Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Pushes New Gun Control
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Nothing reveals the fallacy and danger of incremental gun control laws like an emergency situation. Just look at the near shutdown of our country because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s easy to see how laws that might sometime seem benign actually put law-abiding Americans at risk when the chips are down.

Gun Control Laws Exposed by COVID-19

Take so-called “universal” background checks as an example. While proponents claim these laws ensure every gun buyer has a background check, in reality they do no such thing. Criminals commonly get their guns by stealing them or buying them from other criminals on the street. They’ll get guns without a background check all the time in states that have such laws in place.

Yet in March, when anti-gun New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy temporarily shut down the state’s background check system, no New Jersey residents could legally purchase a firearm. If gun shops were shut down in states without “universal” background checks, citizens could still practice their Second Amendment rights by purchasing firearms privately from other law-abiding citizens; it’s just the way it has been done for the past 200-plus years. Which sounds better during a pandemic?

So-called red flag laws are another good example. Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people is a noble idea. However, these laws, currently on the books in the District of Columbia and 17 states, let family members or other acquaintances ask a state court judge to confiscate firearms from someone they believe poses a threat to their safety. In most cases, a hearing takes place where the petitioner can present “evidence” that the person in question should have his guns taken. The person under consideration for having his guns confiscated might not even be aware that such proceedings are taking place.

Violating Individual Rights

In fact, an Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) can be approved against these citizens without them having a single opportunity to present evidence of why they should not be suddenly deprived of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. At a time like now when government is violating the constitutional rights of Americans on a wholesale basis, is it unreasonable to think a liberal judge might approve of taking guns away from some “crazy neighbor” just in case?

Restrictive ammunition laws in some states also infringe citizens’ right to keep and bear arms during emergency situations. California’s new ammo law, which bans purchase of ammo via the Internet, is an excellent example. The past few weeks have seen ammo sales skyrocket. Replacing ammo on shelves throughout the country is becoming problematic. For law-abiding Californians, if the ammo in the stores runs out and can’t be replaced, they have absolutely no recourse. As law enforcement agencies enforce fewer laws and politicians release prisoners in mass, it’s not hard to see that Californians could be in more danger than ever if ammo shelves empty completely.

State Gun Laws & Truckers

Finally, restrictive state gun laws, which many of us don’t even pay attention to because they only affect people “in some other state,” can pose big problems for all of us. In some states, government officials clearly hate concealed carry. They refuse to make reciprocity agreements with states that recognize the right to carry. Those state, like New Jersey, pose even more problems for us all now than ever before. They impede truck drivers from protecting themselves. Meanwhile, truckers attempt to nobly deliver groceries and other needed supplies during the COVID-19 shutdown.

These men and women are on the front line. They help us all survive what could become an increasingly dangerous situation if restrictions are extended. Don’t they at least deserve to have their right to keep and bear arms acknowledged by all states instead of having to plan routes to avoid Second Amendment-hating strongholds like New York, New Jersey and Illinois?

Moving forward, those who think small, seemingly insignificant gun-control laws don’t deprive anyone of their rights should look at them in light of how they might affect law-abiding citizens during emergency situations. In that context, all such laws do much more harm than they do good.

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