Opinion

OPINION: Lindsey Graham Is Aiming To Turn The GOP Into The Party Of Gun Control

Michael Hammond Gun Owners of America

Just when Democrats are threatening to “crazy” themselves off the political spectrum, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham arrived with the year’s nuttiest idea: To make the GOP the party of gun confiscation and, in the process, jettison the Second Amendment movement from the Republican coalition.

To this end, Graham has scheduled a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 26 to consider legislation to confiscate large numbers of guns with no notice and no due process whatsoever.

Two types of bills have been introduced over the last year and a half. The first approach was put forward by Graham and Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.).

Blumenthal-Graham would create a federal gun confiscation program whereby any police or an angry “ex” can petition for a secret court hearing to strip a gun owner of his Second, Fourth, Fifth, and 14th Amendment rights.

When only the accuser is in the room, a judge will normally sign anything that is put before him.  In an analogous situation in New Mexico, for instance, a housewife obtained a restraining order against David Letterman for sending her coded messages over her TV set.

Under Blumenthal-Graham, the first thing a gun owner would learn of the proceedings is when the police showed up at his door in the middle of the night, ready to ransack his home and, if he resisted, to arrest or kill him.

Think this is fanciful?

In Ferndale, Maryland, a 60-year-old man was shot to death by police serving a “red flag order” at 5:17 a.m.  It turned out that the complainant was a non-immediate relative seeking to punish the gun owner after an argument they had.

Blumenthal-Graham is so bizarre that, at the time of this article, it hadn’t been reintroduced in the 116th Congress.

The second alternative — embodied in S. 7 and S. 506 — would fund states which authorize this form of gun confiscation.

There are 14 such states. And except for Florida, which was cowed into gun confiscation by a near-riot of Parkland kids, and a 1999 Indiana statute, the remaining 13 states are the bluest, most anti-gun states in the country.

Thus, S. 7 and S. 506 would be a massive transfer of an unspecified number of tax dollars from Republican pro-Second Amendment states — to states that are moving heaven and earth to destroy the Second Amendment.

And the specific reason would be a new federal policy directed at punishing gun ownership.

S.7 has some comic aspects to it. For instance, any “individual related by blood” to the gun owner could bring a suit.

Hence, although Elizabeth Warren may be only 1/1024 Indian, any Cherokee could bring an action to strip her of her guns (assuming she had any). If Michael Bloomberg could go to ancestry.com and prove he was related to you, he could take your guns away.

Yeah, you could spend $10,000 to try to convince the judge that he made a mistake — after the fact. Well, guess what? It never works.

Incidentally, S. 7 also authorizes “telephone hearings,” and sets “minimum” requirements which differ from every program the bill intends to fund.  So, if enacted, it would ultimately lead to a court opinion starting with: “The statute was drafted by an amateur, but what it MEANT was….”

S. 506, introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), seems to be the bill that is garnering the most support and has the usual crazy train of leftist cosponsors, including 21 Democrats but no Republicans.

No one thinks that Blumenthal-Graham or S. 7 or S. 506 could — or should — pass in their most recent forms.

What Attorney General William Barr and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley are discussing is the possibility “of adding front-end due process.” This presumably would eliminate the middle-of-the-night secret ex parte proceedings.

But it turns out that such a change is impossible. All of the 14 state gun confiscation statutes have ex parte provisions. So if that change were made to S. 7 or S. 506, no state would qualify for funding.  And the bills would be nugatory.

So, what an incredible gift it would be to Democrats if they could persuade the GOP to destroy their conservative base for no particular purpose. Of course, Republicans would have to be foolish to do this.

But, then again, it wouldn’t be the first time.

Michael Hammond is the legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America, a nonprofit lobbying organization dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise. GOA represents over 2 million members and activists.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.