A new resource center in the DOJ has a lot of people worried about their Second Amendment rights

March 25 – The Department of Justice has created the National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center to combat gun violence. 

The center will provide training and technical assistance to law enforcement, judges, clinicians, and other groups responsible for implementing red flag laws.

Red flag laws permit state courts to temporarily take firearms from a person who the court believes may be a danger to themselves or others. 

As of May last year, 21 states and the District of Columbia have some form of red flag laws on the books. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “This one better get some of your attention if you are a gun rights activist.”

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “This is an issue that continues to pop up on the radar of different states. I’m not hearing much about this in Pennsylvania. In Maryland, they have it. This would allow a court to temporarily remove somebody’s firearms while there’s a more thorough investigation or examination on whether the owner needs mental health treatment or some other kind of help. These laws are very controversial. There are a number of states that have implemented these with varying degrees of success, for lack of a better term. Some states will claim they believe that these laws have helped prevent violence, but yet you have other states and you can cite other examples, including in Maryland, where there have been tragic outcomes where police went in and tried to exercise one of these red flag type laws. So it is still very controversial. I’ll also just add it’s a very unsettled area of law, too. For the most part, federal courts have upheld the legality of these red flag laws but there are still challenges pending all over the place.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “I find this kind of disturbing because they’re going to be taking money. We can thank the bipartisan, Safer Communities Act which, amazingly, was started by Marco Rubio, which is the biggest gun control legislation that we’ve had in almost 30 years. There’s a lot of objectionable material in that from all my background reading, reminding myself what that was all about. But this idea that they’ve established this National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center and they’re going to give $750 million, allowing for training and resources. It’s the carrot method. When they offer money. Well, then these places want to take that money and then you find they may be over utilizing or over emphasizing, maybe over handing out these kinds of things to people because it means more money coming in for the municipal localities potentially, and I just find it disturbing that we have a huge federal push in this way for this and as many Congressmen are starting to point out, there was no Congressional oversight for this particular office, even though the framework was set up in that bipartisan bill that was passed the bipartisan Safer Communities Act.”

Barkdoll said, “Again, the devil is often in the details of these things. Sometimes when you hear about information sharing, and budget allocation setup for these things, there’s where you get onto the slippery slope, because oftentimes it’s well after the fact, you learn about maybe some information was shared that shouldn’t have been shared or maybe some rulemaking was occurring that should not have occurred in this regard. Look, we know at the federal level, they are routinely doing these workarounds when it can’t get done legislatively or maybe it can’t even get done through executive order, then there’s even these other options and this seems to be falling into that other options category. You wonder, is this the kind of thing that will get challenged? But it will take a very long time for a court to say that it was illegal and of course in the interim, this thing is up and running and people are in this new office.”