Police Discretion and The Constitution of the United States of America

Police Discretion and The Constitution of the United States of America

The following article is by one of our longtime customers, Gunnar Anderson. Enjoy!

- Justin 


The news is full of examples of government overreach - bump stock bans (struck down by SCOTUS on 14 June 2024), pistol braces making a pistol an SBR, forced reset triggers being defined as machine guns, etc. But sometimes the people that make up the government push back and remember their oaths.

Earlier this year I put on a number of trainings regarding a state’s new Red Flag Law. For those of you who don’t know what that means, a Red Flag Law allows certain family members or law enforcement to petition the court to suspend a person’s Second Amendment rights if they can convince the judge that the person represents a danger to themselves or others by possessing a firearm. Under certain circumstances the person does not even get a chance to be heard before losing their rights. That Red Flag Law also creates a mechanism for law enforcement to seize a person’s firearms, sometimes with little to no notice.

Cue the responses from the LEOs (law enforcement officers) in my training:

  • How does that not violate the Constitution?
  • Yeah, I’m not doing that.
  • What was the legislature thinking?
  • This is garbage.  What organizations can I donate to to fight this?

Just because a law exists does not necessarily equate to law enforcement implementing or enforcing that law. Every cop I know has a cutoff for when they will stop someone for speeding. LEOs have the discretion to stop a vehicle for equipment violations (e.g., broken taillight or cracked windshield). Similarly, LEOs have the discretion and even a duty to not enforce laws they believe violate the Constitution.

Do not let the politicians or the news get you down. There are more people in uniform that believe in doing the right thing than the politicians or media would let you believe. If you are a LEO reading this and feel alone, know that there are other LEOs out there standing by their oaths. And whether you are a LEO or not, consider supporting those groups and companies that support our Constitution. None of us can do this alone.

Gunnar Anderson is a former EMT, rescue diver, and prosecutor who now trains and advises both law enforcement and emergency management.


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