UPDATE: Veteran David Brayton’s Life-Changing Phone Call From UCLA

This is an update in the #DavidBTransplant series, detailing David Brayton’s multi-year fight for approval to receive a lung transplant through the VA and UCLA. Other installments can be found here and here.

In the last #DavidBTransplant update (January 2018), we reported on the questionable denial letter sent by the transplant team at UCLA to David Brayton. It was questionable because Brayton had already been through an intense and thorough procedure with the VA and approved for transplant. The only circumstance that had changed was that instead of Brayton being required to relocate to Washington State while waiting (for years, potentially) for a transplant, he could receive the transplant locally, at UCLA.

Courtney Brayton wouldn’t take no for an answer. Though she’s a petite woman, she’s fierce and determined – and that’s on a normal day. When faced with losing her husband that determination went into overdrive, and David was finally put on the waiting list for a lung. A lung, singular, even though he’d been approved for a double-lung transplant initially, but that’s better than nothing.

Then it was time to sit around and wait and pray and hope that a lung became available before it was too late. At one point David commented on Facebook that it felt awkward to pray for a lung to become available, knowing that would only happen if another person lost their life.

Still, they prayed.

David and Courtney Brayton’s prayers were answered Tuesday morning.

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Got the call! On our way to UCLA right now!- this is the day we have been praying for! Thank you for the continued prayers!

Posted by David B Transplant on Tuesday, April 24, 2018

He drove himself to the hospital, oxygen mask in place, wearing a 2A t-shirt, while Courtney filmed him for Facebook live.

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On our way to UCLA!

Posted by David Heisenberg Brayton on Tuesday, April 24, 2018

At the time of this post (10:30 p.m. Pacific), David and Courtney are at UCLA and he is expected to go into surgery about 12:30 a.m. The Braytons are asking for all of our prayers – both for David and for the transplant team. I’ll update as soon as there is more information.

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BREAKING: California City Votes to #Resist the #Resistance, Defy Sanctuary State Laws

The city council of Los Alamitos, California passed an ordinance essentially opting out of adhering to the “California Values Act,” better known as the Sanctuary State law. They also voted in favor of submitting an amici brief supporting the federal government’s position in the case of the United States vs. California.

Mayor Pro Tem Warren Kusumoto introduced the proposed ordinance, properly calling state legislators “bullies.”

Kusumoto, 57, an electrical engineer in the aerospace industry, said he believes state legislators looking to protect people living illegally in the country have overstepped their boundaries and placed him and other local elected officials in a quandary, he said.

“I look at the U.S. Constitution. I look at the state constitution. I look at the SB-54 law as it was amended, and then I looked at California government code – and I said ‘We can’t comply with this,’” Kusumoto said. “I’m no lawyer, but I feel these things are in conflict.”

“This is our way of going on record saying, ‘We’re going to comply with the U.S. Constitution’, ” Kusumoto said.

The proposal generated the usual hate from the side of “tolerance.”

And, a threat from the ACLU.

Pro-sanctuary protesters spouted the standard, stale, and deceptive lines, not admitting (or perhaps ignorant of) the fact that these policies mainly benefit criminal illegal aliens, meaning illegal aliens who have committed crimes OTHER than entering this country illegally.

Jump to about 52:00 into this video, and a sanctuary supporter is emphasizing that “criminals” should be locked up or deported.

He obviously doesn’t understand that repeat criminals are the ones who benefit, like the twice-deported, repeat drunk driver who killed a six-year-old girl almost exactly a month ago just 15 miles down the road from Los Alamitos City Hall.

Kusumoto says his proposed ordinance is not anti-immigrant, and neither is he.

“I’m not anti-immigrant. I recognize we’re a melting pot. I’m proof of that,” said Kusumoto. His grandparents emigrated from Japan to Hawaii, before it became a state.

“This is coming from the heart, from the perspective of a simple engineer.”

Residents of Los Alamitos, a community of about 12,000 people in Orange County, were supportive on Twitter.

