Guilty Until Proven Innocent, The Red Flag Law of Texas

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Red Flag Law

Let’s meet Sam and Sally Smith. Law abiding citizens of the great state of Texas. They run their own business, pay their taxes, go to church on Sunday and Wednesday, vote in every election. They are just good people. Sam and Sally enjoy hunting and target shooting on their ranch. Sometimes they will video the target shooting and post it on social media for their friends to enjoy.

Now meet Richard Right. He feels that anyone with a gun is a criminal. He also knows Sam and Sally have a different political affiliation than he does, and he knows anyone who doesn’t think like he does is mentally ill. What can he do? These mentally ill people have guns. But since the great Gov. Abbot passed the Red Flag Law, he can now just go online to the IWatchTexas website and report them. And the best thing...they will never know they are on the LIST. Richard doesn’t even have to give his name.

Sam and Sally are just living their lives never knowing that somewhere some government official is keeping track of them.

If you think this doesn’t happen, ask the people of the former Soviet Union or the Germans.

Red Flag Laws and the 5th Amendment

Fifth Amendment - U.S. Constitution

Fifth Amendment - Rights of Persons
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury , except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, 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.

Red Flag Laws
In the United States , a red flag law is a gun control law that permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves. A judge makes the determination to issue the order based on statements and actions made by the gun owner in question. Refusal to comply with the order is punishable as a criminal offense. After a set time, the guns are returned to the person from whom they were seized unless another court hearing extends the period of confiscation.

Such orders are known by various names, including "Extreme Risk Protection Orders" (ERPO) (in Oregon , Washington , Maryland , and Vermont ); "Risk Protection Orders" (in Florida ); "Gun Violence Restraining Orders" (in California ); "risk warrants" (in Connecticut ); and "Proceedings for the Seizure and Retention of a Firearm" (in Indiana ). As of August 2019, 17 states and the District of Columbia have passed some form of red-flag law. The specifics of the laws, and the degree to which they are utilized, vary from state to state.

I Watch Texas Community Reporting System
Welcome to the Texas Suspicious Activity Reporting Network iWatchTexas website, where you can report suspicious activities or behaviors that may indicate criminal, terroristic, or school safety-related threats.

This site is not designed to report emergencies. If this is an emergency, call 911.

Every report will be reviewed by analysts. Although not required, providing your contact information will allow follow up questions, and if you prefer to report by telephone, please contact 844-643-2251
In Gov. Abbot SAR release (report at bottom)

No.4. Educate physicians and behavioral health professionals about the law concerning disclosure of confidential information to law enforcement.

Sounds like to me they want to “educate” them to break the law. Have they never heard of HIPPA?

No. 5. DPS should coordinate with fusion centers across the state to promote continuous improvement and accountability.

The fusion centers are used to collect information on Texans. If you think I’m talking about criminals, no they collect information on innocent people who “anyone” can file a suspicious report on. So Texas is encouraging Texans to spy on other Texans and report them!

Proposal 10.The Legislature should spur cooperation to encourage social media companies to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.

So who exactly at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc are going to be deciding what is suspicious activity?

Our elected officials are trampling over our Constitutional Rights. If we as citizens do not make our voices and votes heard NOW! We and our children will not recognise our State or Country. We will sit around and talk about the good ol’ days when we could think for ourselves.

Make your voice heard to the Governor and all your representatives.


Governor Abbott Releases Texas Safety Action Report

September 12, 2019 | Austin, Texas | PressRelease

Following weeks of meetings with nearly 50 experts in the aftermath of tragedies across the state, Governor Greg Abbott today unveiled the Texas Safety Action Report. The Governor’s report elaborates on the Executive Orders issued last week that are intended to bolster the public safety coordination that can prevent mass shootings. The Texas Safety Action Report also provides additional ideas for the Texas Legislature and state agencies to consider that can make our communities safer while also respecting the Constitution.

Governor Abbott’s Texas Safety Commission convened community leaders, law enforcement officials, federal officials, business representatives, faith leaders, tech experts, counselors, advocates, lawmakers, and survivors of mass shootings to study what has happened, identify any shortcomings in our current systems, and explore ways to prevent these horrific tragedies from taking place. The strategies laid out in the Texas Safety Action Report are a result of these meetings.

"We must act with resolve in response to the despicable acts of violence we have witnessed in Texas," said Governor Abbott. "Solving the problems that have led to these horrific events will take more than governmental action. The complete solution will require more than what is outlined in this paper. It will require parents, families, churches, law enforcement, community groups, schools, and others working together to fortify the social fabric of our society. Texans are at our best when we are tested. Together, we will transcend this test, and forge an even better future for our state."

A summaryof the Texas Safety Action Report can be found below.
Here are the Executive Order and Legislative Proposals from the Governor's report, released on 9/12/19.

Additional Executive Actions:
1. Strengthen Domestic Violence High Risk Teams across the state.
2. Expand law enforcement training offered through the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University, and develop a public awareness campaign for the “Avoid, Deny, Defend” program.
3. Refresh training for all licensed peace officers on the procedures and criteria for “emergency detention.”
4. Educate physicians and behavioral health professionals about the law concerning disclosure of confidential information to law enforcement.
5. DPS should coordinate with fusion centers across the state to promote continuous improvement and accountability.
6. Accelerate the development and implementation of the DPS safe firearm storage campaign, supported by the recent $1 million appropriation.

Legislative Proposals

1. The Legislature should consider expediting the reporting of criminal convictions to the Texas Department of Public Safety
2. The Legislature should consider prohibiting straw purchases of firearms under state law. A primary goal is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
3. The Legislature should consider laws that crack down on criminals who try to illegally buy or possess guns.
4. The Legislature should consider laws that crack down on criminals who try to illegally buy or possess guns.
5. The Legislature should consider requiring courts to inform convicted criminals, both orally and inwriting, that they may no longer possess firearms.
6. The Legislature should consider stiffer consequences for criminals convicted of violent offenses.
7. The Legislature could consider requiring that any stolen firearms be reported to the county sheriff within 10 days of when the owner becomes aware of the theft.
8. The Legislature should consider ways to make it easy, affordable, and beneficial for a private seller of firearms to voluntarily use background checks when selling firearms to strangers.
9. The Legislature should consider prohibiting juvenile offenders convicted of certain violent crimes from legally purchasing firearms.
10. The Legislature should spur cooperation to encourage social media companies to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.
11. The Legislature should consider implementing and funding a Texas program, similar to federal initiatives, which uses a multi-pronged strategy of policing and prosecution, agency integration, and identification of violent crime hot spots. The focus would be on criminals with guns, not law-abiding Texans.
12. The Legislature should consider a law that works in conjunction with the proposed federal “Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act” of 2019.

Additional Strategies:
1. The Legislature should work with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to develop strategies to improve parental engagement in schools.
2. When updating the Health TEKS, the State Board of Education (SBOE) should emphasize student mental health issues, including depression, social media immersion, and drug abuse.
3. The Legislature should consider amending state law to ensure schools are notified when former students are arrested.

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