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Thread: H.R 17 Citizens Self Defense Act of 2009

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    HR 17 IH
    111th CONGRESS
    1st Session
    H. R. 17
    To protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.
    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    January 6, 2009
    Mr. BARTLETT introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
    [line]A BILL
    To protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
    This Act may be cited as the ‘Citizens’ Self-Defense Act of 2009’.
    SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
    The Congress finds the following:
    (1) Police cannot protect, and are not legally liable for failing to protect, individual citizens, as evidenced by the following:
    (A) The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect individuals, only the public in general. For example, in Warren v. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App. 1981), the court stated: ‘[C]ourts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community.’.
    (B) Former Florida Attorney General Jim Smith told Florida legislators that police responded to only 200,000 of 700,000 calls for help to Dade County authorities.
    (C) The United States Department of Justice found that, in 1989, there were 168,881 crimes of violence for which police had not responded within 1 hour.
    (2) Citizens frequently must use firearms to defend themselves, as evidenced by the following:
    (A) Every year, more than 2,400,000 people in the United States use a gun to defend themselves against criminals--or more than 6,500 people a day. This means that, each year, firearms are used 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.
    (B) Of the 2,400,000 self-defense cases, more than 192,000 are by women defending themselves against sexual abuse.
    (C) Of the 2,400,000 times citizens use their guns to defend themselves every year, 92 percent merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers. Less than 8 percent of the time, does a citizen kill or wound his or her attacker.
    (3) Law-abiding citizens, seeking only to provide for their families’ defense, are routinely prosecuted for brandishing or using a firearm in self-defense. For example:
    (A) In 1986, Don Bennett of Oak Park, Illinois, was shot at by 2 men who had just stolen $1,200 in cash and jewelry from his suburban Chicago service station. The police arrested Bennett for violating Oak Park’s handgun ban. The police never caught the actual criminals.
    (B) Ronald Biggs, a resident of Goldsboro, North Carolina, was arrested for shooting an intruder in 1990. Four men broke into Biggs’ residence one night, ransacked the home and then assaulted him with a baseball bat. When Biggs attempted to escape through the back door, the group chased him and Biggs turned and shot one of the assailants in the stomach. Biggs was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon--a felony. His assailants were charged with misdemeanors.
    (C) Don Campbell of Port Huron, Michigan, was arrested, jailed, and criminally charged after he shot a criminal assailant in 1991. The thief had broken into Campbell’s store and attacked him. The prosecutor plea-bargained with the assailant and planned to use him to testify against Campbell for felonious use of a firearm. Only after intense community pressure did the prosecutor finally drop the charges.
    (4) The courts have granted immunity from prosecution to police officers who use firearms in the line of duty. Similarly, law-abiding citizens who use firearms to protect themselves, their families, and their homes against violent felons should not be subject to lawsuits by the violent felons who sought to victimize them.
    SEC. 3. RIGHT TO OBTAIN FIREARMS FOR SECURITY, AND TO USE FIREARMS IN DEFENSE OF SELF, FAMILY, OR HOME; ENFORCEMENT.
    (a) Reaffirmation of Right- A person not prohibited from receiving a firearm by Section 922(g) of title 18, United States Code, shall have the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms--
    (1) in defense of self or family against a reasonably perceived threat of imminent and unlawful infliction of serious bodily injury;
    (2) in defense of self or family in the course of the commission by another person of a violent felony against the person or a member of the person’s family; and
    (3) in defense of the person’s home in the course of the commission of a felony by another person.
    (b) Firearm Defined- As used in subsection (a), the term ‘firearm’ means--
    (1) a shotgun (as defined in section 921(a)(5) of title 18, United States Code);
    (2) a rifle (as defined in section 921(a)(7) of title 18, United States Code); or
    (3) a handgun (as defined in section 10 of Public Law 99-408).
    (c) Enforcement of Right-
    (1) IN GENERAL- A person whose right under subsection (a) is violated in any manner may bring an action in any United States district court against the United States, any State, or any person for damages, injunctive relief, and such other relief as the court deems appropriate.
    (2) AUTHORITY TO AWARD A REASONABLE ATTORNEY’S FEE- In an action brought under paragraph (1), the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs.
    (3) STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS- An action may not be brought under paragraph (1) after the 5-year period that begins with the date the violation described in paragraph (1) is discovered.
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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Mr. BARTLETT introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
    After reading the list of Democrats on the Judiciary Committee (while checking on the Holder hearings), I am nearly certain this bill is DOA. And that is very sad. It astounds me that a politician can read what this bill is trying to do and stand up and say no, citizens do not deserve the right to defend their own lives. "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." What a pipe dream that has become.

