But That's Just When You Need Guns the Most!

Reason Magazine: "She Said He Said He Saw Demons. Then He Had to Give Up His Guns."
[A judge issued orders]...which authorizes the suspension of a person's Second Amendment rights when he is deemed a threat to himself or others. All three were ex parte orders, meaning they were issued without giving Kevin Morgan a chance to rebut the allegations against him.

But when it was time for a judge to decide whether the initial gun confiscation order, which was limited to 14 days, should be extended for a year, Morgan got a hearing, and the lurid picture painted by his wife disintegrated. By the end of the hearing, in an extraordinary turn of events unlike anything you are likely to see in a courtroom drama, the lawyer representing the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, which was seeking the final order, conceded that he had not met the law's evidentiary standard, and the judge agreed.

This bizarre case vividly illustrates why legal representation and meaningful judicial review are necessary to protect gun owners from unsubstantiated complaints under red flag laws, which 17 states and the District of Columbia have enacted. But it also shows that police and prosecutors, who in Florida are the only parties authorized to file red flag petitions, are not necessarily diligent about investigating allegations by people who may have an ax to grind.
That's all very well, but what happens when the police roll up, armed and in numbers, to disarm someone they've been told is a madman seeing demons? He gets his day in court eventually, if he's still alive.


Anonymous said...

She Baker Acted him, meaning he was forced to pschiatric observation, without having a hearing.
"Joanie Morgan obtained a temporary domestic violence protection injunction, an involuntary psychiatric evaluation order under the Florida Mental Health Act (a.k.a. the Baker Act), and a temporary "risk protection order".... All three were ex parte orders, meaning they were issued without giving Kevin Morgan a chance to rebut the allegations against him.:

Grim said...

Yeah, that's true. That's reason enough to oppose the law's existence, all by itself.

MikeD said...

Frankly, she needs to be charged with filing a false police report and probably perjury for her lies told in court. The only way to really prevent the abuse of laws like this (if they aren't simply repealed as unconstitutional) is to severely punish those who would abuse them.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I am always interested in the cases that have a psychiatric angle, because what the The Centers did in this case sounds a lot like what I do for a living. We are trained to gather as much outside evidence as possible as quickly as possible, but hold all of it at arms length and do our own examinations cleanly. I have seen them go both ways, though seldom this dramatically. I have had to explain to family, police, or even community mental health providers "Yes, she might be as dangerous as you say. But we have to have evidence to bring before the judge. We don't operate on impressions and mere say-so."

On the other hand, we have had people brought in where the evidence on the petition looks slight, but the patient rapidly shows dangerousness in hospital. In New Hampshire, a probable cause hearing must be held within 72 hours for rights protection. Hearsay evidence is allowed for that hearing but not for further commitment hearings. At the moment, it may be the fact that the hospital is perennial full with people waiting in ERs for an empty bed that is the best protection of someone's rights. We have to focus on provable dangerousness, and discharge people well before a lot of the community thinks proper.

It seems like The Centers did their job. As with all such reports, however, I'd like to hear the other side of the story. Maybe he is dangerous but items pointing in that direction were left out of the story. I have seen both.

Relatedly, the laws governing the ownership of firearms after having received an involuntary commitment are complicated and misunderstood, even by professionals. I may post on it myself sometime. The short version is that the federal law was poorly written in response to the VA Tech shootings, and does very little one way or the other.

Ymar Sakar said...

Never gonna need guns against demons. Well except if you count the physical ones unferground.

Most are just weak spirits, easily purified. Hollywood westetn movies have over inflated the rpg stats of demons.

Texan99 said...


MikeD said...

And no one has covered Grim's excellent point. This guy is extremely fortunate that the Citrus County Sheriff's Office hadn't deployed a SWAT team in a no-knock raid to seize this man and his guns. It will happen with these red-flag laws, and someone will be killed. It's a matter of time.

DOuglas2/unknown said...

It strikes me from the articles that the fellow was remarkably placid through the whole affair, and that with even the ordinary righteous anger one would have in response to what he was subjected to might have been interpreted by some along the way as corroboration of the ex-wife's story.

ymarsakar said...

I don't need to covert Grim's point, MikeD.

I was telling him about SWATing and copblock before any hard core conservative bothered to look that problem up, here.

People already been killed and Americans are still sleeping with the BLUE PILL IN THE MATRIX, AS usual.

Waco 1? Waco 2? Ruby Ridge?

What are those, Hollywood movies people watch for kicks and giggles...

You know, all of these human shenanigans makes it very difficult for me to run my campaign and to obey need to know strategic Divine objectives.