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Drafting a Gunowners Bill of Rights

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by barnbwt, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    I propose we try to draw up a list of specific protections we can all agree are granted to us by virtue of the 2nd Amendment. Just like the Bill of Rights, this would not be a list defining the extent of our freedoms, but an explicit summary of our most obvious/applicable protections. We're not the SCOTUS, but we (well most of us here) are American citizens, so we damn well have the right to interpret our own Constitution. And if we can find common ground with eachother, we damn well carry some weight in Washington. To that end I think it would be great to make a A Document that outlines our basic protectons.

    I recommend we be as broad (but not vague) as possible, and terse. A short list of single sentences will be easier for our reps to read.

    For instance, I believe the 2nd Amendment grants us The right to use firearms for any purpose (that does not infringe on the Constitutionally protected rights of others) and that we have The right to acquire and possess any firearm deemed proper for that purpose. Very broad (I didn't say "I think it's legal for me to own an EBR for hunting deer"), but it still conveys meaning (it's not "I have the right to own what I want"). I tried to write it to be more "universal" to all types of gunowners, so there'd be less controversy over specifics.

    We'll make a list of a couple dozen "clauses" suggested, and only include those with no controversy. That will give others and our reps a good, concise description of how gunowners in general understand and exercise our right to bear arms.

    What are your thoughts on this project, my/others' contributions, and what do you think should be added?

    TCB

    PS: Yes, it's easy to simply shout "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" and cross your arms; discussion over--but that is an extremely disrespectful (petulant, honestly) way to debate with somoeone who doesn't already agree with you. Let's aim for a meaningful, compelling representation of our core beliefs
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  2. KLL

    KLL Member

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    "The right to use firearms for any purpose" - I don't think a purpose should ever have to be given.

    "The right to acquire and possess any firearm deemed proper for that purpose" - Again, I don't need a purpose, and allowing someone the chance to deem what is proper for a purpose is no better than where we are now.

    My stance is that anything the fires a projectile that can only strike one person at a time (bullets going through one person and onto another notwithstanding) should be legal for a law abiding citizen to possess. No rocket launchers or WMDs, that's fine, but if it fires a round smaller than my hand, I believe I should be able to own it. Magazines, weapon styles and designs, registration, quantities, NFA items, and accessories are all non-negotiable.
     
  3. tyeo098

    tyeo098 Member

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  4. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    I don't think such a declaration would be helpful in the current climate. The mere drafting of such a document would be divisive among gun owners, and distract us from what is really important, which is putting the maximum pressure on our wavering "allies" in Congress. Stay focussed.
     
  5. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    because we all know how respectful the anti-2A crowd has been.....the NRA has been called murderous Klansman, and gun owners are Jihadists....

    i dont care if they disagree with me, they are wrong...pure and simple.

    i dont care how you spin it, there is only one way to interpret the 2A, and it needs no clarification.......anyone who has passed 3rd grade reading comprehension knows damn well what it says and what it means, and if they dont want to accept that, its because they have pre-existing prejudices and refuse to admit to anything other than their beliefs.

    you cannot convince someone who is arguing irrationally....its best to either go through them or go around them.
     
  6. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Rather than crossing my arms and being petulant (again), I'll simply say that I agree with M-Cameron.

    Why are we so willing to shoot ourselves in the foot?
     
  7. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    I can't remember where I found this (old age) maybe it was here? But I won't claim it as my own - still a good start.

    ---

    We need the equivalent of incorporating the Second Amendment Rights to the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act.

    We need to be pushing for REMOVAL of restrictions that impair our ability to defend one's family, one's self and one's society and nation. Far too long have we allowed certain members to attack and deny our rights. It is no different than how the Democrats fought tooth and nail to prevent full rights to Blacks. No different than how Democrats fought tooth and nail to prevent Voting Rights.

    We should be demanding the legislative teeth to back up Heller, McDonald and other rulings.

    1) Incorporate the express desire to exercise one's Second Amendment Right as a Federal 'protective class' with strict scrutiny applied to any and all related laws.

    2) Mandate that anyone, anywhere who can lawfully meet the requirements as on the current 4473 must be allowed to purchase any lawful (non-NFA) firearm. Any additional restriction must be viewed as a violation of Civil Rights with several legal and civil penalties.

    3) Mandate that any 'ID', "card" "permit" etc be 'shall issue' to all citizens who meet the test of 4473. Any fee, tax or associated cost to obtain said ID must be treated as a "Poll Tax" and criminalized as a violation of Civic Rights. Any additional restriction must be viewed as a violation of Civil Rights with several legal and civil penalties.

