Kamala Harris announces a national office to implement red flag laws

Kamala Harris Joe Biden Merrick Garland DOJ Donald Trump red flag laws

Kamala Harris, DOJ announce a national office to implement red flag laws

With Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida as a backdrop, Kamala Harris announced the opening of the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Resource Center, a national office to be used for the express purpose of using federal power to force states to implement and enforce red flag laws.

The new office will be operated by the federal government as part of Joe Biden’s executive order issued last year establishing the Office of Gun Violence Prevention (via TheGuardian.com):

The White House has announced a new national office to support states implementing “red flag” laws to combat gun violence, an initiative funded by the justice department.

Kamala Harris made the announcement on Saturday during a visit to Parkland, Florida, where she toured the site of the nation’s worst high school shooting, the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre that killed 17.

The vice-president met with victims’ families – many of whom have been active in gun control advocacy since the shooting – and visited the building where 14 students and three staff members were slain.

The launch of the federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center (ERPO) follows Joe Biden’s establishment of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention in September, which the president tapped Harris to lead.

Operated through the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, and paid for by a justice department grant, ERPO is designed to help state and local governments, law enforcement, and others – including behavioral health and social service providers – “optimize” the use of red flag laws, Harris said. (Emphasis mine)

Though Kamala Harris was the one getting all the facetime in front of the camera, a Saturday press release by Merrick Garland let America know that the new ERPO Resource Center will operate under the auspices of the Department of Justice (via Justice.gov):

The Justice Department launched the National Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Resource Center (the Center) which will provide training and technical assistance to law enforcement officials, prosecutors, attorneys, judges, clinicians, victim service and social service providers, community organizations, and behavioral health professionals responsible for implementing laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of people who pose a threat to themselves or others.

“The launch of the National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center will provide our partners across the country with valuable resources to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The establishment of the Center is the latest example of the Justice Department’s work to use every tool provided by the landmark Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to protect communities from gun violence.” (Emphasis mine)

So-called conservatives have rightfully pointed out Joe Biden’s out-of-control use of executive orders to issue unconstitutional gun control measures as he systematically dismantles the Second Amendment, but they are ignoring the fact that his ability to do so comes courtesy of a law supported by Donald Trump and the Republican Party. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — so titled because Trump and Republicans agreed with Biden and Democrats on the issue of gun control — gave Biden the unlimited authority to do what he is doing now in the name of “safety.”

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is the brainchild of Marco Rubio — though he voted against final passage — and it was supported by 9 of the top 11 highest NRA-funded Republican Senators. Included in the list of conservative Republicans capitulating cowards receiving massive sums of money from the NRA were Mitt Romney (UT), Richard Burr (NC), Roy Blunt (MO), Thom Tillis (NC), Joni Ernst (IA), Rob Portman (OH), Todd C. Young (IN), Bill Cassidy (LA), and Pat Toomey (PA).

The NRA has always had a nefarious connection with another pro-gun control Republican, Donald Trump, who supported one of the key items in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act when he was in the White House: the use of red flag laws. Despite claims to the contrary, Trump was a big fan of the idea of seizing the guns of law-abiding citizens without due process using Extreme Risk Protection Orders, aka red flag laws.

In fact, beginning with the 2016 shooting at a gay Orlando nightclub by an Islamic terrorist, Trump was always open to finding new ways to deny Americans the right to bear arms.

The Trump/Republican Party gun control agenda laid dormant until the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February 2018. That’s when NRA-endorsed Donald Trump and the swamp he promised to drain joined Democrats to push for new anti-gun laws. In a “bipartisan” — there’s that word again — meeting with pro-gun control legislators from both parties a few days after the Florida tragedy, Donald Trump told Democrats that he supported taking guns from citizens without due process . . . even if they had committed no crime. He also said police should be able to seize guns “whether they have the right or not” and that government should have the power to “take the guns first, go through due process second.”

Seizing guns without due process (Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments) is how Constitution-shredding red flag laws are implemented. Red flag laws allow citizens to anonymously petition a judge for an order giving police authority to seize all firearms from people deemed a threat to themselves or others … by force if necessary. No warrant. No arrest. No charges.

John Cornyn claimed at the time that the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act wouldn’t prevent people from buying a gun, nor deny people who have their guns seized under red flag laws their due process rights:

“Unless a person is convicted of a crime or is adjudicated mentally ill, their ability to purchase a firearm will not be impacted by this legislation. (Emphasis mine)

Nice talk, but nothing more than political doublespeak used to hide the fact that many people will absolutely be denied their Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm and that many more will have their firearms seized by law enforcement without due process and/or in violation of their Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

The Supreme Court said as much in May 2021 when it ruled in Caniglia v Strom that warrantless gun confiscation from Americans’ homes is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment, voting 9-0 in favor of a Rhode Island man whose firearms were taken by law enforcement without a warrant after his wife expressed concerns that he might hurt himself.

There are many who doubt that Donald Trump in the Republicans helped Joe Biden spread his gun control gospel, but the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, Kamala Harris, red flag laws, and history tell us otherwise.


David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.

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