Tuesday, December 20, 2011

- Tea Party Patriots Gun Posession Arrest

A co-founder of the conservative Tea Party Patriots group was arrested at a New York airport on Thursday for gun possession, authorities said.

This is another obviously bogus gun arrest. He was following the rules for safe transport of a firearm. It was unloaded, and locked in a case along with 19 cartridges. He's only being charged with a crime because of a technicality having to do with federal nature of firearms regulation.

He had a California permit, but no NY permit. How he came to be boarding a plane in NY is a mystery un-described by the Reuters piece, who didn't feel it was an important detail of the story. He could very well have been changing planes while going from LA to North Carolina, two locations where his possession of a gun in that manner would be perfectly legal.

I think it begs the question of political motivation for the arrest, but read the article and decide for yourself.

BTW a national right to carry law would prevent this kind of BS.


There is already a federal law designed to prevent this sort of thing, but apparently vociferously anti-gun Mayor Bloomberg has encouraged his police force to ignore it.

Here is the relevant portion of the FOPA (firearm Owners Protection Act):

One of the law's provisions was that persons traveling from one place to another cannot be incarcerated for a firearms offense in a state that has strict gun control laws if the traveler is just passing through (short stops for food and gas) and the firearms and ammunition are not immediately accessible, unloaded and, in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment, in a locked container.[7]

An example of this would be that someone driving from Virginia to a competition in Vermont with a locked hard case containing an unloaded handgun and a box of ammunition in the trunk could not be prosecuted in New Jersey or New York City for illegal possession of a handgun provided that they did not stop in New Jersey or New York for an extended period of time.


Matt H said...

National concealed carry permit reciprocity would be nice, but I'm not too pleased with its constitutional reasoning. Perhaps the best way to get there is the reasoning of Clarence Thomas' concurrence in McDonald: the second amendment is a privilege and immunity of US citizenship. And that means the right to keep AND BEAR--outside the home. It's not really permit reciprocity I want, but statutory federal imposition of constitutional carry, complete with serious penalties for local officials who violate gun owners' civil rights.

But that's probably too much to hope for. So if national constitutional carry is politically unrealistic, what's needed is a strengthening of FOPA's safe passage, specifying that overnight stops are allowed as long as the gun remains unloaded in its case. The burden of proof would be on the state to show that it ever left its case.

Tom said...

I agree with regard to the constitutionality issue (not that I would really know one way or the other - but it does seem 'problematic' as designed.

But living as I do, in a state with the only truly bullet proof mechanism for permanently preventing concealed carry, (the well documented NJ procedural ban)
I'm more hopeful on the political viability of the Carry reciprocity act than you seem to be.

The NRA are a savvy bunch of guys. It's actually pretty close on the votes - only two or three senate votes (or one good election) away. You never know.

Matt H said...

Have you read the fine print? As written, HR 822 doesn't do you much good as a resident of NJ. "H.R. 822 would not affect a state’s ability to set eligibility requirements for its own residents. Instead, the bill would make clear that a person cannot use this federal grant of reciprocity to carry a concealed weapon in his or her own state of residence under another state’s permit license, unless their own state’s laws permit this." It seems rather odd that a state's residents would be made into second class citizens within their own state, but that's pretty much what the bill would do.

I also fear the unintended consequence: would states like NJ, NY and CA respond to the federal law by clamping down and changing their procedural bans to outright bans like IL's if the bill becomes law?

Anonymous said...

"It's not really permit reciprocity I want, but statutory federal imposition of constitutional carry, complete with serious penalties for local officials who violate gun owners' civil rights."

Amen to that!

Reciprocity has only recently been enjoyed by LEO's, HR 218 (2004) and a more recent clarification of 218 signed into law by Obama . It's a shame you've got to be an LEO to enjoy this sort of coverage.

I take solace from the recent shift of the Supreme Court favoring citizens' rights to firearms and events like the passage of H.R. 627 allowing firearms carriage in national parks through reciprocity laws...

If you know anything about the National Park Service, its culture and support groups you would understand that H.R. 627 was a major accomplishment and I think the Fed will have to, ultimately, jam this down the States' throat as well.

Tom said...

I'm aware of what the bill would do. And what I would do is change my legal residence to Florida, while continuing to own property in NJ.

When you do that for tax purposes, NJ get's very upset. But if you continue to pay your taxes as normal, they don't care at all. Up to now there is no reason to justify the expense and hassle. But it would be worth it to me, and millions of other gun owners, if it meant we could carry legally.