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Red flag laws received a lot of attention following multiple mass shootings in 2019. The words ‘gun control’ have been politicized by Democrats and Republicans to such a degree that compromise and rational dialog on matters of firearms legislation is a near impossibility. Red flag laws, however, have only recently entered the mainstream consciousness, and broad support has emerged from the right side of the political aisle to implement them on a national level.
Red flag laws permit police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves.
On the surface, red flag laws make sense. No one wants mentally-disturbed individual stockpiling weapons in their basement, awaiting an opportunity to emerge and commit another massacre. But where do we draw the line and at what point are we infringing upon the Second Amendment?
This week, an 84-year-old veteran of the Korean war learned the hard way about the inherent flaws present in red flag legislation.
Stephen Nichols, who also served as a police officer for decades, was relieved of his job as a crossing guard and had his guns seized after criticizing a school resource officer (SRO) for allegedly leaving his post during school hours.
According to reporting from the Daily Wire, Nichols, who worked as a crossing guard in Tisbury, Massachusetts, was eating at Linda Jean’s restaurant in Oak Bluff and speaking with another patron when a waitress reportedly overheard part of their conversation. Nichols said he was discussing the SRO’s alleged visits to Xtra Mart to get coffee when children came to school in the morning. Nichols said that he told his friend that someone could “shoot up the school” as the SRO was “leaving his post.”
From The Daily Wire:
Nichols, who was a Morse Code specialist for the U.S. Army, told the MV Times, “When I was in the U.S. Army, and it wasn’t just me, it’s anybody who’s in the U.S. service, if you are on guard duty for eight hours, you didn’t leave that position. … And I’m just so accustomed to that, that when I see someone who’s supposed to be protecting kids … leave the school unguarded — if you’re on guard duty, you stay there.”
The waitress reported Nichols to the police two days later, prompting Police Chief Mark Saloio and another police officer to relieve Nichols from working as a crossing guard while he was at the job, then going to Nichols’ home and confiscating his firearms license and guns, as the MV Times reported.
Nichols, who said he has been licensed for firearms for over 60 years, told the MV Times that Saloio “told me to hand [the firearm license] over so I took it out of my wallet and handed it to him,” adding that no paperwork was given to him regarding the stripping of his firearms.
WIBC host Tony Katz commented on Stephen Nichols’ experience with Red Flag laws Wednesday morning.
“I’m now out on red flag laws. You can’t have them. Stephen Nichols’ firearms should be returned to him, the apology should be for forever, the waitress should get fired for only being a schmuck.
Someone’s going to hear a part of a story and all of a sudden I lose my rights?
…Where is the pushback to the importance of the Second Amendment and the values of the Constitution to what we are as a nation? You go prove the guy did something and then get back to me.”
Click the link below to hear Tony’s full commentary.