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New rules make it easier for ATF to seize guns without due process | THE JEENYUS CORNER

Anthony Martin

The Obama administration, apparently by executive decree, has enacted new rules that make it easier for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to seize the guns of citizens without due process of law. A Washington Times report issued on Thursday provides the details.

Under normal circumstances a citizen must be convicted of a crime, or at least charged with a crime, in order for law enforcement to seize their firearms. But the Justice Department granted authority to the ATF to “seize and administratively forfeit property involved in controlled substance abuses.”

According to the Times, this gives the federal government the power to seize the guns of citizens even if they are merely suspected of substance abuse. These citizens do not have to be officially charged or arrested.

Due process of law, under the mandate of the U.S. Constitution, requires among other things that citizens have rights that cannot be violated even if they are suspected of crimes. Historically this has meant that citizens who are not charged but are mere suspects cannot be deprived of any of the rights afforded to any other citizen. And even if they are charged with crimes, they still have certain rights that cannot be violated, such as the right to a fair trial, the right to face one’s accusers in a court of law, and the right to qualified legal counsel. Any violation of that person’s rights after they are charged must be done according to accepted legal process and not on the whims of prosecutors or law enforcement.

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