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.
Q & A with audience after the presentation:
Every attorney I spoke with, and the few politicians that were familiar with the Red Flag laws, confirm that the cost to fight to prove innocence of the non-crime of a Red Flag action would cost thousands of dollars. This does not take into account the cost in terms of time taken away from work to engage the Courts and fight the State. Nor does it consider the non-direct and potentially immaterial costs of: reputation, interactions with neighbors and the community, negative publicity to work and social activities, plus much more.
Setting that aside, what about the impact on a family. A consequence that is directly related yet never addressed by the legislation nor any politician that has voted for ERPO’s is what happens to any children present. While Bill A11148 in New York allows for a part-time temporary badminton coach, and potentially almost any member of a school or school system, to initiate an Extreme Risk Protection Order, the fact that it affects more than just ownership of firearms is never addressed. In fact EVERY version of ERPO’s, in virtually every State of the nation, has an additional component that few realize. That is that any children present in a household must be removed for their own safety.
How is that possible? Why would that happen? These are good questions to ask. Consider this, New York State is a mandatory reporting State for Child Protective services. As is Connecticut, which has the oldest ERPO in the nation enacted in 1999. So is Indiana which was the second State to enact these laws. These States must notify their respective CPS as a court has deemed a location/individual a danger. Per the mandates of CPS, they must act to protect the child from the legally identified and significant danger – which includes removal of that child from the danger.
The State of New York has great clarity on this. New York State CPS requires law officers to report incidents to them. New York State defines Child abuse to include:
“Creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of physical injury to the child by other than accidental means which would be likely to cause death, serious or protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of physical or emotional health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ;”
Therefore, per the obligation of CPS, if a court deems a person and household a danger that requires removal of firearms and legal action from a court, and “suspension” of near absolute Rights found in the Constitution, that household is far too dangerous for a child to be present. While this is not a direct requirement of Red Flag legislation, it is a direct consequence of the legislation. It is an action that cannot be deferred. It also adds to the legal fees, already estimated to be in the thousands of dollars, the damage to a reputation, the corruption of communities trust and social activity of any person that an ERPO is enacted against. The impact on a family is indeterminable, but can anyone imagine it to be a positive?
In research for this presentation, I sent a FOIA request to Joette Katz, Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in Connecticut and Terry Stigdon, Director of Department of Child Services (DCS) in Indiana, to determine exactly how many times this has in fact happened, how long were the children and families affected separated, the cost to each State for this, and if there have been any lawsuits as a result plus the outcome of those lawsuits.
DCF replied via Staff Attorney Lynn Herbert, with a email reference line mocking the status of the request, that no records to any of the 6 questions I asked existed, nor that CSG 29-38 has any connection to the actions of DCF. But in review of the policies of DCF, which are not clear on exactly what their responsibilities are in a case where a danger of this nature is present, it seems that action is required. Policy 36-11-1 seems to imply action would be required. But if such action is being taken, and no record exists on it, that is even more troublesome. Here are some of the questions asked of DCF that they claim not record exists for:
How many families have had investigations started as a direct result of CGS 29-38c to date? Has there been any lawsuits, or other legal action, enacted against DCF as a result of CGS 29-38c enforcement? If any, how many has DCF lost?
The DCS of Indiana has also responded to my request. They noted that they are looking into providing answers to the same 6 questions asked of Connecticut. Whether they have the data or they are more efficient at providing that data, or they took more serious the request made is unknown at this time.
What can be asserted is that there have been 1500 Red Flag actions in the State of Connecticut since 1999. The frequency of these actions were in the dozens until 2007 where actions have increased 500% to over 100 per year according to a 2017 Duke Law study. According to the Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr. in a conversation with NPR in March 2018, the number of Red Flag actions is unknown. A June 2018 study (I will get to this in a moment) cites at least 404 Red Flag cases.
According to the Duke Study, ERPO’s in Connecticut have been implemented almost exclusively against men, averaging an age of 47. Though the oldest male to have been targeted was 93 yrs old. This is unique as the unstated but clear purpose of Red Flag legislation is the protection from mass shooting – which have been committed almost exclusively by individuals under the age of 30, and commonly in their late-teens to early 20’s.
Further, 51% of the initiating reports causing the Red Flag action came from individuals who did not know the defendant or declined to identify themselves. 16% of the Red Flag actions in Connecticut did not indicate if there was a danger to the individual or others, the core written purpose of the law.
99% of the cases in the study show that a search was made by the warrant issued, with an average of 7 guns seized by the Government. 88% of all the cases did not result in an arrest of the target of the Red Flag action. In fact that 88% had no arrest within 1 yr prior through 1 yr after the Red Flag action. 27% of the Red Flag actions in Connecticut resulted in no further action by law enforcement.
Of those charged with a Red Flag action, only 30% challenged, within 14 days, the Red Flag action. The remaining portion automatically lost their cases. Of the challenges only 10% had their firearm(s) returned.
The conclusion of the Duke Law study was that to avert 1 suicide, 20 individuals would need to have their firearms seized. No conclusion was made about mass shootings. In fact no question about mass shootings, the publicly stated purpose of Red Flag legislation, was even asked in the study.