Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) announced during an appearance on Fox News Live in April that she is preparing to introduce legislation to create a federal law allowing firearm confiscation orders.
Such laws are generally referred to as Extreme Risk Protection Orders, and California, Indiana, Oregon, and other states, already have them in place. Dingell believes the ability to seize firearms is crucial for pubic safety.
During the live broadcast Dingell said:
“Rep. Fred Upton (R) and I are looking at introducing … legislation … at the national level.” She added, “I grew up in a home where a man shouldn’t have had access to a gun, and I remember some very frightening moments, and there was ability to deal with it. A family who knows that someone in their family could be a danger to themselves or to others needs to have tool that they can take that gun away.”
Dingell stressed that seizure of firearms must occur in a way that protects due process, but she did not explain how such protection is possible.
In California an order to take guns can be issued without the gun owner even knowing. And in Indiana, the state on which Dingell is basing her federal legislation, individuals who have their guns seized have approximately 14 days to go to court to “make a case” to get them back.
The Salt Lake Tribune summed up the Indiana law, “In Indiana, law enforcement can confiscate weapons without a judge’s order. The gun owner must ask the court to get the weapons returned.”
Extreme Risk Protection Orders have proved a popular gun control response to the February 14 Parkland school shooting. However, it is difficult to believe such orders would have prevented that attack. On February 23, 2018, Breitbart News reported, “The family with which [Cruz] was staying repeatedly called the police on him in November 2017 but refused to file charges when sheriff’s deputies arrived. A member of the family with which Cruz was staying explained away Cruz’s erratic behavior by saying he ‘had been suffering significantly from the loss of his mother’ earlier in the month.”
In other words, Nikolas Cruz received sympathy from the family with which he lived and at least one member of that family, in turn, inclined police toward non-action as well.