The National Rifle Association is right to support President Trump’s call for state-level Emergency Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) – under which a court can take guns in rare situations for just a few days when there is evidence that a person may be on the verge of extreme violence – because, if written properly, such temporary measures are consistent with the original meaning of the Constitution’s Second Amendment and Due Process Clause.
The NRA strongly opposed as unconstitutional California’s ERPOs, but support states adopting ERPO laws as outlined by President Trump.
The kinds of speech that are not protected by free speech rights include: perjury, defamation (slander and libel), advocating lawlessness, obscenity, false statements to law enforcement, “fighting words,” child pornography, fraud, threats, and imminent threats to public order.
As Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his historic Supreme Court opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), “Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope is too broad.”
While the details of these ERPO laws must be examined carefully, President Trump’s proposal and the NRA’s support for it may very well result in state laws that are completely consistent with the Constitution’s rights to bear arms and due process, and America’s almost 100 million gun owners should be satisfied that their rights are fully protected by a president and a flagship organization determined to uphold those rights.