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Thread: License required to exercise your fundamental Right

  1. #1
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    On October 10 2008, my wife and I were leaving Manchester, NH to return home. We were pulled over by the Manchester police.

    We were asked for license, registration, etc, and after the officer was not satisfied with our answers, without even calling it in, he asked me to step out of our truck, whereupon he immediately pushed me up against the truck and searched me.

    He confiscated my sidearms and ammunition and arrested both of us. My wife has a concealed carry license, but they confiscated her sidearm and ammunition as well. They also confiscated our camera.

    The claim for the initial stop was "a loud muffler." When the truck was started up and driven onto a trailer at the impound lot, we asked the lot manager if he could tell what the problem was. He didn't think there was any problem with the truck, and when we told him that the police claimed that the muffler was too loud, he asked if we were kidding and pointed out that many of the commercial trucks with perfectly good mufflers were much louder than our pickup.
    We put the truck on a trailer because they confiscated our license plates.


    We are going to court to challenge the police, and are asking for any support or assistance that the gun community can offer.

    To me, the Second Amendment protects a pre-existing God-given Right to protect myself and my family. It is not a privilege subject to "reasonable restrictions" that vary from State to State at the whim of legislators or varying legislatures.

    The second Amendment was supposed to be a "reasonable restriction" _on the government_, not on the citizens that governments inevitably tyrannize.

    How is the claim that a gun owner needs a license any different from the attitudes of, "if you want to own a gun, then you should become a cop, or join the military?" I shouldn't need a badge to carry a gun, and no one should need a license either - you don't need a license to vote, do you?

    What is next? Permits to carry concealed books? Licenses to publish? Book registration?

    I own a restaurant, and the government requires me to have a "license to operate a place of assembly." I thought the Right of the People to peaceably assemble was protected by the First Amendment. Maybe that's just another one of those "reasonable restrictions" the State imposes through its "general Police Power."

    If you believe in Rights, Freedom, America, and all those things the Founders created this country for to begin with - those Rights all those colonists died to secure, and our current troops are supposedly dying to protect, then we ask you to do what you can to help us take the next step forward in protecting our Rights, your Rights, and your children's Rights.

    Otherwise, they will be gone.

    If you can post this account to a different forum, blog, or webspace, write an article about the Right to bear arms whether concealed or not, or maybe even just give 5 bucks to help us fight this in court (williamwalker.chipin.com) then we would greatly appreciate it.
    Links to [sensationalized] news stories and video are available on the ChipIn page.

    Thank you,

    Bill and Ivy Walker



  2. #2
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    Bill, I agree with your interpretation of the Second Amendment but the NH Supreme Court ruled a little differently last year (the case about the guy who had his Pistol and Revolver License revoked).

    They felt that a person's Federal Second Amendment and State Constitutional rights were sufficiently protected by the ability to open carry a firearm in New Hampshire without a permit (ignoring the argument that you cannot carry a loaded firearm inside a vehicle).

    As the law stands at the moment (RSA 159:4), by your own admission, you broke the law (assuming your two handguns were loaded). One small consolation is that is only a misdemeanor so they can't take away your Second Amendment "right" for ever.

    I would love to see a legal challenge to the Constitutional grounds of requiring a permit for concealed and/or car carry in NH but I fear you will have a hard time arguing a case where, as you have already discovered, the media and public listen more to "multiple guns", "body armor", "driving with a suspended license", "misuse of plates" rather than Constitutional rights.

    Good luck.

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    Freestater wrote:
    On October 10 2008, my wife and I were leaving Manchester, NH to return home. We were pulled over by the Manchester police.

    We were asked for license, registration, etc, and after the officer was not satisfied with our answers, without even calling it in, he asked me to step out of our truck, whereupon he immediately pushed me up against the truck and searched me.

    He confiscated my sidearms and ammunition and arrested both of us. My wife has a concealed carry license, but they confiscated her sidearm and ammunition as well. They also confiscated our camera.

    The claim for the initial stop was "a loud muffler." When the truck was started up and driven onto a trailer at the impound lot, we asked the lot manager if he could tell what the problem was. He didn't think there was any problem with the truck, and when we told him that the police claimed that the muffler was too loud, he asked if we were kidding and pointed out that many of the commercial trucks with perfectly good mufflers were much louder than our pickup.
    We put the truck on a trailer because they confiscated our license plates.


    We are going to court to challenge the police, and are asking for any support or assistance that the gun community can offer.

    To me, the Second Amendment protects a pre-existing God-given Right to protect myself and my family. It is not a privilege subject to "reasonable restrictions" that vary from State to State at the whim of legislators or varying legislatures.

