On Monday, the ATF encouraged social media users to celebrate Valentine’s Day by turning in exes that are “involved in illegal gun activity.”
“We would love to meet and treat them to a Valentine’s Day surprise!” the social media graphic stated.
Oh, look. The ATF is giving us a PERFECT example of what’s wrong with red flag laws.
Nothing says Happy Valentines Day like having an ex SWATed just because you can’t stand them. pic.twitter.com/0Fumfn44yF
— Beth Baumann (@eb454) February 14, 2022
Each and every one of us has a vindictive ex or two – and it’s those vindictive exes that would take advantage of Red Flag laws.
I’ll use myself as an example.
In college, I dated a guy for about six months. He was in love with me but I didn’t feel the sparks so I ended it. Not even 12 hours later and my phone number showed up in a personal’s ad on Craigslist. I woke up to dozens of explicit text messages, missed phone calls, and voicemails.
I finally started intercepting the calls to figure out how creepy old men received my number. One guy mentioned the ad. I explained it must have been my ex because I broke up with him the night before.
“That’s f***ed up,” the guy said as he apologized.
After reporting the ad a bunch of times, Craigslist finally removed it and I confronted my ex (who denied ever doing such a petty thing).
I bring all of this up because my ex was upset I broke things off with him. If I was slightly older and had a CCW permit, he could have easily lied and said I was someone involved in illegal gun activity. I could have had my firearms revoked – without due process – and treated as a felon, simply because his feelings were hurt.
But those who are the most likely to fall victim to abusing Red Flag laws are men.
Think about it. A smaller woman could claim a gun-owning ex beat her. And what would happen? The ATF would come in, take his firearms away and turn him into a prohibited possessor without any due process. She could effectively ruin his life and he wouldn’t have his case in court.
These are just a couple of examples and something that rarely gets talked about. So thank you, ATF, for doing a great job of bringing this to light.