October 03, 2006

Gimme Back My Bullets

David Kopel has a post discussing a new law which prohibits gun confiscations during emergencies or disasters.

The gist of the law is that any federal officer or person acting under a federal officer or any agent of any government that is receiving federal funds is proscribed from confiscating, registering or forbidding carry if it is contrary to existing federal, state or local law. If there is an evacuation a person's arms can be temporarily seized for the duration of the rescue but must be returned when the ride comes to a complete stop. & people who have their arms seized or are forbidden to carry contrary to the provisions of this law may sue in federal district court.

All in all it's not a bad law as far as laws go but there are problems. For example in a state where statute law allows for confiscation of arms during a declared emergency this law will do little or no good. If I recall in Louisiana there was such a provision although they also had a very strong right to arms provision in their constitution which should have negated the law in question.

In states where they have no laws saying that arms confiscation or restriction is within the governments emergency powers this law passed by congress may do some good. In states where there is a law saying arms can be seized or restricted during a declared emergency & there is no strongly worded right to arms provision in the constitution this law won't do much good.

However it may come in useful in some states. If a state has a law saying that arms seizure or restriction during an emergency is within the powers of government but it also has a strong right to arms provision then it may lead to an interesting court case. Course it would come to an argument about whether the state constitutional provision is absolute or if the statute law violates the constitution & that can be argued as well in a state court as it can in a federal court.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not changing my view that there is little hope of the courts doing things right, especially federal courts. But it seems like congress actually made an effort to do something good for gun owners. Not a perfect effort but an effort non the less. Now if they'd just start repealing some things...

Posted by Publicola at October 3, 2006 02:08 PM | TrackBack

Matters little to me what any law-federal, state, or local says concerning this. I will not surrender my arms. As far as I am concerned, the second amendment trumps all of them. The purpose of owning said arms is for security in case of such an emergency. If they must be used to provide security against government thugs, so be it. Ashton O'Dwyer provides the best advice for them,"treat me with benign neglect".

Posted by: Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner at October 4, 2006 05:19 PM