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Old August 20, 2013, 05:35 PM   #1
Rifleman1776
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shocking ignorance

Today met a man who has lived in our area about two years. He is a retired police sergeant from anothe state and now works part time as a Sheriff Deputy as an investigator, he is also a veteran.
Several of us were talking about gun laws. I mentioned that, in addition to the 2nd Amendment the state of Arkansas, constitution section 5 gives citizens a clear, unequivocal right to own and carry firearms. I offered the opinion that laws contrary to these constitutional rights were unenforcable, or should be.
The LEO in question said "What's with this constitution stuff? All guns are controlled with Federal laws."
Shocking enough. Needless to say the conversation did not progress much after that. A lifetime of ignorance cannot be overcome in a two minute conversation.
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Old August 20, 2013, 07:12 PM   #2
speedrrracer
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Just read Section 5. It says citizens can bear arms "for their common defense" and does not list any other reason. So I guess firearms for hunting could be banned, and firearms for personal defense could be banned, too.
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Old August 20, 2013, 10:58 PM   #3
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Is it possible that some people think that a constitution is just a bunch of guidelines and are not the highest form of law
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Old August 20, 2013, 11:01 PM   #4
David13
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Of course.
Exactly why I always say, do not take legal advice from a cop. They are not lawyers.
In most cases they could never be lawyers.
But do remember, there are lawyers that do know the Constitution and all the court rulings, and come to opposite conclusions.
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Old August 20, 2013, 11:31 PM   #5
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there are lawyers that do know the Constitution and all the court rulings, and come to opposite conclusions.
You mean like the one sitting in the White House?
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Old August 21, 2013, 10:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedrrracer
Just read Section 5. It says citizens can bear arms "for their common defense" and does not list any other reason. So I guess firearms for hunting could be banned, and firearms for personal defense could be banned, too.
Curiously enough, the constitution of the state (Commonwealth) of Massachusetts reads that way. And you are correct -- when it's worded this way, it IS that mythical "collective right" all the anti-gunners were so sure (pre-Heller) the 2nd Amendment protected. I have always found it ironic that the seat of the American Revolution has devolved to the point that today it denies its own citizens the right to arm themselves for self defense.

Thank God for Heller and MacDonald.
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Old August 21, 2013, 11:43 AM   #7
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The RKBA in Arkansas is in Section 2:

Quote:
The citizens of this State shall have the right to keep and bear arms, for their common defense.
That's not really "clear or unequivocal," and it's a long stretch from "shall not be infringed." In fact, the vague wording reminds me of the English bill of rights.

Furthermore, it's the job of law enforcement to enforce laws, not to interpret them.
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Old August 21, 2013, 01:21 PM   #8
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These examples are also worded in a way that implies granting a right, as opposed to the 2A which is clearly says that the right you already have can't be infringed.
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Old August 22, 2013, 08:49 AM   #9
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I have always found it ironic that the seat of the American Revolution has devolved to the point that today it denies its own citizens the right to arm themselves for self defense.
Perhaps they are thinking that if they do that, it can't happen again? It seems to be human nature that those in power (however they get there) show a huge concern about remaining in power...sometimes putting that before all else...
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Old August 23, 2013, 01:06 AM   #10
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guns and federal laws, acts of commerce....

In a manner of speaking, your retired friend was correct.
Federal laws do in fact control firearms & their sale, manufacture, possession etc.
You could not sit in your house or tool shed and build full auto machine guns then sell them to North Korea or Iran.
The federal LE agencies like ATF, FBI, IRS, US Postal Inspectors, etc would be all over you.

James Yeager, the brash Youtuber & gun class instructor made a short video claiming the end of Prohibition(sale of alcoholic beverages) led to the Volclure/McClure Act which reduced ownership & use of automatic weapons. Yeager stated this action was intended to give the federal LE agents new duties and jobs.
I highly doubt any political actions or plots were that contrived.
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Old August 23, 2013, 10:26 AM   #11
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There is no doubt in my mind that the Federal govt took full advantage of the NFA 34 as a way to use those personnel and resources that were left hanging with the end of Prohibition.

