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Old January 10, 2011, 04:30 PM   #1
MLeake
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This brings up an odd legal question...

...but is it legal for non-LEO to carry at political gatherings in UT and NC?

http://content.usatoday.com/communit...ngress-guns-/1

Two Congressman, one R one D for those who worry about politics, intend to carry their own handguns at future gatherings, in reaction to Tucson.

Wonder if other government officials plan on doing the same, but haven't told the press?

And how would the rules apply, in states where carry at a public gathering or political rally is banned?

Would make one take another look at the haves vs have-nots.
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Old January 10, 2011, 07:38 PM   #2
tony pasley
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Under North Carolina laws He would be committing a crime, unless he goes to the USMS and is sworn in as a deputy which members of Congress can do.
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Old January 10, 2011, 09:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
tony pasley: ...unless he goes to the USMS and is sworn in as a deputy which members of Congress can do.
Do you have a source for this?
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Old January 10, 2011, 09:23 PM   #4
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Only reference I could find. A Senator no, member of a Senators staff is allowed:

On May 25, 1994, this office issued an opinion advising that the appointment of a United States Senator as a DUSM would be inconsistent with separation of powers principles.(1) We primarily based that conclusion upon "the principle recognized in Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S. 714 (1986), that Congress may not exceed its constitutionally prescribed authority by playing a direct role in executing the laws." 18 Op. O.L.C. at . Although such an appointment might raise additional problems under the Incompatability Clause of Article I, section 6, we did not reach that issue in the earlier opinion. See U.S. Const. art. I, § 6, cl. 2.

We were subsequently asked whether the deputation of an employee on the personal staff of a U.S. Senator, for purposes of providing protection and personal security against threatened violence(2), would be constitutionally permissible. We concluded that it would. Our views on that issue were reflected in a Memorandum from the Director of the United States Marshals Service ("USMS") to you, reviewed and endorsed by this office, dated January 26, 1995. Memorandum for the Deputy Attorney General, from Eduardo Gonzalez, Director, United States Marshal Service, Re: Continued Deputation (Jan. 26, 1995) ("Joint Memorandum"). In concluding that deputation of the congressional staff member would not violate the separation of powers, the Joint Memorandum stated:

The deputized staff person is not a Member of Congress and exercises no legislative power under Article I of the Constitution; nor would Congress (or any member thereof) have the authority to grant or revoke his appointment as a special DUSM, or to control or supervise his official duties as such.

http://www.justice.gov/olc/usmsdep_sa1.htm
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Old January 10, 2011, 10:00 PM   #5
gc70
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Quote:
...but is it legal for non-LEO to carry at political gatherings in UT and NC?
Strictly legal or not, what law enforcement department is going to arrest a member of Congress for being armed for their own self-defense at their own political gathering?

As to North Carolina law, a political gathering, by itself, does not appear to be a prohibited location. Restricted places include:
  • NCGS § 14‑269.2 - campus or other educational property.
  • NCGS § 14‑269.3 - assemblies with admission charges and establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed.
  • NCGS § 14‑269.4 - State property and in courthouses.
  • NCGS § 14‑277.2 - a parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration at a private health care facility or on public property.

Interestingly, NCGS § 14‑269(b)(2) contains an exemption from concealed carry and prohibited places restrictions for "Civil and law enforcement officers of the United States." I wonder if a member of Congress or Congressional staff members would qualify as 'civil officers' of the United States.
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Old January 11, 2011, 07:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gc70
Strictly legal or not, what law enforcement department is going to arrest a member of Congress for being armed for their own self-defense at their own political gathering?
That's really the crux of the issue, isn't it? Either we are a nation of laws ... or we aren't. If we are a nation of laws, then elected representatives should not get a free pass to violate ANY of the laws to which their constituents are subject. That they very probably WOULD get such a free pass is a sad commentary on the state of this country.
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Old January 11, 2011, 08:07 AM   #7
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+1 Aguila Blanca
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Old January 11, 2011, 08:41 AM   #8
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That they very probably WOULD get such a free pass is a sad commentary on the state of this country.
They get a pretty free pass already, and always have.

You cannot hamper them going to or from Congress when their house is in session.
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Old January 11, 2011, 08:46 AM   #9
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Yes, it is sad. There always has been - and probably always will be - a gap between the ideal and the reality. It is difficult enough to prevent legally recognized differences, without seriously expecting to stamp out all implicit differences.
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Old January 11, 2011, 09:19 AM   #10
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Do you think it would make any difference to the safety of the elected official?
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Old January 11, 2011, 09:31 AM   #11
gc70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueTrain
Do you think it would make any difference to the safety of the elected official?
Does it make a difference for anyone to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense?
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Old January 11, 2011, 11:29 AM   #12
BlueTrain
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Just answer the question. Do you think it would have made any difference had the congresswoman been armed? It didn't seem to make any difference that there was a legally armed citizen in the crowd.
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Old January 11, 2011, 11:36 AM   #13
alloy
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Maybe not for the Congresswoman.
But wasn't a CCW person running out of Walgreens towards the sound of the shots one of the 3 reasons the reload was unsuccessful?
He could have been closer, farther, or run the other way.
Flip side of the coin might be if he had been standing 3 feet behind the guy while 30 some shots were being fired.
I couldn't speculate either way, this event happened the way it happened.
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Old January 11, 2011, 11:53 AM   #14
brickeyee
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While we are a nation of laws, the Constitution gives the Congress Critters a lot of leeway.


Quote:
They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
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Old January 11, 2011, 02:26 PM   #15
gc70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueTrain
Just answer the question. Do you think it would have made any difference had the congresswoman been armed?
It is inherently a question that anyone who carries can, and should, answer for themselves.

With respect to the Congresswoman - who knows. I have not seen enough details to know whether she was approached from the back, side, or front, or was aware or unaware that she was being threatened. Being armed only helps if a person is aware of, and can react to, a threat.
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Old January 11, 2011, 03:08 PM   #16
MLeake
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Since her wound went from back to front...

... it would seem he approached from the rear. Not sure what his sequence of targets was, or if she ever knew the threat was there.
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Old January 11, 2011, 05:15 PM   #17
gc70
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A more recent report:

Quote:
Doctors initially thought the bullet entered the back of the skull and exited the front, but after reviewing X-rays and brain scans, two outside physicians brought in by Giffords' medical team now believe that Giffords was likely shot in the front of her head.
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Old January 11, 2011, 05:30 PM   #18
MLeake
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Good catch, gc70

Hadn't seen that report, yet. The reports I have seen, that I like even better, are the ones saying she's capable of breathing on her own; she's still resposive to verbal stimuli; and she has shown no indications of further swelling.

Here's hoping she keeps up this trend, and pulls a Bob Woodruff. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.
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