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On Oct. 3, the Col­legian pub­lished an opinion by Julia Mullins arguing in favor of emer­gency risk pro­tection orders. Often billed as a rea­sonable solution to lower gun vio­lence rates, these “red flag laws” are not only inef­fective, but even dan­gerous on several levels.

These bills are often pushed as anti-suicide mea­sures, but in the study cited by Ms. Mullins it was found that 90 to 95 percent of the orders issued were against people who did not pose an actual threat to them­selves. The primary author of that study stated that he believes due process is not being fol­lowed. In Con­necticut, the first state to enact such laws, the exe­cution of such orders accom­panied an overall increase in suicide rates.

In most cases, seizure orders are exe­cuted without the accused being made aware of the alle­ga­tions against them and even before the police show up at their front door. The entire process fol­lowing the actual seizing of weapons is the epitome of “guilty until proven innocent” judicial mal­practice. In most states, the accused are not entitled to legal rep­re­sen­tation.

While these laws are obvi­ously a gross vio­lation of the Second Amendment, the problems go deeper.

If the justice system in America means any­thing at all, it is the right to a fair trial. We cannot allow pun­ishment to begin before a fair trial com­mences. Emer­gency risk pro­tection orders allow law enforcement to act as judge, jury, and — in at least one case already — exe­cu­tioner.

It’s not just firearm owners that should oppose red flag laws but anyone who believes people should not be pros­e­cuted for a crime they haven’t com­mitted.

Clint Pagurko is a senior studying history and German.