North Carolina: "Gun surrender could accompany domestic violence orders"


May 28, 2003, 09:21 PM
from the A.P. surrender could accompany domestic violence orders

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. - Helen Rogers knew her granddaughter's life was in danger. She had heard the threats from the young woman's estranged boyfriend.

But she felt powerless to help.

Last March, she watched from the front porch of her Johnston County home as her granddaughter, Cindy Lemons, was shot four times and killed. Her estranged boyfriend, Tarvaris Novack Mickens, 26, was charged with first-degree murder.

"What could I do? Nothing but stand there and look at it," Rogers told a House committee Tuesday.

Rogers, accompanied by domestic violence counselors, urged the House Committee Judiciary IV to approve legislation giving judges the power to seize guns from anyone subject to a domestic violence restraining order.

The bill, already approved by the Senate, would require judges to seize guns from defendants when certain circumstances arise in domestic violence cases. In all cases, judges would have the latitude to take guns when issuing a domestic violence restraining order.

A defendant in such a case would automatically have their guns seized if he or she has threatened to use a weapon, threatened to injure or kill, threatened suicide. A judge also would be required to seize guns if the the person seeking the order or a child had been seriously injured.

Gun ownership advocates made clear to the House committee that they believe the legislation is too broad and that they will try to block the proposal in the House.

"There has not been due process. There has not been the normal protections you would give in order for a person to get his property back," said Henri McClees, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association and the N.C. Firearm Dealers.

McClees pointed out that restraining orders are often issued without any finding of guilt. Giving judges wide discretion to seize guns would lead to the uneven application of the law, she predicted.

A judge "could use this statute to take away guns when they have nothing to do with the complaint," McClees said.

She asked lawmakers to restrict the legislation to cases in which a gun was used or threatened.

Some committee members remained unconvinced by Clees' argument.

"Just because a firearm hasn't been used or threatened in this instance doesn't mean it won't arise in the next instance," said Rep. Beverly Earle, D-Mecklenburg.

In Cindy Lemons' case, a judge rejected a request to provide a restraining order. Some committee members pointed out that the legislation would not have helped her because no restraining order was issued.

Her grandmother, though, said legislators should do whatever they can to prevent slayings like the one that took Lemon's life.

"I hope and pray to the Lord that nobody else has to go through this," Helen Rogers said. "It knocked a hole in me."

The House committee did not vote on the bill Tuesday, but could take up the issue later in the week or next week.

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May 28, 2003, 09:29 PM comforting to know that all I have to do is file a restraining order against someone and have their guns taken from them without due process. I have a great idea-lets file restraining orders against every mammy-jackin one of those fools who votes or is in on the introduction of the bill and all of their family and extended family members:neener:

Bruce in West Oz
May 28, 2003, 09:34 PM
It's an automatic procedure here. Violence order granted, police seize firearms. No ifs, buts or maybes.

Even the order is lifted, the person accused has to go to court to prove that he should have his firearms returned and licence. Otherwise, the loss of firearms and licence is permanent.

Yes, women (sorry, no prejudice, just fact) have been using it as a revenge weapon against former boyfriends, husbands etc.:barf:


Standing Wolf
May 28, 2003, 10:09 PM
We don't need no stinkin' due process!

May 28, 2003, 10:53 PM
Me thinks if they come after mine with without due process, they better be up on "duck process"

Sir Galahad
May 28, 2003, 10:58 PM
I argued just this point a while back on this board over the Lautenberg bill. ANYONE who's ived in L.A. knows the courts hand out restraining orders like candy. Point is, a lot of wacky estranged types actually prefer knives. This is another "feel-good" BS law to get away from what really needs to be done. You kill your wife, you swing. Dancing on air. One short drop into eternity. But capital punishment is cruel. It's much less cruel and unusual to punish the entire populace.

May 29, 2003, 08:57 AM
has behaved so heinously that another human must be protected from him or her, has performed such an outrageous act that his unalienable rights must be abridged, a question:

What is he doing running around loose?

This whole concept cheapens individual rights. The equation used to be :

If (criminalAct = 0)
else If (criminalAct < someBaseLineThreshold)
else If (criminalAct > someBaseLineThreshold)

now its:

if (criminalAct = 0)
else if (criminalAct = 0) and (behaviourIsSuspicious)
else if(criminalAct < someLowerThreshold)
else if (criminalAct > someLowerThreshold) and (criminalAct < someBiggerThreshold)
else if(criminalAct > someBiggerThreshold)

The total effect of the thing is that the region of liberty is contracted, and the region of governmental intervention is expanded.

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