New Hampshire bill aims to prevent Katrina-style gun seizures


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DadaOrwell2
January 3, 2006, 02:16 AM
January 2, 2006
Concord, N.H.

Concerned by perceived abuses of Federal power during the Katrina crisis, New Hampshire state reps are reviewing a bill which would criminalize certain weapons seizures - even if the perpetrators are Federal officers. House Bill 1639-FN, prohibits the confiscation of lawfully owned and lawfully carried firearms during a state of emergency, making a felon of any law enforcement officer who attempts to seize such a firearm during a disaster.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Paul Hopfgarten at the request of local Free Staters - members of a group trying to recruit freedom lovers to New Hampshire and turn it an even more libertarian state than it already is (www.freestateproject.org).

The bill reads: "Any law enforcement officer, person acting as a law enforcement officer, or other public official who confiscates or attempts to confiscate lawfully carried or lawfully owned firearms in this state during a declared state of emergency
shall be charged with a class A felony."

In the chaos following Hurricane Katrina, various government agencies - including Federal Marshalls - made systematic
attempts to sweep New Orleans of guns - even if that meant entering the homes of law abiding gun owners. The move did not cause widespread outrage in most states. But New Hampshire residents reacted by burning a FEMA flag in front of a local Federal building. They also circulated a petition pledging resistance if such a move were ever attempted in the "Live Free or Die" state....a place where guns are part of the culture and gun laws are the second-loosest in the nation.

Activists say whether it passes or not, this "Gun Protection Bill" is one more small thing they can do to try and protect themselves from disarmament at the hands of any government, during a time when they believe they will need their weapons most.

Bill text: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2006/hb1639.html
Media coverage of FEMA flag burn:
http://www.cmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050922/REPOSITORY/509220363/1001/NEWS01

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Marnoot
January 3, 2006, 02:49 AM
Any law enforcement officer, person acting as a law enforcement officer, or other public official who confiscates or attempts to confiscate lawfully carried or lawfully owned firearms in this state . . . shall be charged with a class A felony.I like the bill better with my editing. Why limit protection for law-abiding gun-owners to only times of crisis?:confused:

antsi
January 3, 2006, 02:59 AM
I like the sentiment here, but don't see the utility.
If RKBA being incorporated into the freaking Constitution didn't stop them in NO, how is adding another law on the books going to stop them next time? If they can ignore one law, they can ignore two.

Devonai
January 3, 2006, 03:07 AM
It's better than closing the barn door after the horse is gone. It also makes my life as a guardsman easier as it helps clarify what might be an unlawful order. It's better than having to say, "Sir, I cannot follow that order."

beerslurpy
January 3, 2006, 03:15 AM
Saying you cant do it is great. Saying "you may lose your job if you do it" is somewhat better. And saying "we will put you in jail if you do it" is even better.

Ironically, since the act of seizure would be a felony, I beleive the exceptions to self defense that typically apply to LEOs are moot in such a case. This almost takes us back to the late 18th century.

If only such laws didnt require states of emergency to be activated.

Manedwolf
January 3, 2006, 12:56 PM
January 2, 2006
Concord, N.H.

Concerned by perceived abuses of Federal power during the Katrina crisis, New Hampshire state reps are reviewing a bill which would criminalize certain weapons seizures - even if the perpetrators are Federal officers. House Bill 1639-FN, prohibits the confiscation of lawfully owned and lawfully carried firearms during a state of emergency, making a felon of any law enforcement officer who attempts to seize such a firearm during a disaster.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Paul Hopfgarten at the request of local Free Staters - members of a group trying to recruit freedom lovers to New Hampshire and turn it an even more libertarian state than it already is (www.freestateproject.org).

The bill reads: "Any law enforcement officer, person acting as a law enforcement officer, or other public official who confiscates or attempts to confiscate lawfully carried or lawfully owned firearms in this state during a declared state of emergency
shall be charged with a class A felony."