The vote and reaction tonight show that there are still Californians, both politicians and ordinary citizens, interested in the rule of law and strongly opposed to what Jerry Brown and Xavier Becerra are attempting to do.

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Hey, Jerry Brown – This Little Girl’s Blood Is On Your Hands

It took Angela and Jesus Aguilar eight years to conceive their daughter, Grace. After saving up for in vitro, they joyfully welcomed their “angel.” By the time she was six years old, she was known throughout the neighborhood as “Gracie” and had a reputation for being friendly and a sweet, obedient girl.

Her neighbor Paul Nguyen said every morning she yelled, “Hi, Paul!” across the street to him. The Aguilars say Grace “loved nature, loved God, and considered her parents her heroes.”

On a typically gorgeous Southern California Saturday afternoon Grace and her cousin were playing in the front yard of her family’s Fullerton home when Maximino Delgado Lagunas drunkenly drove his 1990 Toyota 4-Runner onto the sidewalk, plowing into Grace as her cousin stood nearby. Lagunas then kept driving, attempting to get away, before crashing into another car.

Emergency crews rushed Grace to the hospital, where she died shortly after arrival.

Lagunas, whose blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit, is an illegal alien who has been deported twice and is a repeat DUI offender. When he was arrested for a DUI in neighboring Buena Park in 2015, authorities didn’t honor a detainer request, “instead placing him on informal probation and releasing him to the streets.”

He is one of the “hardworking immigrants” Kevin de Leon, Xavier Becerra, and Jerry Brown were talking about earlier this week, a drunkard who committed federal crimes by re-entering the country post deportation, and whose rights are apparently more valuable to California’s rogue politicians than Grace’s, or Angela’s, or Jesus’s.

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the government had filed suit against California over its law prohibiting state and local law enforcement officers from cooperating with ICE, the state’s officials doubled down on their rhetoric. Gov. Brown claimed Trump was initiating a “reign of terror” in the state. Due to the Democrat supermajority’s continued refusal to prioritize the state’s citizens, the grassroots Fight Sanctuary State group (which was founded by parents whose children were killed by illegal aliens) released a statement announcing that further action will be necessary:

We know that even while this lawsuit is pending these heartless politicians will be back at the drawing board looking for ways to prioritize criminal illegal aliens over our families and children. That is why we believe it’s necessary that the California Constitution be amended so our leaders can never again trample over the hopes and dreams of California’s families. Our proposal to do just that will be unveiled in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Aguilars are coping with the devastating loss of their daughter. Angela said:

“I don’t know how he didn’t think about other people, or be more responsible for what he was doing. How could he be so careless?”

Jesus wants to make sure there is justice for his daughter.

“I would like this man to pay for what he did. He took away from me the best thing I had in life.”

Delgado signed what’s known as a Watson Advisement after his 2015 DUI conviction, informing him that if he drove drunk in the future and killed someone he could be charged with second degree murder. Orange County officials charged him with that offense Feb. 21, and he’s being held on a $2 million bond.

Angela is left only with memories of her daughter, including her laugh. “She had this beautiful laugh. I still hear it in my head every day.”

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BREAKING: Justice Dept Suing California Over Sanctuary Laws

Ahead of a Wednesday morning speech in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions will reportedly make a “major announcement” about sanctuary jurisdictions, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit late Tuesday against the State of California and two of its elected officials, Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

The New York Times reports:

“The Justice Department sued…over three state laws passed in recent months, saying they make it impossible for federal immigration officials to do their jobs and deport criminals who were born outside of the United States. The Justice Department called the laws unconstitutional and asked a judge to block them.”

The Times states that the suit was to be filed in the United States Federal District Court in Sacramento, where Sessions is scheduled to speak at the California Peace Officers Association annual meeting early Wednesday.

“The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions planned to say on Wednesday at a law enforcement event in Sacramento, according to prepared remarks. “I believe that we are going to win.”