    The second Amendment was supposed to be a "reasonable restriction" _on the government_, not on the citizens that governments inevitably tyrannize.

    How is the claim that a gun owner needs a license any different from the attitudes of, "if you want to own a gun, then you should become a cop, or join the military?" I shouldn't need a badge to carry a gun, and no one should need a license either - you don't need a license to vote, do you?

    What is next? Permits to carry concealed books? Licenses to publish? Book registration?

    I own a restaurant, and the government requires me to have a "license to operate a place of assembly." I thought the Right of the People to peaceably assemble was protected by the First Amendment. Maybe that's just another one of those "reasonable restrictions" the State imposes through its "general Police Power."

    If you believe in Rights, Freedom, America, and all those things the Founders created this country for to begin with - those Rights all those colonists died to secure, and our current troops are supposedly dying to protect, then we ask you to do what you can to help us take the next step forward in protecting our Rights, your Rights, and your children's Rights.

    Otherwise, they will be gone.

    If you can post this account to a different forum, blog, or webspace, write an article about the Right to bear arms whether concealed or not, or maybe even just give 5 bucks to help us fight this in court (williamwalker.chipin.com) then we would greatly appreciate it.
    Links to [sensationalized] news stories and video are available on the ChipIn page.

    Thank you,

    Bill and Ivy Walker
    You better hope you win the suppression argument for unlawful stop/search - there is no way you are going to win on a claim that you have a right to refuse to be licensed to CONCEAL guns. Did you not read Heller?

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    It's about fighting for what I believe in.
    It's about standing up to a system that always chisels away a little bit more of our Rights until there's nothing left, and We the People have no power left to fight, let alone win.


    In March of 1775, attorney Patrick Henry, rode into the small town of Culpepper, Virginia. As he rode into the town square, he was completely shocked by what he witnessed. There, in the middle of the square, was a man tied to a whipping post, his back laid bare, with bones exposed. He had been scourged mercilessly, with whips laced with metal. When they stopped beating him, Patrick Henry could plainly see the bones of his rib cage. He turned to ask someone in the crowd, "What has the man done to deserve such a beating as this?" The reply given him was that the man being scourged was a minister. He was one of twelve preachers, locked in jail, because they refused to take the king's license to preach the gospel.
    The governor was under orders from King George to compel all preachers to take the license. While being tried, without the benefit of a jury, the minister stated, "I will never submit to taking your license. I am controlled by the Holy Spirit, and authorized by God Almighty, and will not allow you to control me by a license, no matter what you may do to me." Three days later, he was scourged to death, and such was the fate of the other ministers, as well. This was the incident that sparked Patrick Henry to write the famous words, which later became the rallying cry of the American Revolution,
    "What is it that the gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to purchase at the price of chains and slavery?
    John Stark was right: Death is not the worst of evils. Licensure may be.
    Live free or die,
    Bill

  5. #5
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    Sounds like you're headed for a jury trial. Good luck. Have your attorney set up a LDF.

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    All American Citizens are BORN with that Right. Self Defense is one of those inalienable rights the 2A provides recognition of.

    In the Heller case, Justice Scalia wrote: “Nowhere else in the Constitution does a ”right“ attributed to ”the people“ refer to anything other than an individual right. What is more, in all six other provisions of the Constitution that mention ”the people,“ the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset...

    (that would be the Militia argument.)

    The Second Amendment extends prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms...
    The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it 'shall not be infringed.'"

    Rights are not 'privileges' to be licensed... granted... or 'permitted' What some states havedone is deny citizens their Contitutional RIGHTS! This is TYRANNY! They've done it for so long it's accepted as Normal. The Sheep have let them get away with it. In that... you get the government you deserve.


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    This touches on what I have been thinking about lately. We have been attempting to insinuate ourselves in polite society by slowly exposing them to open carry weapons. But at what point does society push us towarddemonstrating our willingness to go the extra step and take it to the courts, much less if and when we have a breakdown of modern society anyway and have to go for open revolt?

    These are just theoretical questions, not to be taken as a request for backup in any kind of rebellion. Just talking here..

    I realize those who have spent years working on this subject do not want the good they have done to be undone but there does need to be some risk taking to further the cause. Test the limits of the law in such a way as to get judgements in our favor.

    As always, if I am wrong about anything I welcome correction.. J

  8. #8
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    It's real simple... these errand boys sent by grocery clerks will uphold their oath to support and defend the Constitution or not. Obviously... NOT. This particular incident is so bad in so many ways as to be unconscionable.

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    cato wrote:
    Sounds like you're headed for a jury trial. Good luck. Have your attorney set up a LDF.
    Bill's wife here. As Bill stated near the end of his post, we have set up a fund to help with the legal expenses. http://williamwalker.chipin.com should get folks there. Any little bit can help.