In the chaos following Hurricane Katrina, various government agencies - including Federal Marshalls - made systematic
attempts to sweep New Orleans of guns - even if that meant entering the homes of law abiding gun owners. The move did not cause widespread outrage in most states. But New Hampshire residents reacted by burning a FEMA flag in front of a local Federal building. They also circulated a petition pledging resistance if such a move were ever attempted in the "Live Free or Die" state....a place where guns are part of the culture and gun laws are the second-loosest in the nation.

Activists say whether it passes or not, this "Gun Protection Bill" is one more small thing they can do to try and protect themselves from disarmament at the hands of any government, during a time when they believe they will need their weapons most.

Bill text: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2006/hb1639.html
Media coverage of FEMA flag burn:
http://www.cmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050922/REPOSITORY/509220363/1001/NEWS01

I love my state. :D SOME Americans still aren't asleep.

Lupinus
January 3, 2006, 01:07 PM
I love it....why the heck do they need to be in such cold climates, they should migrate south :D

I like the sentiment here, but don't see the utility.
If RKBA being incorporated into the freaking Constitution didn't stop them in NO, how is adding another law on the books going to stop them next time? If they can ignore one law, they can ignore two.
Because it puts a law on the books saying that something will happen if you do. The 2ndA jsut says you have the right, doesn't say what will happen if a goverment official violates it. This does.

Manedwolf
January 3, 2006, 01:19 PM
I love it....why the heck do they need to be in such cold climates, they should migrate south :D


Because it puts a law on the books saying that something will happen if you do. The 2ndA jsut says you have the right, doesn't say what will happen if a goverment official violates it. This does.


Eh, it's not that cold. 40's, 30's most of the winter, a few colder days with windchill, but it's not "step outside without three coats and die" cold like places like Minnesota.

yucaipa
January 3, 2006, 01:36 PM
It will be interesting to see what arguments the ban the the gun bunch put forward on this.

They are going to have to really twist and turn to keep themselves on the "were are for reasonable/common sense laws" road.

georgeduz
January 3, 2006, 01:38 PM
i wish these free staters would come and live on nj,we need them here.

DadaOrwell2
January 3, 2006, 01:43 PM
Dev, Maned...

thanks for the kind words.

Maned if you want to join the "unasleep" in your midst inside NH, consider yourself invited to NHfree.com where we do something every week to enhance freedom including gun freedom. We also run the state's most active web forum there...but it's the action that counts.

Dev I hope you will consider moving up here and getting active yourself in our fight for freedom.

Hawkmoon
January 3, 2006, 05:38 PM
It's better than closing the barn door after the horse is gone. It also makes my life as a guardsman easier as it helps clarify what might be an unlawful order. It's better than having to say, "Sir, I cannot follow that order."
10-4

The problem with having a UCMJ saying military personnel are required to not obey unlawful orders is ... to know when an order is unlawful. Vague references to the Constitution are nice, but a law on the books saying "This is wrong, even if you're wearing a uniform" should eliminate a lot of questions.

Unfortunately, the way it is worded probably won't mean much. There is no penalty specified, nor is there any requirement for arrest. Maybe NH laws are written differently, but most state laws I've looked at state that he who does ___ shall be "guilty" of a Class __ felony, not "shall be charged with."

Standing Wolf
January 3, 2006, 08:37 PM
I believe Florida is considering a similar law. Every state should have one.

Actually, on second thought, let me rephrase that: no state should ever need one.

DadaOrwell2
January 4, 2006, 04:01 PM
i wish these free staters would come and live on nj,we need them here.

Instead of dragging all of us down to you, just drag yerself up here!

RavenVT100
January 4, 2006, 04:05 PM
New Hampshirites:

NH is on my list of states to relocate to in order to get away from urban sprawl. However, the influx of MA residents that summer in NH and eventually move to NH concerns me, particularly in light of the different political philosophies that the two states have.

What are your thoughts on how this will progress? Many people have told me that they feel that MA politics will eventually take over NH, and NH will simply become an extension of MA politically.

