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Thomas Gallatin / November 10, 2016

A Vote Against Due Process

Several states vote for more gun control regulations.

Voters in California, Nevada and Washington state all approved more restrictive gun control laws Tuesday. California voters passed an initiative to limit high standard-capacity magazines, and in Nevada voters approved a measure that requires tighter background checks on gun purchases. Both laws are thinly veiled attempts to curtail constitutional rights.

But the most egregious instance occurred In Washington, where voters approved Initiative 1491, which gives judges and law enforcement the freedom to temporarily confiscate an individual’s guns based solely on an “immediate family member’s” request. The family member would simply need to make the request out of concern about the perceived risk that an individual may act violently against others or themselves. The judge would need no evidence beyond the “immediate family member’s” fears. The law’s definition of “immediate family member” is intentionally broad and includes everyone from “aunts, uncles and cousins” to “former roommates.” It’s this kind of broad language that has many Second Amendment proponents crying foul over the trampling of not only gun rights but due process rights. The law leaves it up to a judge’s discretion as to whether an order is issued to deprive individuals of their firearms without granting them notice or a trial.

In the Left’s push to eliminate the right to bear arms, there always have been serious objections voiced by Second Amendment advocates because of the violence done to individual freedoms beyond that of gun ownership rights. Washington’s Initiative 1491 is a classic example of how statists prey upon people’s fears in order to justify eliminating their rights both to bear arms and to due process.

While the election of Donald Trump as president comes with hope for many in regard to the impact his election will have on the Supreme Court, it’s important to remember that Americans’ individual rights and freedoms are never secured by one election or one law’s passage or one court ruling. Rather, they demand daily vigilance. “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty,” said Founding Father Patrick Henry. “Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.”

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