Something’s wrong with your uncle across the street. He’s always been a strange guy, but he’s been acting more strangely than usual since he lost his job last month. He’s been drinking a lot more too. He sits around all day, drinking Genny Light, and watching TV when he’s not blasting up the backyard with his .12 gauge. He’s been banned from the local bar, which is a rare distinction to achieve. Your aunt is so afraid of him that she and her kids just moved in with you. She’s terrified he’s going to hurt himself or someone else. Thing is, so far he hasn’t done anything illegal: He hasn’t made any direct threats, or brandished his guns in public, or assaulted anyone.
If you live in a state that has red flag laws, formally known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) or, in some states, as Gun Violence Restraining Orders, your aunt can petition to have your uncle’s guns taken away for a period of time (for weeks, months, or up to a year, depending on the state).
The process differs from state to state, but generally the petitioner is a family member of the respondent, who has to present evidence to a judge, while the respondent has the opportunity to contest these claims. Some states allow judges to issue emergency orders without the respondent having to be present, much like a restraining order. In these cases, a judge can authorize police to immediately confiscate the firearms of the respondent, who can contest this action at a later court hearing.
Before Parkland, five states had red flag laws on the books. In the past year, nine more states passed them, and 25 states are considering them. Supporters, such as the Giffords Law Center, point to success police have had in stopping potential mass shootings using these laws, such as a case in Vermont last year, in which police confiscated the guns of an 18-year-old who kept a notebook titled “Journal of an Active Shooter.”
Furthermore, one study focusing on suicides in states with red flag laws found a demonstrable reduction in suicide rates, and a similar study that focused on Connecticut estimated that that state’s red flag law may have prevented up to 100 suicides.
As far as gun control laws go, these measures are widely popular. That even goes for Texas, where 72 percent of voters voiced support in a recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. That popularity also extends to Texas Republicans, 60 percent of whom favor these laws. So far Republican-controlled legislatures in Indiana and Florida have passed such bills, and seven Republican governors have signed red flag bills into law. Even National Review has written favorably about them. This post will continue after the break for the Citrus County incident.
Similar circumstances resulted in the death of a women in Citrus County Aug 2018
Identity released of woman fatally shot by police during drug raid
Editor’s Note: The number of occupants inside the raided home was changed from 11 to 10 to reflect information stated in reports from the State Attorney’s Office.
Authorities have released the name of the woman who police shot and killed during a Thursday morning drug raid at a Beverly Hills house.
Jessica Cribbs was fatally shot just after 6 a.m. when narcotics detectives and SWAT teams served a search warrant for a house on the 6000 block of West Rio Grande Drive in the Pine Ridge community, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) spokeswoman Lindsay Blair said Friday.
Reportedly, the 45-year-old Cribbs had pointed a firearm at deputies from Citrus and Hernando counties and was fatally shot after police were unable to get her to lower her weapon.
No police were injured, but two of the 10 people — including an infant — lawmen found inside the home suffered from minor injures and were later released from a hospital. Blair would not confirm Friday if those wounds were dealt by gunfire or shrapnel.
An ongoing and standard investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement into the deputy-involved shooting is keeping officials from divulging details about the incident, Cribbs and the other unidentified occupants involved with the raid.
Blair and Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) spokesman Michael Terry said neither of their agency’s deputies are equipped with body cameras.
HCSO Deputy E.J. Varrichio, who was involved in the shooting, was placed on administrative leave with pay, according to Terry.
Terry said 32-year-old Varrichio, who has served with HCSO since June 2011, was placed on leave because he was the only Hernando County deputy who discharged his firearm.
Citing FDLE’s shooting probe, Blair would not say if more than one deputy had opened fire on Cribbs.
Prior to Thursday, the sheriff’s Tactical Impact Unit had conducted a lengthy investigation of possible drug sales at the residence, and had enough evidence to get a circuit judge to sign a search warrant, Blair said.