    TFred


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    Gee, am I mistaken, or isn't this already protected by the 2nd Article of the US Constitution?

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Task Force 16 wrote:
    Gee, am I mistaken, or isn't this already protected by the 2nd Article of the US Constitution?
    Yeah, that's probably why Section 3, paragraph (a) starts off with:

    "(a) Reaffirmation of Right-"

    But then once the courts get ahold of it... they'll need another law to reaffirm this one!

    TFred

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    Gee, am I mistaken, or isn't this already protected by the 2nd Article of the US Constitution?
    Yes it is. However, it looks to me like this bill is to address what Heller decided. I think the bill would preempt local firearm bans. Unfortunately I don't see it passing either.


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    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    I think the bill is beautifully written and like the fact this would allow people to shoot the BG without any consequence just as there shouldn't be for self defense.

    I'll have to write my house reps to see if they'll help support this wonderful bill.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

  7. #7
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    suntzu wrote:
    HR 17 IH
    111th CONGRESS
    1st Session
    H. R. 17
    To protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.
    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    January 6, 2009
    Mr. BARTLETT introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
    [line]
    A BILL
    To protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.
    SNIP...
    (a) Reaffirmation of Right- A person not prohibited from receiving a firearm by Section 922(g) of title 18, United States Code, shall have the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms--
    (1) in defense of self or family against a reasonably perceived threat of imminent and unlawful infliction of serious bodily injury;
    (2) in defense of self or family in the course of the commission by another person of a violent felony against the person or a member of the person’s family; and
    (3) in defense of the person’s home in the course of the commission of a felony by another person.
    (b) Firearm Defined- As used in subsection (a), the term ‘firearm’ means--
    (1) a shotgun (as defined in section 921(a)(5) of title 18, United States Code);
    (2) a rifle (as defined in section 921(a)(7) of title 18, United States Code); or
    (3) a handgun (as defined in section 10 of Public Law 99-408).
    ...SNIP
    So, the weak points I see in this proposed legislation is...

    If they change Section 922(g) of title 18, USC to include more individuals then those additional people can't avail themselves of there 2A rights.

    Also, if they change the definition of a Shotgun, Rifle, or Handgun by changing the appropriate portions of Section 921 (a)(5), (7), or Section 10 of public Law 99-408, then non of what we currently recognize a Shotgun, Rifle, or Handgun may meet the NEW definition of same.

    JoeSparky
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

    Life Member NRA
    Life Member GOA
    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

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    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    We could always ask for changes in the bill... or to start a new bill which is appropriate. Though from history I know several bills in the past have tried to pass in regards to having a federal wide preemption to reaffirm such rights which did not pass or make it to the House.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

  9. #9
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    Overall, I LIKE the bill. I recognize that it has a minimal chance of being passed. I just pointed out a couple of weak points that I see which COULD make this a VERY BAD LAW!

    JoeSparky
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

    Life Member NRA
    Life Member GOA
    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

  10. #10
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    Yeah, I do see where you're coming from, doing so would just set us up. The sheep-for-the-slaughter who want to take away our rights could simply pass a single item in a bill which contains no relevance as to change the items specified in the US code.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

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