Rep. Jordan Slams Red Flag Bill: 'You Will Be Guilty Without Doing Anything Wrong'

Susan Jones | September 12, 2019 | 6:15am EDT
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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) give an impassioned defense of fundamental liberties. (File Photo: Screen capture)

( - The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday passed a "red flag" bill along with two other gun control bills, sending them for further action by the Democrat-controlled House.

The red flag bill, or "extreme risk protection order," raised due-process concerns among Republicans, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who warned that the bill would make people "guilty" before they do anything wrong.

If the House Judiciary (Committee) passes this bill today, we will have changed a fundamental and sacred principle in this country. In America, you are innocent until proven guilty, until today.

If we pass this bill today, we are going to invert the standard that says you are guilty until proven innocent. And you will be guilty without doing anything wrong. Under this bill, you are guilty without doing anything wrong simply because someone thinks you might do something wrong.

And who's this "someone" under this bill who can petition a court to take away your Second Amendment liberties? Who's the "someone" defined under this bill?

Jordan pointed to page 13 of the bill, which defines that "someone" as a "family or household member." The bill further defines "household member" as "an individual who resides or who has resided with the respondent during the past year."

"A roommate who hung out with you for one month last year can go petition a court to take away your Second Amendment liberties," Jordan continued.

Some roommate, maybe didn't like you; someone who thought you were a slob, whatever, can go petition the court to take away your fundamental right without you doing anything wrong.

And oh guess what? Guess what! When they go into court to take away your fundamental liberty -- even though you haven't done anything, committed no crime -- guess what, you don't even get to be there. You don't even get to defend yourself. That's exactly what this bill does.

Jordan reminded his colleagues, "This is the House Judiciary Committee, for goodness sake. What other constitutional right can you lose without doing anything wrong and without your knowledge and then have to go petition a court to get it back? Tell me what that is. Tell me when that happens!"

Jordan said the red flag bill is "so wrong on so many levels."

"It violates fundamental Second Amendment rights, it violates property rights, it violates due process rights, and yet today, the House Judiciary Committee, with the storied history this committee has in defending -- defending -- the Bill of Rights is going to pass this legislation?"

Jordan called it a "scary road to start heading down."

On the other side of the argument, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), whose son was shot to death in 2012 in an argument over loud music, called extreme risk protection orders a "life-saving tool to keep firearms out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves or to others."

McBath said the House bill would "guarantee nationwide access to this critical tool."

She said it would prevent "mass shootings, suicides and all horrific events that do not make the everyday headlines."

"I know the pain of losing a child to gun violence," McBath said. "And not anyone in this room, anyone in this country, should ever be faced with that pain."

She said failure to take action will inflect the same agony on others.

"It is our responsibility to prevent this suffering," she added.

In addition to passing H.R. 1236, the "red-flag" bill, the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday also advanced H.R. 1186, which would ban large-capacity magazines; and H.R. 2708, which would bar people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from owning a weapon.


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