Gun Control

A Resounding Vote Against Due Process and the Second Amendment

Washington's new law authorizing court-ordered disarmament is even worse than California's.

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Like a California law that took effect last January, the gun control initiative that Washington voters overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday authorizes court orders that deprive people of the right to arms without due process. In fact, Initiative 1491, which was backed by Gov. Jay Inslee and attracted support from 71 percent of voters, is even less respectful of due process and the Second Amendment.

Both laws allow police officers and other concerned, meddlesome, or possibly malicious individuals to ask a judge for a "gun violence restraining order" (in California) or an "extreme risk protection order" (in Washington), which prohibits its target from buying or possessing firearms and requires him to surrender any he already owns. In California, orders can be requested by "immediate family member[s]," a category that includes spouses, domestic partners, current or former roommates, parents, step-parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, step-grandparents, siblings, step-siblings, siblings-in-law, children, stepchildren, children-in-law, and grandchildren. The authors of Initiative 1491 thought that list was not long enough, so they added "dating partners," baby mamas (or papas), former legal guardians, and all relatives, including aunts, uncles, and cousins. They also extended the deadline for a former roommate (which could be an ex-spouse or ex-lover) seeking an order from six months after moving out to a year.

Both laws allow judges to issue temporary orders that disarm people without giving them notice or a chance to object. In California, where temporary orders last up to three weeks, petitioners who are not police officers are required to show a "substantial likelihood" that "the subject of the petition poses a significant danger, in the near future, of personal injury to himself, herself, or another." In Washington, where temporary orders last up to two weeks (the one way in which Washington's law is less objectionable), the petitioner has to show "reasonable cause to believe that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to self or others in the near future."

Washington's law is less demanding than California's in its requirements for a one-year order, which can be issued after a hearing at which the respondent finally gets a chance to oppose the petition. In California the petitioner has to show by "clear and convincing evidence" that the respondent "poses a significant danger of personal injury" to himself or others. In Washington the petitioner has to show "by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to self or others." Preponderance of the evidence, which amounts to any probability greater than 50 percent, is a significantly lighter burden of proof than clear and convincing evidence, which means a claim is "highly and substantially more probable to be true than not." In this case, the claim is that the respondent "poses a signficant danger," a phrase Initiative 1491 does not define. Whatever probability of harm amounts to "a significant danger," the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard effectively cuts it in half. So if a 10 percent risk is significant, a person can lose his Second Amendment rights even if there is a 95 percent probability that he will never use a gun to harm himself or anyone else.

Legal judgments are rarely so precise, of course. But by combining a vague criterion ("significant danger") with a light burden of proof (preponderance of the evidence), Initiative 1491 gives judges license to do what they probably will be inclined to do when confronted by a worried or frightened petitioner: err on the side of what seems to be caution by issuing the order, even if the respondent in all likelihood poses no real threat to himself or anyone else. And once someone loses his Second Amendment rights, that fact makes a decision about whether to lift an order or let it expire even easier.

In theory, the target of an order can get it terminated if he can show by a preponderance of the evidence that he no longer poses a significant threat. But as the ACLU of Washington dryly notes, "It is unclear how persons would prove their lack of danger." In any case, a judge has little incentive to lift an order or let it expire when the person it names already has been deemed dangerous. Why take the chance? Hence someone can lose his right to keep and bear arms indefinitely based on little more than the sincere but unjustified fears of people close to him or the false testimony of a vengeful ex-girlfriend, brother-in-law, or third cousin.

The readiness of voters to approve a law that makes it so easy to take away someone's constitutional rights reflects the same disturbing tendencies that underlie popular support for banning gun ownership by people on the federal government's watch lists (a policy that Donald Trump favors despite his eager lip service to the Second Amendment). Supporters of these measures assume suspects are guilty and discount the importance of the right to arms—a combination that should alarm people on the left and the right yet somehow unites them in a bipartisan attack on civil liberties.

