Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Attention Wisconsin Gun Owners: Turn in Your Weapons!

I've seen this in a few places in the blogosphere (sorry, I don't remember where--Kim du Toit maybe?) but I want to note it here.

A cop in Oshkosh, WI was the victim of an unprovoked attack--shot standing outside his car. The perp was seen to flee into a nearby neighborhood. The police started a search--house to house, no warrants. Life got interesting.

A few quotes:

Terry Wesner said 'a couple of shotguns and a rifle' were removed from his home by SWAT Team members after he consented to a search, though officers did not tell him they removed the firearms after they completed their search.

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Ron Kendall, a resident of the 1700 block of Minnesota Street, said residents of the house that has become the focus of the police investigation refused to consent to a search without a warrant. (Bully for him!)

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He suspects it's a reason why police are giving the home so much attention. (You expected otherwise? Guilty until proven innocent, the new American Way.)

Detectives, who went to the home with a search warrant Sunday morning, were seen using a metal detector, sweeping through grass and cutting down shrubs and branches in the front yard Monday evening. (Hey, people I know keep their guns in the shrubs. Not.)

It gets more irritating from there.

I understand the cops wanting to find this guy. But for them to commit warrantless searches, removing personal property without a shred of legality, is properly called breaking and entering. Doing it under color of authority makes it worse.

Wisconsin Gun Owners, a local Second Amendment group, is keeping track of this situation. Last word is that one resident, Terry Wesner (mentioned above) got an apology. I'm sure it makes him feel better.

Just goes to show you that you don't need to be the ATF to trample the public's rights.

2 comments:

Stoney said...

It is common for law enforcment of any stripe to take every gun in the house on any call. Search warrants routinely instruct officers to remove any weapons found.
Once a weapon is taken, it can take weeks/years to get it back. Reason? Police officers and officials treat everyone as a suspect first, and as a possible litigator second, and as a free citizen waaaay down the list.
Police reform would seem to be the answer, but we need criminal reform first... and criminal reform should clear up most of the problem.

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