Alternative to “red flag” laws

I don’t have a problem with this:

The process of banning yourself from guns in Washington state is fairly simple. It starts with a person filling out a short form and presenting it, along with identification, at any county clerk’s office. After verifying the person’s ID, the clerk mails the document to the Washington State Patrol, which has 24 hours to enter it into the federal background check system, as well as the state’s crime database. If that person were to then try to impulsively buy a gun anyway, he or she would be denied.

Residents who waive their firearm rights also have the option to un-waive them — as long as it’s been at least seven days since the waiver was filed and they are not otherwise prohibited from gun ownership. They file another short form and wait for the state police to remove them from the system, which restores their ability to purchase a gun. The clerk and State Patrol must then destroy all records of the person’s initial waiver.

The waivers are designed to be confidential, and can’t be used in legal proceedings nor as a condition of employment or mental health treatment.

This would address some of the issues supposedly addressed by the “Red Flag” laws without the severe infringements associated with those type of laws. Sounds like a win-win to me. But you know the other side is not going to be satisfied with it. They don’t gain power and control over people with something like this. Still, it’s a useful litmus test to see if people are truly interesting in addressing the claimed issue or they want the power and control of the “Red Flag” laws.

It went into effect in Washington state as of January of this year. Since then only three people have used it. None have revoked the waivers.


6 thoughts on “Alternative to “red flag” laws

  1. What are the statutory penalties for failing to process the unwaiver portion? People won’t volunteer to temporarily ban themselves in a time of crisis if the state will simply refuse to process the unwaiver. If a private citizen has no recourse to force the state to comply it is simply a ban by other means.

    What if the state “accidentally” uses the DMV database for a “test” and populates the waiver database with everyone’s data by “accident”, forcing citizens now denied and finding out after the fact to file a form to fix the government’s “mistake”?

    I support a voluntarily waiver process but it has to have absolutely teeth in it and counters against authoritarian human nature in hostile bureaucracies. I prefer a system where the waiver expiration is done as part of automation, has publicly audited code and that process CANNOT be tampered with by the authorities. The waiver automatically expires after the timeframe specified by the individual and there is no involvement with the state.

    Thinking outside the box here. Seen way too many examples of lack of compliance or creative failures to act on the part of officials who simply hate private individuals owning guns and will do anything in their power to prevent it, legal or otherwise.

  2. I’d prefer if that “waiver” process isn’t an excuse to raid the individuals home looking for guns because he/she is now a “self-proclaimed prohibited person”. Or is it simply to prevent the waiveree from being able to transfer a gun at an FFL (since we have universal all-noncriminals background check requirements)?

    If such a person did have guns already, it would help if the waiveree could designate a conservator to hold all his firearms (with a single background check, eyeroll) without owning them, and be able to immediately able to transfer the firearms back without an addiitonal background check (because a background check was done to cancel the waiver).

    Need a performance metric on the unwaiver application. If they accept the original waiver within 7 days, the unwaiver should be assumed to be complete within 7 days of receipt by agency (get that receipt!) unless the waiveree is legally served a notice to tell them otherwise.

    Do I seem like I have trust issues on this subject. Gosh, why could I possibly have trust issues? Must be because I’m not stupid.

  3. If I’m suicidal or crazy, rationally removing my firearms from my own reach isn’t going to be at the top of my list of things to do today.

    I can see this being used defensively in lawfare, to document removal of firearms from a home during domestic disputes or divorces, for example. As a means of reducing “firearm violence” this is a nonsensical process.

    • It’s virtue signaling in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of gun owners.

      Does it have risks? Sure. But the risks are far lower than the risks of “red flag” laws and may prevent the passage of and maybe even the elimination of existing “red flag” laws.

  4. The purpose of “red flag laws” is NOT to get guns away from unstable people.
    The commie left DOES NOT CARE if loonies obtain guns and use them to go
    on murderous rampages. In fact the commie left WANTS wackos to run amok
    with guns as they can then use that incident in their quest to disarm NORMAL people. The TOTAL, COMPLETE and ONLY purpose behind “red flag laws”
    is as a means to side step the Second Amendment AND our rights to judicial process to DISARM US SO THEY CAN RULE US…..and if a bunch of us get
    killed resisting the illegal theft of our property that’s ok with them…’s a FEATURE…not a bug.

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