In a separate lawsuit, a federal judge ruled against Becerra and the state Monday, denying a Motion for Preliminary Injunction regarding the withholding of federal law enforcement grant funds.

The three laws the state is being sued over are SB 54, the “California Values Act” (better known as the sanctuary state law), AB 450, the “Immigrant Worker Protection Act” (forbids businesses from voluntarily granting access to employee records to federal immigration officers), and the state budget, which “prohibited new contracts for immigration detention in the state and gave the state attorney general the power to monitor all state immigration detention centers.”

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BREAKING: Federal Judge Rules Trump’s DACA Phaseout is Legal, Dismisses Challenge

The Trump administration’s plan to phaseout the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is legal, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Judge Roger W. Titus said the DACA rescission memo and the six-month phaseout provided an opportunity for Congress to do their job.

“This decision took control of a pell-mell situation and provided Congress — the branch of government charged with determining immigration policy — an opportunity to remedy it. Given the reasonable belief that DACA was unlawful, the decision to wind down DACA in an orderly manner was rational,” the judge wrote.

Some argued that Trump’s inflammatory tweets should be used against the administration’s memo, but Titus disagreed.

“As disheartening or inappropriate as the president’s occasionally disparaging remarks may be, they are not relevant to the larger issues governing the DACA rescission. The DACA Rescission Memo is clear as to its purpose and reasoning, and its decision is rationally supported by the administrative record.”

Titus’ ruling doesn’t affect the nationwide injunctions already in place, issued by federal judges in New York and California. It does give the administration ammunition in appeals filed in those cases, though.

Titus also ruled that the government cannot use data DACA recipients provided as part of the program in deportation proceedings against them.

The Justice Department released a statement on the dismissal:

In Monday’s ruling, Judge Titus said he didn’t like the outcome of the ruling that the court was “constrained by its constitutionally limited role,” and exhorted the President and Congress to reach an agreement.

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Mexican Illegal Alien’s ‘Catch Me if You Can’ Life Finally Caught Up With Him

Abraham Riojos of Florida had no idea at least two other men were attempting to use his birth certificate and Social Security number to receive government benefits – or that one had successfully done so for 37 years. Luckily for the real Abraham Riojos, the multiple felonies Andres Avelino Anduaga committed were not done under the Riojos name.

Anduaga started using Riojos’ information in 1980 after procuring a fake birth certificate. With that he obtained a Social Security number, a California driver’s license, and a U.S. passport. He applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in 1989 and collected payments totaling $244,000 between that time and August 1, 2016. He also applied for and received Medi-Cal and food stamps.

Anduaga principally lived in Tijuana the entire time, living an international life of crime under various aliases. Sometime in 2014 a San Diego-area Social Security Administration office alerted its inspectors that they believed some private mailbox businesses near the Mexican border were being used to facilitate Social Security residency fraud.

In a routine eligibility interview in 2015, Anduaga gave the street address of one such private mailbox facility as his residence, and investigators flagged his case for follow-up. Anduaga then told them essentially, “My bad; this is my mailing address but I rent a room from a friend at this other address.” At first Anduaga’s friend verified the story, but later came clean to investigators and told them Anduaga really lived in Mexico.

The investigators went to the criminal records, finding the initial man claiming to be Riojos had a rap sheet that included 21 different names and six dates of birth, dating back to 1974. They included a firearms violation, forgery, cocaine possession and multiple DUIs, according to prosecutors.

In addition, investigators found Anduaga had been deported at least twice. There could be a larger rap sheet and more deportations because authorities aren’t sure they’ve got a final list of all of the names Anduaga’s used. During his last deportation, in 2000, he used the name Jose Reyes. He was arrested in November while crossing back into the United States under a warrant listing that name, Jose Gonzalez-Cardoza, Abraham Riojos, and Abraham Riojas. But, his attorney used the name “Omar Anduaga” on a motion he filed in the criminal case in January.

Anduaga is in custody awaiting sentencing, where he faces up to 12 years behind bars. Considering that he’s 66 years old and allegedly in very poor health, federal prison could be his last known address.

