Before I get too far into today’s topic, I want start out by saying that I think the vast majority of law enforcement are good, upstanding people. There are a few exceptions, some of which I want to bring to your attention today. I also want to give some thoughts on dealing with law enforcement when the officer is less than a stellar civil servant.
In this article we’re told of a law abiding 19 year old named Mathew Plouffe. He obeyed the law, obtained a firearm Identification Card (FID) and purchased 2 shotguns and a rifle. He was pulled over because his car matched the description of a vehicle that was being sought for a recent crime. The officer noted that there was an unloaded and locked shotgun in the vehicle and let Plouffe go without a citation.
The police chief learned of an incident where Plouffe had been shooting with minors, with their parents’ permission. This caused the chief to question Mr. Plouffe’s maturity. Police went to Plouffe’s home and confiscated his FID, two shotguns and rifle.
Plouffe is filing a law suit claiming infringement on his second amendment rights. As the article notes:
“The only reason you can’t get that license or it should be taken away is if you are disqualified for statutory reasons, convicted of crime, or confined to mental institution, or are addicted to alcohol or controlled substances, or you get a 209A restraining order against you,” Trask said.”
This is absolutely ridiculous and an obvious overreach by the police chief. I think Mathew Plouffe handled this in the correct manner and I really hope he wins his case. I also hope that an example is made of the police officers involved.
This article is a bit longer and a bit more of a head shaker. Father and son are on their 10 acres hunting; the son with a crossbow, and father with a .410. While hunting, the pair find a man trespassing, riding a dirt bike on their land. They escort the man to the house and the father asks his wife to call the DNR to report a trespass.
When police show up, the man still has the unloaded .410 in hand, holding the shotgun in one hand, and the shell in the other to declare the firearm was unloaded. One of the officers demands the man put the gun on the ground. The officer then places him in cuffs and lays him on the ground.
The wife then starts the following recording.
You can tell the officer is uncomfortable being filmed as he fumbles to say what kind of gun the man was holding, and while he tries to find the words to explain to the wife why her husband is in cuffs. The officer then tells her to stop filming and tells her to give him the phone, as he is taking it as evidence. She says “no” and the officer threatens to place her under… the video ends, but the wife says the last word was arrest. According to The Blaze, the officer deleted the video and gave the phone back before they left. The family was able to recover the video with software, the Blaze has an explanation including pictures of the process.
The husband was charged with a felony for pointing the .410 at the trespasser; a claim made by the trespasser that the father claims is untrue. He was not charged for having the gun in hand when the police arrived, nor is it mentioned in the arrest record.
In some states it is illegal to record either visual or audio of law enforcement. It must not be in Michigan or they would have done more than erase the video. In either case, the video and pictures really add to the land owners’ case.
Even though the carrying of a firearm in public is not against the law and even though he was on his own land, he probably would not have had any issues had he not been holding the gun when the police arrived. I have read several accounts about police who don’t like civilians owning or carrying a firearm. My guess is the officers involved in this case are two more. If you’ll notice, the husband of the woman filming is cuffed and lying on the ground while the man who was trespassing is cuffed but sitting in a chair.
The trespasser doesn’t appear to have been charged as the claim was made that the land was not properly posted. If you look at the pictures from the link to The Blaze’s article, you’ll see that it is posted, though those could have been added after the fact (I doubt that).
Like I said, even though they were not breaking the law and not charged with a crime with the gun as far as holding it when the police showed up, it probably would have gone better for him had he not been holding the gun.
I hope they counter-sue. Unless The Blaze missed something, it looks to me like this is another case of law enforcement overreaching.
When it comes to law enforcement and guns, it is always best to err on the side of caution. I use these two stories today to make a point; second amendment rights are under more attack now than ever before. As time passes they will be even more infringed upon. We have veterans who have been stripped of their second amendment rights with a letter from the VA, because they may have PTSD. We’ve got people losing their rights because of a picture posted on facebook.
Have you thought about what you might do if your rights are infringed upon? Do you know the name and number of a good second amendment attorney in your local area?
As a side note, here is an article I found very interesting. It explains Why So Many Police Chiefs Favor Gun Control, When Most Sheriffs Don’t.
In short, it says that police chiefs are appointed by the mayor and if they have a mayor who is anti-gun, and they want to keep their job, they support the mayor’s position. Meanwhile sheriffs are elected by “We the People”, and they tend to vote more for individual freedoms.
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