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Bill would prohibit gun confiscation in Wyoming

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by hacon1, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. hacon1

    hacon1 Monkey+++

    Bill would prohibit gun confiscation in Wyoming

    CHEYENNE (AP) -- The memory of Louisiana police confiscating guns from waterlogged citizens in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina a few years ago has some Wyoming legislators anxious to make sure nothing similar ever happens here.

    A bill would change Wyoming's Homeland Security laws to make sure that the governor and other officials wouldn't have authority to order the confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens in the event of natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

    The National Rifle Association has pushed similar legislation around the country following Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and the surrounding area in August 2005. The NRA and other groups also sued the city over its gun confiscation.

    Rep. Allen Jaggi, R-Lyman, is the main sponsor of the Wyoming legislation. He said he was inspired to sponsor his bill after speaking with former Louisiana state Rep. Henry "Tank" Powell, R-Ponchatoula, who served in the Louisiana House until this year.

    Jaggi said Powell told him at a legislators' conference that police in Louisiana were worried about security after the hurricane, and "started collecting all these guns from areas statewide."

    "A lot of people just didn't do it," Jaggi said of turning in their guns.

    But he said many of those who did later found when they went to retrieve their guns that they had been stolen or misplaced.

    Jaggi said his legislation isn't intended to voice a lack of confidence in Gov. Dave Freudenthal, himself an avid hunter who has been endorsed by the NRA.

    "It's a generic thing ... saying that law enforcement and government can't take firearms away from law abiding citizens," Jaggi said.

    Powell said Thursday that he voted for a similar bill in Louisiana that came up after the hurricane.

    "Local law enforcement in New Orleans came and confiscated legal citizens' firearms after that storm and left them defenseless against all the hoodlums and the looters and outlaws, and left them defenseless to protect their property," Powell said.

    "It will never be done again in Louisiana," he said.

    Sen. Kit Jennings, R-Casper, is a co-sponsor of Jaggi's bill.

    "It's necessary because if there was some kind of natural disaster where looting should take place, and the bad guys had guns, don't you think the good guys should be able to protect themselves?" Jennings said Thursday. "Doesn't get any more plain and simple than that."

    Jennings said many of the guns that were confiscated in New Orleans were never returned. He said many that were returned weren't taken care of and were rusted out.

    Jennings doubted that any government official in Wyoming would ever try something similar.

    "I think it's one of those things where you're probably making the statement, but you're making it so if something ever occurred, our rights are protected," Jennings said.

    Byron Oedekoven, executive director of the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police, said Thursday he's reviewed the bill and has no concerns with it.

    Oedekoven said the bill clearly would ban government officials from issuing any orders to confiscate guns. He said it would not hamper police from confiscating guns from people they see committing criminal acts.

    "I think that it would be incredibly unlikely that anybody in Wyoming would do this in the first place," Oedekoven said of trying to confiscate guns from the public.

    "We have so few problems with armed citizens, I would offer that it's a lesser problem here than it is in a lot of other areas," Oedekoven said. "Our dilemma is not with the guns, it's with those people who choose to do criminal behavior and choose to arm themselves."

    Cara Eastwood, spokeswoman for Gov. Freudenthal, said Thursday her office had no comment on the pending legislation. The bill would require a two-thirds vote to be considered in the budget session that starts Feb. 11.

    Kelly Ruiz, public information officer for the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, said Thursday that she was not aware of anything in the state's emergency management planning regarding any possible confiscation of privately owned guns.

  2. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Missouri has already passed a law similar to this. [beer]

  3. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    there's some positive news.:)
  4. hacon1

    hacon1 Monkey+++

    I try to post more than doom and gloom.......it's getting harder to do but I try!
  5. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Many of those in NO never did get their guns back, and the POS police chief says he'd confiscate guns again! Someone just needs to drop a bomb on that place, well town hall anyway.
  6. Conagher

    Conagher Dark Custom Rider Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    My sentiments exactly Valkman......I think for every gun he confiscated, they should taser1 his arse....then maybe he''d return the guns to their rightful owners, or the owners would be reimbersed full market value for every gun that they took from them
  7. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Its all well and good but the truth of the matter is its nothing more than feel good legislation. The 2A already covers it (shall not be infringed) and nothing in this country trumps the Constitution, state laws on the other hand are trumped in practice by Federal laws not to mention martial law. On top of that there is the fact that it even says that this would not stop anyone from confiscating guns from those in violation of the law, if they order everyone out in a state of emergency and you dont/cant go then you are in violation of the law (at least by their ideas) and so if you are there and have guns (in a situation like NOLA where folks were ordered to evacuate) then this law wouldnt stop them from takeing the guns.

    Its kind of like the gun controle lobbies deal, the current laws already forbid useing guns to commit crimes (which are also forbiden by law) and criminals still do it so they want to make more laws rather than enforceing the ones that exist as if the new laws will change the fact that criminals ignore the laws. Gov folks that confiscate guns from honest folks are criminals and new laws will not change that. The only way it will change is when those criminals are held accountable all the way from the grunt carrying them to the truck to the driver of the truck (who chose to follow an illegal order and became criminals at that moment) to the administrator who orders it. By held accountable I dont mean just made to return some or all of them either, I mean treated like the criminals they are, forced to return all of them AND sent to prison for 5-25 years and if they used violence or threat of violence to carry it out life for armed criminal act/unlawful use of a weapon, armed robbery, and felony larsony.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    It seems to me to be one more law that really isn't needed. But at least it is preemptive in that the door to confiscation is publicly closed.
  9. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    There needs to be penalties associated with violating the constitution...insead of a hand slap and"you can't do that,its unconstitutional" 5-10 for any official denying the right to assemble or bear firearms.
  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Well, it would even seem reasonable to me that if you swear an oath to uphold the Constitution then you toss it aside that that just might even qualify as treason and I would imagine most here know the constitutionaly sugested penalty for that...(little hint, it involves a short drop and a sudden stop)
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