That the act was conceived and passed solely as a means for this to happen is, I think, too much of a stretch.
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Old August 23, 2013, 12:46 PM   #12
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I'd venture to guess that the majority of guns laws, both state and federal that are on the books are unconstitutional, and were enacted one small chip at a time.
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Old August 23, 2013, 02:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
I'd venture to guess that the majority of guns laws, both state and federal that are on the books are unconstitutional, and were enacted one small chip at a time.
Not just gun laws.
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Old August 25, 2013, 06:49 PM   #14
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I recently misplaced the remote and accidentally watched part of an episode of "Cops!" They took a pistol from a young man who claimed to have a permit but left it at home. The cop berated him for having it loaded with hollow points and told him that they were illegal. The cop asked where he got them and the young man replied, "Wal-Mart". The cop just says, "I don't believe you". This was in Atlanta.
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Old August 25, 2013, 08:05 PM   #15
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"James Yeager, the brash Youtuber & gun class instructor made a short video claiming the end of Prohibition(sale of alcoholic beverages) led to the Volclure/McClure Act which reduced ownership & use of automatic weapons. Yeager stated this action was intended to give the federal LE agents new duties and jobs.
I highly doubt any political actions or plots were that contrived."

JMHO but that guy is full of more stuff than a Chritmas goose. IIRC, th Volkmer/McClure act AKA the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 only banned newly made full auto arms after the date of passage. On tht date, if you didn't have your full auto in hand, too bad. I think that that if your paperwork was already in but not fully processed you were OK. You can thank a politician from New York State for sticking that little tidbit into the law and for the NRA for caving in and letting it be a part of the law. It's been a few years since that law was passed so the details are not as clear as they once were.My apologies for any errors.
I doubt that the law was passed so that federal agents would have new duties. They create enough on their own.
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Old August 26, 2013, 12:21 PM   #16
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I doubt that the law was passed so that federal agents would have new duties.
Except there's some pretty good historical evidence that that's exactly what happened.

First issue: why did they make bank robberies and kidnappings federal offenses in that period?

Because a small percentage of the rum-running gangs of prohibition turned to those particular violent crimes post-prohibition. Think "Bonnie and Clyde". The idea was to take the same federal police who had been chasing the rum-runners and set them after the same people who had now turned to violent crime...along the way, avoiding mass layoffs in the built-up-during-prohibition federal police.

HOWEVER only a small percentage of the rum-runners went violent post-prohibition. A bigger percentage went into illegal gambling, and a lot went legit or mostly-legit.

So at the same time the NFA was passed and kidnapping + bank robbery became federal crimes, the first draft of the NFA tried to ban handguns into the same category (and levels of paperwork) as machine guns. THAT would have meant a whole lot of new work for these new re-directed federal cops! That effort failed - mostly, what was left was the "short barrel rifle" weirdness in the NFA.

So taken together, yes, there were laws being passed specifically to maintain the employee ranks of federal law enforcement. The NFA in it's original ban-handguns form was one of them. Hard to argue that the stripped-down NFA we ended up with wasn't.

http://www.keepandbeararms.com/nra/nfa.htm

One more thing: the other major effort to employ federal law enforcement around that time was the prohibition on pot. Marijuana was described endlessly as something that was becoming popular among minorities, mainly Latinos and blacks. The subtext was "this is something we can do hardcore suppression on and not have to worry about stomping the rights of whites".
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Old August 26, 2013, 10:23 PM   #17
ClydeFrog
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Time & Dates...

I may have mixed up the NFA(National Firearms Act) which was in the early 1930s & the 1980s era Volkner-McClure Act.
Yeager was speaking of the 1930s era gun laws. Those during the Prohibition period.

As stated the "crime wave" era depicted in Michael Mann's crime drama; Public Enemies, www.IMDb.org showed how violent & reckless these felons were.
Machine guns, sawed off shotguns, short barrel rifles, guns with no serial #s, etc were common.

Illegal hootch wasn't the main propellant of this criminal behavior it was a by-product of the greed & instability of the era's criminal under-world.

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Old August 27, 2013, 11:24 PM   #18
Jim March
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Illegal hootch wasn't the main propellant of this criminal behavior it was a by-product of the greed & instability of the era's criminal under-world.
Oh no. Look, we know *exactly* what happened. A bunch of people made major bucks rum-running. When prohibition ended they needed other things to do.

The most organized types went into "rackets" - illegal gambling being the biggest. They set up Hot Springs Arkansas as a major gambling den, relying on pure corruption of local law enforcement to keep it running. (After WW2 there was an anti-corruption kick across the south and the Mob got booted out of Hot Springs...they landed in Las Vegas! This same trend also cleaned up Athens TN in the Battle of Athens.)

Some of the ones that had smuggled booze in hot-rodded cars went off and basically formed NASCAR. (It's more complicated than that but...yeah.)

