Help: need source for law on shooting photo of president


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Monkeyleg
July 1, 2006, 07:04 PM
Over on another forum, I made the comment that it is illegal to shoot at a target bearing the resemblance of the president. I also recall that such laws apply to photos of senators, etc.

This is what I've been told for years. Am I wrong? If not, does anyone have any idea where to find a credible source citing the law?

Also, I know that in MA it's illegal to shoot at a target that resembles a human being. Months back, I was told that it's also illegal to do so here in WI. I'm still combing through state statutes on that one.

If anyone has a lead, I'd really appreciate it.

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bouis
July 1, 2006, 08:44 PM
I wouldn't be so quick to believe everything you hear. It might be marginally useful evidence supporting another charge (conspiracy or the like) but I can't see it being a crime in itself.

If such a law existed it might not be constitutinal -- just argue that you're "expressing" yourself under the first amendment. It would be a fun case to argue at any rate.

bouis
July 1, 2006, 08:50 PM
Fun but fruitless apparently

http://www.stephenhalbrook.com/lawsuits/Petition.Cert.GOAL5.pdf

Old Fuff
July 1, 2006, 09:37 PM
Concerning the issue of shooting at an image (target or whatever) of the President, I would check with the U.S. Secret Service, who are charged with the responsibility of protecting the President, and some other government officials - past and present.

ceetee
July 1, 2006, 09:43 PM
...check with the U.S. Secret Service, who are charged with the responsibility of protecting the President...



BUt make the call from a pay phone twenty or thirty miles from your house. While wearing gloves. And a big, floppy hat...:evil:

Snake Eyes
July 1, 2006, 09:43 PM
Old Fuff,

Wow! I really have a lot of respect for your opinions and advice, but I think this one might be a little off the mark.

How do you think the Secret Service might respond to such an inquiry? I bet it would involve a nice visit from some men in suits and sunglasses.:what:

JohnBT
July 1, 2006, 10:24 PM
You can't shoot a picture? I've never heard that.

John

GregGry
July 1, 2006, 10:27 PM
I was told that it's also illegal to do so here in WI. I have yet to see anything saying thats illegal, and I have read anything and everything law wise thats related to firearms.

Old Fuff
July 2, 2006, 12:07 AM
Snake Eyes:

How do you think the Secret Service might respond to such an inquiry? I bet it would involve a nice visit from some men in suits and sunglasses.

Given Monkeyleg's reputation within Wisconsin political circles I doubt they'd push any panic bottons.:cool:

What they'd more likely do is have somebody in Public Relations answer his question. I suspect that shooting up an image of the President might be considered an implied threat against Mr. Bush, but like Monkeyleg I'm not sure, and I wouldn't hesitate to ask. I've had visits from those "men in suits and sunglasses," before and even done some work for them on one occasion. ;)

But I don't think that our fellow member has any intention of doing that. (Shooting up "Bush targets.") He's simply asking about what the legal aspects are.

Monkeyleg
July 2, 2006, 12:21 AM
Old Fuff, thanks for coming to my defense.

I have no intention of shooting at photos of GW, Hillary, or any other powerful US political figure.

It's just always been my understanding that doing so is illegal.

Maybe doing so is not explicitly illegal, but borders on the powers of the Secret Service to investigate threats against the president, an ex-president, or an ex-First Lady.

All I'm trying to do is settle an argument between some folks over on another forum, and me. I maintain that using a photo of GW or Hillary is, if not illegal, then certainly an invitation to an investigation.

As for human silhouette targets in WI? I was told by someone whose depth of knowledge I respect that doing so is technically against the law. I know from doing searches on MA law that such targets are illegal.

Any further clarification is much appreciated.

sacp81170a
July 2, 2006, 10:26 AM
So I guess that in MA this means no IDPA matches? What if I put up a human silhouette and shoot it with arrows or throw rocks at it? Am I still guilty of a crime under MA law? :banghead: :barf:

usmarine0352_2005
July 2, 2006, 12:21 PM
I would do it with a picture of the President and when the Secret Service comes up and asks what your doing say:

"What do you think?"

Then see what happens. (This is a joke.)

:neener:

XavierBreath
July 2, 2006, 12:31 PM
So can he be burned in effigy? Can you make a little doll (http://www.somethingcool.ca/backissues/101005/section133.htm) and stick pins in it? What about an inflatable punching bag (http://www.bushbops.com/)?

I honestly don't know the answer, although I too, have heard somewhere, at some time that shooting photos can raise suspicions at the very least. Enquiring minds want to know........

gc70
July 2, 2006, 12:32 PM
<not serious>

Do you think it would matter if the target was of a politician's backside rather than face?

</not serious>

Low-Sci
July 2, 2006, 12:35 PM
I've never heard that its illegal to do that in Wi, but it is an interesting question. I also never even thought about silhouette shooting as something that could possibly be against the law.

Especially since my little brother and myself sighted in his Mini-14 in on a caricature of Kofi Anan.

geekWithA.45
July 2, 2006, 12:47 PM
The idiotic MA law about "human form targets" aside, AFAIK, there's nothing illegal _per_se about shooting pictures of anyone.

