This right here is why I oppose “red flag” laws.
First of all, NEVER answer questions from a cop or any government official on your doorstep unless you called them and then only answer questions specifically related to the reason you called them. NEVER talk about whether you have guns or how many are in your home. NEVER allow police into your home without a warrant. NEVER. I got this from a friend’s recent Facebook post:
From before red flag laws. Can you imagine the abuse with red flag laws? Why do I oppose “Red Flag” laws?
About 15 years ago, my former spouse was in a very bad spot. We had been divorced for 14 years and she was in the process of getting her home foreclosed on. With little and no job, she facing homelessness. Our divorce was much like our marriage, bitter. She had custody of my oldest son and knew that I would likely sue her for custody when I found out that she was homeless. She did two things. She arranged a move into a family homeless shelter, and she dropped a bomb on me.
My Ex-wife filed a petition for a restraining order against me, not for anything that I did to her, but for what she alleged that I did to my son 2 years earlier. She said that I hit him during an argument. For the record, I have never abused any of my children. She knew that the Department of Children and Families wouldn’t investigate me as too much time had passed and that they wouldn’t find any evidence to support her claim, anyways. She found out that by filing for a restraining order, her location would become secret, and that I wouldn’t be able to serve her, much less get her in front of a Judge if there was an active restraining order against me. It was a perfect plan to keep custody of our son, to continue to collect child support, and to stick it to me bad. She set out to Red Flag me.
A Sheriff’s Deputy knocked on my door. When I answered, I honestly thought that I was being served with papers for an increase in child support from her as I didn’t even know her situation, much less her allegations against me. This was a Monday afternoon, and my son had just spent the weekend with me, going home just 20 hours before. I had no clue. The Deputy presented the papers to me, and I was floored. She asked me if I had any firearms in the house. I was an FFL holder at the time, and told her so. I was asked to step outside. She made a call. Within 5 minutes, I had 3 additional police cars in front of my house. A total of 5 officers were in my home. I was ordered to open my safes and hand in my Log Book. They confiscated over 100 firearms, and more than 25k rounds of ammunition. After they loaded up everything that could find, I was given a court date to appear in front of a Judge in 14 days. My Concealed Weapon License was suspended, and the ATF was notified that my firearms and Log book were confiscated. I contacted an attorney, and told to wait until the court date as there was nothing that could be done until the hearing in two weeks.
I appeared in court for the hearing. There was zero evidence against me. My son wasn’t even allowed to testify for or against me. My fate relied totally on credibility. It turned out that I had more than her when I showed my spotless criminal record, my military record, my FBI background check results, and my numerous bonds from my employer. The Judge had no choice but to dismiss her petition, and relieve me of the restraining order. I was in for a rude wakening when I found out that it didn’t end there.
After the hearing, I took the dismissal notice, and the inventory sheet to the Sheriff’s office so that I could retrieve my firearms and ammo. They told me that they couldn’t “Just give them to me” and that I would have to sue them for my guns back. So, back to the attorney’s office I went. I filed a petition with the court against the Sheriff’s Office. A blazing fast 8 weeks later, I was able to get in front of a Judge again. He reviewed the case and granted my petition. The Sheriff’s Office had 30 days to return my property. On day 29, I got the call that I was good to go, and could pick up my stuff. Five of my guns and about 5k rounds of ammo disappeared while in custody. All my firearms had been fired for ballistics testing. None were cleaned. All were beat up, scratched, dinged, and marked with paint markers. I was told that I could file a claim with the County. I was told by my attorney that the Sheriff’s Office never loses and it would cost $5-10k in fees to try. This would have been in addition to the $2500 I had already spent.
In short, my Ex-Wife abused the system to her advantage, and used the court system to deny me my rights. My family and I were left defenseless for 3 months. The entire interaction with the police could have turned very bad in a hurry. Had this same thing happened in today’s political environment, I would have likely been served by a SWAT team. Yeah, I oppose “Red Flag” laws. It’s personal to me. I have been Red Flagged before. It is a process without any due process where all it takes is an unfounded allegation to destroy another person’s life.