ACLU defends gun owner's rights...


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Tinpig
October 13, 2012, 08:05 PM
Friday, October 12, 2012
ACLU Settles Lawsuit Over Unlawful Seizure of Weapons by Cranston Police

A year ago last September, Cranston, RI police confiscated lawfully owned firearms and other weapons from Robert Machado, a Vietnam veteran, whom they mistakenly "believed" to be suicidal. Despite letters from his psychiatrist saying that he posed no danger to himself or others, the police refused to return his property.

In June, the Rhode Island ACLU filed suit against the PD for the return of Mr. Machado's firearms, compensation for damage, and legal fees, claiming the department "violated his right to due process and his right to keep and bear arms by retaining his property without just cause."

Yesterday the case was settled with the CPD agreeing to all conditions.

http://www.riaclu.org/20121012.htm

Tinpig

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mljdeckard
October 13, 2012, 08:08 PM
HOWEVER,

Note that it is the state chapter of the ACLU, not the national. You still have to cut off your second finger to work for them.

hso
October 13, 2012, 08:10 PM
The various state ACLUs over the years have defended individuals who have had their 2nd amendment rights violated with good success. The position of the national organization still has not shifted, but as more and more state ACLUs defend the 2A rights of individuals the national ACLU will shift to acknowledging the reality of an individual right 2nd amendment.

Sky
October 13, 2012, 08:30 PM
Thanks for posting

r1derbike
October 13, 2012, 09:57 PM
Wow! an eye-opener. I've been firmly against a lot of ACLU intervention, but it appears this was sound judgement, on their part. Kudos for their efforts.

Steel Horse Rider
October 13, 2012, 11:41 PM
I believe their chief motivation is monetary rather than protecting the 2nd Amendment as they can bill the government for their costs for every challenge they win.

9mmepiphany
October 14, 2012, 12:04 AM
At least at the state level, the ACLU...yes, even on the West Coast...is staffed by folks who really believe in their cause. That is insuring that a person's rights are respected and pursuing legal courses of action when needed...they really are apolitical.

They don't have to support the 2nd Adm, their concern is that it was violated...and kudos for doing the right thing

bushmaster1313
October 14, 2012, 12:10 AM
but as more and more state ACLUs defend the 2A rights of individuals the national ACLU will shift to acknowledging the reality of an individual right 2nd amendment.

Isn't it enough that it is in the Bill of Rights and affirmed by the Supreme Court.

What is the National ACLU reason for not acknowledging the RTKBA after Heller and McDonald?

mljdeckard
October 14, 2012, 01:54 AM
Like I say.....missing their second fingers.

bthest86
October 14, 2012, 03:05 AM
Isn't it enough that it is in the Bill of Rights and affirmed by the Supreme Court.

What is the National ACLU reason for not acknowledging the RTKBA after Heller and McDonald?

Basically their excuse is that they disagree with those rulings so they're going to pretend that they don't exist and continue to use their own interpretation of the 2A (which I believe is more inline with Miller v US).

hso
October 14, 2012, 03:12 AM
The ACLU is not a monolithic organization. The State ACLUs can and do take positions that run counter to the national ACLU and have defended the 2nd Amendment rights of individuals.

The Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Nevada and now Rhode Island state ACLUs have all defended individuals who's 2A rights have been violated.

Hugo
October 14, 2012, 12:50 PM
Sounds like the state ACLU organizations need to give the national ACLU a wake up call. Namely "stop this anti-gun rights crap" and protect ALL civil liberties..

Tinpig
October 14, 2012, 01:10 PM
I believe their chief motivation is monetary rather than protecting the 2nd Amendment as they can bill the government for their costs for every challenge they win.

No reason why a successful plaintiff's legal fees shouldn't be reimbursed by the defendant. Having the PD's actions cost the city money is another way of exposing and bringing pressure to bear on their illegal actions.

The article states that legal fees awarded were $2000. I doubt that even covered expenses.

Tinpig

OilyPablo
October 14, 2012, 01:15 PM
Sad that even happened in the first place.

Two things: ...but he agreed to be transported to the hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Why anyone would anyone agree to this? The whole state group would love to "evaluate" us all. Glad he was found to be "OK".