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BREAKING: Hope Hicks is the White House Revolving Door’s Latest Victim

One day after she spent eight hours testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, Hope Hicks announced her resignation as White House Communications Director.

Hicks reportedly told colleagues she had been considering leaving for “several months” and that there would be no perfect time for her departure. She did not announce a set departure date or what her next job would be.

In her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee Hicks acknowledged telling “white lies” for the President (as any aide would do – how many times have assistants denied that their boss was in the office when he or she was simply trying to avoid a pesky salesman or annoying colleague?), but denied lying about anything connected to the Russia investigation.

President Trump said of her:

“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years. She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person. I will miss having her by my side, but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood. I am sure we will work together again in the future.”

Even the President’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, sang her praises:

“I quickly realized what so many have learned about Hope: She is strategic, poised and wise beyond her years. She became a trusted adviser and counselor, and did a tremendous job overseeing the communications for the president’s agenda including the passage of historic tax reform. She has served her country with great distinction. To say that she will be missed is an understatement.”

The 29-year-old former model’s first job in politics was on Trump’s presidential campaign, and she’s one of the few staffers who had been with Trump since he took office.

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Fact Check: Did Jerry Brown Just Ban CA Teachers From Shooting Back During an Attack?

Over the weekend a few “news sites” posted stories saying that fresh off the school shooting in Florida, that idiot Gov. Jerry Brown “banned teachers from shooting back at school shooters” or that he “ensuring teachers can’t shoot back during an attack.” At this point it’s safe to assume there’s no proposed law so idiotic that Jerry Brown wouldn’t sign it, but I follow California politics pretty closely and hadn’t heard anything about this happening (especially on the weekend of the California Democratic Party convention).

The opening paragraph to one story:

While the nation was looking at Florida, Gov. Jerry Brown took the opportunity to sneak a bill through which bans Californian teachers from fighting back to defend themselves and their students if they come under fire at school.

It’s outrageous! But is it true?

Well, partially. No, Jerry Brown didn’t “ban Californian teachers from fighting back…if they come under fire.”

What did he do? And when?

The articles all refer to AB-424, a bill signed in October 2017 by Brown which took away local school districts’ authority to allow concealed carry permit holders to exercise their Second Amendment rights in a school zone. Asm. Kevin McCarty (not to be confused with Rep. Kevin McCarthy), the bill’s sponsor, said it “closed a loophole” in SB-707, a 2015 bill banning concealed carry permit holders from carrying on campus unless special written permission was granted by a local school district. Retired peace officers are exempted from both bans.

By 2017, five California districts had voted to allow concealed carry permit holders to exercise their rights on campus, effectively allowing teachers who wished to, to be armed at school.

McCarty, who flat-out despises the Second Amendment and sponsors multiple anti-gun bills every session, was not very happy with those local decisions. (But if you ask him about sanctuary cities, well, you’d likely get a different answer about his thoughts on local control.) So, he sponsored AB-424 to take away that one tiny bit of local control that remained. It was signed in October, 2017 by Gov. Brown after the Democrat supermajority rammed it through the legislature.

So, yes, the overall gist of the articles is correct, but the timing is incorrect. California’s teachers can’t shoot back if they can’t have a gun with them in the classroom.

(Firearms Policy Coalition, whose President, Brandon Combs, gave RedState an exclusive two-part interview over the weekend, filed a federal court challenge to SB-707. The case, captioned Gallinger v. Becerra, is currently pending before the 9th Circuit. Read more about that case here.)

Follow Jennifer Van Laar on Twitter: @jenvanlaar

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Get Rid of Do-Nothing ‘Gun-Free’ Zones and Give Schools Real Security

In part two of my interview with Firearms Policy Coalition President Brandon Combs, we discuss the need for real security on school campuses, “gun free zones,” and what the gun control agenda is really about. Part one of our discussion, about gun violence restraining orders, can be found here.