[This post has been corrected to clarify the standard for an ex parte, two-week order in Washington.]

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125 responses to “A Resounding Vote Against Due Process and the Second Amendment

  1. Well, other people do suck and are not to be trusted. Not me of course, so this kind of thing will never touch me.

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  2. Well, other people do suck and are not to be trusted, so this seems like a good idea. I’m sure it will never affect me; I’m one of the good people.

  3. I’m a resident of Kentucky, can I still file for an “extreme risk protection order” against Gov jay Inslut?

  4. While I voted against this turd, and governor fuckface, I was under the impression that Washington was one of the more gun-friendly blue states. What the fuck happened?

    1. Seattle.

      1. This.

        Eastern WA has wanted secession for thirty years. King and Thurston counties dictate life to the rest of this red agriculture state

        1. Don’t blame Seattle entirely – almost every county voted for rather than against this piece of crap.

          Just wait until cops use it to disarm minorities. F the police? Hmmm, damned shame if I deemed you a threat. Maybe then the progtards will wake up a bit.

          1. You’re kidding me.

            I got the hell out of town as soon as I left home, but eastern WA was pretty reliably “MOLON LABE, swish educated city boys!”

            If it’s gotten that bad, I weep for the land of my birth.

      2. I blame Episiarch. They see him coming and they’re like “Oh fuck, we need more laws.”

    2. Yeah I thought western states were a little more independent minded and certainly with enough rural folks to realize how dangerous this stuff is.

    3. The goo spreading out of California is infecting border states.

      1. If we’re gonna build a wall, it should be around California once they #calexit.

    4. Progressivism is a disease that slowly destroys its host, in this case Washington state.

  5. Keep buying gun stocks. the rhetoric from DC will hardly improve.

    1. Just the stocks? Not the whole weapon?

      1. Adjustible stocks, vertical foregrips, menacing barrel shrouds, and evil-looking flash hiders and suppressors… the only things they really care about.

        1. +1 shoulder thing that goes up

        2. Give me .55 caliber blackpowder rifle with Hello Kitty decals, a compass, and this thing which tells time.

  6. What is this “right to defend oneself” flapdoodle that I keep hearing about?

    /NYer

    1. “It’s nothing.”

      *brandishes knife*

      “Now give me your wallet!”

      1. That’s nawt a knife. Now this, this is a knife.

        1. That’s a spoon!

          1. Oi, I see you’ve played knifey-spoony before.

            1. ..because its hurts more!!!

    2. Our heroes slowly realize that those who express a lack of desire for self defense are the first line of defense against those who express murderous intent…

      “My god, it’s all so clear to me now…New Yorkers are Pending Casualties!”

  7. Philosophically, if someone shows sufficient evidence of being a danger to themselves or others, evidence that’s sufficient to commit them to a mental institution, then I can see the justification for disarming them, as well.

    That evidence is usually presented to a representative of the court by the hospital and usually consists of the patient’s own behavior, 72 hours of observation, and/or testimony from the patient. If someone attempts to kill themselves, demonstrates uncontrollable violence against other people in conjunction with symptoms of a mental illness, or testifies that they want to kill themselves or hurt someone else, then it’s perfectly acceptable for the courts to keep someone committed to a hospital with sufficient evidence. Protecting a mentally ill person’s rights, in those cases, may require the courts to keep them confined to a hospital for treatment.

    1. Why is it morally necessary to protect someone who wants to kill his self from his self?

      1. You’re missing an important piece of the argument.

        People should generally be free to make choices that hurt themselves.

        It’s when–they’re incapable of making choices for themselves–that their rights should be protected.

        Children’s rights should be protected because people are valuable.

        The rights of old people with dementia should be protected because people are valuable.

        The rights of people with acute symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia should be protected because they’re valuable.

        You have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Exercising your rights requires the ability to make choices for yourself. If you can’t make choices for yourself, then the state has a legitimate responsibility in protecting your rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.