And the part that really bugs me:

ACLU attorney Lyons said today, “We were very happy to have gotten a relatively quick and favorable result for Mr. Machado. However, the resolution of this case does not address whether there are any circumstances under which police departments may legally cease and retain weapons held by law-abiding citizens. That issue may have to be resolved in another case.”

Rarely agree with the ACLU, but he nailed it. What has gone so wrong with our police? :cuss::cuss::cuss:

Flynt
October 14, 2012, 01:23 PM
I have been a long-time supporter of the ACLU in theory -- in principle -- but over the last few years I have seriously questioned their judgment in specific cases. Having said that, I was proud of them when the state affiliate sued on behalf of some Tarrant County (TX) Community College students who wanted to protest the school's ban on licensed concealed handguns. The students wanted to wear empty holsters for a day as a silent protest. The school said no, it'd be disruptive, and the ACLU sued as a violation of First Amendment rights. They won.

230RN
October 14, 2012, 02:25 PM
The ACLU is not a monolithic organization. The State ACLUs can and do take positions that run counter to the national ACLU and have defended the 2nd Amendment rights of individuals.

The Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Nevada and now Rhode Island state ACLUs have all defended individuals who's 2A rights have been violated.

Seems to be quite regional. I remember watching a PBS show about ten years ago with an ACLU lawyer defending a really controversial case (unrelated to firearms) in one of the southeastern states. He was shown open-carrying a revolver around town and in his office for his own protection. Right there on a PBS show. I was stunned, myself, no kidding.

So far as I can tell, their offical position on 2A is still:

The ACLU disagrees with the Supreme Court's conclusion about the nature of the right protected by the Second Amendment. We do not, however, take a position on gun control itself. In our view, neither the possession of guns nor the regulation of guns raises a civil liberties issue.

ANALYSIS
Although ACLU policy cites the Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Miller as support for our position on the Second Amendment, our policy was never dependent on Miller. Rather, like all ACLU policies, it reflects the ACLU's own understanding of the Constitution and civil liberties.

(Bolding mine)

More:
http://www.aclu.org/racial-justice_prisoners-rights_drug-law-reform_immigrants-rights/second-amendment

But let's remember that the national headquarters is in New York City, whose population has been so thoroughly immersed and marinated in anti-gun propaganda that you would be hard-pressed to find people there who are not anti-firearms for ordinary citizens. (Yes, some exist, but not many.)

And they need membership funds from the locals, so it's not surprising to me that the National Official Policy is contrary to logic and law.

Just like the surrounding population.

Terry, 230RN

ExTank
October 14, 2012, 03:07 PM
Basically their excuse is that they disagree with those rulings so they're going to pretend that they don't exist and continue to use their own interpretation of the 2A (which I believe is more inline with Miller v US).

Except that a close reading of Miller shows that there was no evidence before the court (because Miller was most likely already dead, or his lawyer wasn't paid to show up and present an oral argument) to show that a shotgun having a barrel of less than 18 inches had any reasonable relationship to the preservation and efficiency of a well regulated militia.

The Justices go on to lay out the historic definition of a militia (ordinary citizens, with their own, privately owned weaponry), and say that thos eprivately held arms must have some relationship to the preservation and efficiency of a well-regulated militia. Exactly what that relationship is, is not defined, but they did give a hint when they suggested that they bear some relationshhip to ordinary military equipment in use at the time.

It took two subsequent Circuit Court cases (U.S. v Tot, Cases vs. US, IIRC, which both cited Miller) to invent legal "taste-tests" that the owner of firearm can only possess for purposes of participating in militia activities.

I then took some anti-gun lawyers and Justices to create, out of thin air, the Collective Right interpretation of the 2nd amendment.

But a close reading of Miller shows exactly the opposite; IMO, a close reading (reading just what the Justices wrote) of Miller invalidates the Assault Weapons Ban! :cuss: Since many members of the armed forces are issued handguns as sidearms, handgun bans go out the window, as well. And military firearms also typically have high-capacity magazines, so out goes the Hi-Cap Mag bans, too.

Hell, a close reading of Miller might just invalidate (or just severely curtail) the NFA.