    My case is separate from his. They clearly violated my rights, as they have seized and still remain in possession of my sidearm and ammunition when I have the conceal carry license they require. They are requiring I jump through all kinds of legal hoops to get it back, when it was wrongfully seized in the first place. They told the media I was charged with things I was never charged with. They need to be stopped, and we both hope Bill's case is the one to change things for the better here in New Hampshire.

  10. #10
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    - you don't need a license to vote, do you?
    Yes, it called a voter registration card. You don't have to have it with you but it has to be issued.

  11. #11
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    ivyleague28477 wrote:
    cato wrote:
    Sounds like you're headed for a jury trial. Good luck. Have your attorney set up a LDF.
    Bill's wife here. As Bill stated near the end of his post, we have set up a fund to help with the legal expenses. http://williamwalker.chipin.com should get folks there. Any little bit can help.

    My case is separate from his. They clearly violated my rights, as they have seized and still remain in possession of my sidearm and ammunition when I have the conceal carry license they require. They are requiring I jump through all kinds of legal hoops to get it back, when it was wrongfully seized in the first place. They told the media I was charged with things I was never charged with. They need to be stopped, and we both hope Bill's case is the one to change things for the better here in New Hampshire.
    I think if you had carried Bill's gun while in the vehicle no crime would have been committed.

  12. #12
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    well, you're probably right, but (see below) I'm a tiny little thing and can barely carry my 1911 without falling over

    Seriously though, the Second Amendment says "shall not be infringed", so why should I HAVE to carry Bill's guns just to not violate a law, or why should he HAVE to get a license (infringement) in order to carry concealed?

  13. #13
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    ivyleague28477 wrote:
    Seriously though, the Second Amendment says "shall not be infringed", so why should I HAVE to carry Bill's guns just to not violate a law, or why should he HAVE to get a license (infringement) in order to carry concealed?
    Based on your telling of the story* you were badly treated by the police and they should return your firearm, ammo, and camera. * There are at least four sides to every story, your version, the police's version, the media's version, and the truth.

    Unfortunately Ivy, for Bill the law is plainly written:

    If Bill was carrying a loaded firearm (i.e. ammunition in a magazine inserted in the firearm) in a vehicle without a license he broke the law as it is currently written.

    Can you challenge the arrest on unlawful search grounds? probably, although the misuse of plates charge indicates to me (not a lawyer/leo) that the officer had already ran your plates and found them to be invalid giving him probable cause beyond "a noisy muffler" for a stop.

    Can you challenge the charge on Constitutional grounds? probably, although the circumstances likely to be mentioned repeatedly by a prosecutor ("multiple guns", "body armor", "driving with a suspended license", "misuse of plates") as well of the relatively minor nature of the "crime" would make this a difficult case to take all the way to get both a ruling on incorporation of the second amendment to the States combined with a very narrow definition of reasonable restriction.

    Sadly the most likely outcome is that the system will find Bill guilty of two misdemeanors and a violation and he will get a fine and possibly a little jail time (your fellow Freestaters Lauren, Kat, and Russell can tell him what to expect in jail), and if he gets caught carrying concealed again within 7 years he gets a felony charge and loses his gun rights.

  14. #14
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    Just in case anyone is wondering, their case and their request for funds is valid. I can verify they are who they claim.

    It's not just scammers begging, is what I'm saying.



  15. #15
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    MarkNH wrote
    Unfortunately Ivy, for Bill the law is plainly written:

    If Bill was carrying a loaded firearm (i.e. ammunition in a magazine inserted in the firearm) in a vehicle without a license he broke the law as it is currently written.

    Can you challenge the arrest on unlawful search grounds? probably, although the misuse of plates charge indicates to me (not a lawyer/leo) that the officer had already ran your plates and found them to be invalid giving him probable cause beyond "a noisy muffler" for a stop.

    Can you challenge the charge on Constitutional grounds? probably, although the circumstances likely to be mentioned repeatedly by a prosecutor ("multiple guns", "body armor", "driving with a suspended license", "misuse of plates") as well of the relatively minor nature of the "crime" would make this a difficult case to take all the way to get both a ruling on incorporation of the second amendment to the States combined with a very narrow definition of reasonable restriction.

    Sadly the most likely outcome is that the system will find Bill guilty of two misdemeanors and a violation and he will get a fine and possibly a little jail time (your fellow Freestaters Lauren, Kat, and Russell can tell him what to expect in jail), and if he gets caught carrying concealed again within 7 years he gets a felony charge and loses his gun rights.
    While you're right the (unConstitutional) "law" is plainly written; we are hoping to change that law. Your assessment is excellently accurate on what we can challenge, and yes, those are probably the hurdles we must face which is why we are asking for help.