        1. It’s when–they’re incapable of making choices for themselves–that their rights should be protected.

          But what’s the test for that, Ken?

          Does the person need to be terminally ill? Or can he or she simply be someone who is sick of life’s bullshit, like Nikki?

          I can guarantee you that the courts would treat anyone who wants to die as someone “incapable” of making choices for themselves.

          1. So long as you only make choices Top Men approve of, and it doesn’t occur to the Top Men that there are power and financial incentives to abuse you for their own gain, this works out perfectly fine.

          2. “But what’s the test for that, Ken?”

            If we had clearly defined rules in criminal cases that were clear despite perspective, the relative strength of evidence and testimony, and didn’t vary regardless of extenuating circumstances, we wouldn’t need juries or judges or criminal trials.

            Making these decisions requires people who are subject to perspective to make judgements.

            I knew a guy who suffered from severe episodes with symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. Early on, he tried to sever his vocal cords with a chain saw (only partially succeeded) to prevent himself from talking to himself. I understand he tried to kill family members thinking they were other people who were trying to kill or had killed and replaced his family members.

            For a lack of mens rea, he can never be convicted of a crime.

            Because some calls are tougher to make than others doesn’t mean the courts shouldn’t make any judgements either.

            They locked him up when he chain sawed his own throat.

            I don’t have a problem with that.

            The violent stuff happened after he was released.

            Committing him after that was presumably an easier call for the court to make, but it was made on the same legitimate basis as the first time.

            Because the line between self-defense and murder can be a matter of reasonable dispute to outside observers doesn’t mean those judgements shouldn’t be made.

          3. “But what’s the test for that, Ken?”

            If we had clearly defined rules in criminal cases that were clear despite perspective, the relative strength of evidence and testimony, and didn’t vary regardless of extenuating circumstances, we wouldn’t need juries or judges or criminal trials.

            Making these decisions requires people who are subject to perspective to make judgements.

            1. Courts often have statutory factors they must consider when making decisions in, e.g., parenting plan amendments and criminal sentencing.

              What factors would you propose here, Ken?

              1. Theoretically, the same factors they use in determining whether a patient should be confined to hospital treatment are probably good enough.

                In California, it was always about whether the person was a threat to himself or others.

                Again, this determination is made by a judge after mental health professionals make their case to a representative of the court.

                If there was insufficient evidence to confine the patient for observation, that’s called “kidnapping”. It’s against the law.

                I believe the tort is “false imprisonment”.

                If it’s after a criminal proceeding when someone is found to be not guilty by reason of insanity, the judge will effectively sentence the patient to a mental institution for the criminally insane for years at a time, but for everyone else, when they commit you, the hospital has to regularly justify that you’re still a danger to yourself or others to keep holding you.

                It should be the same with your Second Amendment rights. Even if they’re for different time periods, prohibiting you from having a firearm should only be for a certain period of time. If you want to be able to contest that ban, you should be able to. Not sure the burden of proof should be on you.

        2. Are old people with dementia really so valuable that they should be locked up somewhere and have their rights taken away? If they are so valuable, why are they not too valuable to be locked away involuntarily?

          1. “Are old people with dementia really so valuable that they should be locked up somewhere and have their rights taken away?”

            You’re confusing taking people’s rights away with protecting them.

            No, the Scientologists can’t come in get some old lady with dementia to sign her property over to them.

            That is one example of when the law protects someone’s rights from abuse–meant to show that the government has a legitimate responsibility in protecting the rights of people who are incapable of making choices for themselves.

            Again, self-defense is another example of the same thing. Morally, maybe you have a responsibility to let intruders murder you in the night. Legally, the government has a responsibility to protect the rights of people who can’t make choices for themselves. And if you’re defending your own life, you don’t really have a choice.

            These are examples of the government stepping in to do its legitimate duty in protecting individual rights.