DadaOrwell2
January 4, 2006, 04:10 PM
New Hampshirites:
Many people have told me that they feel that MA politics will eventually take over NH,

They've been saying that for so long, but it's never really happened. Mass. residents are the source of liberty here, not the enemy of it. They are more conservative than the natives; kind of like Lithuanians fleeing the Soviet Union.

The Union Leader did a research article on this after the 2004 election and determined that NH residents who came here from mass. voted decisevely for Bush, NH natives didn't. Bush isn't great I admit but people who voted for him are generally more liberty oriented than Kerry voters. So the influx works to our advantage from a liberty standpoint. NH is threatened more by the internal government school system than outsiders. And that threat, I do agree, is substantial...just as it is in every state.

gt3944
January 4, 2006, 04:41 PM
More power to them...I'm from louisiana and I moved to Georgia because of Katrina..trust me I was not gonna go back there without my gun at hand...they had thugs robbing people, thugs shooting people, thugs impersonating FEMA officials robbing and raping people....I was there the first two weeks after the storm and Im glad these so called officers didnt try to take my sidearm..funny part is the cops at the checkpoints kept making sure that I had my gun with me before going back to the city...

BostonGeorge
January 4, 2006, 05:14 PM
What are your thoughts on how this will progress? Many people have told me that they feel that MA politics will eventually take over NH, and NH will simply become an extension of MA politically

I think that most MA transplants agree with NH's politics rather than want to change them. I know I moved for the greater liberties and I would assume any crazy MA liberals would just stay where they are.

DadaOrwell2
January 5, 2006, 10:54 PM
God bless the cops who wanted you to have a gun!

BTW the story made it to Alex Jones' national talk show today:

http://infowars.com/articles/2nd_amendment/nh_bill_aims_prevent_katrina_style_gun_grab.htm

publius
January 6, 2006, 09:29 AM
I believe Florida is considering a similar law. Every state should have one.

We are? Cool! I've gotta pay more attention. My State Rep is very good, but no doubt others could use some prodding.

Capital Punishment
January 6, 2006, 10:21 AM
Wow, i need to move to New Hampshire. :)


When the newspaper mentioned that they have the second loosest gun laws, they should of also mentioned New Hampshires (non-existant) crime rate. :neener:

Manedwolf
January 6, 2006, 04:37 PM
Wow, i need to move to New Hampshire. :)


When the newspaper mentioned that they have the second loosest gun laws, they should of also mentioned New Hampshires (non-existant) crime rate. :neener:

Yeah. The last "violent crime" I know of, and only one for a while, in Manchester, a decently-sized and ethnically and economically varied city, was some heroin-head whacking on the door of a closed convenience store in a bad area...with a baseball bat. And they ran away.

They also think the heroin came in through MA.

Devonai
January 6, 2006, 07:24 PM
My parents are moving from Maine to Manchester. I simply recommended they avoid certain neighborhoods (and the Red Oak real estate company).

Sometimes disadvantaged youths shoot each other, but I'd bet the only largest city that has a lower occurance of this is in Vermont. Even still, it's almost always in the same neighborhood of Manchester. Interesting that this neighborhood is just a few blocks from the police station.

DadaOrwell2
January 13, 2006, 07:10 PM
NRA coming into play now on this issue:

http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/InTheNews.aspx?ID=7053

Boston globe linking to the story as well:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2006/01/12/bill_to_clip_barber_training_debated/

Pundits in other states starting to talk about their own versions of the same bill. Hope you guys on this forum can help spread the word.

DadaOrwell2
February 25, 2006, 03:56 AM
Some updates on this:

In the "reality check" column I should point out that I think only about 5 or 10% of bills submitted in New Hampshire become law (which is a good thing). So in the natural scheme of things it would not be likely they would pass any law, not even this one.

I was at the committee hearing last month where this bill came up for public discussion and citizens just packed the room to speak in favor of it, in testimony supporters outnumbered opponents 10 to 1. Virtually no one spoke against it except two of the reps on the committee, which is unfortunately dominated by cops and chiefs.

But we are doing what we can with what we have; a good bill like this always draws publicity and draws attention to the problem. If that is all we get then it's easily worth it.

