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Bill To Prevent Feds From Confiscating Guns

By By Warner Todd Huston

January 13, 2006

Concord, New Hampshire


In the January session of the New Hampshire legislature, a bill has been introduced to prevent officials from confiscating legally owned guns from the citizens of the state during a state of emergency.(See text of bill - House Bill 1639-FN)


During the Katrina disaster, attempts were made by Federal Marshals to sweep certain areas free of guns. Naturally, there was no way to discern legal guns from illegal in the midst of the crisis, so it was assumed that all guns would be confiscated by Federal officials.


Now, as a gun rights advocate, I must stand against this abuse of Federal power. Though, I must say that I can certainly understand the desire that FEMA officials had to assure the safety of rescue workers who were trying to help the citizens of a devastated area. It is certainly not an unreasonable assumption to make that rescue workers should expect not to be shot at as they attempt to save people’s lives, after all.


However, tromping on the Constitutional rights of everyone in an affected area is not the best way to settle this matter. Gun confiscation sweeps should not be made as a matter of course in an emergency under any circumstances.


It should go without saying that if such sweeps are made as a matter of course in an emergency we will not only leave the citizenry with no means of self-protection during that very crisis, but we are handing to the government the kind of power that could easily be abused and expanded to the point where just any reason can be offered as an “emergency situation” where private guns might be confiscated. This is not an unwarranted fear, but one very real to which the people in the Katrina hurricane area can attest.


Furthermore, it would be foolish to assume it will be common from this point forward that rescue workers will be fired upon while carrying out of their duties in emergencies. Unfortunately, that it happened once is enough for certain Federal agencies to make the wild assumption that this isn’t an isolated incident. To their great credit, the sponsors of the New Hampshire bill are aware that the government will jump to the conclusion that in the future gun confiscation should be a part of every response to an emergency and the Granite Staters wish to prevent a future overextension of Federal police powers.


The bill is sponsored by Rep. Paul Hopfgarten at the urging of an organization called The New Hampshire Underground in an effort to guide New Hampshire’s laws in a more Libertarian direction. (This group is attempting to encourage like-minded, Libertarians to move to New Hampshire to gain political influence in connection with The Free State Project)


Now, I don’t know how much support this bill has in the New Hampshire legislature and have no idea of how sanguine its supporters are of passage. But it is a bill that should be introduced in every single state of the Union and I hope it sees passage in New Hampshire.


In any case, all who are reading this who are interested in the great American tradition of self-protection and 2nd Amendment rights should contact their state representatives and urge a replication of New Hampshire’s efforts.


Related Articles:
What Part of "...Shall Not Be Infringed" Do They Not Understand? 10/02/05
Why Liberals Love Gun control 01/12/05
Why I Carry A Gun 8/23/04


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