            1. You’re confusing taking people’s rights away with protecting them.

              See my comment below.

          2. You’re imagining that this can somehow justify the government coming in and depriving people who are capable of making choices of their right to make choices for themselves–but nothing I’ve written here justifies that. In fact, it all condemns it.

            What I’m saying is that if you can’t show that the person in question doesn’t have the capability to make choices for himself, then you have no business messing with their Second Amendment rights.

            I’m also saying that even if you can show that they do not posses the capability to make such choices for themselves, then you still have to account for their due process and Fifth Amendment rights.

            Because what they’re doing in Washington does neither sufficiently, it’s unacceptable.

            Just because you should have to demonstrate that a person is legitimately incapable of making choices for himself and just because you should have to respect his Fifth Amendment and due process rights–that doesn’t mean that dangerous lunatics shouldn’t be committed and have their guns confiscated. Just because this law in Washington State is stupid doesn’t mean I have to be stupid, too.

            1. You’re imagining that this can somehow justify the government coming in and depriving people…

              See my comment below.

      2. Who said anything about morals? I just don’t want the people who owe me money killing themselves.

        1. Not unless they are making me the sole beneficiary of their vast fortunes…

    2. The point here is these laws set an absurdly low standard for violating someone’s 2nd amendment rights. There’s already laws in place for incarcerating dangerous mentally ill people, and those laws have to observe strict standards to safeguard individual rights versus govt tyranny.

      These new laws, and these “list” movements generally, are basically stating that we need to give the govt the special ability to violate the protections for constitutional rights we have against them. That should take a lot more than a simmering crime problem to justify.

      1. If Trump sticks to his SCOTUS list, this should get slapped down. Eventually.

        1. We can only hope.

      2. “The point here is these laws set an absurdly low standard for violating someone’s 2nd amendment rights.”

        Yeah, just to be clear, that’s more or less what I’m saying.

        I’m spelling out why it’s alright to commit someone to a mental institution. If they aren’t going through the exact same procedures to take someone’s guns away, then what they’re doing is wrong. The procedures I’m familiar with, anyway, are consistent with the Fifth Amendment.

        You cannot confine a patient for observation without sufficient cause just like you can’t arrest a suspected criminal without reasonable suspicion.

        You cannot hold a patient beyond the initial period of observation without a diagnosis just like you can’t hold a suspect for more than 24 hours without charging him with a crime.

        You cannot commit a patient after the diagnosis without sufficient evidence and a judgement from the court just like you can’t convict someone of a crime without sufficient evidence and a trial.

        Once you’ve accounted for a mental patient’s Fifth Amendment and other rights, just like in a commitment proceeding, maybe a judge should also be free to order a patient’s guns to be confiscated–just like he orders a patient to be committed for a certain period of time.

        If they’re not taking each and every one of those due process considerations into account, then they have no business taking anyone’s guns away for any length of time.

        1. I think you go the wall of text route in the hopes that people won’t bother to dig into the bullshit.

          1. That’s not a fair assessment, Sparky. Ken makes good faith efforts to explain his positions.

            1. I’m not so sure of that. Most of the time it seems to me that he’s just piling on words and accusing others of missing his point. If he can’t be arsed to make his point succinctly, there’s not really much point to continuing to engage.

              1. Hey. Some of us struggle with verbosity. Don’t judge, you don’t know our lives.

                1. yeah I was just thinking, overly verbose and rambling explanations are what you get for free. If I’m gonna edit it down to a quality product it comes at a cost.

              2. “Most of the time it seems to me that he’s just piling on words and accusing others of missing his point. If he can’t be arsed to make his point succinctly, there’s not really much point to continuing to engage.”

                What you call verbosity is probably about citing examples.

                The software limits us to about a couple of paragraphs.

                A two paragraph response containing examples is actually pretty concise.

                If your responses are overly generalized, maybe they should be reconsidered.