    4) Mandate as a Maximum requirement of a "Shall Issue" open and concealed carry permit. No requirement to exceed the requirements of 4473 can be required; except for an NRA or other designated pro-Second Amendment Group's safety training, not to exceed 8 hours, which must be offered enough that any citizen can reasonably attend within 2 weeks, and 25 miles. The state "Shall Issue" said ID, Card, Permit within 2 weeks after completing said class. Any and All costs shall be born by the State. Any additional restriction must be viewed as a violation of Civil Rights with several legal and civil penalties.

    5) Mandate that the full protections of the "Full Faith and Credit Act" apply to all issued ID, Card, Permit etc. Any additional restriction must be viewed as a violation of Civil Rights with several legal and civil penalties.

    6) Mandate that any and all "Free Kill Zones" be abolished, except for designated Secure Government Facilities, which will require continuous 24/7 Armed Police Officer or Other Government Security [Not Private]. Any additional restriction must be viewed as a violation of Civil Rights with several legal and civil penalties.

    7) Mandate that simply possessing or carrying a firearm of any type is NOT reasonable or probable cause of a crime being committed.

    8) Mandate that any lawful citizen who meets the requirement of 4473 will have inherent Standing, to sue any level of government, official or agency for any violation of these Civil Rights.
     
  8. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Alright, I'll play.

    First paragraph of your OP, I agree. The problem comes when that "common ground" is deemed too radical by some and seen as giving way to incrementalism by others.

    Egads, I'm trying really hard not to rain on the parade because if we can find agreement it would be a welcome end to the bickering that's taken over THR in the last week or two. But we're dealing with lawyers in Washington, not the Average Joe with some sense of integrity. Anything short, broad and terse is going to be meaningless. Ever wonder why drafted legislation is thousands of pages? Because they dot the "I" and cross the "T" in triplicate. We could write something that every "Average Joe" in America can read and derrive a single meaning from, but the professional buzzards in Washington would pick apart verbiage and punctiation. Kinda like they've been doing to our existing Constitution.

    In the spirit of the thing, though, I'll offer this.
    I believe the second amendment and the Constitution enumerates(1) the right to own, purchase, sell or otherwise acquire by means not defrauding or depriving another(2) any type of firearm or destructive device.

    The use of such devices may at times be regulated by jurisdiction for the safety of others usually occupying the area but may not be prohibited.(3)

    Aside from fair chase and applicable game laws determined by the states individually, suitability for a given purpose is at the sole discretion of the user and may not be legally challenged by any authority.(4)

    Ammunition and accessories for such firearms, implements and devices may not be restricted. Such restriction will be assumed to be restriction on the use of same and is in violation of this document.

    (1) The right is enumerated, or named, but not granted by a government document.
    (2) gifting is to be allowable in all circumstances, as this deprives none against their will.
    (3) Cities, villages and townships have the right to ensure the safety of their populations against shooting in an unsafe area
    (4) Most states game laws are entirely reasonable and there is no reason to assume that would change.
     
  9. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Member

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    per our Second Amendment Rights - A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    per the Texas Constitution - Sec. 23. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.

    'nuff said
     
  10. Derek Zeanah

    Derek Zeanah System Administrator Staff Member

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    I like simple: "the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    Seems all inclusive. As a society, we just need the intestinal fortitude to abide by it.
     
  11. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    I don't think it has to be, if we don't delve too far into specifics. I'm certain that's why the BOR had to be written so broadly in the first place. Remember that there was great debate over whether to draft a Bill of Rights at all, though. I do think this list will be controversial (heck, it already is :eek:), but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. By rejecting all the hotly contested items, I hope to get something almost all of us can rally around.

    Exactly. That's why I think a from-scratch approach would be helpful. Debating within existing paradigms only serves to legitimize them; we're citizens, not lawmakers. They are the ones who have to craft legislation within the law. We're the "idea guys" who tell them which direction to run. I like the ideas in the text you quoted, but it's probably too specific to put on a hat--so to speak ;). I've tweaked/added some items to try and incorporate those specific demands, though.

    Is discussing, identifying, and distilling our argument really shooting ourselves in the foot? I mentioned that such a list of protections is not meant to be interpretted as the extent of our rights. By clearly stating what we are after, we don't let the anti's define us. By refusing to dialogue (or even monologue) they can paint us as whatever boogy they please.