JVL: Despite all of the measures we currently have to keep guns out of the wrong hands, people with evil intent do gain possession of them. Knowing that, how do we secure places like schools?

BC: First of all, we need to get rid of the invisible, do-nothing “gun-free” zones and stop prosecuting good, law-abiding Americans for “gun crimes” that aren’t. So-called “gun-free” zones are nothing but fake, feel-good policies. Evil and violent people don’t just change their minds about hurting or killing people because they hit some invisible line 1000 feet away from a school. We need to make sure law-abiding people can defend innocent lives until law enforcement can respond. If they respond. And by the same measure, someone who is a law-abiding gun owner, including a teacher or school administrator or a janitor or anyone else, doesn’t suddenly become a suspect when they hit some invisible line 1000 feet away from a school.

We believe that any teacher or employee who can lawfully carry a firearm, and who desires to do so, should be able to. But protecting school buildings is no different than protecting capitol buildings, airports, and courthouses. Let’s take steps to physically keep evil and insane killers out of our schools in the first place.

We acknowledge that some people hate the idea of real security at schools. To many of them, it would be easier to just ban guns and people, to say, “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in.”

She’s not kidding – she wrote the first federal ban on so-called “assault weapons” and she would have just banned everything if she could have. And just yesterday she said, “I am not going to stop, ladies and gentlemen, until we get these AR-15s off of the streets.”

But make no mistake, as awful as Senator Feinstein is, it would very likely be ten times worse for decades to come if she’s replaced by California State Senator Kevin “ghost gun” de León.

(Seriously. Watch this guy.)

JVL: Well, give DiFi points for saying what  they’re really out to do. What drives me nuts is hearing people say they don’t want to turn our schools into “prisons” or use security measures which are proven to work but then scream at everyone else to just “do something.” To them, the only thing to “do” is to have people hand over their guns. They think since guns are dangerous that negates the Second Amendment.

BC: As law professor Josh Blackman articulated in his excellent article, all rights are dangerous and all constitutional rights have social costs. Even the Supreme Court pointed this out in McDonald v. Chicago when it held that “[t]he right to keep and bear arms…. is not the only constitutional right that has controversial public safety implications.” Indeed, “all of the constitutional provisions that impose restrictions on law enforcement and on the prosecution of crimes fall into the same category.”

So the real question is, how we can best secure kids and teachers given that the right to keep and bear arms is part of our social fabric? Hundreds of millions of guns are out there. That number is only going up. And crock-pots are still pretty cheap. If you’re not working on effective security, then you’re just not living in the real world.

If parents and lobbyists and gun control advocates really want to protect kids and teachers, then they should take effective measures to do just that. If they don’t want schools to have real security, that’s a choice, too. But law-abiding gun owners are just sick and tired of being blamed for the depraved acts of evil and mentally ill people. We aren’t the ones hurting people, shooting kids. We want to protect kids.

But in times like these, it’s crystal clear that pushing the gun control agenda is more important to many Democrats and Republicans than actually protecting kids. We have trained vets who would volunteer to defend our schools, but can’t. That’s just insane.

JVL: That kind of blows any “we don’t have the money for armed security” argument out of the water. Going beyond simply allowing teachers who want to carry guns to do so, do you think teachers should be required to receive firearms training?

BC: We think that teachers who can and want to carry guns or Tasers or knives should be able to do that. At some point our society might decide to mandate that teachers receive training and stay armed. We don’t think we need to make that decision yet. Long before we get there, we should be doing things to keep killers out of schools in the first place.

It’s not very reasonable or practical to rely on teachers to be the first line of defense. Just like securing a city hall or the White House, or your house, you want to have layers of protection. We’re not suggesting a bunch of ‘security theatre’ like the TSA does at airports. But if America wants kids and teachers to be protected, then let’s look at what we do for politicians, judges, and even government agency workers. The people telling the rest of us how to live, the Hollywood types and billionaires, they have physical security and armed guards. Why should American kids have less?