                If you don’t have any counter examples, maybe you should find some.

                1. What you call verbosity is probably about citing examples.

                  You clearly have more time and desire available to post multi-post screeds than I have time and desire to read them. I’ll usually check out your first one and respond with a question if I have one. And then you prove that you are incapable of answering a simple question simply by posting another multi-post screed. Conversations shouldn’t consist of one party constantly speechifying at everyone else.

        2. you can’t arrest a suspected criminal without reasonable suspicion.

          Probable cause, dude, probable cause. Reasonable suspicion is all cops need for Terry stops.

          /lawyer pedant.

      3. “These new laws, and these “list” movements generally, are basically stating that we need to give the govt the special ability to violate the protections for constitutional rights we have against them”

        The following is stolen from a different blog and. ot my words, but they ring true.

        If you believe that the government has the authority to create, maintain and enforce a list of citizens who, in the opinion of that same government may not exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, HOW WILL YOU KEEP YOUR NAME OFF OF THAT LIST?

    3. Philosophically, if someone shows sufficient evidence of being a danger to themselves or others, evidence that’s sufficient to commit them to a mental institution, then I can see the justification for disarming them, as well.

      I would presume that people led off to a mental institution are probably pretty well disarmed first.

      What about the opposite? If a person is dangerous enough to himself or others to confiscate his firearms, how is leaving him without supervision sufficient protection for the community?

      The other question I have is whether this is another “mental health law” like California’s, which has no mental health component. IOW they send the SWAT team, break in someone’s door, handcuff him for officer safety, ransack his house, take all the guns and ammo, and humiliate him before his family and neighbors. No one, anywhere in the process, much less anyone with any mental health certification, makes any attempt to evaluate the person’s mental health. Instead, they just take the handcuffs off and leave.

      Therapeutically, that really sucks. If the person is mentally ill, a SWAT raid is a pretty good push off the edge. If he’s not, it isn’t justified, and still will pretty much piss him off.

      1. Too true.

        Setting the bar so low as ‘any one in your family’ is pretty ridiculous. There are progs in just about everyone’s family who believe that anyone with a gun in their house is a psychopathic murderer just waiting for his time to shine.

        I feel this is similar to what past tyrannies have done. Now all they have to do is change what constitutes crazy and voila! you have family turning in other family. Families breaking apart while the government gets to come in and take away their ability to defend themselves.

        1. Feature, not a bug.

          CB

    4. If we had used this logic in the 90s, Cobain would possibly be alive! We must not prevent whiney little shts access to their face full of double aught buck, but should encourage the acquisition!

  8. We make consistent exceptions for people who can’t make choices for themselves, and it’s not just the insanity defense. Children can typically only be held to contracts for necessities–because they aren’t old enough to make such choices for themselves. Statutory rape protects children who are too young to make choices for themselves. When you shoot someone in self-defense, that is generally not a crime because you didn’t have a choice. When you’re sloshed, you really shouldn’t drive. Rights are the right to make choices for yourself, and, generally speaking, whenever someone loses the ability to make choices for themselves, the law should protect their rights.

    In conjunction with symptoms of a mental illness and with sufficient evidence that the patient is a threat to themselves or other people, if and when a judge decides that protecting a patient’s rights requires confiscating that patient’s guns, I think that’s probably just as acceptable from a due process perspective as confining them to a mental hospital.

    All the other situations they’re talking about are bogus.

    1. “… generally speaking, whenever someone loses the ability to make choices for themselves, the law should protect their rights.”

      I think the issue is that when we’re talking about mental illness, it’s extremely easy to stretch the criteria to include anyone the government doesn’t like. Compared to bodily diseases like Tay-Sachs disease or HIV, mental illness is indefinite. It’s not like you either have it or you don’t.

      You don’t have to look very far to find lefty psychologists trying to make the case that non-Democrat viewpoints stem from a deep psychological dysfunction. Is it really out of the question that states like California or New York might argue that Republican voters are clearly delusional and should have their gun rights taken away?

