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View Full Version : Are Police "The People" in 2A?


DDT
05-22-2009, 11:46 AM
Clearly the military has the right to keep and bear arms that are both "unusual and dangerous" but do the police?

As civilian law enforcement should they have a right to arms which non-law enforcement civilians are restricted from owning?

Technical Ted
05-22-2009, 11:49 AM
Short answer NO

Josh3239
05-22-2009, 11:55 AM
So should the government be above the law? No. There is clearly a valid need for civilian LE to have arms, but that doesn't mean there isn't with non-LE civilians.

DDT
05-22-2009, 11:56 AM
Short answer NO

Why? I don't see anything constitutional that provides for lesser infringement against certain classes of civilians than for others. Can you provide some examples where other basic constitutional rights are similarly expanded for some classes of people compared to others?

AndrewMendez
05-22-2009, 11:59 AM
Wasn't the last person to kill someone with an Automatic AR15/M16, an off duty swat guy? Certain perks are going to come with being an LEO, like being Ticket Exempt, but I dont think they should be able to own something, that any other law abiding citizen is!

7x57
05-22-2009, 12:08 PM
There are certain features of English law and history that convince me that in the original meaning and intent, LE have no special rights beyond citizens because citizens themselves were regarded as performing what we now call law enforcement functions.

But so *much* today depends on making the distinction that I'm not sure we could get legal recognition for this principle by any means short of placing federal judges on the rack and getting them to confess it by torture. I don't think we're going to be able to have a legal Inquisition.

7x57

SeanCasey
05-22-2009, 12:09 PM
The police are 'the people'. Every single citizen of this country should be viewed as 'the people'. We do not federal or state level creation of "classes". Then again I am the type of person who really does not like restrictions against any type of small arms, for anyone.

Doheny
05-22-2009, 12:19 PM
Is this going to turn into another LEO bashing thread?

LEOs need tools to do their job and to deal with the threats they encounter. If you have a problem with them having a weapon that you can't, your issue should be with your legislators, not the police.

7x57
05-22-2009, 12:22 PM
The police are 'the people'. Every single citizen of this country should be viewed as 'the people'. We do not federal or state level creation of "classes". Then again I am the type of person who really does not like restrictions against any type of small arms, for anyone.

I sympathize, and used to agree, but I don't believe this is true.



I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public
officials."



It seems the founders may have regarded there being classes of people after all. The good news is that this is *more* radical than your version: their version, if George Mason is any indication, gave preference to those without office, not those with.

There is an overwhelmingly strong post-modern preference to not make distinctions. This is so foreign to older patterns of thinking that it inevitably distorts the interpretation of just about every earlier thinker.

7x57

7x57
05-22-2009, 12:24 PM
LEOs need tools to do their job and to deal with the threats they encounter. If you have a problem with them having a weapon that you can't, your issue should be with your legislators, not the police.

It's unfortunate that the founders did not consult with you when they wrote the law. I shall notify them of your objections immediately.

7x57

SeanCasey
05-22-2009, 12:27 PM
Interesting post 7x57.

Also to reply to Doheny, this thread may very well (and is likely to) turn into that, but not from me. I don't mind the police having whatever gear they can get, heck in some cases I argue they arn't issued enough firepower. I just think that the rest of us should have access to it as well (and fault lies with the gun grabbers, not the police [except for some political big shots that aid the gun grabbers]).

Untamed1972
05-22-2009, 12:38 PM
Is this going to turn into another LEO bashing thread?

LEOs need tools to do their job and to deal with the threats they encounter. If you have a problem with them having a weapon that you can't, your issue should be with your legislators, not the police.


Could it not be argued though that perhaps some of the gun restriction laws were put into place by legislators who did so at the urging of the police, or at least police chiefs?

It is easily argued that just about any "tool" a LEO can use for self-defense would serve the average citizen just as well.

Technical Ted
05-22-2009, 12:39 PM
Why? I don't see anything constitutional that provides for lesser infringement against certain classes of civilians than for others. Can you provide some examples where other basic constitutional rights are similarly expanded for some classes of people compared to others?

I'm taking issue with your statement below:

Clearly the military has the right to keep and bear arms that are both "unusual and dangerous" but do the police?

I don't recall The Constitution mentioning anything about the military having a "clear" right to "unusual and dangerous" arms above and apart from those to be kept and borne by "the people".

7x57
05-22-2009, 12:55 PM
I don't recall The Constitution mentioning anything about the military having a "clear" right to "unusual and dangerous" arms above and apart from those to be kept and borne by "the people".

In terms of Original Public Meaning, I'm with Technical Ted. The Constitution was written and ratified by people who had successfully revolted with privately-owned military weapons. To the extent there is a distinction, I believe it would be in that the military has things that could not be regarded a a gentleman's "personal arms." But within "personal arms," I believe every citizen was intended to be equivalent to a soldier.

It's almost impossible for it to be otherwise when you really understand the militia system. Every citizen was to be a part-time soldier just as in Greece, Rome, and Switzerland, and he was to report for duty with his privately-owned kit. They didn't believe that a nation *could* remain free unless every citizen was a soldier, and said so clearly. That means that, whatever precisely the 2A protects, nothing could be clearer than that it protects whatever standard military weapon the feds, within their power to regulate the militia, have specified as the weapon every man has a duty to keep and maintain. Among several other things, the Right has to cover the means to do your duty (though it is intentionally much broader than that).

That all said, I'm not convinced we'll even be able to get the courts to recognize the equivalence of citizen and peace officer, and we'd have to establish that pretty thoroughly before we could even try to argue what should be clear, the equivalence of citizen and soldier.

I'd be pretty happy if we could ram the idea down the throats of certain anti judges that every man has a duty to protect the people against enemies of the state on the battlefield and enemies of the peace on the streets, and cannot be denied the means to do that duty without concrete cause.

7x57

wildhawker
05-22-2009, 12:57 PM
It's unfortunate that the founders did not consult with you when they wrote the law. I shall notify them of your objections immediately.

7x57

Wow.

cindynles
05-22-2009, 1:11 PM
As civilian law enforcement should they have a right to arms which non-law enforcement civilians are restricted from owning?

I imagine this would be a quick way to get rid of the AW and mag cap laws. Think of the reaction if there were no exemptions to these laws. LE's restricted to 10rd mags and non-AW's. How popular would those chiefs and sheriffs be for supporting these types of laws? Maybe the approach to repealing these laws should be equal protection?

Flogger23m
05-22-2009, 1:12 PM
No, I don't think "The People" means police. It means the average citizen.