But in the final analysis, some teachers might well be the last line of defense for their class, so it would be rational for them to be prepared for that. Mass killings at schools are just so statistically rare as a cause of death that a broad mandate on teachers being armed at all times is probably premature, and other security measures should be implemented first.

JVL: As we now know, teachers and administrators in Parkland actually were the last line of defense for their class, and I would bet some of them would have wanted access to a gun at that moment. And I’m pretty sure I know your answer to this question, but, should people other than teachers be allowed to carry guns on campus?

BC: Law-abiding gun owners should be allowed to defend their lives pretty much everywhere, and especially anywhere the government is unwilling or unable to ensure the security and safety of the people in its care. If law enforcement has no legal duty to protect you, then it’s up to individuals. Murder was a crime in Florida last week. Schools were supposed to be “gun free” last week. Criminals don’t care.

The Second Amendment isn’t about guaranteeing outcomes, it’s about preserving the fundamental, individual right – and the opportunity – to use deadly but just force against deadly unjust force. If some crazy or evil person wants you hurt or kill you, that’s when the Second Amendment matters. It protects your pre-existing human right to an opportunity to fight back, rather than just sitting there and waiting until it’s your turn to get hurt or killed, hoping or wishing or paying that enough good people with guns show up in time to save you if they can.

JVL: I’m glad you brought that up – what the Second Amendment is about. It’s totally misunderstood in the public square today. What can Second Amendment supporters do to help protect this important right and educate others?

BC: American gun owners need to remember that they aren’t the evil people committing these awful crimes. We need to get out of the closet, out of the gun safe, and do away with the gun owner Stockholm syndrome.

We are normal people who have normal lives and normal families. We have normal human rights, and we exercise them just like normal people do. Millions of people carry guns outside their homes every day. That’s not crazy or controversial, it’s just called normal.

And take pride in your choices and your values. When an anti-gun neighbor realizes that their favorite man or woman one house away is a proud gun owner, it’s going to challenge them to see us as real people who they love and respect rather than some angry, evil collective of middle-aged white guys the fake news media portrays us all to be.

Also, the Constitution is there for a reason – to protect unpopular views and rights from the majority. Get involved, get informed, and get active. Start by focusing on one key issue, do a lot of research and learning, ask a lot of questions, and develop some specialization.

And, of course, all gun owners should strongly consider supporting organizations that fight for their rights and their values. Don’t just join one, join them all if you can. We each have a different perspective, a different underlying philosophy, and we each do work differently. Don’t make being pro-gun rights a ‘Brand X’ versus ‘Brand Y’ thing. That’s not how this works. That there is a tremendous value in having many different organizations out there working to defend and advance your rights.

The post Get Rid of Do-Nothing ‘Gun-Free’ Zones and Give Schools Real Security appeared first on RedState.

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EXCLUSIVE Interview with Gun Policy Expert Brandon Combs

For the past few weeks the topics gun control and school safety have dominated public conversation. How can we keep guns out of the hands of dangerous or mentally ill people? How can we make sure that when we drop our children off at school, that we’re delivering them to a safe environment and not one in which they’re vulnerable?

I asked Brandon Combs, President of Firearms Policy Coalition, about these topics in an exclusive interview. Brandon has been at the center of gun policy and Second Amendment advocacy, particularly in California, for more than a decade. He was an individually named plaintiff in the recent Silvester v. Becerra 10-day waiting period case in which the Supreme Court denied cert (and in which Justice Thomas wrote a scathing dissent). Firearms Policy Coalition also has a case pending before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals challenging California’s ban on concealed carry permit holders possessing their weapons on school grounds.

Gun Violence Restraining Orders have been in the news a lot in the last week, with some conservatives touting them as a way to “do something.” Even Sen. Rubio seemingly endorsed them in last night’s CNN Town Hall. California enacted such a statute after the Isla Vista (UCSB) shooting, and you were involved in that process. What does the California statute provide for?