      And when you get into the “credible threat” thing, it’s even blurrier. It would be a cinch for a girlfriend to pick a fight with her boyfriend, then point to his angry reaction as evidence that he’s a clear and present danger to her safety.

  9. Damn squirrels!

  10. We make consistent exceptions for people who can’t make choices for themselves, and it’s not just the insanity defense. Children can typically only be held to contracts for necessities–because they aren’t old enough to make such choices for themselves. Statutory rape protects children who are too young to make choices for themselves. When you shoot someone in self-defense, that is generally not a crime because you didn’t have a choice. When you’re sloshed, you really shouldn’t drive. Rights are the right to make choices for yourself, and, generally speaking, whenever someone loses the ability to make choices for themselves, the law should protect their rights.

    In conjunction with symptoms of a mental illness and with sufficient evidence that the patient is a threat to themselves or other people, if and when a judge decides that protecting a patient’s rights requires confiscating that patient’s guns, I think that’s probably just as acceptable from a due process perspective as confining them to a mental hospital.

    All the other situations they’re talking about are bogus.

    1. a patient’s rights requires confiscating that patient’s guns, I think that’s probably just as acceptable from a due process perspective as confining them to a mental hospital.

      Except the process to commit someone to a mental hospital against their will is incredibly rigorous. You have to have a CDMHP do a full psych evaluation– and that psych evaluation is looking for mentally ill people, not a grumpy guy who just went through a nasty divorce. After that, people testify in “mental health” court, including the CDMHP and provides testimony to a judge in a mental health court. The person identified as mentally ill has an attorney representing him who actually does everything in his/her power to keep out out of the mental hospital. Then once committed, this process is reviewed and re-reviewed over time at which point, after medication and therapy– you can be released. In addition to that, there are all kinds of limitations and strict time limits (measured in hours) for this process to happen. If any deadlines are missed, the person deemed to be mentally ill is immediately released.

      There’s no such process to remove your 2nd amendment rights.

  11. The authors of Initiative 1491 thought that list was not long enough, so they added “dating partners,” baby mamas (or papas), former legal guardians, and all relatives, including aunts, uncles, and cousins.

    The good part is that now there will be less gun violence now that baby mamas have recourse to tell on their dangerous gang-banger baby papas and…. what are you guys laughing at?

  12. baby mamas (or papas)

    So if a woman wants to kill her baby a man will be able to legally prevent her from doing so… finally!

    *runs*

  13. Suppose that you have a girlfriend that you want dead. You know that she armed herself, and getting shot doesn’t sound like much fun. So you go to your friendly neighborhood police and say “I think she’s going to kill herself, please take away her gun!” And they say “Yeah, she might have postpartum depression. Granted.” Now you’ve got three weeks to hunt her at your leisure.

    WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA/WASHINGTON!

    1. Obviously that means we need to disarm any person the woman has ever know, just to be safe!

      You don’t want people to get killed, do you?

      1. Don’t give them anymore ideas.

        1. the California law already has a requirement to search the houses of friends and families to get the guns of the person in question .

  14. Suppose that you have a girlfriend that you want dead. You know that she armed herself, and getting shot doesn’t sound like much fun. So you go to your friendly neighborhood police and say “I think she’s going to kill herself, please take away her gun!” And they say “Yeah, she might have postpartum depression. Granted.” Now you’ve got three weeks to hunt her at your leisure.

    WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA/WASHINGTON!

    1. This morning on the Discovery channel: When squirrels attack!

    1. Again/still!

  15. The squirrels are strong with this post.

  16. Washington’s law is also less demanding in its requirements for a one-year order, which can be issued after a hearing at which the respondent finally gets a chance to oppose the petition. In California the petitioner has to show by “clear and convincing evidence” that the respondent “poses a significant danger of personal injury” to himself or others.

