An incident in New Jersey is testing just how far red flag laws can be pushed, and the results aren’t pretty.
The gun seizure comes as part of a heated court case between Alfred Conti and his former physician, Dr. Matthew Kaufman. The defamation lawsuit revolves around negative reviews left by Conti.
Months after the suit was opened, police stripped Conti of firearms and ammunition on Sept. 25.
The firearm seizure was put into action thanks to a red flag complaint made by Kaufman and his lawyer, the Asbury Park Press reported.
Before his guns were taken, it seems Conti was just intent on receiving treatment. Hurting from an apparent failed surgery, Conti was first kicked out of the clinic where Kaufman practiced, allegedly due to his aggressive behavior with staff.
Shortly after, Conti would write the negative reviews that sparked the entire lawsuit.
A month later, Conti called Kaufman’s lawyer several times, asking for the doctor to see him again in an attempt to end his pain. In one call played to the court, the injured man used vulgar language and threatened to bring the authorities into the matter.
Conti’s error appears to be in mentioning he knew where both Kaufman and the doctor’s lawyer lived in one of the calls.
However, both sides agreed that it doesn’t appear any threat was made.
Despite this, police acted on the red flag complaint and seized multiple pistols, a rifle and ammunition from Conti. According to police, the injured man cooperated peacefully as authorities disarmed him.
As red flag laws go on the books in more locations, cases like this that sit squarely in a gray area are virtually guaranteed to keep happening.
Although there needs to be an instrument of law to disarm people threatening violence, the real question is where the line should be drawn.
A disgruntled student posting plans to walk into his university and massacre as many people as possible might be the scenario these red flag laws are billed as preventing, but in reality, it’s often innocent people who suffer under these regulations.
Another problem is who exactly can file a red flag complaint. Should it be limited to family members, or should teachers, healthcare professionals, friends, and even complete strangers have the ability to disarm someone?
As we can see in the case of Alfred Conti, the current laws in some states will deprive citizens of their Second Amendment right over an aggressive phone call that stops just short of being a threat.
This moral gray area doesn’t appear to bother Democratic politicians, who seem intent on chipping away at gun rights of lawful Americans by any means necessary.
Unless some major reworking is done with red flag regulations to prevent this flagrant abuse of a constitutional right, these laws should remain off the books.
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