Speaking to one of the local homeless guys today, seems to be a fairly smart guy, claims to be a veteran (showed me a DD214), says he’s not a junky and I don’t see any obvious signs that he is etc. I know I know, if their lips are moving they are probably lying but for conversation sake let’s say he’s being honest.
He tells me that the SLCPD went around searching the homeless guys for guns, they actually start the conversation with “Do you have a gun” and then line them up and search them (can you say “Stop and Frisk”). He didn’t have one so they let him go about his business. He claims to have no felony convictions or another disqualifying conditions that would limit his possession of a fire arm. Remember, in Utah you can carry open or concealed without a permit if you can legally own a gun. He said the cops told them that they can take their guns because “Desperation breeds contempt”. Makes me wonder, can we actually take the guns from those that are homeless just because of what they Might Do? Simply because of their social status?
I have not consulted a lawyer and am only sharing my thoughts on this subject because I discussed this same topic with a friend of mine who found himself in this situation. Although he initially kept his firearm, he eventually ended up selling it because the need for basic necessities outweighed the need to have a firearm.
Inherently, they should still have their right to own a firearm.
However, did their circumstance allow them to keep their firearm before they became homeless? In most (if not all) states, they would not be able to legally purchase a firearm from an FFL since they do not have a permanent address. Presenting an old ID/license with an address they no longer reside in would be perjury. Even private party sales requires that the seller verify residency in some way because selling a firearm to a non-resident would be illegal.
If he legally owns the firearm, the police cannot just take his firearm away without probable cause. Unfortunately, the police would easily be able to justify this. A simple loitering or trespassing charge can start the ball rolling, then using the firearm as an excuse to claim “malicious intent” or “intent to commit a crime” would give them enough reason to take the firearm.
They may be able to fight this in court, but I doubt they will have the resources necessary to fight it or would consider it a priority.
It is unfortunate because I can see where being homeless puts you some very dangerous situations and you may find yourself targeted by predators.
Being poor or homeless does not deprive you of any rights. Searching someone without reasonable suspicion or probable cause violates the 4th Amendment. That should (I wish I could say would) not fly in Kentucky under our Open Carry state Constitutional protections and constitutional carry for concealed carry.
My thoughts as well. I suspect they do it because they can. Our Democrat Mayor is under a lot of pressure to get this homeless thing under control, I suspect this is one of the ways she’ll say she’s making sure the people, both homeless and regular folks, on the streets are safe.
All true, but going after the homeless is a lot safer than going after gangbangers that’ll be free before the ink is dry on the charge papers… It also presents the appearance that “they” are “doing something about gun violence”.
Here in Shreveport Louisiana they made a task force getting people for illegal concealment of firearm because of masks. For a month or two the city conducted many illegal searches and raids. All you seen on booking was firearm related charges.
Local news would praise the police for seizing 20 guns from a “gangster” (they have to make gun owners some type of criminal)
But my question is HOW DID THEY KNEW HE/SHE POSSESSED THOSE FIREARMS?!
Sadly, most would have just a small amount of controlled substance and BOOM illegal posssion of firearm.
This is a symptom of a larger issue that is growing still. A webwork of laws is so complicated, that you cannot live life without tripping some wires. Once every citizen is guilty, you can pick ones you dont like (e.g. they speak out at school board meetings, or participate in politics) and prosecute them.
While there is no requirement for the seller to vet the buyer, there are still laws on who can and cannot purchase firearms, and legal consequences for selling to a “prohibited” person. Which would make most sellers do at least minimal verification.
We have the same freedom here in FL. But personally, I would not sell a firearm to anyone without requiring that I see their carry permit/license.
Say this person has a list of felonies on his record. I do not have access to that info unless I call LE or someone to do a background check (again not required here). We don’t require a license/permit to purchase a firearm of any type here either.