That being said, I do support the LEO gets access to "usual" weapon types, such as full auto and short barreled rifles. But I only think SWAT officers should get those.

As I understand it, non-SWAT officers can't get NFA restricted weapons (unless maybe they own them?).

ChuckBooty
05-22-2009, 1:16 PM
No...police AND military all should follow the same laws as people in other professions. I'm not talking about the military as a FORCE, but individual members of the military and their personally owned firearms.

nick
05-22-2009, 1:18 PM
But so *much* today depends on making the distinction that I'm not sure we could get legal recognition for this principle by any means short of placing federal judges on the rack and getting them to confess it by torture. I don't think we're going to be able to have a legal Inquisition.

7x57

If you ever figure out a way to do it, let me know, I might be able to procure the right people :)

7x57
05-22-2009, 1:19 PM
That being said, I do support the LEO gets access to "usual" weapon types, such as full auto and short barreled rifles. But I only think SWAT officers should get those.


Can you quote a single period source to support the idea that the Original Public Meaning of the 2A would allow peace officers to possess weapons forbidden to citizens? If so, can you show that it would cover the most ordinary of military weapons?

You will have a hard road to hoe, given that future president John Quincy Adams was doing the military drill with a military rifle when he was still shorter than the rifle.

ETA: I misspoke in the way a modern would--I don't have the quite in front of me but it's very unlikely the longarm involved was a *rifled* musket, and if it was it would not have been a military weapon. It was probably a smoothbore Brown Bess, if I recall correctly that that was the British (and therefore Americans, Americans being British) infantry weapon ca. 1776.

7x57

artherd
05-22-2009, 1:24 PM
Police are part of the Civilian population like you and me.

Aside from the ability to arrest for a misdemeanor not committed in their presence, they are identical to and one in the same as, "The People".

Roadrunner
05-22-2009, 1:25 PM
I like this quote from Liberty 1's sig line.

"Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen."
-- Sir Robert Peel

I think this pretty well answers the question.

The obvious question is, how can a citizen do his or her civic duty if we are denied the means to do it?

kermit315
05-22-2009, 1:26 PM
No...police AND military all should follow the same laws as people in other professions. I'm not talking about the military as a FORCE, but individual members of the military and their personally owned firearms.

dont know about police, but Military do follow the same rules as everybody else with privately owned firearms.

Untamed1972
05-22-2009, 1:33 PM
Police are part of the Civilian population like you and me.

Aside from the ability to arrest for a misdemeanor not committed in their presence, they are identical to and one in the same as, "The People".

And in CA there are only 6 or 7 specific misdemeanors a LEO can arrest for that are not committed in his presence.

nobody33
05-22-2009, 1:37 PM
This is like the 100th thread whining about how the police have hi cap mags and such. The one thing I'm interested in is why people think any legal action under equal protection won't just take those thing away from the police as opposed to making them legal for everyone?

Isn't it more likely the dems take away those things away from the police too before they let everyone have them? I think so. Or just make the agencies purchase/own them like class 3 weapons.

nick
05-22-2009, 1:41 PM
This is like the 100th thread whining about how the police have hi cap mags and such. The one thing I'm interested in is why people think any legal action under equal protection won't just take those thing away from the police as opposed to making them legal for everyone?

Isn't it more likely the dems take away those things away from the police too before they let everyone have them? I think so. Or just make the agencies purchase/own them like class 3 weapons.

Because if that happens, we might actually get police unions and maybe even agencies on our side, for a change, at least in these particular matters. You might've noticed that the police unions/chiefs of police/sheriffs usually side with anti-gunners, as long as LEOs are excluded from the proposed new legislation that bans something.

Untamed1972
05-22-2009, 1:56 PM
This is like the 100th thread whining about how the police have hi cap mags and such. The one thing I'm interested in is why people think any legal action under equal protection won't just take those thing away from the police as opposed to making them legal for everyone?

Isn't it more likely the dems take away those things away from the police too before they let everyone have them? I think so. Or just make the agencies purchase/own them like class 3 weapons.


They wouldn't do that because it would be political suicide for anyone who supported taking things away from LEOs. I can see the campaign commericals now: "So&So wants to put the lives of LEOs at risk by forcing them to be outgunned by the criminals. Is that what you want for your neighborhood?"

Heck....I'm old enough to remember when SDPD still carried revolvers and I ain't that old. I remember the news stories about when they decided to go to "hi-cap pistols" because as the police spokes-people said, they were finding themselves outgunned by the criminals. And this is the supposed reason to allow LEOs access to all this stuff they dont want everyone else to have. They want to try and maintain a "tactical advantage" over the criminals.

So by extention then shouldn't a non-LEO also able to claim the various restriction laws put them at a disadvantage just like the LEOs claimed they faced?

If a LEO is going to use his 17rd capacity pistol in a home defense situation while off duty, why should he be entitled to have that as an option when non-LEOs are not?

My feeling has always been that if they want to restrict certain things, that at VERY least the "hi-cap" mags, and RAWs and all that stuff should have to be Dept. owned/issued and ONLY be used while on duty. When off duty, they are only allowed to have/personally own the restricted items everyone else is. To allow them personal rights to things based on their occupational status has always seemed to wreak of discrimination and favortism. Public officals/employees are not supposed to be able to personally benefit from their public positions.

wildhawker
05-22-2009, 1:59 PM
Because if that happens, we might actually get police unions and maybe even agencies on our side, for a change, at least in these particular matters. You might've noticed that the police unions/chiefs of police/sheriffs usually side with anti-gunners, as long as LEOs are excluded from the proposed new legislation that bans something.

This is a highly improbable outcome. I have yet to see an instance of such a policy shift of this magnatude. It is far more likely that the same unions/agencies/associations/lobbyists would put their full political force in opposition to any legislative actions reducing their sphere of influence or "more equal" status- including substantial utilization of television, radio and print PR campaigns. The citizenry here in CA has been conditioned to accept as truth any propaganda promulgated or endorsed by the "heroes" (nurses, fire, police/law enforcement, teachers); the legislation would face a severely uphill climb in the court of public opinion.

Flopper
05-22-2009, 2:00 PM
dont know about police, but Military do follow the same rules as everybody else with privately owned firearms.

that's not correct.

military members stationed in CA while on active duty can get assault weapons permits.

7x57
05-22-2009, 2:00 PM
This is like the 100th thread whining about how the police have hi cap mags and such.


It's worse than that--we have threads whining about that going back at least to the eighteenth century.

Yeah, those founders--what a bunch of miserable whiners.


