You Hear About the "Red Flag" Law Thing in Upstate New York?

I suspect this is the next Pizzagate. I sort of stumbled across this, it is big on some progun sites. You may have missed it.

Here is a link that is less panicky than most.
The Sheriff in Putman County New York went to a guy’s house because of some sort of domestic call. They knocked on the door. The guy refused to come out. He then went on InstaGram to declare that the police were there to take his thirty-round magazine.
People fell for it hook, line & sinker. Here is a panicky YouTube. Supposedly eighty pro-gun people showed up to… something, something, something.
The police say they settled everything peacefully. The guy faces no charges. Nonetheless, rumors abound that he was arrested, killed or whatever.
The fellow is named “Alexander Booth.” You might want to Google him. I suppose the story will develop further.
I feel as if I am seeing the next PizzaGate as is starting.

Hey, Carmel! My old hometown in the news!

Anyway, gun advocates really are on edge in New York. Governor Cuomo has declared that he has enacted the strongest gun control laws in the country. So to gun supporters, New York is already nine-tenths of the way down the road to gun confiscation and tyranny. It’s a perfect location for a guy to start broadcasting that he has jack-booted thugs at the door and get a strong response.

I think that is about it. On-edge, jumpy. It is a little funny and a whole lot scary. The thing is that these people have sincerely-held beliefs and cityfolk laughing at them just makes it worse.

Well, they can’t have it both ways. I myself am not at all happy about proposed “red flag laws” from the point of view of civil liberties. But if you’re going to be an ardent gun-rights supporter who claims that gun violence is fundamentally more of a mental-health problem than a gun-proliferation problem, then the logical response is to start aggressively monitoring the behavior of gun owners with a reputation for mental instability.

And let’s face it, going into panic mode and putting out a drunken alert on social media for folks to come defend you because you’re being “red-flagged” by the “redcoats” who are in fact arresting you in a domestic violence and damage/larceny investigation is not making you look more mentally stable, especially if you’re known to suffer from PTSD.

The militant types among gun-rights advocates may be starting to find out that the strategy of portraying themselves as perpetually “on-edge” and “jumpy” and ready to leap into full-on aggression mode at any hint of somebody “coming for their guns” might have a downside.

What are “red flag laws”? :confused:

They are laws that permit police and family members ( along with other groups- NY includes teachers and school authorities) to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from someone whose behavior is believed be threat to themself or others. " Red flags" refers to specific behaviors or types of behavior - the person may have expressed suicidal ideations, or talked about shooting people or violated an order of protection or have dementia or have recklessly discharged a firearm etc. In NY , the judge can grant a temporary order , with a hearing within a week to see if a final order should be granted.


I had this image of every household where there are guns being required to fly a red flag.

The truth is a bit more prosaic.

Has this NY law found to be Constitutional by the USSC?

It was only enacted in 2019, so not nearly enough time to get to the US Supreme Court. Remember, the Supreme Court doesn’t rule on laws until someone who has actually been affected loses at every previous appeal and then the SC chooses the cases it will accept - so many cases never get there. The first one was enacted in Connecticut in 1999 and apparently has not been found to be unconstitutional, but that’s not the same as saying the SC found it constitutional.

He faces no gun charges. He was arrested on a warrant for domestic violence burglary and violating a restraining order. He tracked down his wife at his in-laws and broke into the house then went on Instagram live calling for help.

It could have been a real shit show. From what I have gathered the deputies at the scene did a great job keeping everything calm and out of control. The Sheriff’s office itself was woefully unprepared for other aspects. Police departments are used to giving out press releases and statements after an event. They had no idea how to combat social media misinformation. There phone system was rendered unusable by hundreds of people flooding the phones. Unconfirmed but I was told enough computer savvy people were involved that could spoof their location and tie up 911 as well

On the other side of that is the definite possibility of false charges of being a danger to self or others as fodder for a nasty divorce. We have many lawyers here, and I am sure that they have been witness to mutual false charges of child abuse or spousal abuse being brought up in custody battles.

There are people who believe that someone is a danger to self and others simply because they own a gun.

I understand the concept and justification is some red flag cases, but I think the level of proof needs to be well above just someone’s say so. Let’s have a little due process here…

As doreen already responded, it’s far too soon for this law to have had any serious court challenge. The ACLU is watching developments:

Thanks for the info. I’m interested to see if the USSC ever rules this law “Constitutional” what those “but Heller!” people will say.

A requirement for a hearing in front of a judge within one week isn’t due process?

Looks like due process to me.

Well, as Plato always said, there’s not a damn thing wrong with a country that makes sure the craziest people have the most weapons.

Thanks for the cites. It clears up my concerns with the red flag protocol in New York. Hopefully, this will establish precedence and guide the future of this concept as it spreads

Nothing about this case had anything to do with red-flag laws, so it will establish nothing about their legality.

Right now, fourteen states and DC have some version of red-flag laws. There will be plenty of opportunities to adjudicate them. As of last month New York already had 129 red flags in effect.

Certainly an arguable position, statistically.
Remember that about 80% of the people in this country own zero guns. So you have to wonder about the mental attitude of the minority who choose to own a gun. And especially those who own many guns.

But that seems to have nothing to do with this case. This is just another drunken wife-beater, but who has lots of similar friends.