by Dr. Ross L. Riggs, Chief of Police Ret.
There have been some questions posed about Ohio House Bill 585 – why is there an issue with it for American gun owners? I have read the entire bill and I recommend you do too. Never take someone else’s word for it. Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true.
First, the entire bill deals with the issuance of protection orders against persons accused, not convicted of specific crimes including domestic violence. The most concerning section deals with protection orders against persons NOT charged and NOT even alleged to have committed a crime.
For the discussion regarding the difficulty of Constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, we must look at the section titled 3113.27(A)(1) and following which deals specifically with EXTREME RISK PROTECTION ORDERS.
Allow me to state first this point. IN A PERFECT WORLD laws would not be needed; but, more to this point, IN A PERFECT WORLD we could trust that what people say to the court is the truth, that the courts are always free from impropriety themselves, law enforcement officers can always be believed….
So, here we go…. 3113.27. (A)(1) “A family or household member of a respondent, a person living as a spouse of a respondent, or a law enforcement officer may file a petition in the court of common pleas of the county in which the respondent resides requesting that the court issue an extreme risk protection order temporarily enjoining the respondent from having in the respondent’ s possession, custody, or control any deadly weapon…” (Underline added)
The hearing to decide whether an extreme risk protection order must happen within 72 hours from when the petitioner requests it. If they request an ex-parte or emergency order, then the hearing is that same day and it only lasts 72 hours until the other hearing takes place.
The person the hearing is about, the ‘respondent’ will be notified; but, there is nothing stopping the court from going forward with the hearing without the respondent being there.
If the person tells the court that the respondent is “presents a significant and imminent risk of committing suicide, committing another form of serious self-harm less than death, or causing physical injury to another person to such an extent that the respondent should be immediately and temporarily enjoined from having in the respondent’ s possession…” (lines 1973 to 1977 in the Bill)
The court must find the evidence to be “clear and convincing.” The legal definition of that level of proof is:
“clear and convincing proof means that the evidence presented by a party during the trial must be highly and substantially more probable to be true than not and the trier of fact must have a firm belief or conviction in its factuality.” (Wikipedia) The question becomes, who do you trust?
Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying:
“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
“Never trust a government that does not trust its citizens with guns.”
Okay, back to the House Bill…
Within 24 hours of that order being signed, law enforcement will either go to the persons house and have them surrender all the weapons or they can turn them in to the police. If they don’t, the judge will order a search warrant for the police to go in and search and seize.
Pay attention here: According to the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution “…no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause…” REMEMBER, earlier, the petition would be granted upon ‘clear and convincing evidence’ and that is NOT PROBABLE CAUSE.
REMEMBER, there is NO ACCUSATION of a CRIME having been committed. The RESPONDENT has not been charged with anything and doesn’t even have to be charged with anything and need not even be present when it is being ordered. (Other parts of the HB deal with those charged with Domestic Violence etc. but this part does not require any criminal allegation)
So now, RESPONDENT either turns in or has seized every handgun, rifle, all ammunition, everything. According to the law the seizure of the weapons lasts 180 days and at the end of that the RESPONDENT can ask the court to give him his firearms and everything else back. That should be simple, right?
So, here is the issue… depending on how good a story is told or how much the court wants to remove the weapons from someone’s home, with this HB they can legally remove every firearm and ammunition in the house of the American by force who has NOT been charged with a crime.
Think about this… If the American citizen resists the government coming in and searching his house to seize his guns, NOW he’s arrested for a crime! Remember, it started out with the citizen having no criminal record… Anybody remember the book from 1961 by Joseph Heller, CATCH-22?
This bill cannot pass the legislature, I am told without Republican votes. Follow your conscience.
PLEASE NOTE … the original link included a request for money. I NEVER suggest anyone donate $$ to some unknown group or cause on the internet. I DO suggest you CALL, WRITE, TEXT your State Representatives. My original post was NOT an endorsement to give $$ to anyone!