We're debuting a new post series that explores the future of gun control (and America) from a fiction perspective. Various styles of prose will be used including the style of news articles.
What lies in store for America is a horrifying future; far more so than most are willing to admit. Gun confiscation is highly unlikely to come in the form of SWAT teams kicking down doors, but in a far more insidious manner that utilizes the most evil methods of tyranny to force compliance. We should all work, pray, and hope this remains fiction.
Today's installment is about the abuse of gun violence restraining orders (GVROs), also known as extreme risk protection order (ERPO), and "red flag" laws.
“Menacing” open carrier arrested for illegal possession of a firearm
Pima County deputies took Carlos Beltran, 34, of Tucson, into custody for violating a court-order not to possess firearms. Last Monday, Beltran was served with an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) after a neighbor complained to police that Beltran was “menacing” her with his openly carried handgun. He was booked at the Pima County Jail for violation of a court order and felony possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Under a new state law, persons subject to a restraining order are prohibited from possessing firearms.
Beltran’s public defender said that the charges were “groundless” and based on the false statement of a neighbor, who claimed that Beltran was pointing a shotgun at her from inside his apartment. Police responded within minutes and were let inside the apartment by Beltran, who gave his consent for police to search the residence. They found no shotgun, but they did find a handgun in a drawer that should have been surrendered previously.
In the last legislative session a comprehensive firearms reform package was voted into law. Where Arizona had been given an "F" rating by the Brady Campaign, it now has a "C" grade.
The neighbor who called 911 was Irma Torres, who filed for the ERPO on Saturday with the help of police. In the application for the order, Torres claimed that she has had unspecified problems with Beltran in the past. Beltran “always carries a pistol on his belt” and often works on his truck in full view of Torres’ and walks past her apartment several times each day while carrying his gun. She had asked him in the past not to carry it, but Beltran refused.
“Mr. Beltran is a law abiding American citizen. He has never before been arrested or even had a traffic ticket. He is a staunch believer in our Second Amendment and is committed to defending himself in a dangerous neighborhood. He denies categorically that he has ever intimidated or threatened the complainant,” wrote Beltran’s attorney.
A social media post, now deleted, believed to be attributed to Beltran, said that Torres “is just a scared little old lady. She’s an illegal immigrant is afraid of guns b/c all the bad guys in Mexico have them and no one in the barrio carries them except cholos.” Beltran’s attorney did not have a comment about the post.
Beltran was released on a $50,000 bond and given an order not to return to his apartment. His arraignment date is set for the 30th of this month.