U.S. military courts could gain ability to confiscate private firearms, according to new defence bill

Any individual beholden to the United States Code of Military Justice could be served a “military court protective order” by a military judge or magistrate, that would effectively make it illegal for them to possess or receive, or even use a firearm. 

U.S. military courts could gain ability to confiscate private firearms, according to new defence bill
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Military courts could soon possess the ability to issue protective orders that enable them to confiscate private firearms through “Red Flag” gun control regulations, under a provision in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.

According to the 1,300-page bill, any individual beholden to the United States Code of Military Justice could be served a “military court protective order” by a military judge or magistrate, that would effectively make it illegal for them to possess or receive, or even use a firearm. 

“A military court protective order issued on an ex parte basis shall restrain a person from possessing, receiving, or otherwise accessing a firearm; and a military court protective order issued after the person to be subject to the order has received notice and opportunity to be heard on the order, shall restrain such person from possessing, receiving, or otherwise accessing a firearm in accordance with section 922 of title 18,” SEC. 529 of H.R. 4350 states, according to American Military News.

Military court protective orders issued on an emergency basis are exempted from usual due process laws, which provide American citizens with constitutionally-mandated rights. Instead, “notice and opportunity to be heard” must only be provided to the individual following the issuing of the order. 

Effectively, individuals beholden to the USCMJ do not have their due process rights and are treated as guilty before being proven innocent, rather than the other way around. 

“EMERGENCY ORDERS.—A protective order on an emergency basis may be issued on an ex parte basis under such rules and limitations as the President shall prescribe,” the section states. “In the case of ex parte orders, notice and opportunity to be heard and to present evidence must be provided within a reasonable time not to exceed 30 calendar days after the date on which the order is issued, sufficient to protect the respondent’s due process rights.”

According to Gun Owners of America (GOA), a gun-rights group, the military gun confiscation orders could be used to provide lawmakers with a precedent to extend the rule to the general population. 

“Like the proverbial camel’s nose in the tent, allowing this provision to remain in a bill pertaining to the military will eventually work its way into legislation applying to the rest of the population,” GOA wrote. “That’s why we need to raise our voices in unison against these gun confiscation orders.”

“Again, this is just the foot in the door. If Nancy Pelosi gets this into the military code, then it becomes the ‘precedent’ for enforcing gun confiscation against the rest of the population,” the group continued. “Seizing firearms first and ‘getting the Due Process later’ will never constitute sufficient Due Process, no matter how much anti-gunners may pretend it does.”

Democrats under President Joe Biden have been largely supportive of “Red Flag” gun confiscation laws at the direction of the Biden administration. 

“The President urges Congress to pass an appropriate national ‘red flag’ law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass ‘red flag’ laws of their own. In the interim, the Justice Department’s published model legislation will make it easier for states that want to adopt red flag laws to do,” the White House said in a statement.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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