The one thing I'm interested in is why people think any legal action under equal protection won't just take those thing away from the police as opposed to making them legal for everyone?


It would be nice to secure our rights without that happening, but if it comes to that it won't be our choosing. Cops shouldn't have to face a system that prefers criminals over peace officers, but then we shouldn't have to face a system that prefers criminals over citizens. :eek: If it is really necessary, then I wouldn't hesitate to play that card. But then, in the final extremity I wouldn't hesitate to force the US military to convert every rifle they have to semi-auto, if I had the opportunity and it was the only way to secure the rights of US citizens. :chris:

The sad thing is anything that happens to the police happens to all the rural sheriffs that issue for "personal protection" already, the beat cops who prefer to have to clean up the body of a dirtbag than those of a whole family, and so on. I wouldn't like to have to play hardball like that. :mad:

But if possible and necessary, you better believe I would. :chris:

7x57

kermit315
05-22-2009, 2:13 PM
that's not correct.

military members stationed in CA while on active duty can get assault weapons permits.

sorry, thought you were speaking to .mil getting letterhead for AW's like police get, Hi Caps like police get, CCW like police get, etc.

Besides the AW permit, which wont work if you are a California resident, we play within the same rules.

nobody33
05-22-2009, 2:33 PM
Right now the police unions are busy just trying to maintain the benefits their cops have now, and stop layoffs. They probably won't get involved either way beyond a letter.

Most cops don't care. My mags are 10 rounds now anyways. I carry an on list gun. I wait the ten days because it's easier than going to get a letterhead. The only thing I have is an AW. I only have that because my department (read tax payers) are too cheap to supply me with one.

If my union started spending money on gun rights issues I would be pissed. That's not their purpose. We join the NRA for that.

kermit315
05-22-2009, 2:36 PM
Right now the police unions are busy just trying to maintain the benefits their cops have now, and stop layoffs. They probably won't get involved either way beyond a letter.

Most cops don't care. My mags are 10 rounds now anyways. I carry an on list gun. I wait the ten days because it's easier than going to get a letterhead. The only thing I have is an AW. I only have that because my department (read tax payers) are too cheap to supply me with one.

If my union started spending money on gun rights issues I would be pissed. That's not their purpose. We join the NRA for that.

Then they shouldnt lobby against gun rights either, but that doesnt stop them.

And, I fail to see how "taxpayers" are building the budget for your departments weapons procurements. Please explain that.

Untamed1972
05-22-2009, 2:45 PM
And, I fail to see how "taxpayers" are building the budget for your departments weapons procurements. Please explain that.

Yeah.....I'd like to hear that too? I really love being called cheap when a 1/3rd of my income goes to taxes (income, property, sales tax and so on).

If other Dept's issue them and your's doesn't then perhaps it's just poor budget management by your agency? But at least you got your 3%@50 retirement right?

CalNRA
05-22-2009, 2:55 PM
This is like the 100th thread whining about how the police have hi cap mags and such. The one thing I'm interested in is why people think any legal action under equal protection won't just take those thing away from the police as opposed to making them legal for everyone?

Isn't it more likely the dems take away those things away from the police too before they let everyone have them? I think so. Or just make the agencies purchase/own them like class 3 weapons.

Don't you wish that every pro-gun bill has the support of organizations like "California Peace Officers Association" or "California Sheriffs' Association", etc, instead of on the other side? Wouldn't the help of public safety officials be nice in fighting for our rights?

WHy would they care if they are already exempted from the regulations?

nobody33
05-22-2009, 3:33 PM
Then they shouldnt lobby against gun rights either, but that doesnt stop them.

And, I fail to see how "taxpayers" are building the budget for your departments weapons procurements. Please explain that.

The failure to pass public safety taxes in my city have left it the most understaffed PD in the country (in a major city) and left us with poor equipment/low salaries. The people would rather have free trash pickup.

One of the reasons the unions lobby against gun rights is that the people who support our benefit increases are the people against gun rights. The job of the police unions is #1 getting us better pay and benefits. Not gun rights. If cozying up to the dems on gun rights move us farther along on benefit issues, you bet the unions will do it. The unions are generally going to tow the dem line on issues because the dems are the ones who up our pay and benefits. A lot of the libertarian leaning republicans in this state would like us to work for peanuts.

I'm a rep and don't like that, but I do like my 3 at 50 and pay.

jasilva
05-22-2009, 3:58 PM
The failure to pass public safety taxes in my city have left it the most understaffed PD in the country (in a major city) and left us with poor equipment/low salaries. The people would rather have free trash pickup.

One of the reasons the unions lobby against gun rights is that the people who support our benefit increases are the people against gun rights. The job of the police unions is #1 getting us better pay and benefits. Not gun rights. If cozying up to the dems on gun rights move us farther along on benefit issues, you bet the unions will do it. The unions are generally going to tow the dem line on issues because the dems are the ones who up our pay and benefits. A lot of the libertarian leaning republicans in this state would like us to work for peanuts.

I'm a rep and don't like that, but I do like my 3 at 50 and pay.

So you've given us another reason to dislike unions in general and yours specifically. If you don't think your paid enough then go get a job elsewhere. We the citizens are not obligated to pay you what YOU think your worth. Your given a salary and equipment based on what the citizens are willing to pay. Either take it and shut up or don't take it and shut up.

nobody33
05-22-2009, 4:11 PM
So you've given us another reason to dislike unions in general and yours specifically. If you don't think your paid enough then go get a job elsewhere. We the citizens are not obligated to pay you what YOU think your worth. Your given a salary and equipment based on what the citizens are willing to pay. Either take it and shut up or don't take it and shut up.

I'm not complaining about my salary. I don't do it for the money. I'm just stating the purpose of the union is not to support or take away gun rights. It's to improve salary and benefits. Most cops would sacrifice their ability to buy hicap mags and off list guns for their pay and benefits. If I had a choice between 3 at 50 and my Colt AR. The AR would get throw in the trash without hesitation (and I love that thing).

You already disliked unions. My comments didn't affect that at all. You could also use that argument that the citizens also support gun control laws since they elected the people who enacted them... should we shut up about those too?

7x57
05-22-2009, 4:14 PM
Fair enough about the unions, but it works both ways. I constantly get phone calls asking me to support various police organizations. I am going to start telling them I'll be delighted to support them when I see their organization visibly and publicly supporting my right to effective self-defense. When the NRA tells me that they're a good partner, we'll talk.

Yeah, I'd like to support the police. But then, I'd like them to support me too. In LA county, it isn't likely to happen.