First of all, I think it’s pretty fair to say that California has the model that most gun control advocates generally look to when they’re pushing their agenda in other states. We run into virtually-identical language in bills all over the country. And, of course, they’d love to see California-style laws enacted federally.

Back in 2014, the California Legislature rammed through, and Governor Jerry Brown signed, Assembly Bill 1014—which started out as a renewable energy bill, but was “gutted and amended” into a gun control bill—creating a few different kinds of so-called “Gun Violence Restraining Orders,” including two procedures for ex parte GVRO proceedings. That means a petitioning law enforcement officer or qualified family member gets to present their arguments to the court and the subject of the petition is not necessarily present, or even aware, of the petition and hearing. It also created a procedure for a GVRO to be issued after notice and a hearing.

Keep in mind that even if there was “notice” given, that does not mean the subject of the petition must personally know about it. So GVROs can be issued either immediately against someone who doesn’t know (in the case of an ex parte proceeding) or after many days or weeks (after notice and a hearing). And even if a GVRO is issued, they are to be personally served on the subject only “if the restrained person can reasonably be located.” All of these factors undermine the entire basis for GVROs. [Ed. Note: Under California’s statute, an ex parte GVRO expires after 21 days, but can be expanded to a year after a hearing.]

Also deeply troubling is that, in California’s GVRO system, a court “may consider any other evidence of an increased risk for violence, including, but not limited to….[e]vidence of recent acquisition of firearms, ammunition, or other deadly weapons.” In other words, if you recently exercised your Second Amendment rights, that could be construed as evidence that you are an “increased risk for violence” and should have a GVRO issue against you.

Wow. So if you buy some ammo to go shoot at the range, that’s evidence that you are an “increased risk for violence” and judges have discretion to decide what constitutes evidence of increased risk? That’s truly frightening. What are the pros, if any, and cons of the GVRO system?

The GVRO system has some very serious flaws, both as a practical matter and in terms of constitutional law. Even setting aside those constitutional concerns, we have never seen any persuasive argument that GVROs provide a material social benefit or increase to public safety over other laws on the books.

First, in an ex parte situation, the subject of an order might not even know about it, let alone voluntarily decide to give up their property once they do know. And if it’s an order issued after notice and a hearing, then that subject, if they really are dangerous, gets to maintain possession of weapons until someone takes their weapons from them—if they can find them—or until there’s a warrant, search, and seizure of property. It’s not an immediate action, if there’s any real action taken at all, so GVROs operate on the presumption that people subject to an order are voluntarily going to be law-abiding until their guns are taken away from them, if ever. If someone is really insane or plain evil, that seems like a very irrational and dangerous presumption.

Due process is the main argument most people make against GVRO’s, and that’s absolutely a huge problem. In addition to that issue, what are the problems you see with GVRO’s from both a liberty and an effectiveness standpoint?

Of course, many GVROs and their underlying statutes skip past due process. We’ve said that from the beginning. A firearm is personal property, of course, but the interest at stake here is far more substantial than the deprivation of a mere possession. As the Supreme Court held in McDonald v. City of Chicago, “[T]he right to keep and bear arms” is “among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.” By establishing a scheme that prohibits the possession or compels the seizure of firearms, GVROs strike at the core of the Second Amendment: the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

If someone is dangerous enough, due to criminal activity or mental health problems, to be a real threat to themselves or others, then there are many laws by which families, friends, or law enforcement can respond to them. But if the government doesn’t have enough to charge a person with a crime and investigate them, or hold them for a mental health evaluation, then that’s not a good enough basis to take away rights and property. It’s the government job to carry its burden, not ours.

The presumption of innocence is hanging by a thread, and GVROs stand for the proposition that everyone is guilty unless they can prove their way out of an accusation.

Tools such as 72-hour holds (known by various names around the country) and restraining orders have been available for decades. Wouldn’t those serve the same purpose if enforced properly, or are there modifications that could be made to those types of statutes? Do we truly need a separate new law?

