This is a post copied from the Kansas Concealed Carry forum, KSCCW.com. Patricia Stoneking is active in legislative matters. On Thursday, 3-6-08, she attended a hearing in Topeka on the Kansas Emergency Powers Act, House Bill 2811. This legislation will prevent gun confiscations like we saw in New Orleans, LA and Greensburg, KS.
Here is a portion her post, shared with her permission:
As far as Greensburg, here is the shocking truth. I will simply state the facts.
First of all, understand that it is not lawful to carry out a mandatory evacuation unless martial law has been declared. Martial law was NOT declared and folks in the town were told they had to leave and some were forced to leave at gun point because they didn't want to leave.
The tornado happened at 9:46pm and they were forced to leave within a couple hours of it, being given no time to collect themselves or assess the damages or even try to pick up anything such as guns and valuables to take with them.
Ed Klummp, Police Chiefs Association, testified against the bill and said the evacuations were so they could search for bodies and shut off gas and power.
This town was locked down tight for 4 days and no one was allowed in or out. The only people in that town those 4 days were Sheriffs Officers, Kansas Highway Patrol Officers, FEMA, National Guard, Police Officers from surrounding areas and some volunteers from Ft. Riley. They claim no one else was there or could have gotten in and out.
Many guns and other valuables such as jewelry have gone permanently missing and have never been recovered.
There were some houses that were not destroyed and were intact at one end of town. Those folks did not want to leave but were forced to leave. When they returned they found their front doors kicked in and all of their guns and jewelry missing.
Guns and ammo that were collected were taken to a trailer (18 wheeler size) and an ATF agent manned the trailer. When people first came to collect their guns they had to fill out a 4473 and get a nics approval before they could claim their guns. No one had paperwork, receipts, or lists of serial numbers because it had all blown away. Later into the process they quit demanding these items.
Apparantly many guns were claimed by not the rightful owner. One man had 75 guns that did not belong to him, which he was busted for trying to sell. In one of the houses they busted into they found 5 full auto guns, C-4 explosive, grenades and a rocket launcher. This gentleman claimed to be ex military and kept them from that time. He was not charged as it was determined to be an illegal search and seizure.
The people in Greensburg are a close tight knit community, everyone knows everyone kind of place. They were very resentful of government coming in and telling them what they had to do. They would have preferred to stay and help each other locate valuables and guns and not leave their property.
In one case, in the collection trailer, a gun box was claimed by one man who had a very nice gun in it and when he opened the undamaged and closed box, not a mark on the box, he found an old rusted gun that was not his.
Supposedly, 2 police officers from Wichita who were part of the task force during the 4 day evacuation were fired because they were found to have stolen guns and trying to sell them.
The comment made to us was that none of the really nice guns were found. The main source of this information was a gentleman from Greensburg who is an FFL and has a gun shop outside of town and he is also a gunsmith. He sold a good portion of those guns to people in Greensburg and also has been working to repair many of their guns in the aftermath.
When he went to claim his guns, from his home, not his shop as the shop was intact and they did not break in the shop and take anything, he said the ATF agent basically told him to take anything he wanted. There was no collection list and guns were NOT cataloged for location of discovery or anything like that.
Now just a quicky of what my opinion is.
The folks in that town had their constitutional rights violated from the get go. I am appalled at what happened there and can tell you I would never leave my property under those circumstances. I guess those over zealous government agents would have to shoot me which was a close case almost scenario in Greensburg but the citizens gave in. I would not give in.
The people in that town who were already traumatized by the tornado were further traumatized by government officials. If there were no civilians and no looters then where are all the missing guns. Funny how all the missing guns are the nicest, most expensive guns. Also funny how there was no media coverage of any of this and it was kept very hush, hush but then we all know the media and what cxxp they espouse to.
As this bill moves through the process the entire population of KS needs to raise it's voice in the loudest manner to see to it the bill gets passed. Once it passes out of the House committee it will go to the Senate committee. People need to educate themselves on what their rights are in times of disaster. The folks in Greensburg thought they didn't have a choice about leaving because that's what they were told and that was a lie.
PEOPLE NEED TO GET INVOLVED!!!
Yes, I just shouted that. I was shocked by the fact that only 3 people turned out to attend the hearing to support our side, other than those of us who testified.
The NRA sent an alert out to its members in KS, I sent an alert out to my 2000 member database urging them to come in support and 3 people show up. There is power in numbers. When a hearing room is full of proponents, legislators take notice.
Do I sound pissed? If you think I do then you'd be right. I had to take the time to write my testimony and then spend a day in Topeka. I had to work till 2:30am last night and will again tonight to catch up because I devoted my time to this issue. People give all kinds of excuses for not being actively involved and not coming to hearings to support the effort. It's a matter of setting priorities and my first priority is to the protection of my constitutional rights.
I guess I just don't understand how that could not be first priority to everyone else. Mostly, I'm just mad at the system for violating our rights. I may not have been a victim in Greensburg but any disaster could happen where I live anytime without warning and now I sure know what to expect. Everyone in this entire country needs to get their heads out of the freaking sand!
I was terribly angered by what I found out yesterday and feel very bad for the people of Greensburg. It literally made me sick to hear all this and wish I had been told when it was happening.
There had been a few rumors but the rumors were vague with no actual evidence or proof and were not first hand detailed accounts.
The people of Greensburg will never be the same.
Emergency Powers Legislation has been passed in 22 other states and is actively going through the process of being enacted in several other states. The NRA has made it a priority to see to it that it gets passed in all 50 states. We need to support the NRA in this effort.
If this doesn't give us all a wake up call, I don't know what will.