    I hoped everyone could tell by my candor that I have no intention of writing this for the likes of the Brady Campaign. It is to clearly explain our aims for the federal treatment of firearms in this country so our representatives can better reflect our "will." There is nothing wrong with quoting or literally interpretting the Constitution; in fact, that's precisely what I'm trying to accomplish here. I simply disagree with the notion the discussion should be ended defiantly, since it doesn't seem productive. I would welcome a legitimate conversation with my anti's; but since they have shown few indications of negotiating or debating in good faith, I'll settle for a conversation amongst diverse gunowners :)

    I have a couple more items: Arms may be borne at any time the user feels them necessary (i.e. no gun free zones, workplaces, etc. unless doing so conflicts with the rights of others. Nod to Dammitboy :))

    An individual may make any restriction on the use of arms, but only concerning the confines of their propery (i.e. my house my rules, and you can't fire rounds over my land with impunity. Seems "reasonable," but I think this one needs a bit of work)

    Admission of the purpose for the personal use of arms may not be compelled (i.e. you don't have to explain your use [not possession] of guns, but a "posse" or "militia" may be compelled to. Nod to KLL :))

    And I'll refine the first per KLL's feedback:
    "The right to use firearms for any purpose seen fit by the user, may not be restricted"
    I originally had something like that at the end, but thought it implied (naiive me;)). Other Constitutional rights would still protect others from murder, etc. so no restrictions are necessary. All references to "purpose" should really be "users' purpose." We all own firearms for one purpose or another, though it isn't necessarily anyone's business. But, if you were to discharge a weapon, it seems within someone else's rights to ask you why, doesn't it? I added a specific item to protect against being compelled to explain your use, though.

    Great responses guys! I really feel like we can get some good material from this :cool:

    TCB

    It's always hacked me off that there's a "But Monkey" in this critical portion of my state constitution :mad:
     
  12. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    I like it, very well stated and thought out.
     
  13. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    You know what, you're right. I'll add that one to the top of the list, just in case anyone thinks we're trying to rewrite it through this exercise:

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    The right to use firearms for any purpose seen fit by the user may not be restricted

    Admission of the purpose for the personal use of arms may not be compelled

    The right to acquire and possess any firearm deemed proper for personal purposes may not be restricted

    Arms may be borne at any time the user finds them necessary for their purpose

    The right to own, purchase, sell or otherwise acquire by means not defrauding or depriving another any type of firearm or destructive device.

    The use of such devices may at times be regulated by jurisdiction for the safety of others usually occupying the area but may not be prohibited.

    Aside from fair chase and applicable game laws determined by the states individually, suitability for a given purpose is at the sole discretion of the user and may not be legally challenged by any authority.

    Ammunition and accessories for such firearms, implements and devices may not be restricted. Such restriction will be assumed to be restriction on the use of same and is in violation of this document.

    No restrictions may be implied from these articles

    I added that last one--a (hopefully) clearer version of our now-neutered nebulous 9th Amendment. Only explicitly stated restrictions may be counted as valid. Keep the comments coming, I'll try to keep up :D. Thanks for the very well written and concise additions, 1911Guy. I especially appreciate the exemption for state game laws; we wouldn't want to trump states' rights in the name of federal regulation! :eek: Something I hadn't been considering as carefully as I should have.

    Honestly, if the 2nd Amendment is the only thing we end up in agreement on, that in itself will be very telling.

    TCB
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  14. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Since you're trying draft something concise and accurate, I'll point out that you contradicted point three (not counting the text of 2A) with point six. Whoever is responsible for deeming a firearm appropriate for personal defense is in effect able to restrict use or posession by deeming not appropriate.
     
  15. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Member

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    You don't live in CA! :)

    I am pleased that several have offered well thought out reasonable suggestions.

    The purpose of the 2ndA was so that we could defend ourselves against tyranny. though I don't own any AR kinds of firearms, I do believe it is our right to own/legally use them.

    But remember guys, it is our responsibility to educate calmly and effectively with those who for the most part simply have no experience except what our wacko media portrays (blood thirsty movies, killings on the news, prejudiced commentators). We need to do our homework with the culture as well...we are losing what was once assumed.

    Greg
     
  16. klyph

    klyph Member

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    I really wish the fathers had simply added the words: "Congress shall make no law" to the 2nd amendment. It would have possibly averted all the blatantly unconstitutional laws we've been subjected to.
     
  17. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I concur completely with 5 and 10.

    Ok, good idea, no harm in spelling it out for those who would distort it, ok. But....to what end? Are you wanting to make it a law? I don't see a president signing it. Nor do I see a veto-proof majority running it through. WE already get this. I just don't see it making a dent in anyone else.
     
  18. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    And Klyph, we would think that 'shall not be infringed' would be just as bullet-proof, and it apparently isn't. Also remember that when The Constitution was written, it had much less universal influence than it does now. Forbidding congress from doing something didn't necessarily prevent the several states from enacting laws. We would STILL be sorting it out in court.
     
  19. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Since we've got something that's beginning to get people on board (and I agree, this is merely an intellectual exercise with no legal weight), I have another suggestion.