We believe that GVROs are really about two things, and, regardless of how they’re sold, they have nothing to do with making America safer. First of all, GVROs play a key role in the “funnel” of gun control – put people into lists and database, ban guns, ban people, take away guns, arrest people. We talk about that a bit in an old editorial we wrote about “compromise” on gun control.

And, of course, California has many mental health laws that have been on the books for decades, like those in Welfare and Institutions Code § 5150, et seq. If someone is a real danger to themselves or others, they can be taken in for an evaluation. If there is cause, they can be held. In California, these things can trigger gun prohibitions, too. And at least here, if someone is mentally unstable, they’re in the care of professionals and away from any weapons they might otherwise be able to access.

Our position is that we don’t need more laws and we don’t need GVROs to tackle these issues. As even Governor Brown said in a 2015 veto message, “California’s criminal code has grown to more than 5,000 separate provisions, covering almost every conceivable form of human misbehavior.” No one knows that better than we law-abiding gun owners and advocates do.

Murder, manslaughter, and assault are crimes that are illegal everywhere. If a state doesn’t have adequate or appropriate mental health codes, then they should address that problem. But GVROs are an ineffective way to deal with mental health, because they don’t. And they don’t address the fundamental problems inherent to violent criminals, either. The bottom line is,that there were plenty of legal ways to deal with criminals and mentally unstable people before GVROs. So, not only are GVROs ineffective, they were totally unnecessary.

“Compromise” on gun control usually just means giving the gun control lobby a piece of your cake and expecting them to not come back and demand the rest of it. But we know they will.

Exactly. This GVRO issue is really a never-ending battle. Once the framework is in place, they will never stop adding to it. Just two years after they passed AB 1014, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D – San Francisco) authored and passed AB 2607, which would have vastly expanded the number and kind of people who could petition for a GVRO to take away someone’s guns, ammunition, and Second Amendment rights. Thankfully, Governor Brown vetoed the bill, but Assemblymember Ting recently said that he would be introducing it again with perhaps even broader language.

Ah, yes, I remember that bill and writing about it back then. It stuck with me because it would have allowed anyone who had even gone to school with a subject over the previous six months to file for one. If I recall, a bunch of mental health professional organizations and the ACLU even opposed it. Do you think Brown will veto it again, if passed?

Everyone knows that Governor Brown has signed bills that he previously vetoed, like he did with the “Gunpocalypse” gun control bills in 2016, so our team will have a lot of work to do in the Legislature this year. And if Gavin Newsom becomes the next governor, and that seems very possible at this point, all bets are off.

Gavin Newsom. A name that makes all Second Amendment advocates in California shudder. It used to be that Kamala Harris was our chief nemesis, but sadly our voters decided to share her with the rest of the country.

Well, as Newsom – who championed the Proposition 63 gun control ballot initiative – said, “As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation.” We think he’s generally right about that, which is why gun owners everywhere should never assume their so-called “free” state will stay that way. If you have better access to rights in your state that someone in California or New Jersey doesn’t have access to, it’s probably because of your state’s constitution or statutes and not the enforcement of the federal Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

And billionaires are dumping big money into ballot initiatives to prey on political ignorance. It’s cheaper for them to dump ten or twenty million into a statewide ballot measure once than to work in legislative efforts for three, five, ten years. Gun rights groups can be pretty effective in the legislative process because many elected members and committee staffers will generally hear out practical objections and some legal arguments even if they are anti-gun in general. But on money-driven things like a ballot initiative, anti-gun billionaires have a massive advantage. Bloomberg and his people know it, too.

But our fundamental rights don’t have borders, they don’t stop at state or county or city lines, and we should never abandon our brothers and sisters behind enemy lines. Otherwise you will eventually have California-style laws, New Jersey-style laws—at least some of them, probably the worst ones—everywhere. An attack on Second Amendment rights anywhere is an attack on Second Amendment rights everywhere. We need to never forget that.

Part 2 of my interview with Firearms Policy Coalition’s Brandon Combs, covering school security and the issue of guns in schools, will be published Sunday.

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Source: Red State