7x57

kermit315
05-22-2009, 4:19 PM
The failure to pass public safety taxes in my city have left it the most understaffed PD in the country (in a major city) and left us with poor equipment/low salaries. The people would rather have free trash pickup.

One of the reasons the unions lobby against gun rights is that the people who support our benefit increases are the people against gun rights. The job of the police unions is #1 getting us better pay and benefits. Not gun rights. If cozying up to the dems on gun rights move us farther along on benefit issues, you bet the unions will do it. The unions are generally going to tow the dem line on issues because the dems are the ones who up our pay and benefits. A lot of the libertarian leaning republicans in this state would like us to work for peanuts.

I'm a rep and don't like that, but I do like my 3 at 50 and pay.

Sounds like you have a problem regarding those elected to public positions within your jurisdiction blowing money on crap, and the voters turned sour to it. I dont blame them one bit, but it still doesnt fall on their shoulders that you are underequipped. They pay their taxes. Sounds like the city/county is screwing you.

If my union started spending money on gun rights issues I would be pissed. That's not their purpose. We join the NRA for that.

Your right, thats not their purpose, but as I said, it seems they dont mind taking things away from the public, as long as it fits their agenda.

nobody33
05-22-2009, 4:30 PM
Fair enough about the unions, but it works both ways. I constantly get phone calls asking me to support various police organizations. I am going to start telling them I'll be delighted to support them when I see their organization visibly and publicly supporting my right to effective self-defense. When the NRA tells me that they're a good partner, we'll talk.

Yeah, I'd like to support the police. But then, I'd like them to support me too. In LA county, it isn't likely to happen.

7x57

Don't confuse supporting those organizations with supporting your local beat cop keeping your neighborhood safe. Those organizations try and play that up, but it's not always the case. It's like saying the ACLU is really out there to support everyone's civil liberties (yet they ignore the 2nd amendment). They make that claim, but really they are out for their own agenda.

nick
05-22-2009, 4:45 PM
This is a highly improbable outcome. I have yet to see an instance of such a policy shift of this magnatude. It is far more likely that the same unions/agencies/associations/lobbyists would put their full political force in opposition to any legislative actions reducing their sphere of influence or "more equal" status- including substantial utilization of television, radio and print PR campaigns. The citizenry here in CA has been conditioned to accept as truth any propaganda promulgated or endorsed by the "heroes" (nurses, fire, police/law enforcement, teachers); the legislation would face a severely uphill climb in the court of public opinion.

Well, first of all, I don't expect much from a legislative effort in this state. I was thinking about courts either striking down the existing bad laws, or equally applying them.

I was actually talking about a hypothetical situation were something like this to happen. I wonder how many gun laws would pass if they applied equally to everybody. Not many, I'd say.

7x57
05-22-2009, 4:52 PM
Don't confuse supporting those organizations with supporting your local beat cop keeping your neighborhood safe.

Yeah, I know, but of course if you obey the law and live in a decent neighborhood you don't actually interact with your local beat cops. That's sort of backwards in some sense, and must greatly contribute to the "us vs. them" mentality that seems to be normal these days.

In fact, "us vs. them" is probably the root cause of most problems, and doesn't seem to be solvable.

7x57

Asphodel
05-22-2009, 5:13 PM
Yes, in theory, a civilian 'peace officer' is by definition a civilian citizen, as opposed to being a member of the armed forces, and therefore subject to military jurisdiction.

As a practical matter, it seems that some large number of police personnel, and police command personnel, have engaged in a campaign to 'blur' that difference, and create a body of procedure within which police agencies are the effective equivalent of military units, with the 'enemy', of course, being 'the public'.

For an example of this, consider the common saying amongst sworn personnel.....'if you're not sworn, you're not born'.....meaning, presumably, that sworn officers have a seperate and distinct legal status from that of the generality of citizens.

Consider the photo identity cards issued to non-sworn agency employees, which have 'civilian' in large letters to indicate non-sworn employee status.

It seems to have become a 'cultural normalcy' that some police personnel will engage in actions which are.....or at least should be....considered 'acts of war' against members of the public. ( a 'Youtube search' on 'taser + torture' will bring up some quite disturbing videos)

Note that I say 'some'.......obviously, the presumably quite large number of responsible peace officers here will not identify with the apparent 'Stalinist police state' attitude we see in some agencies and individuals.

cheers

Carla

kermit315
05-22-2009, 5:21 PM
Yes, in theory, a civilian 'peace officer' is by definition a civilian citizen, as opposed to being a member of the armed forces, and therefore subject to military jurisdiction.

As a practical matter, it seems that some large number of police personnel, and police command personnel, have engaged in a campaign to 'blur' that difference, and create a body of procedure within which police agencies are the effective equivalent of military units, with the 'enemy', of course, being 'the public'.

For an example of this, consider the common saying amongst sworn personnel.....'if you're not sworn, you're not born'.....meaning, presumably, that sworn officers have a seperate and distinct legal status from that of the generality of citizens.

Consider the photo identity cards issued to non-sworn agency employees, which have 'civilian' in large letters to indicate non-sworn employee status.

It seems to have become a 'cultural normalcy' that some police personnel will engage in actions which are.....or at least should be....considered 'acts of war' against members of the public. ( a 'Youtube search' on 'taser + torture' will bring up some quite disturbing videos)

Note that I say 'some'.......obviously, the presumably quite large number of responsible peace officers here will not identify with the apparent 'Stalinist police state' attitude we see in some agencies and individuals.

cheers

Carla

Nice. I agree.

jasilva
05-22-2009, 6:44 PM
I'm not complaining about my salary. I don't do it for the money. I'm just stating the purpose of the union is not to support or take away gun rights. It's to improve salary and benefits. Most cops would sacrifice their ability to buy hicap mags and off list guns for their pay and benefits. If I had a choice between 3 at 50 and my Colt AR. The AR would get throw in the trash without hesitation (and I love that thing).

You already disliked unions. My comments didn't affect that at all. You could also use that argument that the citizens also support gun control laws since they elected the people who enacted them... should we shut up about those too?