    And of course the fact that someone owns a gun is sufficient evidence to prove someone poses a significant danger to himself or others.

  17. Congress shall make no law…..

    “That language just isn’t clear enough for us. We need to expand on it and add regulations.”

    They’re not even trying anymore.

    1. “…….Shall not be infringed”

      What could that possibly mean?!?

      “Well, if we apply ‘intermediate scrutiny’…
      * fumbles around with slide rule *

  18. Look, it’s We The People, not You The People. Are you that anti-American that you would deny We should get to decide what’s for your own good? Go back to Russia if you love dictatorship so much that you think only you should be able to decide what’s for your own good, you damn dirty commie!

  19. Dear Mr. Sullum, this law was passed by tolerant and inclusive liberals in Washington, not by Donald Trump.

    Seriously, Reason staff, your candidate lost. Stop being butthurt and get over it.

    1. O.o. wut? Sarcasm?

      1. I couldn’t figure this one out either. Maybe he thinks Washington D.C. rather than Washington state. And don’t get me started on all those New Mexicans coming across the border taking our jobs.

  20. I live in Seattle, and it’s amazing, because leftists got virtually every single item on their electoral wishlist granted at the state level, from this bill, to the billions they’re going to waste on lightrail expansion that will take decades, to some union crony crap that they disingenuously disguised as protection from identity theft. The only thing that didn’t pass was their carbon tax, and that the progressives actually opposed for not wasting even more money. And despite all of this, people are walking around looking half-dead as if Tuesday was a terrorist attack that killed millions of people or something.

    1. The left will only be happy once it annihilates all dissent.

    2. Trump won. The world has turned into a cube. Reality is fundamentally different now.

      1. On NPR they’re interviewing people who actually believe that as of five minutes ago, if you attend a “peaceful, passive rally” the government will take your picture, put it into a database and persecute you for it.

        Because 6 minutes ago, this would never have happened.

        1. They have recently discovered everything that Obama has been doing, all of a sudden and at once, and are simply outraged. This was expected. The left suddenly remembers it’s supposed to be against government overreach as soon as they’re out of office. That’s more or less a massive failure of Republicans as well, but it’s a distinction without much difference.

  21. 71%. Seven…one percent. Think about that… when was the last time anything anywhere passed by 71%?

    1. I know, right? Why not 69 so that I’d at least get something out of it!

  22. No one will use this against Muslims. No one.

    1. Very few will use it against anyone, methinks. Who really thinks that further antagonizing a violent person will make them safer?

      1. It will be used against people who are not violent. I see this as becoming a common first move in an unfriendly divorce (in addition to or instead of unfounded accusations of spousal/child abuse).

        1. Exactly this. It’s going to be vindictive spouses or “friends” that fall into the law’s special categories.

      2. Trooper Tiller of Seneca? If by antagonize you mean shoot them in the back when they’re not carrying, lots of DemoGOP cops think preemptive murder is safer.

  23. As a libertarian, I’m not completely aghast at such laws. Libertarians like to say that decisions should be made at the most local possible level. You can’t get much more local than the immediate family. I think we can trust most people to make such a move prudently, and not lightly. After all, if they are worried about a person using a gun to do harm, they also have reason to fear violence if the gun is taken away.

    1. Right. Because people within families (or romantic or roommate relationships) never have fallings out and would never think of using a law like this to punish and humiliate somebody they were angry with.

    2. Let’s see…

      The accused has no right to confront his accuser
      The standard of proof is “preponderance of the evidence” which is far weaker than “beyond a reasonable doubt”
      There is no jury of the accused’s peers
      There is no protection against double jeopardy
      The court can obtain an inventory of the accused’s property without probable cause
      The court can seize the accused’s property without probable cause
      The state can retain the accused’s property without a conviction
      The state can deprive the accused of his legal right to possess or obtain certain kinds of property without a conviction
      If an ex parte order is issued, the effect is immediate with no protection whatsoever for the accused
      The burden of proof to have the order lifted is upon the accused

      … what part of this is even remotely libertarian?

