MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Michael Folk, Republican candidate for West Virginia Governor, releases the following statement about “red flag” gun laws.
“On the heels of tragedy, American political discourse has once again reverted to a tired “solution” to violence. This discourse never takes a solitary moment to examine the societal ills that create droves of disillusioned, dangerous, and violent perpetrators. No, the “solution” discussed is always some or another scheme to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Chief among the schemes being addressed are so-called “red flag laws” and federal legislation named the Threat Assessment Prevention and Safety Act (TAPS).
Red flag laws have been implemented in several anti-gun states, and, in the case of Maryland, with tragic and deadly results. These laws eviscerate due process of the law and allow a judge to hold an ex parte (one sided) hearing designed to result in a court order for the immediate confiscation of firearms pending a hearing at some later date. Guilty until proven innocent. Jealous co-worker? Holiday dinner argument about politics with a distant family member? Post something on social media someone finds offensive? A red flag protection order can be filed against you. Without a hearing, and without ever being even charged with a crime, you will have your constitutional rights trampled and your property (supposedly protected by the Second Amendment) confiscated. You will be forced to pay expensive legal fees to clear your name. However, no penalty under these laws exists for those who wrongfully accuse you. Unconstitutional. Unacceptable.
TAPS is perhaps even more insidious to gun rights and civil liberties. Under the provisions of this act, our elected Congress would abandon its lawmaking authority to an unelected task force of bureaucrats ordered to formulate a “national strategy” to address gun violence. As if this was not alarming enough, whatever “national strategy” the unelected bureaucratic taskforce devises will become the law of the land unless Congress (who can agree on nothing and have a terrible record defending the Bill of Rights) specifically passes an official objection. This inverts the entire legislative system as designed by the founders and will undoubtedly lead to severe and dangerous infringements on the Second Amendment and the entire Bill of Rights. Unconstitutional. Unacceptable.“