Actually I'm a member of a union. I don't agree with most of the crap they do and I definitely don't support the politicians they support. You should really consider a little more than just the wages your union gets you. The same politicians that our unions support(buy) also are responsible for the erosion of our liberties in this state, the influx of illegals and the excessive costs to the state that they incur, the ridiculous environmental laws and the insane deficit and busted budget just to name a few things. But hey they got you a raise so it's all good.:thumbsup:

Erik S. Klein
05-22-2009, 6:55 PM
Short answer NO

+1

Unless, of course, the police aren't actually citizens. . .

bohoki
05-22-2009, 6:59 PM
the police are people but they are not the people they are "the state" while on duty

eflatminor
05-22-2009, 7:04 PM
Your local Police Department, up to the county Sheriff, are The People. Any Federal cop and in particular, our standing army, are NOT The People whilst on duty. It's agents of the Federal government that the 2nd allows us to resist if necessary. Ain't it grand that we never really had to prove that? The 2nd has helped to keep relative peace in this country for over 200 years...cool.

GoodEyeSniper
05-22-2009, 7:42 PM
the police are people but they are not the people they are "the state" while on duty

Except that when they punch out at the end of their shift, they are still in a completely higher "class" than your average citizen, in regards to arming themselves, to be specific...

sreiter
05-22-2009, 8:00 PM
Is this going to turn into another LEO bashing thread?

LEOs need tools to do their job and to deal with the threats they encounter. If you have a problem with them having a weapon that you can't, your issue should be with your legislators, not the police.


like a whistle and billy club in england

GuyW
05-22-2009, 8:00 PM
It's unfortunate that the founders did not consult with you when they wrote the law. I shall notify them of your objections immediately.


LOL! My hats off to you if you can get an audience with those folks!

....the Founding Fathers....the ORIGINAL "Right People"...

.

GuyW
05-22-2009, 8:02 PM
Police are part of the Civilian population like you and me.

Aside from the ability to arrest for a misdemeanor not committed in their presence, they are identical to and one in the same as, "The People".

Well, apparently NOT.

For example - they get to kick people in the head....and beat them with sticks...
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GuyW
05-22-2009, 8:06 PM
I remember the news stories about when they decided to go to "hi-cap pistols" because as the police spokes-people said, they were finding themselves outgunned by the criminals.

And its pretty much BS.

Missing with 18 rounds, is no better than missing with 6.

Conversely, hitting with 2 out of 3, works every time....
.

GuyW
05-22-2009, 8:11 PM
The failure to pass public safety taxes in my city have left it the most understaffed PD in the country (in a major city) and left us with poor equipment/low salaries. The people would rather have free trash pickup.


..reminds me of the LEO statement I once read, something about, "I'm a garbageman - I pick up garbage all day long"....
.

GuyW
05-22-2009, 8:16 PM
It's agents of the Federal government that the 2nd allows us to resist if necessary.

Huh?

Its agents of ALL governments that the 2nd allows us to resist/control/beatdown if necessary.

.

DDT
05-22-2009, 8:37 PM
Well, aside from a few cop beatdowns this thread is going about as well as I had suspected.

First of all, I do believe there is a difference for Military. I think there are some weapons that are just too "unusual and dangerous" for civilian use. I think those are VERY LIMITED.

However; those tools should be reserved for national defense. I realize this is the foundation of the second amendment and I realize that the revolution is rife with stories of people bringing personally owned cannon, ships etc. into the fray. The truth is I don't trust Joe Blow with a nuclear powered submarine or a modern Battle cruiser. I do trust Joe Blow with a Panzer and working turret/gun (this may be viewed as a bit over the top; I can live with that.)

What I am having a difficult time understanding is why a Law Enforcement Agency or Officer would need weapons beyond those covered by the Second Amendment, or why the Second Amendment should cover the weapons ordinarily used by civilian forces enforcing the laws of our communities.

SBR
FA
Flash Bangs
Less Lethal rounds/weapons

Do Law enforcement officers or agencies have greater rights in any other area of civil rights? Do they have greater free speech rights? Are they afforded a different trial by a jury of peers? Are they given greater 4th amendment protections? Why then would one assume that they should have access to "unusual and dangerous" weapons? Or, more appropriately why would weapons they use in serving the public be considered "unusual and dangerous?"

As others have hinted at this is not about Hi-caps etc. This is an honest question about the equal protection of citizen rights. If the police are held to the same standards as every other civilian they would be fighting for/with us.

Flogger23m
05-22-2009, 8:44 PM
Can you quote a single period source to support the idea that the Original Public Meaning of the 2A would allow peace officers to possess weapons forbidden to citizens?

For one, I never said that was the meaning. I said I support it. Reading is important. :thumbsup:

But I would support SWAT and military to having better weapons to get the job done.

No offense to anyone here, but I doubt Calgunners are available and ready to go do SWAT type missions at any time during the day and night. I support the 2nd Amendment and militia concept, but I doubt if there is a mall shooting that a bunch of Calgunners would be able to assemble and organize quicker than SWAT officers. Simply put, when I or someone else calls someone for help, it will be the police, and not you guys. Likewise, you guys won't call me. And since they're the ones protecting us, then I'd say give them (police and military) better gear.

Of course, I think they should only have them available when on duty. When off duty, they should get the same restrictions as anyone else (again, this is my opinion).

We'll just have to disagree. I don't think your average person should be allowed to own IEDs, flamethrowers, manpads, ect. When I think of militia, I think of riflemen. :)

DDT
05-22-2009, 8:46 PM
No offense to anyone here, but I doubt Calgunners are available and ready to go do SWAT type missions at any time during the day and night. I support the 2nd Amendment and militia concept, but I doubt if there is a mall shooting that a bunch of Calgunners would be able to assemble and organize quicker than SWAT officers. Simply put, when I or someone else calls someone for help, it will be the police, and not you guys. Likewise, you guys won't call me. And since they're the ones protecting us, then I'd say give them (police and military) better gear.


I don't think anyone wants the police to be disarmed.

GuyW
05-22-2009, 8:48 PM
I support the 2nd Amendment and militia concept, but I doubt if there is a mall shooting that a bunch of Calgunners would be able to assemble and organize quicker than SWAT officers.

Uh, its already occurred that a legal gun carrier (who was off-duty LE) on scene stopped a mall shooting problem before on-duty LE could arrive.

That's the strength and beauty of the militia and shall-issue CCWs.
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Flogger23m
05-22-2009, 10:25 PM
Uh, its already occurred that a legal gun carrier (who was off-duty LE) on scene stopped a mall shooting problem before on-duty LE could arrive.

That's the strength and beauty of the militia and shall-issue CCWs.
.

