The following is the response to questions from an armed defense legal representation organization regarding extreme risk protection orders (ERPO), gun violence restraining order (GVRO) or so-called red flag laws. It was written by Attorney Ralph D. Long, Sr., a member of the Alabama State Bar Association.
Mr. Long was a small town municipal prosecutor and retired police lieutenant with 26 years of experience in patrol and investigations. His police service includes extensive experience as a police firearms trainer. He gives us permission to reprint his advice with the following caveat.
He, in NO WAY, advocates or encourages any citizen to break the law or to disobey/ignore a judge’s order. He insists that the time and place to resist an ERPO is before the legislature passes a “red flag” law. Though Mr. Long states that the principle of Constitutional and common law due process requires a hearing before a person’s property is seized by the government, no one should use violence to resist peace officers who are sent to their home with a court order.
After ERPOs becomes law, and until they are overturned by the state or U.S. Supreme Court, an ERPO must only be contested in court after the fact. Those subjected to an ERPO should conduct themselves with restraint so as to aid their attorney’s efforts to restore the seized property and/or right to bear arms. Resisting officers executing a court order only gives credence to the person who has sworn before the judge that the subject is a danger to himself or others.
Mr. Long further encourages citizens to research and enroll in an armed citizen legal defense insurance program that offers civil and criminal defense representation. These organizations include Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, US Law Shield, US Concealed Carry Association and others. Some of these policies may provide representation for red flag seizures in the states that have such laws. You should make sure you know what kind of representation each organization provides and pick the coverage that bests suits your situation.