DKSuddeth
February 25, 2006, 02:38 PM
The bill reads: "Any law enforcement officer, person acting as a law enforcement officer, or other public official who confiscates or attempts to confiscate lawfully carried or lawfully owned firearms in this state during a declared state of emergency
shall be charged with a class A felony."

even if the perpetrators are Federal officers
What kind of power is a state going to find that they have over ANY federal officer? :rolleyes:

If the feds deem it necessary, they WILL confiscate arms and no law is going to stop them. There would be only ONE way to prevent confiscation and it involves large numbers and tight groupings.

DadaOrwell2
February 26, 2006, 08:52 PM
Here's the latest: The House Committee hearing the bill has voted 13-5 to recommend that the bill not pass.

However it must still go before the full House on March 7, where such recommendations are sometimes overturned.

Primarily this "no" vote stems from concerns that this would have a chilling affect on a policeman's ability to secure a weapon from a person while trying to determine whether it is "lawfully borne." An amended version may come into play next year that addresses this concern, and in the meantime I understand several other state legislatures have initiated copycat legislation, or at least legislation that is similar. We'll see how these do. It's a start!

DadaOrwell2
June 27, 2006, 11:16 AM
OK here is the latest on this issue...the House bill I originally told you guys about earlier this year got voted down in commitee. However the Senate made a version of their own, soimewhat less controvesial. And New Hampshire's governor has signed it! Yeehaah!!!!!

It becomes law July 14 and makes clear that cops don't get to take our guns during a state of emergency.

Here is an article about it on the Gun Owners of New Hampshire website:


-----

http://gonh.org/

SB348 "Katrina" Bill Signed by Governor on May 15
the "Katrina" no-emergency-gun-confiscation bill was signed into law on May 15.

The new law, a paragraph added to RSA 4:46 <http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/I/4/4-46.htm> pertaining to the taking of private property during a state of emergency, is as follows:
I-a. Under no circumstances shall this section be construed to authorize the taking, confiscation, or seizure of firearms, ammunition, or ammunition components.

This will go into effect in 60 days, on July 14.
RSA 4:46 <http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/I/4/4-46.htm> has a penalty provision of a Class B felony in paragraph VI:

VI. Any person who willfully takes possession of, or attempts to take possession of, property, purporting to act under this section but without authority to so act, whether by false pretense or otherwise, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a class B felony if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person, and 1/2 of any fine imposed shall be paid to the owner of the property and 1/2 to the county.
In light of the ongoing flooding emergency in our state, this is encouraging news.
----

Devonai
June 27, 2006, 01:14 PM
Sounds good to me.

DadaOrwell2
August 24, 2006, 07:54 PM
bump

The bill-become-law went into effect last month.

On a related note I got one of the Fed Marshalls on the phone who was in New Orleans, but based here in NH. His name is Gary Dimartino, although I may have the spelling wrong. He is a supervisor. Asked him about the wep seizures and specifically the article below.

I told him that I appreciated his return of my phone call and that I knew there were probably many good things that he had done over the last months which I know nothing about, and that I realize there is some unfairness in the fact that I only call to complain, but that I appreciate whatever good he may have done.

I told him I felt New Orleans was an example of a bad thing, and he got kind of excited and said "we did a lot of good things there," he said there might be other things the weren't good but NO was not one of them. I went a week without sleep, he said. I told him I believed him, but that mixed in with the good was some bad stuff. I mentioned to him the sept. 8 2005 washington post article at

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/08/AR2005090802089.html

regarding a bar owner in the dry part of NO who had prepared well and had a generator, and an open bar:

"But on Wednesday night, Guidos said, armed federal agents identifying themselves as U.S. marshals confiscated her weapons and ordered her and six friends to leave by noon Thursday.

'When you get 15 M-16s pointed at you and they line you up against the wall, it's kind of scary,' said Guidos, 55."

He denied knowledge of this. I asked him to do whatever was in his power to keep this kind of thing from happening twice.

gezzer
August 24, 2006, 10:21 PM
Should have added or if in NH you will be shot as the felon you will be.

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