not so quick to act when problems may exist,” said Rep. Paul Frost, R-Auburn.
Naughton argued that mandating counseling would enhance stigmatization of mental health issues.
Some House Democrats said the issue is about violence, not mental health.
They said lawmakers are dealing with mental health in other bills, including the state budget.
Similarly, Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, introduced an amendment to require a court that issues an extreme risk protective order to use an existing process to pursue emergency restraint and hospitalization for the person.
“If someone is such an extreme risk that they pose a risk to our children, they post a risk to blowing up a school, blowing up a Boston Marathon, blowing up a federal building. … Let’s make sure we use the tools at our discretion,” Norfolk said.