In my Not-A-Lawyer opinion, Miller was a good ruling; it ruled only on the facts before the Court, but realizing it was hearing a one-sided argument, they left an "out" for subsequent rulings to reaffirm the individual right to K&B.

Derek Zeanah
October 14, 2012, 03:26 PM
Expect change.

At the SHOT show this year I got a call from one the directors of the ACLU national office and we discussed their stance on the 2nd. It's....evolving. Historically they've ignored the 2nd amendment, but they're warming up to it more and more.

Or at least so I was told. Might have been because the the size of my donation though. (Don't feel bad - I gave the NRA an identical amount.)

k_dawg
October 14, 2012, 07:00 PM
The national ACLU official position is akin to souther slave owners after the 13/14/15th amendments.

"well shoot, we disagree with the constitution, so we still gonna keep us some slaves. "

It's repugnant in all aspects and shows that the ACLU, at least at the national level, does not care about _rights_. But rather, pushing their own agenda.

SaxonPig
October 14, 2012, 09:18 PM
In the DC headquarters of the ACLU the Bill of Rights is posted on the wall. The Second Amendment is missing.

jimmyraythomason
October 14, 2012, 09:42 PM
Never liked the ACLU and it will take a LOT more "evolving" on their part to change that. Maybe if they championed ALL of our rights.........

mljdeckard
October 14, 2012, 11:56 PM
Derek, I won't resent your advance of good faith to them, if you won't resent my waiting until I see some more substance.

Derek Zeanah
October 15, 2012, 12:28 AM
Derek, I won't resent your advance of good faith to them, if you won't resent my waiting until I see some more substance.
No worries. There's more to the bill of rights than the 2nd amendment though. Wish I could just give to one pro-freedom, pro-bill of rights group and be happy with their actions.

hso
October 15, 2012, 12:31 AM
Cato, but ACLU is the big dog in the field and gets the most results so it pays to have some influence, however small, with them.

wally
October 15, 2012, 09:16 AM
Is there some way to support the state ACLU without also supporting the national organization?

Pre-Reagan I was a member of both the NRA and the ACLU figuring the NRA took care of the Second and ACLU the rest. But once Ira Glasser took over and turned it into a mostly anti-Reagan organization, I never sent them another penny.

Bubbles
October 15, 2012, 09:22 AM
...but he agreed to be transported to the hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Why anyone would anyone agree to this?
Agreeing means that you voluntarily sought treatment for a potential mental health problem. Not agreeing means that the next step the authorities will take is to get a judge to sign an order for involuntary commitment, and under GCA '68 you will then become a "prohibited person".

Owen Sparks
October 15, 2012, 12:50 PM
The ACLU has shifted from the statist left more towards the libertarian left lately. Gun rights are a civil right and more and more people are starting to realize this.

JustinJ
October 15, 2012, 01:13 PM
The ACLU has shifted from the statist left more towards the libertarian left lately.

No. The ACLU has always protected the indivdual's right to speak against the state, be secure from unreasonable search, seizure or monitoring by the state, the right to petition the state, etc, etc. Just because one disagrees with some of the ACLU's positions does not mean they are "statists".

I am and have always been a supporter of the ACLU. True, i've not been pleased with their position on the second amendment in the past but so long as they have not worked against it i have no problems supporting them.

wally
October 15, 2012, 02:45 PM
but so long as they have not worked against it

That is the problem at the national level, as they deny Heller and McDonald and its RTKBA individual meaning.

Good men doing noting in the presence of evil is defacto support of evil.

JustinJ
October 15, 2012, 02:57 PM
That is the problem at the national level, as they deny Heller and McDonald and its RTKBA individual meaning.

The point is the ACLU does not work against RKBA, regardless of their interpretations. To my knowledge they have never lobbied for stricter regulations regarding firearms.

k_dawg
October 15, 2012, 07:56 PM
No worries. There's more to the bill of rights than the 2nd amendment though. Wish I could just give to one pro-freedom, pro-bill of rights group and be happy with their actions.

That is not so much the problem. Their position that the 2nd amendment does not apply to us, the 'undesirable citizens' is the problem. They give aid and comfort to the Brady Bunch, etc. Their position is used by many gun grabbers.

