In conjunction with every anti-gun group under the sun, New York state lawmakers are pushing a bill to make confiscation easier.
Known as S7133/A8976, the bill would establish a system where family members and law enforcement can petition a state court to issue an Extreme Risk Protection Orders or ERPO against an individual. If the ERPO is approved by the court, the individual will be prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms. That individual will also be forced to surrender any firearms to authorities.
The ERPO lasts for a period of one year. During that timeframe, the individual will have exactly one opportunity to make a case as to why they should get their 2A rights restored. If they succeed, seized guns will be returned and the records will be sealed. If they fail to convince the court, they will remain unarmed for the remainder of the order.
The ERPO can be extended beyond a year. All it takes is another petition from law enforcement or a family member to renew the ERPO. If the ERPO is not re-upped after the first year, the individual’s rights will be restored and the records will be sealed.
“Five years ago, New York enacted the NY SAFE Act, making our gun violence prevention laws among the strongest in the nation. But even though we have the 48th lowest rate of gun deaths in the country, gun violence is still hurting New Yorkers — and we have a responsibility to act,” said Sen. Brain Kavanagh, a sponsor of the measure.
“New Yorkers consistently and broadly support stronger laws, and Extreme Risk Protection Orders are a commonsense reform that could make a real difference,” Kavanagh continued. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in government and this extraordinary coalition to pass ERPO legislation this year.”
The bill has the backing of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, the New York Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and Prosecutors Against Gun Violence.
In theory, ERPO make sense. In theory, so does communism. But in reality, these ERPO are a way for the government to disarm folks who haven’t done anything. Who have committed zero crimes. Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Right? ERPO change the paradigm to guilty until one can prove his innocence.
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ERPO are troubling for another reason. They only work on law-abiding and responsible people — you know, the exact people who don’t need an ERPO to begin with! Homicidal gangsters and mental defectives aren’t going to obey an ERPO. Heck, both are already prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms. Slapping them with another gun ban isn’t going to stop them if they’re determined. Not at all.
Well, you might say, what about those family members with depression? I’d argue do you really want to get the state involved? Wouldn’t that be a breach of trust? Wouldn’t that fracture the relationship? If your dad is having suicidal ideations, are you really going to petition a court to disarm him? Wouldn’t you step in yourself and get him help? Wouldn’t you say, “Hey dad, we’re worried about you. I know you’re going through some hard times, do you mind if I hold onto these until you feel better?”
Getting him help is priority number one. Because at the end of the day, even if you or the state disarm him, if he doesn’t change his mind about killing himself, he’ll find a way. Treatment is the key. With or without guns a person that is truly a danger to themselves or others is still a danger to themselves or others. Things called pressure cooker bombs and rental trucks and rope can all be used to take lives. An ERPO says nothing about removing those potentially deadly items from a person’s household.
Bottom line: the sole focus of ERPO is disarming folks. There is no roadmap for the only thing that will save lives: treatment. But that’s gun control advocates for you. Myopically fixated on the presence of the hardware. Couldn’t give a rip about improving and rehabilitating the software.