A provision added to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, the Pentagon’s annual budget, has raised some eyebrows among Second Amendment advocates because it would authorize military courts to issue protective orders making the possession or accessing of a firearm by a targeted service member unlawful, at least temporarily.
The so-called “red flag” provision would also exempt military courts from denying members their Fifth Amendment right to due process, according to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who discussed the issue with trial attorney, author, and retired Army Col. Kurt Schlichter.
In response to Ingraham’s suggestion that the provision may be “a real pathway to larger gun control within” the U.S. military, Schlichter explained that he sees multiple issues with it.
First, he said, most U.S. military personnel are deployed within the continental U.S., and most states already have legal mechanisms in place, including red flag laws, to deal with such issues.
(Video: Fox News)
But Schlichter also said he is alarmed by a “trend” he sees “to ‘lawyerize’ the military” and “to take things away from the commander and put them in an unaccountable legal silo,” as is happening with sexual assault cases.
“Now they want to do it with whether you should be allowed to have your own private weapons,” the retired infantry officer continued, explaining that in normal circumstances there is only one chain of command and that commanders of units are ultimately responsible for meting out discipline.
Ingraham interjected to suggest that the changes are occurring within the military “because of what happened Jan. 6” — the riot at the U.S. Capitol Building, which the left has used as a political cudgel against all conservatives and supporters of former President Donald Trump, many of whom are in the U.S. military or are veterans.
“That was their big deal. They had their stand-down, the Pentagon, they did an examination of extremism in the ranks of the military,” the host said, adding that according to the NDAA provision, military members who are deprived of their personal firearms by a military court have 30 days to prove the action was unneeded.
Schlichter said he “has an issue with that.”
“Thirty days to take away a constitutional right? That seems like a long time. If you’ve got proof that someone should be deprived of a basic constitutional right, you should be able to present it right away. And the person whose right is being infringed upon should have a right to come back with legal counsel,” he said, noting that under ordinary circumstances, accused military members are assigned a Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer — a military attorney — to represent them.
“I think that’s the least we can do for our troops,” Schlichter continued. “You’ve gotta ask yourself…do we really wanna trust the administration with this kind of power? We’ve seen them persecuting hard-working Border Patrol people who are on videotape not committing a crime, yet they’re being persecuted. Are we going to trust them with our soldiers…?”
Ingraham went on to point out that one clause in the questionable provision requires service branches to develop training courses on how to spot “extremism,” while noting that the Pentagon is already monitoring military members’ social media posts and communications.
“The question is, always, how do you identify, what is extremism to you might not be extremism to anyone else. Being conservative, to them, is extremist. That’s the problem, is it not?” Ingraham asked.
“That is exactly the problem. Real extremists, the ones who really cause damage like the shooter at Fort Hood, everyone was afraid to raise the red flag because they didn’t want to be accused of bigotry,” Schlichter responded. “It wasn’t bigotry, it was taking care of your brother and sister soldiers. This…we have seen is part of a trend and it’s part of a trend to impose a uniform political view within the uniformed services.”
“Good luck finding people to sign up for the armed forces under these rules,” Ingraham said as she closed out the segment.
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