But then, be warned that context is everything. What I'd heard is that mailing pix of the shot up target to the target gets interpreted as a death threat, and investigated accordingly.

It seems that if you wish to send a message, words work better.

Monkeyleg
July 2, 2006, 05:41 PM
Well, Old Fuff, let's hope the Secret Service folks are as benign as you say they are. I just sent an email to their public service office to ask if they could shed any light on the question.

If you don't see any further posts from me, you'll know they're not as benign as you thought. ;)

Cosmoline
July 2, 2006, 06:05 PM
I believe the answer is, it *CAN* be illegal. If it's done as part of a threat, and the photos are sent to the white house, then the line is crossed. But if it's done as a protest I think the First would offer some protection. I'm not going to be the one on that test case though :D

Art Eatman
July 2, 2006, 06:10 PM
The link goes to a SCOTUS decision, right? In that decision, SCOTUS sez you can shoot at any picture you want, per the First Amendment.

Remember the furor when Liddy ran his mouth during his radio show about how much better he felt after a range session with Clinton targets? Bad taste is not prohibited by the Constitution. :D

Art

Old Fuff
July 2, 2006, 07:06 PM
Don't worry Dick, I'll send you a cake with a saw in it... :evil: :D

armoredman
July 2, 2006, 07:34 PM
MA can censor what TARGETS you can use? Good grief, that is NUTS. They would go crazy inside 20 seconds at any AZ shooting range.

dev_null
July 2, 2006, 09:37 PM
Do you think it would matter if the target was of a politician's backside rather than face?
And the difference would be...? :evil:

Thin Black Line
July 3, 2006, 09:37 AM
How would the Secret Service feel if there was a shooting competition
where the "photos" were printed engravings of dead presidents on US
currency where the shooter won the bills he put holes through at long
range?

Would this be wrong for an implied threat to a president (though already
dead) and the wanton destruction of private property (federal reserve
notes)?

joab
July 3, 2006, 11:28 AM
MA can censor what TARGETS you can use?A study was done awhile ago that showed that soldiers who were trained to shoot at human images were much much more likely to engage actual human targets that those trained to shoot using bullseye targets.

I read about this study in an article that was defending the banning of using human image targets so I assume that that is the logic used in MA as well

Thin Black Line
July 3, 2006, 11:40 AM
Joab, I have heard of this well. Believe it to be true. I was part of a study
group using specific concentration techniques that improved our shooting
skills while I was in college many years ago. Despite doing this for a number
of weeks and the promise that the results would be shared with us, the
researcher never did send us a final copy of the report. I thinked it worked
quite well, though :cool:

KIMBER45TLE
July 4, 2006, 12:01 AM
Don't know about a picture, but if you ever travel through Arkansas on I-30 when you enter Hope, AR, there is a sign there welcoming you to Hope the former residence of Bill Klinton. It gets changed out almost monthly due to a large number of bullet holes in it.

Thin Black Line
July 4, 2006, 08:32 AM
Just to be fair, I'll bet a large number of stop signs need to be changed out.

StopTheGrays
July 4, 2006, 03:39 PM
Some ranges in SE WI have regs against shooting at human silhouette targets. I do not think WI has one though. At least no one has told so.

sacp81170a
July 4, 2006, 04:41 PM
Don't know about a picture, but if you ever travel through Arkansas on I-30 when you enter Hope, AR, there is a sign there welcoming you to Hope the former residence of Bill Klinton. It gets changed out almost monthly due to a large number of bullet holes in it.

LOL. Fayetteville used to have signs up at the city limits that said "First home of Bill and Hillary Clinton." I think they've quit replacing them because of spray paint, bullet holes, etc. They seemed to attract far more than their fair share compared to other traffic signs in the area. :D

profshadow
July 5, 2006, 07:08 AM
http://www.glockfaq.com/targets.htm has some targets you can print out, including Saddam and Osama and even some aliens and squirrels.


I think the gun range I shoot at would let me know, since they would be more up to date on such things.

Now, if the picture is of someone breaking into my house, do I get to shoot? Or do I just get to shoot virtually?

Creeping Incrementalism
July 5, 2006, 11:09 AM
I'm astounded that Mass would pass a law making it illegal for anyone but cops to shoot at human silhouettes. Not even California has any laws like that. If you draw a tail on a silhouette in Mass, can you call it a silhouette of a bear standing up?

When it comes to anyone saying that something is illegal regarding guns that isn't blatantly obvious, I never believe them, and instead go look up the law or court case myself. There are a huge number of myths out there as to what is illegal.

As for politicians' faces, that is clearly protected under the 1A, though there may be laws on the books about it, and of course LE sometimes hassles shooters over anything, even if legal.

Chipperman
July 5, 2006, 11:41 AM
IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO SHOOT AT HUMAN LOOKING TARGETS IN MA!!!!

This gets repeated so often everyone believes it. IT IS NOT TRUE!!

The law, which is still admittedly a stupid one, only pertains to a very small group. The law states that a shooting range that has its own FFL cannot allow the shooting of targets with a human form. Ths number of ranges in MA that have their own FFL is exceedingly small. Anyone else can shoot a human picture or whatever wither on their own land or at a range.

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