Only in the Free State!
- FOUND AT http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/huston/060110....
Bill to prevent feds from confiscating guns
Warner Todd Huston
January 10, 2006
CONCORD, N.H. -- 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,
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 Free State Project
<http://www.freestateproject.org/> 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
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
/Warner Todd Huston is a freelance writer and graphic designer. His work
ranges from historical essays to popular culture and has been published
in several magazines and on many websites. He is the editor for Publius'
Forum website at http://www.publiusforum.blogspot.com/
© Copyright 2006 by Warner Todd Huston
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