      1. or even constitutional, but that paper was used as an ass wipe a long time ago.

      2. worse,all that goes against the VERY STRICT “Peoples right to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” prohibition.

        IMO,to override such a strict prohibition,one should have to have more than unsupported claims,they should have to demonstrate an overriding NEED for such a restriction,and that such a restriction would actually have a reasonable measure of effectiveness.
        (and not unduly curtail the Constitutional RIGHT)

        It disgusts me that SCOTUS isn’t demanding such support before ruling on the Constitutionality of such laws.

    3. Libertarians like to say that decisions should be made at the most local possible level.

      To a degree, you’re right. Sucks to be a Washingtonian. However, locality is a proxy for reduction of force and/or government power and isn’t exactly the end goal. Passing laws that involve/require police is actively promoting the use of (legal) force and expanding government powers. Ideally, a spouse would have legal ownership rights to said guns and/or their storage. Truly amicable disagreements (i.e. don’t require police involvement for crimes committed) can/should be resolved without legal intervention. Additionally, there are laws on the books and judgements enforceable under law that can effectively achieve the same ends.

  24. Black gun owners in WA should be a bit concerned.

    “Your ex-wife says you might be at threat, give me your gun”

    “Here it is, officer.”

    “OMG he has a gun!”

    Bang.

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  26. Kristallnacht laws are always a good draw. You wouldn’t want Jews to be able to resist genocide, right? So why let godless hippies have Second Amendment rights?

  27. So, what is the process for getting your guns back?

  28. So, what is the process for getting your guns back?

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  31. Just can’t get over that TDS, eh?

    “banning gun ownership by people on the federal government’s watch lists (a policy that Donald Trump favors despite his eager lip service to the Second Amendment). ”

    You mean how Trump described almost the exact policy that the NRA has publically pushed for years? Damn that anti-2nd amendment NRA. How dare they.

  32. Marxists and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States into becoming an unarmed population. Unarmed populations have been treated as slaves and chattel since the dawn of history.

    The Second Amendment foes lying about gun control – Firearms are our constitutionally mandated safeguard against tyranny by a powerful federal government.

    Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control.

    No matter what any president, senator, congressman, or hard-left mainstream media hookers tell you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America..

    American Thinker

    1. These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens’ ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family. Ask the six million Jews, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the Nazi death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back. Ask the murdered martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto about gun control.

      Their single agenda is to control you after you are disarmed. When the people who want to control you hold the absolute power of life and death over your family, you have been enslaved.
      Will we stand our ground, maintaining our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights, fighting those who would enslave us?

      American Thinker

  33. Is there some antibiotic available to combat the electoral stupidity displayed here? POssibly not, however regarding the vote results, the following admonition comes to mind. Act in illconsidered haste, repent at leisure.

    1. Let’s see: raise the voting age back to 21, and have only landowners and taxpayers vote.

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  36. Progressives are stupid beyond imagination. Look at the list of crimes Californians agreed to reclassify as non violent felonies last Tuesday when then also approved their moronic ammo background check law.

    Rape by intoxication
    Rape of an unconscious person
    Human Trafficking involving sex acts with minors
    Domestic Violence involving trauma
    Failing to register as a sex offender
    Lewd acts against a child
    Drive-by shooting
    Assault with a deadly weapon
    Hostage taking
    Attempting to explode a bomb at a hospital or school
    Supplying a firearm to a gang member
    Hate crime causing physical injury
    Arson
    Discharging a firearm on school grounds
    False imprisonment of an elder through violence

    How do you classify crimes that contain the words – assault, violence, physical injury, trauma and rape as “non violent”. No state in the union has a higher concentration of clueless, ignorant people than the progressive mecca of
    Kalifornia. However, seems Washington has decided to fight for the title.

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