On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California signed a slew of new gun bills into law, drawing expected condemnation from groups like the NRA and not-so-expected criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union. In the modern age, it is rare-bordering-on-inconceivable for the ACLU to attack laws that go against the conservative agenda, so this speaks to how out-of-control California has become as it pertains to protecting civil rights. The Democrats in Sacramento will go to the ends of the earth (or at least the Supreme Court) to protect the “rights” of illegal immigrants, but when it comes to doing things for actual citizens, they don’t seem all that interested.
In one of the new laws, Californians will be limited to the purchase of a single long gun each month. In another, ammunition dealers who peddle their wares at gun shows will be held to the same regulatory standards as those who have a firearms-dealing license.
But neither of those were what attracted the scorn of the ACLU. They are concerned about a new law that will expand the state’s “red flag” laws to allow co-workers, employers, and even teachers to seek a firearms restraining order against a private citizen. These wholly unconstitutional laws were bad enough when the orders could only be sought by police and immediate family members. By expanding them, California is not just taking a hammer to the Second Amendment, they are undermining the entire concept of due process under the law.
“Gun violence is an epidemic in this country, one that’s been inflamed by the inaction of politicians in Washington,” Newsom said. “While Washington has refused to act on even the most basic gun safety reforms, California is once again leading the nation in passing meaningful gun safety reforms.”
The NRA had a different take: “These new laws pile onto the hundreds of existing laws and, like the others, will be equally ignored by criminals. We will not back down while we explore further action on these new laws.”
They may be joined in that fight by the ACLU, which said that the new law “poses a significant threat to civil liberties.” The law group argued that because these orders can be sought before a gun owner has a chance to dispute the request, due process has been explicitly lost. They also criticized the law for putting people who “lack the relationship or skills required to make an appropriate assessment” in charge of determining who should or shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun.
The potential for abuse in these laws is practically unlimited. Thankfully, even left-wing organizations like the ACLU are starting to wake up to the inherent dangers.