First Two Weeks of New Jersey’s Red Flag Gun Statute: State Went After One Person Per Day

P. Gardner Goldsmith | October 7, 2019

In a shocking display of real-world, in-your-face, wake-up-America tyranny, gun-wielding government agents across the state of New Jersey shot into action in September to grab privately owned firearms to the tune of one-per-day by mid-month -- which gives us a lot to consider... 

According to Joe Hernandez of WHYY in a piece published September 13:

Judges have approved requests to use the state’s new “red flag” law more than once a day on average since it took effect on Sept. 1. Under the legislation, law enforcement agencies can confiscate the guns of a person who poses a threat to themselves or others after getting judicial approval.

Which could make anyone with even a passing interest about rights wonder why these strongarm agents of the state of New Jersey don’t hang their heads in shame.

Based on NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal's insulting statements, perhaps they don’t have the capacity to feel shame.

‘We are not violating Second Amendment rights,’ said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal at a public training on the new law Thursday. ‘We are just enabling reasonable measures to promote public safety and to make sure we are keeping firearms out of the hands of individuals who shouldn’t have them.’

What Grewal said is offensively wrong on many levels, and it is up to us to not forget what is happening, and not disregard all the levels in which this man and his fellow agents of government show dangerous contempt for basic human rights.

First, something we can offer to Mr. Grewal…

The right to self-defense is not a “Second Amendment Right”. Rights are fundamental, axiomatic, and inherent to each living human being, preexisting the treehouse monkey offices called “The State”. They aren’t provided by the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment was written to try to insure against infringement of our inherent rights by people like you, Mr. Grewal.

And, Mr. Grewal, since you appear in dire need of instruction on this matter, you are violating the Second Amendment. So-called “Red Flag” – or ERPO, “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (an Orwellian set of words if there ever was one) – statutes are the epitome of anti-constitutional. The Second Amendment is clear: the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed” by, oh... aggressive people like you.

And when one uses the word “aggressive”, it’s time to get something absolutely straight. If people have not been convicted of committing felonious violent crimes and aren’t living in the prisons you stock full of folks, Mr. Grewal, they cannot ethically be defined as “people who shouldn’t have” firearms. By definition, the state has not seen fit to arrest them for alleged violent crimes, prosecute them for the crimes, and lock them away from society. If the state is not holding someone prisoner away from society, that person is supposed to be free to exercise his or her full rights. The state is the aggressive entity here, and is, one-hundred percent of the time, the organization that can exist only through the forced expropriation of money from others. Don't portray your gang as "peaceful" or "reasonable" when the never-ending threat of "pay and comply, or else" does not come from the person targeted for gun confiscation.

And, even if one overlooks the fundamental principles and logic being attacked by your fatuous language and by the actions of your government, Mr. Grewal, how has the state come close to “determining” that these individuals shouldn’t have firearms if judges are issuing these unconstitutional and unethical edicts so rapidly?

For the rest of us, that leaves us to consider which aspect of the NJ move is most disturbing:

Is it the speed with which these police officers and judges – sworn to uphold the Constitution -- acted on the so-called “Red Flag” gun grab statute that went into effect in the beginning of September? Is it that judges appear simply to have issued the grab-orders, without any accusation of criminal activity, hearings, trials, juries, or proper jurisprudential procedure? Or is it the fact that state politicians, including Governor Phil Murphey (D), have the unmitigated gall to call themselves “lawmakers” when they don't "make laws" they write statutes, and their actions are so patently, offensively antagonistic to any concept of Natural Law itself?

And to Mr. Grewal: All the rhetoric in the world cannot hide the fact that your “ERPO” statute is a self-made license for gun aggression against innocent people. It is a towering infringement of the Second Amendment, the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unwarranted search and seizure based on probable cause and suspicion of a real crime, the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition against government depriving people of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law” (i.e. a jury trial), the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition against the taking of property without “just compensation” (which already assumes for the government too much power), the Sixth Amendment’s specific requirement of a trial by an impartial jury, to a lawyer, and to due process allowing the accused to address his accuser, and the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

And lest one think it inappropriate to call an ERPO and its enforcement “aggressive”, one merely need check the story of Gary Willis of Glen Burnie, MD, who was shot by Anne Arundel County police acting on an ERPO at his own home at 5:17 a.m. on November 5, last year.

This would be Gary Willis, who had not been convicted of a crime, was not under suspicion of having committed a crime, was not the subject of a public warrant for being suspected of committing a crime, and was awoken at about quarter-after five in the morning by strangers banging on his door.

As The New American explains:

Gary Willis, a resident of Ferndale, Maryland, was awakened Monday morning at 5:17 a.m. when two officers from Anne Arundel County knocked on his door. A law-abiding gun owner, Willis answered the door ‘with a gun in his hand,’ according to a police department spokesman. They were there to serve him with an ‘extreme risk protective order’ and remove his legally owned firearms.

But Mr. Willis, whose niece, Michelle says, “wouldn’t hurt anybody”, did not receive a warrant when he asked.

According to the spokesman, Willis put his firearm down to read the ERPO but then, apparently recognizing that it wasn’t a legal search warrant issued by a judge in accordance with protections guaranteed to him by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but instead was issued by a local judge under Maryland’s newly minted “red flag” law, he retrieved his firearm.

And he was killed by police. Details about who fired first are not clear, but numerous things are: he had every right to own his firearm, he had not committed any crime, the police were breaking most of the Bill of Rights, the police were armed and there contrary to the US Constitution and the fundamental rights the Constitution is supposed to protect, and Mr. Willis was the victim of gun violence instituted by poetic political parasites of Mr. Grewal’s ilk who haven’t the faintest clue about rights or what real aggression is.

The actions of the officers acting on the NJ ERPO speak as to whether one can count on police always “doing the right thing” when rhetorical threats by politicians become real threats through statute. Many people would like to believe cops will resist enforcing such statutes, and many cops would, but the record in New Jersey tells us not to count on it when push comes to shove.

Already, one man is dead because of a Maryland ERPO. And police in New Jersey moved quickly to get in line behind enforcement of the unconstitutional law there.

It's time we see “Red Flag” statutes for what they are: self-determined “permission slips” for armed agents of the state to aggressively approach innocent civilians and undermine their most fundamental right.

This is manifest, real, and happening now.

Isn’t it time we tell the government to back off?