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Sen. Rand Paul Signals Support for Red Flag Gun Laws with Strong Due Process as a Caveat

Paul indicated he will support red flag laws only if strong due process provisions are in place.

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) shocked his liberty-minded base after he signaled support for red flag gun laws in an interview on Tuesday, as reported by the Associated Press on Tuesday.

The AP profiled Paul’s recovery from lung-removal surgery, which happened as a complication from an ambush attack by his left-wing former neighbor Rene Boucher outside of his home in late 2017. He is close to a full recovery and ready to return to work in Washington D.C.

“It is great to be here,” he said while speaking in Kentucky at a chamber of commerce luncheon. “It is great to be upright and walking around and beginning to heal.”

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“And like anybody else who’s used to being active, it’s hard to sit still,” Paul added. “I’m ready to get back in the mix of things and to start traveling around the state some.”

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Arguably the most noteworthy line from Paul’s remarks was his position on gun control. Paul, who is one of the most unflinching proponents for gun rights in the Senate, made remarks indicating his support for red flag laws that would confiscate firearms from individuals deemed threatening to the public safety.

“I’m not opposed to sort of an emergency order for 48 hours and then you get a hearing in a court where you get the full due-process protections,” he said. “It’s the one thing that could fix a lot of stuff. I think most of these homicidal attackers … are sending off signals to their family and community.”

However, Paul quickly clarified that “some of these ‘red flag’ laws set off a red flag because they’re streaming through a lot of your information.” He is cautious of proposed red flag laws containing problematic language that would likely result in many constitutional infringements.

“So let’s say we take the VA roll and we say anybody who’s taking an antidepressant should have their gun rights taken, and you can see that would be horrific, you know, if we just trolled through all the VA rolls and did that,” Paul said.

“It has to be individualized and you have to have your day in court before we take rights away,” he added.

Paul’s chief strategist Doug Stafford said that Paul will be working to improve federal red flag laws to ensure that public safety is protected without trampling on the Bill of Rights and Constitution.

“Senator Paul will only support legislation that includes real due process. He doesn’t support the bills as proposed and will be offering amendments with substantial changes that include constitutional protections,” Stafford said in a comment to Big League Politics.

Paul will hope to counter neocon Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has taken the early lead in developing laws intended to stop mass shooters like those who took dozens of lives earlier this month in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH.

“… We’re not going to create a situation where the cops sit on the sidelines and watch somebody blow up when there are plenty warning signs,” Graham said on Monday. “The 2nd Amendment is not a suicide pact.”

Paul will certainly have his work cut out for him in protecting the 2nd Amendment and due process as he works on federal efforts to curb gun violence.

Big League Guns

In Republican-Controlled Wyoming, A Gun Rights Group is Now being Forced to Reveal its Donors

Violation of privacy.

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The Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office is cracking down on a pro-Second Amendment organization by forcing it to reveal its donors. This move was spurred by a campaign that Wyoming Gun Owners launched last summer in which it attacked a number of incumbent elected officials in races across the state.

In a letter that the office published on October 14, 2020 Wyoming Gun Owners allegedly did follow the state’s campaign finance law.

The organization pulled off a number victories by unseating incumbent lawmakers last summer and has released advertisement targeting various candidates in the elections on November 3, which includes Riverton Republican Ember Oakley and Democrat Britney Wallesch.

The pro-Second Amendment organization has been around Wyoming politics for some time and publicly disclosed that it is paying for advertisements. However, its lack of registry with the state as either a lobbying organization or a political action committee runs afoul of state guidelines.

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“The Secretary of State’s Office has reviewed the advertisements paid for by WYGO and determined that they are clearly electioneering communications,” the letter stated. “As such, WYGO failed to comply with the requirements set forth in Wyo. Stat. § 22-25-106(h).”

It wasn’t until a few months ago that the group’s activities have not been reported within the state government. The Wyoming government cannot initiate the investigation on electioneering activity allegations unless someone files a formal complaint.

An initial complaint was first reported by the Riverton Ranger newspaper earlier this month. It did not gather any further steam because it was lacking in evidence to support the allegations. Subsequently, a second complaint with proper documentation was filed with the state not too long after, which prompted the Secretary of State to take action.

Wyoming Gun Owners now has until November 4 to disclose the names of its donors or be slapped with a $500 fine.

If the group refuses to follow the state’s order, the case will then be kicked to the Wyoming Attorney General, according to secretary of state spokesperson Monique Meese.

“Then we take their advice about what to do going forward,” she stated.

State Senator Anthony Bouchard founded Wyoming Gun Owners almost a decade ago. Nowadays, it is run by various members of the Dorr Family, who operate a network of pro-gun organizations pushing for pro-Second Amendment policies.

Aaron Dorr, Wyoming Gun Owners’ executive director, has had public disputes with elected officials such as Senate Vice President Ogden Driskill, who has repeatedly criticized the organization’s tactics during the 2020 election cycle.

The pro-gun organization bolstered its reputation by killing a firearm reporting bill in 2019 sponsored by former Campbell County Sheriff and current State Representative Bill Pownall.  Wyoming Gun Owners ran ads supporting Bill Fortner, Pownall’s opponent. Throughout these ad blasts, Pownall was depicted as anti-gun. Fortner ended up winning in a landslide.

Such a case shows how even Republican governments will go out of their way to prop up incumbents and infringe on the privacy rights of organizations that wish to restore freedoms such as the Second Amendment. Just because politicians have an “R”s beside their name does not guarantee that they will protect individuals’ rights.

 

 

 

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