On August 15th, I published an article entitled “Red Flags”: Fine for Football, but not Society, which was my first Pro 2nd Amendment article here on iVoteTennesse & iVoteAmerica and this article makes my 3rd. I’m heartened that the Sullivan County Commission in Tennessee on November 21st, voted to pass a resolution via the consent agenda to make Sullivan County a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary County.” These types of resolutions being passed by Cities and Counties across the country aren’t, in fact, laws nor do they enjoin any State Legislature from passing “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” aka “Red Flag” laws nor do they bind law enforcement from enforcing them. What these resolutions do is send a message to State Legislators, especially ones representing the Cities and Counties who’ve passed them that they are against the State from passing them.
(Full disclosure: Sullivan County is my home county).
AKA “Red Flag” Laws
Extreme Risk Protection Orders aka “Red Flag” laws (and other names) “authorize family members, household members, and law enforcement officers to petition a court to restrict an individual’s access to firearms. If the court finds that the person presents a danger to him- or herself or others, the person must surrender his or her firearms to law enforcement officials and is prohibited from buying, selling, or possessing firearms for a certain amount of time.” Prior to 2018, five states had “Red Flag” in place, while eight states enacted them in 2018 while two others considered them. As of April 2019, 15 states, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington have enacted these idiotic laws.
Republican Super Majority
Tennessee has room for only three Red Flags, the Tennessee State Flag and the Red Flag used during Tennessee Titan football games when a coach wants to contest a ruling on the field and a proverbial Red Flag that citizens can throw when their Legislators make bad calls.
In Tennessee, we have a Republican “supermajority” in the State Legislature, and with Republicans holding such sway and being the party that fights for the 2nd Amendment, one would think the 2nd Amendment is safe in Tennessee. However, in 2019, the Tennessee General Assembly considered and sent for further study, proposed “Red Flag” legislation. I know that Nashville insiders would say something like “that’s their way of killing bad legislation.” I have a novel idea, don’t even introduce bad idea legislation such as “Red Flag” laws in the first place. It’s sad that the subject would even be broached, let alone entertained to the point that they’re referred to a study. “Red Flag” laws not only violate the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but they also violate all or parts of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 10th, and 14th Amendments. (see below or click here for the exact text).
“Shall Not Be Infringed”
Apparently, the words “Shall Not Be Infringed” don’t mean much or anything to many Americans these days. Even in states where Democrats are the majority, they’ve long forgotten what John Stuart Mill warned about and that is the “Tyranny of the Majority.” In other words, they feel since they have a majority in their respective Legislatures that they can simply pass legislation that infringes on the Constitutional Rights of the minority. Speaking of being infringed, my home state of Tennessee has language in the State Constitution that allows for the State Legislature to infringe on the rights of Tennesseans.
Article I, Section 26 of the Tennessee Constitution states:
“That the citizens of this state have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.”
When I read this, the saying “there’s always a but” came to mind, and in this case, it’s a big one. The Tennessee Constitution allows for the State Legislature to infringe on the right of their fellow Tennesseans, by giving them the “power…to regulate the wearing of arms.” Some will argue that this means places like schools, hospitals, and certain other places. However, the language is broad and could be applied to everyone anywhere in Tennessee. I say, we repeal Section 26 of Article I from the Tennessee Constitution and adopt the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or the language contained in Section 21 of Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution which states “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.”
More Than Just the 2nd Amendment
“Red Flag” laws not only violate the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but they also violate all or parts of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 10th, and 14th Amendments.
Amendment II: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Amendment V: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Amendment XIV-Section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Endowed by Our Creator
The Declaration of Independence says that we’re “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”. These rights are also known as “Natural Rights” and are rights that no government constituted by man has the right to take away. John Adams in 1765 said these rights “cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws” as they’re “derived from the Great Legislature of the universe”. Among the many Natural Rights is the right to self-protection which extends to one’s family and property.
Sadly, throughout human history, we’ve seen where governments grow and constantly move to expand their powers outside of Constitutional limits. When this happens, it’s up to every freedom-loving American patriot to resist and fight back. In fact, this is exactly what dozens of county commissions in Tennessee (and other states) are calling for in their resolutions. They’re also calling for all local elected officials to include their lesser magistrates and Sheriff’s to lead the charge against state and federal Constitutional overreach.
At the end of the day, the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of our Nation. Additionally, there are countless precedents set in many court cases that support my stance against “Red Flag” laws. To name a few, I urge everyone to check out the following cases, the United States v. Miller (1939), Miranda v. Arizona (1966), Prinz v. United States (1997), District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010).