I don't recall saying anything against CCW. I was talking about full autos, suppressors and SBRs for SWAT.

cousinkix1953
05-23-2009, 12:12 AM
Wasn't the last person to kill someone with an Automatic AR15/M16, an off duty swat guy? Certain perks are going to come with being an LEO, like being Ticket Exempt, but I dont think they should be able to own something, that any other law abiding citizen is!
Do they really need dangerous off roster handguns. You can change this situation locally at the ballot box, if you don't want your police department packing cheapie handguns. The whole thing becomes exposed as a fraud, if they dare to oppose such a ballot measure. There are LEO haters such as COPWATCH who would help to distribute those petitions too...

Ladyfox
05-23-2009, 12:14 AM
Do Law enforcement officers or agencies have greater rights in any other area of civil rights? Do they have greater free speech rights? Are they afforded a different trial by a jury of peers? Are they given greater 4th amendment protections? Why then would one assume that they should have access to "unusual and dangerous" weapons? Or, more appropriately why would weapons they use in serving the public be considered "unusual and dangerous?"

As others have hinted at this is not about Hi-caps etc. This is an honest question about the equal protection of citizen rights. If the police are held to the same standards as every other civilian they would be fighting for/with us.

I'm curious as to the answer to this as well. However, I'm pretty sure that we probably will never get a real answer within our lifetimes. -_-

7x57
05-23-2009, 12:59 AM
For one, I never said that was the meaning. I said I support it. Reading is important. :thumbsup:\


I chose not to believe that you "supported" something contrary to the Constitution. :eek: My bad, I guess.


But I would support SWAT and military to having better weapons to get the job done.


Regardless of the law, apparently. :(


Of course, I think they should only have them available when on duty. When off duty, they should get the same restrictions as anyone else (again, this is my opinion).


Better weapons when representing the state? I think I understand quite clearly why the original meaning is not important to you. It would stand in the way of policies you prefer.


We'll just have to disagree. I don't think your average person should be allowed to own IEDs, flamethrowers, manpads, ect. When I think of militia, I think of riflemen. :)

We were talking about SWAT teams. So you envision SWAT teams armed with flamethrowers, improvised explosives when they could just have the real thing, and portable anti-aircraft weaponry? Or did you switch topics and quit talking about Law Enforcement and start talking about the militia?

In any case, who is doing this "allowing" you speak of?

7x57

7x57
05-23-2009, 1:08 AM
I don't recall saying anything against CCW. I was talking about full autos, suppressors and SBRs for SWAT.

It's hard to follow your train of thought, but I will assume that those are examples of reasonable SWAT weapons not suitable for citizens and answer accordingly.

Basically, then you accept the terms, definitions, and categories invented for purposes if incremental gun bans. Those are NFA categories and have no relationship to the real world at all. All of those things you mention are suitable for civilians, and second it wouldn't change the meaning of the Constitution if you didn't personally find them suitable. Two of them apply to what would be the most protected weapon in existence if we obeyed the Constitution, and the third would apply to (and here I am making a prediction about the market in the absence of irrational meddling) most home defense weapons. The fact that neither is true is simply the irrational product of irrational laws designed, as some contemporaries admitted, to get gun owners used to regulation, categories of "evil weapons," and prepare for further control and eventual confiscation.

You are already several steps down the road to believing in gun control yourself.

7x57

thatrogue
05-23-2009, 1:51 AM
The simple answer is there was no police or standing army at the time the Constitution was written, the militia was every able bodied man. So therefore it should translate no different in today's pretext, with the exception that most people are to lazy or indifferent to deter crime... hence the need for individuals to put full time attention towards that duty equally well armed.

Btw I would imagine there's many counties in Texas, Nevada, and Florida where police aren't nearly as well armed as the locals. A probably don't need to be.

BobB35
05-23-2009, 2:08 AM
The simple answer is there was no police or standing army at the time the Constitution was written, the militia was every able bodied man.


Exactly, most people fail to realize that "Law enforcement" as we now have it is less than a 150 to 200 years old. For most of that time it was more Andy in Mayberry than the gung ho SWAT types running and gunning now. Heck SWAT was created only about 40 years ago. At this rate they will have M1A1 Abrams by 2050.

This issue is all about classism. Ask any Cop, they have bought into the "Noble Lie" hook line and sinker. It is taught at the academy, re-affirmed by the hiring process and reinforce OTJ. Bunch of BS if you ask me...

cousinkix1953
05-23-2009, 5:34 AM
Exactly, most people fail to realize that "Law enforcement" as we now have it is less than a 150 to 200 years old. For most of that time it was more Andy in Mayberry than the gung ho SWAT types running and gunning now. Heck SWAT was created only about 40 years ago. At this rate they will have M1A1 Abrams by 2050.

This issue is all about classism. Ask any Cop, they have bought into the "Noble Lie" hook line and sinker. It is taught at the academy, re-affirmed by the hiring process and reinforce OTJ. Bunch of BS if you ask me...
Some LEAs already have tanks. We saw them in the streets during the 4/92 Los Angeles riots and I don't mean those NG units either...

eflatminor
05-23-2009, 6:00 AM
Huh?

Its agents of ALL governments that the 2nd allows us to resist/control/beatdown if necessary.

.

I would agree with you...but you're wrong. The BoRs is attached to The Constitution, a document that spells out the limitations of the Federal government only.

packnrat
05-23-2009, 6:10 AM
The police are "the people"
And NO Leo should have access to any aw in any form that the public does not have free access to.
And this would include normal cap mag's.

When off duty the "aw" that a Leo can use when onduty must and should be in a lockup at the cop shop, never to be in Leo's hands when not On duty.

Even to include the so called "unsafe" guns.

DDT
05-23-2009, 7:48 AM
I would agree with you...but you're wrong. The BoRs is attached to The Constitution, a document that spells out the limitations of the Federal government only.

That is not accurate today. In the 18th century it was written that way. However; most of the BoR have been extended to add protections for all US Citizen against those same infringements by governments at all levels.

This expansion of individual rights is called incorporation. The most recent case involved the second amendment it was called Nordyke v. King. It's a fascinating read and I strongly suggest that you read a copy of the decision.

ilbob
05-23-2009, 8:40 AM
Neither police nor military personnel acting as agents of the state are part of "the people", IMO.

Acting as private citizens they are.

As agents of the state they have no rights at all, as the state has no rights, only powers.

motorhead
05-23-2009, 9:11 AM
not people. evil androids from the future?

DDT
05-23-2009, 9:26 AM
That is not helpful.

GuyW
05-23-2009, 12:33 PM
I don't recall saying anything against CCW. I was talking about full autos, suppressors and SBRs for SWAT.

And a full auto etc that's 15 minutes away, isn't as effective in many/most situations, as one or more pistol(s) on scene....

.