I could fully accept if they said "We support the 2nd amendment, however, we choose to apply our efforts in X". Any group has to direct their efforts in some direction.

For example, the NRA does not fight freedom of religion (usually). But at least they recognize it, and do not claim it doesn't apply to the same citizens as in the 2nd amendment.

Steel Horse Rider
October 15, 2012, 10:44 PM
I would feel much better about them if they took a stand for the 10th Amendment on occasion. They could file suit against just about every law and court decision in the past 100 years.....:banghead:

Deltaboy
October 15, 2012, 11:11 PM
Glad his got his guns back!

captmoto
October 15, 2012, 11:21 PM
I don't see this as a second amendment issue. I think it's an unlawful search and seizure the ACLU was going after.

Tinpig
October 16, 2012, 01:51 AM
I don't see this as a second amendment issue. I think it's an unlawful search and seizure the ACLU was going after.

The ACLU's suit claimed that the Cranston PD "violated [Machado's] right to due process and his right to keep and bear arms by retaining his property without just cause."

Tinpig

Captaingyro
October 16, 2012, 05:09 PM
This is a pretty straightforward case. The ACLU simply weighed their distaste for thuggish, overbearing police departments against their distaste for the Second Amendment. Thuggish and overbearing lost.

Buzznrose
October 16, 2012, 10:19 PM
Wow! an eye-opener. I've been firmly against a lot of ACLU intervention, but it appears this was sound judgement, on their part. Kudos for their efforts.
I agree, this is a good thing on their part, but one good deed does not erase all the stupid stuff thay have done as an organization.

Still...a flicker of hope?

Neverwinter
October 17, 2012, 11:38 PM
I agree, this is a good thing on their part, but one good deed does not erase all the stupid stuff thay have done as an organization.
What stupid stuff have they done other than state a poor opinion regarding the breadth of civil liberties covered by the Bill of Rights?

SuperNaut
October 18, 2012, 07:28 AM
What stupid stuff have they done other than state a poor opinion regarding the breadth of civil liberties covered by the Bill of Rights?
They went further than that, the ACLU OFFICIALLY stated that the Heller Decision was completely wrong and the Supreme Court had overstepped their bounds and that the ACLU actively opposed the decision. The original statement looked quite different from the one they have now.

They only changed because of the backlash, their beliefs remain the same.

k_dawg
October 18, 2012, 06:15 PM
What I find unfanthomable are those who claim they are about defending 'rights', yet oppose the very mechanism by which gov't tyranny is to be defended from!

Having the 'right' to writ of habeas corpus did not matter much when they were loaded onto the cattle cars.

hso
October 18, 2012, 09:08 PM
The point of the OP is that the state ACLUs defend citizens who have had their 2A rights violated by the government. They are different than the national organization. Natitonal isn't the topic and ranting about them is a hijack of the OP.

SuperNaut
October 18, 2012, 11:00 PM
The point of the OP is that the state ACLUs defend citizens who have had their 2A rights violated by the government. They are different than the national organization. Natitonal isn't the topic and ranting about them is a hijack of the OP.
True, my bad!

ErikO
October 19, 2012, 01:09 PM
I support the Missouri ACLU and speak with National-level folks as often as I can.

If they keep promoting pro-gun State-level folks to the National office, things will be better soon-ish.

Jim K
October 19, 2012, 04:13 PM
In the Kenyon Ballew case the [National] ACLU said that people who own guns must expect to be shot down by the police. In another case, they said that gun owners have no civil or constitutional rights. AFAIK, they have always taken the position of oppressive dictators that only government forces should be allowed to have guns. For some reason, this is always called the "liberal" postion, when it should be described as the tyrannical position.

Jim

JustinJ
October 19, 2012, 04:19 PM
In the Kenyon Ballew case the [National] ACLU said that people who own guns must expect to be shot down by the police.

Could you please elaborate? Did they say this during a trial, press release, memo, etc? Link would be preferable if available.

In another case, they said that gun owners have no civil or constitutional rights.

Again, please specify. Did they allegedly say gun owners have not rights or citizens have no rights to guns? What case and how and where did they say this?

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