    On point three, again not counting the text of 2A, there is a provision for determining what is suitable for personal use. Who determines if it is suitable or not? Also, introducing the term "personal use" can be construed as disallowing arms requiring more than one person to use, carry or maintain. Think crew served. Or just some of those nearly ancient but highly collectable monstrosities some people like to collect.

    It also may be construed as disallowing arms designed for the effective common defense. Because it's not personal.

    Just trying to think like a pinhead, I mean politician.
     
  20. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    I've already used it to post on my Senators and Congressman's facebook pages. Getting lots of likes from other constituents!

    Post it everywhere on all social media.
     
  21. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    Admission of the purpose for the personal use of arms may not be compelled

    I intentionally referred to "personal use" since I believe that an organized group should, at some level, begin to be subject to some sort of regulation or control (to keep mad scientists from building covert armies of henchmen). But I somewhat agree this language may be too limiting. On one hand, an armed group is far better prepared to defend itself and others, but on the other, more faith is required to believe it would not lead to terrible consequences (i.e. insurrection by a minority/splinter group of the populace, as opposed to a widespread justifiable revolt against tyranny. Perhaps I'm just unaccustomed to the idea of militias, and fear their presence (much like the ignorant fear guns).

    At any rate, that's a whole new topic that deserves its own thread. I'll just remove that language for now, since it seems like there'd be a lot of controversy to sift through there. For now, "personal use" will be simply "use". I also don't think "admission" was the right word for what I was thinking of, so it's now "divulsion". Maybe that's better grammar :eek:. Also, do ya'll think I should add "outside a court of law" at the end to make this information obtainable through formal subpoena? My intention was simply that authorities couldn't demand answers as a matter of course.

    Divulsion of the purpose for the use of arms may not be compelled

    The right to acquire and possess any firearm deemed proper for personal purposes may not be restricted
    Good catch. I absolutely meant for the user to be the judge. I removed the reference to personal use here as well.
    The right to acquire and possess any firearm deemed proper by the user for their use may not be restricted

    The use of such devices may at times be regulated by jurisdiction for the safety of others usually occupying the area but may not be prohibited.
    I think it would be best to remove this item from the list for now. Too many local differences in law to form a comprehensive doctrine. Local/state/federal laws limiting use to protect the rights of other citizens under their enumerated powers would still be permitted. We are simply trying to define that which "shall not be infringed." As far as hunting, it seems legit (to me) for the Feds to have at least some authority over how citizens hunt or perform any other activity, when it occurs on federal land. Do we really have a Constitutionally protected right to hunt, hike, or pan for gold on BLM property? (I live in a state with little of this land, so I honestly can't comment on the topic)

    At best, this may help those who don't understand us to grasp our common ideology. At worst? Well, at least I'm finding out how everyone else feels about these things--and wasting everyone's precious time to debate AK vs AR :D

    TCB

    That's what we need. The Constitution was written basically as a legal maze to confound ambititious politicians in the future. It took the rats nearly a hundred years before blasting through a good chunk of the maze (Civil War) and they've been working there way out of it ever since. It's still quite impressive the system of checks and balances worked as long as it did, humans being the crafty creatures they are. It really wasn't until separate branches of the government began acting in concert (instead of competition) though the party system that those balances began breaking down, and power started shifting/concentrating.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  22. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    I'll number these for easier reference:

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    1) The right to acquire and possess any firearm deemed proper by the user may not be restricted

    2) Divulsion of the purpose for the use of arms may not be compelled

    3) The right to acquire and possess any firearm deemed proper for personal purposes may not be restricted

    4) Arms may be borne at any time the user finds them necessary for their purpose

    5) The right to own, purchase, sell or otherwise acquire by means not defrauding or depriving another any type of firearm or destructive device.

    6) Aside from fair chase and applicable game laws determined by the states individually, suitability for a given purpose is at the sole discretion of the user and may not be legally challenged by any authority.

    7) Ammunition and accessories for such firearms, implements and devices may not be restricted. Such restriction will be assumed to be restriction on the use of same and is in violation of this document.

    8) No restrictions may be implied from these articles
     
  23. joe 1951

    joe 1951 Member

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    We have a gunowner bill of rights it's called the Second Amendment !!
     
  24. klyph

    klyph Member

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    The premise here is pretty silly, you want to repeal laws contrary to the literal interpretation of the constitution, I get it, but this is meaningless. The second amendment says everything we need it to say, we just need to make our govt follow it's constitution for a change.
     
  25. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    The way to get <equal> protection under the law is to become a member of a protected "victim" class, either by joining one or making one.

    Since gun owners and Constitution-readers are both persecuted minorities in the US, it seems we should be able to get ourselves legally declared a victim class. Then whenever someone criticizes our views or practices we can charge them with a hate crime.
     
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