As we’ve already discussed here at great length, the ISIS inspired terror attack in Orlando has prompted both liberal pundits and Democratic politicians across America to action. Of course, it’s not any sort of action to combat the growing threat of terrorism, but rather the threat of law abiding American citizens from having guns. Efforts to get Congress to enact new gun grabbing legislation have fallen flat for years now, so some outside of the box thinking is clearly required. That’s what’s on display at the New York Times this week, as author Adam Winkler unveils a plan where a secret court could be convened to suspend your Second Amendment rights even if you’ve never been charged with a crime. The Daily Caller has the details.
A New York Times editorial advocates for a new law allowing a secret court to take away citizens’ right to own a gun at the discretion of the federal government.
Citing the Orlando terror attack that left 50 dead including the shooter and 53 wounded at a gay nightclub, the piece advocates for a “no-buy” list similar to “no-fly” lists. Under the law, suspected terrorists would not be able to buy a gun. In an attempt to ensure the integrity of the lists and preserve due process, the author proposes people only be added to this no-buy list after a secret court rules they are ineligible, similar to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court hearings where the federal government obtains permission to wiretap. Under this proposal, an American who has never been convicted of a crime could be denied their right to buy a gun simply because a secret court decided it should be that way.
The piece is written by Adam Winkler, a U.C.L.A. School of Law professor. Winkler argues the secret court is a good idea because the same kind of court is already used for government surveillance, and historically, the U.S. has committed worse rights violations such as Japanese internment camps.
Yes, it’s a double secret probation list, straight out of the movie Animal House. Under this plan, you could be found guilty of wanting to own a gun and sentenced to a suspension of your rights without ever knowing that you’d been charged with anything. How one would appeal such a process to prove that you weren’t a threat and entitled to your rights is unclear since the entire process would take place out of sight of the public.
Unfortunately, such an experiment wouldn’t exactly be breaking new ground. In New York State there is already a system in place where you can have your Second Amendment rights suspended and you won’t even know it happened until either you apply for a new gun permit or an officer shows up at your door to take away the guns you already legally own. It’s part of the New York SAFE Act, and it resulted in more than 30,000 people being placed on just such a “No Buy List” during its first 18 months of operation.
Could the government actually get away with it at the federal level and would such a scheme stand up to a court challenge? There was a time when I’d have laughed at the idea, but these days… who knows?