Though he says he doesn’t support Nevada’s new red flag law, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Allen said he will enforce it when it rolls out officially in Jan. 2020.
Allen’s controversial stance on the legislation that allows police to confiscate firearms from individuals accused — not convicted — of being a threat to themselves or others has made him the subject of a recall campaign.
The sheriff said in an interview with The Nevada Independent that those seeking a recall have a beef with state lawmakers, not with him.
“They’re taking up a fight against me on something the Legislature has to do, and they think I have the authority not to follow the law,” Allen said last Wednesday. “I do oppose this law. However, it’s not my job to oppose a law; my job is to enforce the law.”
Proponents of the recall believe that Allen should follow in the footsteps of Humboldt County commissioners, who on Oct. 7, passed a “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolution that explicitly states, “Neither the United States Congress nor the Nevada legislature should entertain consideration of any legislation that would infringe on constitutionally protected rights under the Second Amendment.”
But Allen told Breitbart News that his hands are tied on the matter.
“Where in the U.S. Constitution, or the Nevada constitution, can I pick and choose what laws I enforce?” he asked, adding, “There’s no legal basis for the sanctuary declaration, for a sanctuary basis.”
The sheriff did say that he’s “never violated anybody’s constitutional rights, nor will I” and that he supports the 2A and everyone’s constitutional rights.
But if the red flag law is unjust or unconstitutional, and Allen opts to enforce it, as he plans on doing, wouldn’t that undermine his claim that he would never violate one’s right to keep and bear arms?
Moreover, how exactly does he plan on seizing firearms when one has been flagged?
On that second question, concerns have been raised about SWAT-team-type raids.
“What the questioning was is, ‘[Do] you get a SWAT team to go into the house?’ We do whatever we do to make it as safe as possible. And if what’s as safe as possible is to wait for that individual to leave the house, then that’s what we’ll do,” Allen explained. “Most of the time there will be other laws that we’ll be able to apply.”
Hmmm. Maybe they’ll wait for the homeowner to leave before they confront him. Maybe they won’t. But we do know how agencies in other states conduct their gun-seizing operations. Oftentimes, tactical teams deploy in the pre-dawn hours of the day to catch the accused off guard. Why? Because that’s the safest approach for the officers — not the homeowner.
One person has already been slain as a result of a red flag order. A 61-year-old Baltimore man was fatally shot by law enforcement after police attempted to seize his guns on Nov. 5, 2018, at around 5:17 a.m. The man’s niece was confused by the incident, chalking up the initial red flag order against the man as “family being family.”
“I’m just dumbfounded right now,” she told local media. “My uncle wouldn’t hurt anybody. They didn’t need to do what they did.”
Maybe Sheriff Allen will be more judicious when it comes to enforcing Nevada’s red flag law. Maybe he’ll go the extra mile to ensure that the target is truly a threat to herself/himself or others. Or maybe he’ll just follow orders, come what may.
After filing the petition to recall Sheriff Allen, those pushing for a recall will have 90 days to collect 502 signatures. Should they succeed, their grievance will be reviewed before a recall committee.