August 20, 2018 – Vestal, NY – The following is the full transcript of a speech, made by M V Consulting Inc and Liberty First Foundation NY Chapter president Michael “Vass” Vasquez to the members of the Americans for Restoring the Constitution (AFRTC) and the general public at the Vestal Public Library. The speech is an in-depth review of Red Flag legislation in New York State and across the nation. Due to the length of the details and data, compiled from over 50 sources and growing in an on-going investigation, the speech is being split into 8 parts. Due to time constraints, the actual live presentation truncated portions of the original documentation, without alteration of the data, details, or context.
Any news media organization that wishes to receive this presentation in its original form or reprint these articles, including all public sources, in order to address this growing trend of legislation and inform the public of all aspects of this legislation, is given full rights to do so. To receive a copy of the original form, please contact us.
Amended (due to time constraints) speech at Vestal Public Library:
Q & A with audience after the presentation:
Now that we paused to get a sense of what a Red Flag legislation does, and some of the inherent roadblocks it creates for the average American, let’s talk about the problems with the law. You didn’t think I built this up just to go over the flaws that quickly did you?
Opponents of Red Flag legislation start with the inherent violation of individual freedom that the laws create. The question is how it affects the Second Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and Due Process. Greg Pruett, an opponent of Red Flag laws in Idaho and writer of 2ndAmendmentActivist.com responded to my request for comment saying,
“Red Flag laws are unconstitutional. No matter how the gun control community tries to butter them up, they remove rights without due process. It’s absolutely asinine that someone comes to your home and takes your guns because you are deemed “too dangerous” to have them. If you are that dangerous then why aren’t you being removed from the situation?”
“Have you ever seen the movie Minority Report? In the Tom Cruise thriller, several people called “precogs” can see into the future and determine who is going to commit murder. However, before the murder takes place, the police go and arrest the individual and lock them away for life. The individual didn’t actually commit the crime and isn’t given the opportunity to defend themselves in court. In the end, Tom Cruise’s character exposes several flaws in the system, primarily the decision of a person to be able to choose their own path, not what others predict that person is going to do.”
Such is part of the problem. Red Flag legislation is action and punishment without commission of a crime, and without the ability to face an accuser or defend oneself in Court until after the fact. This of course appears to fly in the face of the Fifth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment, which state in part
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, … nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
“…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
If it is correct that there is a violation of these Amendments, then the 2nd and 4th Amendments are violated once a Red Flag law is acted upon. The Second in that the Right to bear arms is infringed. The 4th in that the seizure is unlawful and the warrant is without true probable cause. The 5th as there is no Grand Jury, there is deprivation of property, and no Due Process. The 14th as again, there is no Due Process.
I should first add that proponents of Red Flag legislation claim that Due Process is ensured and part of the process. When I asked Mr. Brindisi to clarify this, in person in the City of Owego, he declined to answer. But Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, is a supporter of the legislation and voted for 2 of the 5 Red Flag proposals in New York State at this time, stated in an email response to a question from a voter in June 2018,
“One of the ways that we can address gun violence in New York is by temporarily preventing those who might do harm to themselves and others from having guns in their homes. The bills you’re referring to allow teachers and other officials to petition judges to hold a hearing to evaluate whether someone poses a threat. They allow for due process and protect everyone’s rights while improving public safety. I think they struck the right balance between protecting individual liberty and keeping people safe, and that’s why I supported the bills.”
“… if there is a domestic violence danger, or something like that, or if someone is identified as a danger to themselves or others, we want to make sure they are not in possession firearms. We have to make sure they can’t obtain firearms for everybody’s safety. The problem I have with this Bill (A11148) it seemed to take law enforcement out of the picture and expanded those that could request an extreme risk protection to school officials, teachers, and part-time employees of the school… There didn’t seem to be a good due process to restore the opportunity for the person to have the firearm restored.”
“When you see stories around the country, it’s very compelling when people have called and complained and tried to draw attention to a particular individual. But for whatever reason someone has slipped through the cracks and not received the services they needed, and is a risk to themselves or other people, and there is nothing that people can do about it. Unless the person has be accused of a crime or a family offense already… I know that we felt the need to do something to make a statement that ‘Yes we are sensitive to the fact that there are people out there, now with the suicide numbers going up, a risk to themselves. People know it. We want to be able to at least negotiate, some reasonable approach to this… I think that a lot of us felt that, ‘Alright we’re going to make a statement how important this is’. We hope the [State] Senate will join us in recognizing we need to come up with something to guarantee Due Process. To guarantee that a person can appeal, that they can get their guns back in a timely manner if they receive treatment or somehow the process has passed… I recognize the fact that there are some concerns that need to be worked out… In fact the original Bill was part of a Domestic Violence package Bill and that was really the context that we found ourselves in on that one.”
So virtually all the Assemblymembers I was able to speak with or receive information from on this subject, agree that Due Process is essential. And that these Bills, in the current forms at least, have issues with Due Process. While most are concerned with the aspect of returning firearms, I believe they have missed the point. Due process has been violated, and thus other Rights as a consequence, long before the question of return comes up.