Due process?

As a retired federal lawman and a gun club officer who accompanied several club members to court to face PFA hearings in the recent past, I was disturbed by the Dec. 20 article, “Law orders domestic violence abusers to turn in firearms.” The article blurs the clear distinction between an Allegation of Abuse versus a Conviction of domestic abuse. I fully support the clear and logical statement of State Representative Garth Everett on this subject. Everett points out the 5th Amendment Right of all citizens to be protected from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

My most recent experience was a PFA issued without the recipient of the PFA even knowing a PFA was sought, heard in court and served in total ignorance of the recipient! The judge never asked the defendant for a hearing on the merits of the PFA request. Where was Due Process? In many states the PFAs are issued about as easily as breath mints in a restaurant and none of my gun club members, even in court, were ever asked to testify to the merits of the spouse’s PFA petition! Where is Due Process? Why should guns be seized on a mere allegation? I have no problem with gun seizures after a domestic abuse conviction, but not on a mere allegation. While the court is removing dangerous abuse items, may I suggest car keys since the last death was committed by a woman driving a few times over a man.

Thanks, Rep. Everett, for representing citizens and respecting the 5th Amendment of the Constitution. There is a big step between allegation and conviction before anyone loses gun rights – or there should be.

Ron Benjamin


Submitted by E-Mail