Planners of Thursday’s raid were aware there would be an infant and numerous people inside the home when they would conduct their search, Blair said, adding that deputies who participate in executing search warrants are trained to safely enter a home with children inside.
Blair would not comment on who inside the home narcotics investigators were targeting.
Terry said because the home was large, members of the Citrus County and Hernando County SWAT teams had to breach from separate entrances.
Deputies did arrest two men, Cody Lynn Blagburn and Cameryn David Holloway, for allegedly distributing marijuana from the home, which is listed as their address on their arrest reports.
Police found a digital scale on the floor of Blagburn’s bedroom, and 4.27 pounds of marijuana and 16-and-a-half pills of clonazepam inside his safe, according to Blagburn’s arrest report.
Blagburn, 23, was charged with possessing marijuana with intent to sell, possessing a controlled substance and possessing drug paraphernalia.
Blagburn was jailed on an $8,000 bond, but at first appearance on Friday, his bond was reduced to $6,000, according to the Citrus County Detention Facility.
In Holloway’s room, deputies found a scale, marijuana, baggies and other distribution equipment. Holloway, 18, was charged with possessing marijuana with intent to sell and possessing drug paraphernalia.
According to the county jail, Holloway posted bail Friday on a $6,000 bond. READ REST OF STORY HERE CHRONICLE ONLINE
Make note that the search warrant WAS NOT for Jessica Faith Cribbs, rather for an individual who lived there and was selling marijuana.
Obituary for Jessica Faith Cribbs
Jessica Faith Cribbs, age 45, of Beverly Hills, FL passed away Thursday, August 30, 2018 at her residence. She was a graduate of Marietta High School and Full Sail University and she was retired from the U.S. ARMY where she was a Multi Media Illustrator.
To read the full obituary, please visit the memorial website for Jessica Faith Cribbs at South Canton Funeral Home.
Jessica Cribbs was recently murdered by the very people that are supposed to protect us. She always had a kind and giving heart which led to her ultimate demise. In the break of daylight on 30 September, Citrus County and Hernando County Sheriff departments raided her home on a search warrant for one of her tenants.
Jessica Cribbs was medically retired from the Army, and was bound to a wheelchair. Her disabilities never stopped her from living an abundant life full of love and faith. Married to her best friend, all who knew them would tell you they were soul mates.
Please note this information is given to raise concern regarding the Red Flag laws and the unintended but deadly consequences of what would seem as good intentions, BEWARE, according to sources law enforcement does not have to knock on the doors and announce themselves! Ultimately it would appear that it is the beginning of the Minority Report a movie that depicted a future where police arrested people before any crimes had been committed, just in case!
Continue to read the rest of the article in order to get the feel and depth of this type of legislation and the eventual consequences that will come about.
The Consequences of Disarming the Uncooperative
Yet as popular and sensible as these measures might sound, here is how the application of a red flag law — signed into law by a Republican governor — played out last year in Maryland:
On November 5, two Anne Arundel County police officers knocked on the door of Gary J. Willis at 5:17 AM. They were there to serve Willis with an ERPO and confiscate his guns. Willis, who had been asleep, answered the door with a gun in his hand.
The officers said Willis put the gun down, then “became irate” when they explained why they were there — and picked up the gun again. A struggle ensued, and one of the officers fatally shot Willis.
Police and many gun control advocates pointed to this incident as proof that Maryland’s red flag law was working. Yet one doesn’t have to Google too hard to find a sharply contrary view: On one website after another, gun rights’ advocates present this shooting as a symbol of gun control gone insane. And you don’t have to delve too deeply into the comment sections to find people basically accusing the cops of murder.
Serving Extreme Risk Protection Orders can lead to violent confrontations. Photo credit: © Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPRESS.com
One of Willis’s relatives was “dumbfounded” by the shooting, telling the Baltimore Sun that police “didn’t need to do what they did.” Nevertheless, that’s what happened, and it happened after another family member applied for the ERPO.