Legasat
05-23-2009, 1:10 PM
Clearly the military has the right to keep and bear arms that are both "unusual and dangerous" but do the police?

As civilian law enforcement should they have a right to arms which non-law enforcement civilians are restricted from owning?

I think that is the wrong question. I think the right question is: "Should everyone legally able to keep and bear arms, have access to everything?"

My answer is YES.

dixieD
05-23-2009, 3:59 PM
I only have that because my department (read tax payers) are too cheap to supply me with one.

The total tax that I pay is 38 cents to the dollar. And, no that is not a marginal rate, that is the total compared to the total income. I don't consider myself cheap. How much more do you want me and the rest of California tax payers to pay?

BTW, for those you who have not done it add up your total tax = federal income, state income, property, medicare, social security, gasoline, communications, car registration, and sales tax (on non-saved income). It is eye opening. I've found that most of my colleagues when thinking about tax only think of fed and state income taxes.

DDT
05-23-2009, 4:06 PM
I think that is the wrong question. I think the right question is: "Should everyone legally able to keep and bear arms, have access to everything?"

My answer is YES.

No, that isn't the question I am asking. Actually I can understand that it is a valid question but I don't want to get into "standing army" weapons. Only what weapons non-military persons can have access to and are there 2 (or more) classes of non-prohibited persons?

I don't see anything in the constitution that permits such a distinction. I would love to hear from the attorneys on the board who might know the case law that permits police forces to possess arms that the rest of the civilian population cannot.

eflatminor
05-23-2009, 4:16 PM
That is not accurate today. In the 18th century it was written that way. However; most of the BoR have been extended to add protections for all US Citizen against those same infringements by governments at all levels.

This expansion of individual rights is called incorporation. The most recent case involved the second amendment it was called Nordyke v. King. It's a fascinating read and I strongly suggest that you read a copy of the decision.

Just because some of the rights in the BoRs have been incorporated does not change the fact that the Constitution defines limitations of the FEDERAL government. The fact that some of the rights attached to the Constitution have been reaffirmed at the state level is great, but it does not change the fact that The People refer to anyone that is not a FEDERAL agent.

Hey, you want to use your arms to defend yourself against your local sheriff, great. Free will baby. That doesn't change the answer to the OP question.

hawk81
05-23-2009, 5:53 PM
All citizens (civilian law enforcement, military and ordinary citizens) all need to be able to own the same types of firearms period.

GuyW
05-23-2009, 6:10 PM
Just because some of the rights in the BoRs have been incorporated does not change the fact that the Constitution defines limitations of the FEDERAL government. The fact that some of the rights attached to the Constitution have been reaffirmed at the state level is great, but it does not change the fact that The People refer to anyone that is not a FEDERAL agent.



You misunderstand the Constitution and BOR.

Read Heller. It says that the 2nd Amendment recognizes the PRE-EXISTING right to bear arms. That means citizens had/have those rights against all levels of government....

The People refers to anyone who isn't a government agent.
.

DDT
05-23-2009, 7:46 PM
, but it does not change the fact that The People refer to anyone that is not a FEDERAL agent.

So you are saying that local law enforcement are "the people" mentioned in the second amendment and have no greater or lesser rights to access arms than other non-leo civilians?

eflatminor
05-24-2009, 6:57 AM
So you are saying that local law enforcement are "the people" mentioned in the second amendment and have no greater or lesser rights to access arms than other non-leo civilians?

I'm saying that's the way the original framers intended it.

Perhaps I was wrong about the effect incorporation had. Mayber Heller does mean the RKBA is meant to level the playing field against state and local authorities as GuyW stated. I didn't think so, but I'm not an expert in this area.

Nevertheless, when I think of local/county law enforcement, I think of The Oath Keepers; law enforcement officiers that have sworn to uphold the Constitution. They're basically saying that they will not obey orders from Federal agents if they feel those orders are unconstitutional...including denying the The People's RKBA. They consider themselves The People.

AJAX22
05-24-2009, 7:10 AM
Police are part of the Civilian population like you and me.

Aside from the ability to arrest for a misdemeanor not committed in their presence, they are identical to and one in the same as, "The People".

+1 It wasn't until we created a 'special class' of people with special rights and privileges that this even became an issue.

Law enforcement officers are civilians, they have been vested with 'special' rights and privileges by the state, but much of what has been done to 'exempt' them from the laws which govern the rest of the population is blatantly unconstitutional.

Anything which a police officer needs to ensure that they come home safely should not be kept from the general population.... If they need an MP5 to make it through the day, well then there is a very good argument that I (living, working and interacting in the same neighborhood with the same people, and being vested with the same powers of arrest) need at LEAST the equivalent in firepower, after all I'm just one individual... no one comes when I call on the radio.

DDT
05-24-2009, 8:21 AM
I'm saying that's the way the original framers intended it.

Perhaps I was wrong about the effect incorporation had. Mayber Heller does mean the RKBA is meant to level the playing field against state and local authorities as GuyW stated. I didn't think so, but I'm not an expert in this area.

Nevertheless, when I think of local/county law enforcement, I think of The Oath Keepers; law enforcement officiers that have sworn to uphold the Constitution. They're basically saying that they will not obey orders from Federal agents if they feel those orders are unconstitutional...including denying the The People's RKBA. They consider themselves The People.


Your post is full of contradictions.

You don't think the BoR applies against the states/local government but you think the job of local LEO is to uphold the constitution. Why would they uphold the constitution if they are not bound to follow the constitution?

If the bill of rights didn't apply to the states and local government why are the police not allowed to search your home whenever they would like to? Why are the states not allowed to force you to go to a specific church? Or prevent you from attending certain churches? What about free speech? Do you think that the state of California can prevent you from buying an ad in the newspaper or from owning a newspaper, or from posting on this board?

If you are going to post telling people what you think the laws are it is incumbent upon you to do a little homework, especially once called out. Read the Heller decision, it includes a GREAT primer on incorporation. I think wikipedia also have a good entry on incorporation. Go do a little homework. The 14th amendment SHOULD have automatically incorporated the entire BoR (at least the first 9 that actually enumerate P&I and governmental limitations) but the courts didn't want to give away powers that states had (primarily in disarming blacks) and that led to Cruikshank.

motorhead
05-24-2009, 12:50 PM
tough crowd!
constitutionally i think yes. the thing is, there wasn't the kind of us/them situation when the constitution was written (there were no organized police departments) and imo it's never been properly addressed. legally, they are above the common man. they are limited only by their department policy on private weapons.

