House Democrats this week continued to show that, as they see it, all politics is federal.
And Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz continued to push back on their efforts as a violation of Americans’ constitutional rights.
By a 224-202 largely party-line vote, the House on Thursday passed the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2021.
The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia, was originally filed in April 2021. The recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde breathed new life into it. Five Republicans joined the Democratic majority, while one Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, sided with GOP lawmakers.
The bill would allow law enforcement officers or family members, domestic partners, legal guardians, or even roommates to petition a federal court to take the guns of someone they believe is a threat to themselves or others if the person acquires a firearm or ammunition.
In the news: Steve Forbes Torches Biden’s Finger-Pointing On Bad US Economy ‘People Wonder What Planet He Is On’
The judge must render a decision on the day the petition is filed, or the next day if time does not allow for an immediate ruling. If the judge agrees, the person’s guns could be snagged for up to two weeks, without due process. The petitioner could file for a long-term protection order, which would give the gun owner a court hearing, but could mean having guns taken for up to six months, if he or she loses.
Gaetz continued to denounce the measure as a gun-grabbers delight.
“If Democrats were so worried about crime, they wouldn’t open the border, open the prisons and disarm law-abiding Americans who want to protect themselves or protect their families,” the Fort Walton Beach Republican said in a floor speech.
He noted that one Democrat, Rep. David N. Cicilline of Rhode Island, said during a hearing that he didn’t want to hear any “bulls–t” about people’s constitutional rights.
Gaetz also suggested the bill would create scenarios as from the movie “Minority Report,” in which authorities are supposed to predict crimes before they happen.
He cited the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as an example of what can go right and tragically wrong. Gaetz recalled that a neighbor tipped off the FBI about the shooter’s intent, but agents then “botched” the case by doing nothing because of the “bureaucracy.”
In the news: Four Florida Lottery Scratch-Off Players Rake In $32,000,000 In Combined Winnings This Week
“These red-flag laws violate our Second Amendment rights and our Fifth Amendment rights, and when they are done at the national level, they violate our Tenth Amendment rights,” said Gaetz.
Gaetz also denounced the bill as “bribery,” since the measure allows for states that adopt red-flag laws to qualify for federal grants for police.
“These red-flag laws are used in divorce proceedings, they’re used in every type of dispute, and it shouldn’t be a cudgel that way,” he said.
“We’ll stand up for the rights [of gun owners], and it’s no bulls–t that we will.”
In a message to his constituents on Friday, Gaetz added, “Allowing other individuals to abjectly declare a fellow citizen as a threat, banning them from owning a gun, is not what the Founders envisioned. I am proud to vote against this measure because this certainly not consistent with our liberties and freedoms granted to us in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”