Due Process and ‘The Minority Report’: Where the ACLU and Conservatives Find Common Ground
Willis is not around to ask for his version of what happened that morning. But one cannot predict how an armed person — especially one who gave relatives reason for concern — would react to being awakened at 5:17 in the morning and disarmed by police.
This is not the only kind of troubling scenario these laws might produce, and it isn’t only the bloggers of the alt-right who have concerns. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Rhode Island, for instance, has serious qualms with that state’s red flag law.
In a 14-page analysis, the organization last year took issue with “the breadth of this legislation, its impact on civil liberties, and the precedent it sets for the use of coercive measures against individuals, not because they are alleged to have committed any crime, but because somebody believes they might, someday, commit one.”
Possible violation of due process is the primary concern of this paper, which likens this law to the science fiction scenario of The Minority Report, in which precognitive police try to stop crimes before they’re committed.
The paper also argues that an ERPO “could be issued without any indication that the person poses an imminent threat to others, and without any evidence that he or she ever committed, or has even threatened to commit, an act of violence with a firearm.”
It also points out that a respondent is not automatically appointed counsel for a court hearing, and that ultimately the burden of regaining possession of confiscated guns is placed on the respondent.
The paper questions whether “overblown political rhetoric” on social media might constitute grounds for a judge to issue one of these orders. Also, it expresses concern that police might someday use this law “as a shortcut to seize lawfully owned weapons” from suspected gang members, or “as a general search warrant that could conveniently allow police to ‘stumble across’ evidence of unrelated illegal activity.”
Finally, there’s the unintentional social damage that such an order might do to a respondent, since the law could allow police “to warn potentially hundreds of people that the individual might pose a significant danger to them.”
The national ACLU has taken a more ambiguous stance on red flag laws, saying only that these laws “must at a minimum have clear, nondiscriminatory criteria for defining persons as dangerous and a fair process for those affected to object and be heard by a court,” but without going into further specifics.
Many of the concerns raised by the Rhode Island ACLU are shared by the Rutherford Institute, a legal defense nonprofit generally viewed as the ACLU’s conservative mirror-image. “The major due process concern with ERPOs is that they allow a person to be deprived of property (a gun) and liberty (their Second Amendment right) before they are granted an opportunity to be heard,” John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, told WhoWhatWhy.
Like the Rhode Island ACLU, Whitehead foresaw the potential for abuse by police “for malicious ends, such as to harass the target.” He also cited the Maryland incident as an example of the possibility that “violent confrontations” might occur “when police arrive unexpectedly to seize a person’s firearms.”
But the most chilling concern that Whitehead identified was the possible misuse of an ERPO by police “to conduct an end run around the limits of the Fourth Amendment’s ban on warrantless searches and seizures.”
Whitehead also agreed with the Rhode Island ACLU’s concerns about the law’s failure to provide for legal assistance. “The target can apply for assistance from a public defender,” he said, “but there is no guarantee that such assistance will be granted, forcing the target to either represent themselves or expend significant amounts to hire an attorney.”
Both concerns regarding legal counsel also involve scenarios in which poor respondents would face serious obstacles to defending themselves. While most red flag laws have provisions criminalizing malicious misuse of these orders, that misuse can only be challenged by a respondent who is able to attend all scheduled court hearings. Poorer respondents may have limited resources, or no transportation, or an employer who won’t grant time off for a court hearing.
So far, neither Whitehead nor the Rhode Island ACLU is aware of any court cases challenging red flag laws on constitutional grounds. However, given the problems identified by critics on both the left and right, it may be only a matter of time before that happens.
These laws do not address the fact that potentially dangerous people are able to easily get guns in the first place. US civilians own anywhere between 265 million and 393 million guns — or even as many as 600 million. The estimates vary so widely because no one really knows how many guns are out there — or who owns them. REST OF STORY HERE