Sniper3142
05-24-2009, 4:26 PM
The term "The People" in the Constitution means the regular citizens of this country.

While I'm not sure if they meant to include the police under this term, I find it very funny that The Police will either say they don't fall under this term when it suits them (safe handgun list) or that they do (2A in general and new AW possesion & registration).

They can't have it both ways.

CA_Libertarian
05-25-2009, 12:08 AM
Clearly the military has the right to keep and bear arms that are both "unusual and dangerous"...

I disagree with this premise. It's vague, and wrong in any sense I can imagine. I know the courts might say otherwise, but the courts are populated with tyrants and idiots.

The US Constitution - the supreme law of the land - does not declare that the federal government has the right to better arms than the states and/or the people. It also clearly states that the right to arms shall not be infringed (notice there's no exception for "reasonable" infringement as there is in the 4A).

CLUTCH
05-25-2009, 9:21 AM
wow.. very interesting thread. i cant beleive i juss sat here and read all 9 pages.. i would give my opinion but it doesnt realy matter cuss what will it change? "nothing"

GuyW
06-02-2009, 2:03 PM
You misunderstand the Constitution and BOR.

Read Heller. It says that the 2nd Amendment recognizes the PRE-EXISTING right to bear arms. That means citizens had/have those rights against all levels of government....

The People refers to anyone who isn't a government agent.
.

Further, all powers not delegated to the federal government by the US Constitution remain vested in the states or the people.

Since the Founding Fathers and society at large considered the 2nd Amendment to be a pre-existing fundamental individual right, the right remains with the people as individuals, and not the states and their political subordinates and agents (cities, counties etc) ...
.

7x57
06-02-2009, 2:22 PM
Whenever anyone in the 21st century insists that there is no distinction on any subject, it is fairly likely that he is taking a position contrary to everyone before the 20th. So in this case, is there reason to think the framers would have made a distinction between LE and citizens? As it turns out, yes.

Anti-gunners like to say that the reason British bobbies were unarmed is because Britain was so peaceful (I think they've quietly dropped saying "is so peaceful," since the crime rate there now passes even their ability to ignore) that it was unnecessary. That is typical statist thinking--if the state didn't do something, it must have been because it didn't need to.

First, Britain wasn't so peaceful--ever gentleman went armed to the teeth, and with good reason. Highwaymen were the norm, and the ladies in the party would have been as disturbed if they were not accompanied by armed men as they would be today in the opposite situation. It was a gentleman's duty to help protect any party he was in.

Even so, apparently creating a police force was controversial for reasons the founders were intimately familiar with--it is a hazardous thing to allow armed agents of the king in the midst of the citizenry. So far as I can tell, they were in fact unarmed because that satisfied the skeptics. If the king's men were unarmed and relied on the citizens to come to their aid of the law was resisted, what harm could they do?

That being the case, I think we have an a priori expectation that they would be likely to distinguish between the king's agents and the people, and in fact we have a later British example where the distinction was precisely over arms.

We also have the military case where the founders distructed select militias, which is what modern policemen most closely resemble, and we know that the purpose of the 2A is to ensure that the general militia is armed on an equal footing with any select militia or regular army units it might face.

So I think the burden of proof lies on the side of those who wish to say that the police acting in their official capacity are members of the class "the people."

It should be a better argument than I can make for the opposite view, and to get started here is my argument:

I claim to the contrary that in fact the police are in the terms of the Constitutional art a select militia, and the 2A does not apply to them because the founders would not have conceived of the bizzare idea of using the word "right" to apply to a power of the government. That doesn't mean they can't be armed or anything--surely they can be as the state has the power to make war, and the founders would never have consented to anything less than the best weaponry to defend the borders against enemies foreign. They accepted this as a simple reality that they neither could nor should attempt to control. Instead, they simply said that the general militia must have private access to all the same personal infantry weapons the government inherently does. I claim that the equation of the police with the private citizen defending himself or making a citizen's arrest is a red herring based on surface similarity. I argue that the basic issue is the fact that an officer of the king, now of the law, acts in uniform under the color of the authority of the state. To argue based on function is a category error. The 2A does not defend the rights of the people based on function, but rather based on the interests they represent.

Explain how that is historically wrong.

7x57

Untamed1972
06-02-2009, 3:49 PM
:thumbsup: 7X57

pnkssbtz
06-02-2009, 4:23 PM
In terms of Original Public Meaning, I'm with Technical Ted. The Constitution was written and ratified by people who had successfully revolted with privately-owned military weapons. To the extent there is a distinction, I believe it would be in that the military has things that could not be regarded a a gentleman's "personal arms." But within "personal arms," I believe every citizen was intended to be equivalent to a soldier.
I disagree.

What weapons did the military use that the citizenry did not own?


There were really only pistols, muskets and cannon. And guess who owned all three?


"Non Gentlemen" arms to me, at the time would be things like derringers and other "hold out" style firearms that were concealable.


Cannon were clearly privately owned and continued to be for some time on private merchant vessels for protection.

7x57
06-02-2009, 5:26 PM
I disagree.

What weapons did the military use that the citizenry did not own?


There were really only pistols, muskets and cannon. And guess who owned all three?


It is quite clear that in fact the revolutionaries owned all three. Private gentlemen of means bought cannon for their local militia. The question is whether in fact the cannon are covered by the 2A. Even if we all agreed on this, we would have to convince skeptical judges (if yes) or reassure worried judges (if no), so it's a real issue.

I don't say these are valid worries--few things are less useful for organized crime than artillery pieces--but that is also true of .50 BMG rifles and you see how the facts didn't matter.


"Non Gentlemen" arms to me, at the time would be things like derringers and other "hold out" style firearms that were concealable.

Cannon were clearly privately owned and continued to be for some time on private merchant vessels for protection.

Owning them doesn't make them personal arms. In fact there is a reasonable argument that the 2A covers, apparently, arms that can be borne. Does anyone "bear" a cannon? That is one question.

The second is whether "arms" to them meant a gentleman's personal arms or was more expansive. Don't forget that they still had a direct connection to the knightly concept of honorable, knightly weapons. Did it control what they wrote? I don't know for sure, but I'm disturbed that people seem determined to read "arms" as synonymous with "weapons" without making the case.

The clearest implied coverage to me is that whatever the full extent, it must include the kit you would report to military service with. Thus we can argue about crew-served weapons, but not M4s. The militia clauses give the feds the power to specify that every state militia be armed with the weapon of the feds choice. The prefatory clause to the 2A makes it clear that those weapons are to be protected. We can argue about the rest.

7x57