    I know the leo did not run the plates prior to pulling us out of the vehicle, because while he was standing roadside taking apart our guns and we were already in handcuffs, he THEN called in and respectively received the call saying the registration was suspended (which is their basis for the charge of misuse of plates and for my charge of Operating with a Suspended Registration - funny cuz I wasn't operating anything).

    We have hired Attorney Evan Nappen, who is one of the best "gun lawyers" in the country. He says we have an excellent case... but we need (obviously) to be able to pay him for his services which is why we have asked for help.

    P.S. Thanks Kevin!

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    I hope your lawyer is filing in Federal court under 42 USC 1983. IANAL, but GeorgiaCarry.org's set of lawyers are top notch and DKing has done some out of state work. See more at GeorgiaCarry.org and GeorgiaPacking.org.



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    Thank you, smn! I don't know if he is, but I will send that along to him! All these little bits of information are so very helpful! We appreciate it!

  18. #18
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    There's his story, her story, the officer's story, and somewhere in between the truth.

    I've been pulled over for out of date tags, but that matter was resolved quickly when the officer verified over the radio my registration was up to date.

    Driving on expired tags is a great way to meet police officers. You meet more fine individuals when you're booked on a suspended license.

    The weapons charges might later be dropped, but remember, you may beat the rap but you won't beat the ride.

  19. #19
    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    All in all... this (now) appears to be a legit arrest.

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    NavyLT wrote:
    Unbelievable. The OP failed to mention that the search was pursuit to discovering that our good 'ol Bill here was driving with a suspended license. Oh, and good, faithful wife here had let the registration on the truck expire, so the plates on the truck were no good. Oh and faithful wife here gives the police a false name because she had a three year old traffic ticket in another state that had not been paid. They didn't mention any of that, did they?
    The registration is not expired. And the three-year-old traffic ticket was paid... wait for it folks... three years ago. You're really getting things quite confused and attempting to dig up dirt where there is none.



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    smn wrote:
    ... remember, you may beat the rap but you won't beat the ride.
    true enough!

  22. #22
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    Wow, thanks NavyLT. I think...

    I realise it's hard to discern what is fact and what is lies the police told the news media, or even what twists the news media put on things to make the story sensational and I am truely sorry for that. I wish I could sit here and say 'this is true and that is not' but it's hard for me even to know what I can correct and what I should say because with a pending court case anything could potentially be used against us in court. Anyone can twist words to mean anything they want them to, really.

    What I do know and what I can say is they had no right to confiscate and hold my sidearm for merely a traffic violation when I have the valid license to carry. At best; even if they needed to hold onto it for their own safety for a time while the stop was made, they should have given it back immediately upon my release. They have not and I have to jump through all sorts of hoops to get it back.

    What I also know is the weapons charges against Bill are bogus and we have one of the best "gun lawyers" in the country (Attorney Evan Nappen) who is behind us 100% on this and says we have an excellent case... but we still need to pay him (of course).

    I can see where our "message" gets muddled in and among the traffic violation stuff, so I can understand people's hesitations. But everyone's advise and references to case law has been very helpful and I'd appreciate it coming!

    By the way NavyLT; in New Hampshire one doesn't need a license or permit for ammunition at all. One does not need a license or permit to Open Carry either. One would need a New Hampshire license (not a permit at all) to conceal carry. There are a few other instances where one would not need a New Hampshire license to conceal carry as well.

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    As it's happened in GA and PA and other states, once your attorney can show the court the police are in the wrong about seizing your handgun and any statements about the ammunition, you want the police to dance. You shouldn't have to jump through hoops.

    See this GCO case: http://www.georgiacarry.com/county/richmond_carry/

    Also see the Georgia section of this forum. The facts will be determined in court. When it's found your rights have been suppressed thats when you sock it to 'em.

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    Nice! Thanks smn!

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    Ivy,

    I can't find the ladies name in NH that takes these types of cases, but she thinks that the concealed case was argued wrong....Ask Gun Owners of NH....think she is a member. Listening to her, she stated there are some interesting facts about NH law, like if its not a common pistol, then you don't need a permit (I can't cite statue). So, what type of weapon were you guys carrying? Don't answer that and please look up the statues, as that is what I remember from discussion she was in at the time.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help, but if you go to court, along with state violations, please assert 2nd 4th, 9th, 10th and 14th amendment violations. Its true that Heller spoke about an issue not before it at the time.I would still haveit in your complaint...lets remember what happened in Miller vs. Texas.


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