Some turned violent. Dillinger and his gang, Bonnie and Clyde, some others. There was a spike in violent robberies post-prohibition. It really wasn't THAT bad but the media created a sensation about it and the feds used the excuse to re-tool the FBI into chasing bootleggers-turned-violent.
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Old August 28, 2013, 07:26 AM   #19
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There is no doubt in my mind that the Federal govt took full advantage of the NFA 34 as a way to use those personnel and resources that were left hanging with the end of Prohibition.

That the act was conceived and passed solely as a means for this to happen is, I think, too much of a stretch.
1933 - Prohibition repealed
1934 - NFA
1937 - Marijuana tax act
1938 - FFA

That's too perfect to be pure coincidence.

At that point I guess the war became a distraction from trying to build up domestic federal law enforcement. There was, however, the Japanese Internment effort, which I'd imagine used some of the excess of federal LE personnel.

After WWII, of course, there was the red scare which put federal LE (e.g. under Hoover) to work investigating suspected communists, and then the civil rights movement which federal LE also spent way too much effort investigating (instead of focusing on civil rights violations, they investigated the civil rights movement itself).

In the midst of that, the feds still needed more laws, so we got GCA'68.

After that, we got the modern war on drugs. And, since 2001, and even since the 90's in some respects, the war on terror and the federal spying apparatus as technology made it feasible.

It's all make-work of one sort or another. There is way too much federal law enforcement, period, and instead of cutting back they keep finding justifications for more!
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Old August 28, 2013, 12:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
1933 - Prohibition repealed
1934 - NFA
1937 - Marijuana tax act
1938 - FFA

That's too perfect to be pure coincidence.
It gets better. The Volstead Act was enforced by the Alcohol Beverage Unit of the FBI. Following repeal, those duties were transferred to the Alcohol Tax Unit (ATU) of the Treasury Department in 1933. The ATU would be the organization in charge of enforcing the NFA.

So, yeah, the guys who busted the Miller boys were bored revenoors with too few moonshine stills to bust. The ATU would become the Alcohol Tobacco Tax Division (ATTD), which would go on to become the ATF we know and love in 1968.
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Old August 28, 2013, 01:26 PM   #21
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shocking ignorance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim March View Post
Except there's some pretty good historical evidence that that's exactly what happened.

First issue: why did they make bank robberies and kidnappings federal offenses in that period?
Not sure about that period, but now it is understandable with banks being backed by the FDIC, federal funds are tied into most bank robberies so they should fall into federal jurisdiction.

Kidnappings sometimes cross state lines, but aside from that I'm not sure why they qualify as federal jurisdiction. However, seeing as federal law enforcement is typically better equipped to handle kidnappings it is not necessarily a bad thing that they get involved.
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Old August 28, 2013, 01:48 PM   #22
Jim March
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it is not necessarily a bad thing that they get involved
You might have misunderstood me in that at no point did I say that federalizing bank robbery and kidnapping were bad things...then or now. I don't think federalizing those crimes cause any problems. Somebody has to deal with those issues, I really don't care if it's local or federal police...either way it's a legit police function (unlike, say, arresting people eating pot brownies).

But I do see that federal criminalization process as part of a pattern by which we can understand the motives behind other federal actions around that time. The NFA is one, the ban on pot is another, and so on.
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Old August 29, 2013, 08:33 AM   #23
Rifleman1776
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Please guys, this thread is drifting.
My intent was to show that this retired officer, and presumably many others still working, may be poorly trained and have no real knowledge of our Constitutional rights or the difference between Federal and State laws.
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Old August 29, 2013, 09:37 AM   #24
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Sorry to sound like Clinton here, but doesn't it depend on what his/your definition of controlled is?. If I had been part of that discussion I certainly would have asked.
Follow this scenario (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) that a firearm is manufactured with a serial number. A batch of them are sold to lets say Academy Sports and then one is sold to an individual. Academy will have a record of that. So you go out and rob a bank and drop your gun during the escape. Aren't they going to know who you are very soon? Yes, there are exceptions (gun shows, thefts, etc.) and some may say that is not control but registration or some other moniker. I'm just saying the police will certainly have a clue that they will follow.
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Old August 29, 2013, 12:42 PM   #25
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My intent was to show that this retired officer, and presumably many others still working, may be poorly trained and have no real knowledge of our Constitutional rights or the difference between Federal and State laws
I suppose for your everyday local LEO that isn't really surprising. Where are they going to be taught that? I doubt they teach it much at the police academy; it wouldn't be considered a priority compared to keeping peace and order and catching bad guys. Perhaps some of the LEOs here could comment on that?
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