Many states have enacted what are referred to as Red Flag laws. Under these types of measures, if specific people believe that an individual who possesses guns could potentially harm themselves or others, they could petition the court to have the firearms taken away. The individual would also be prohibited from purchasing new guns until the extreme risk protection order (ERPO) expires.
Are Red Flag Laws Constitutional?
The constitutionality of such laws have been questioned. First, in some cases, the individual’s firearms could be taken away without having an opportunity to defend themselves in court. This usually occurs when a temporary ERPO is ordered and the individual is required to surrender their guns until a hearing is scheduled. Such a procedure could be considered a violation of a person’s Constitutional right to due process.
Second, Red Flag laws limit a person’s Second Amendment right to bear arms. If a court decides to issue an ERPO, the individual must give up their firearms without having committed a crime.
STRONG Ohio Bill
Governor Mike DeWine said that Red Flag laws don’t always work. In some cases, they could lead to more dangerous situations. If a person is told they must surrender their firearms, that could set them off and present a potential risk to themselves or others. Or if law enforcement has to go into a person’s house to confiscate the guns, the officers’ lives could be in danger.
DeWine said that, because of the problems that could arise with a Red Flag law in place, it would be difficult for such a measure to pass in the Ohio General Assembly. Instead he proposed expanding on the state’s “pink slip” law and laid out the plan for his STRONG Ohio Bill.
DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted met with members of law enforcement, health officials, and judges to determine the best way to strengthen the state’s gun laws without restricting the Constitutional rights of its citizens.
Under the proposed bill, instead of a person’s guns being taken away from them, the person would be:
- Detained in a mental hospital for 72 hours
- Evaluated by a mental health professional to determine if they pose a risk to society
- Subjected to a protection order that would extend their stay in the facility (if they are deemed a social risk)
- Required to surrender their firearms by selling them or giving them to police or a family member
- Barred from purchasing additional guns
The STRONG Ohio Bill would also put measures in place for when gun sales occur with private sellers. Currently, there is a loophole in gun laws that allow background checks to be bypassed when sales occur between two people. Governor DeWine first tried to close the gap by proposing a bill that would require universal background checks, but it didn’t pass. Under the STRONG Ohio Bill, a person could provide a private seller with a Seller Protection Certificate that shows they passed a background check.
The proposed bill would also make it a felony for a private seller to sell a gun to someone who is not legally allowed to own one.
Reach Out to Rion, Rion & Rion for Skilled Defense
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We will work hard toward getting your charges reduced or dropped. Call us today at (937) 223-9133 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.