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Thread: Letters from Logan

  1. #1
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    I've recently written a couple of emails out and thought the forum, particularly locals to Logan, might be interested to know of them.

    The first is to the new Logan police chief Gary Jensen. The email should be self explaining.

    "Chief Jensen,

    I caught a few minutes of you on the radio (KVNU) this morning with Jenny but didn't have the opportunity to call in.

    When asked about coming legislation, you expressed concern that a proposed bill might "allow" (your word) people to carry firearms on their hip. What did you mean by that?

    The self- protection community is already wondering why such a bill would be forwarded as the state law, which by verbiage, pre-empts any more restrictive county and city ordinances, since the current law recognizes the peoples' rights to openly carry already. For reference sake, start at Utah State Code 76-10-500 through at least 76-10-505.

    Up until late last summer, Logan did have an ordinance which restricted open firearm carry within city limits. When it was brought to light that Logan was in violation of state law, under the advice of the state AG's office and the city attorney, the city council removed the ordinance.

    I would suggest that citizens open carrying are at least as much a crime deterrent as officers are. (A concealed carrier looks like another indefensible while there's not doubt about the open carrier). If carrying made people a bigger target, then officers would be under necessity of concealing 24/7. Open recognition of the ability of a citizen, whether an officer or not, to prevent or mitigate bad behavior should be an appreciated benefit by all. Except in the rarest of cases, I've not seen in the news where criminals openly carry or brandish PRIOR to committing a crime. They hide their weapons. I know that the department does it's best at crime prevention, but unfortunately, when physical crime does occur, it's usually the officers' job to define what happened and clean up the mess post facto. And many of us won't be at the convenience of our homes' gun case if/when someone with mal intent chooses to pick on us.

    Though not regularly, I, and other locals, have open carried in our business about town. I have been in quite a number of shops, grocery stores and restaurants, with my wife and child and without them, and have yet to have ANY negative comment or be asked to leave a property. I HAVE had some number of positive comments from people. I must assume that the rest either don't notice or don't care. It's hard to miss a Glock in a Serpa holster on someone's hip!

    I am not trying to make waves or be a trouble maker. To carry the ability to defend oneself and friends has always been the mark of a free citizen, long before anyone tried to write it down on paper. If our pledges and citizens and your oaths as officers mean something to the freedom of all, then no peace officers have nothing to fear from any peace loving citizens, gun toting or not.

    I look forward to your comments. Thanks in advance for your time.

    Walt Appel"


    The second email regards my still unanswered question about seemingly contradictory laws on the books and is written to Curt Webb, my local representative. It also should be self explanatory.

    "Rep. Webb,

    I'm sure that with the session coming up that you have plenty of work
    to do so I'll try to keep my interest/question short. BTW, I am
    writing to you because I emailed the same query to the state AG's
    office about a year ago and they declined to answer my query, stating
    that I should contact an attorney to find an answer! I find it odd
    that the state agency tasked with enforcing the law would not care to
    answer a seemingly simple question! I know you're not a trained
    attorney, but perhaps either by way of understanding, or via peers in
    the Legislature, you could answer find an answer.

    How can the Legislature pass laws which surpass the clear limits
    placed by the State Constitution? To wit, this particular area
    (though I'm sure there are others!), which has been of considerable
    interest to many.



    Article I, Section 6. [Right to bear arms.]
    The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for
    security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state,
    as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but
    nothing herein shall prevent the Legislature from defining the lawful
    use of arms.


    Versus these:


    76-10-500 Uniform law.
    WP Zipped -- 2,133 bytes
    76-10-501 Definitions.
    WP Zipped -- 5,203 bytes
    76-10-502 When weapon deemed loaded.
    WP Zipped -- 1,810 bytes
    76-10-503  Restrictions on possession, purchase, transfer, and
    ownership of dangerous weapons by certain persons.
    WP Zipped -- 3,164 bytes
    76-10-504 Carrying concealed dangerous weapon -- Penalties.
    WP Zipped -- 2,492 bytes
    76-10-505 Carrying loaded firearm in vehicle or on street.
    WP Zipped -- 1,910 bytes
    76-10-505.5 Possession of a dangerous weapon, firearm, or sawed-
    off shotgun on or about school premises -- Penalties.

    Subsequent sections define the USE of firearms, which is clearly
    stated to be in the purview of the constitutional mandate. That
    said, how is it that legislation has long been passed, and to my
    understanding more is being proposed this coming session, that
    clearly is an "infringement" according to the true definition of the
    word usage???? How can the plain language of the Constitution be so
    clearly bypassed AS WELL AS supported by officers and judges who, to
    my understanding, have sworn to uphold the law? The laws seem to be
    quite contradictory.

    I hope you'll be able to shed light on this for me. I don't want to
    create waves nor find myself crossways with good laws. But it seems
    to me that the laws of the land are no more straight or crooked than
    the people themselves. Ink on paper guarantees nothing.

    Thanks for your time and efforts in advance."

    Rep. Webb did send this ditty in return.


    Hi Walt,
    I forwarded your email to Rep. Oda. He is kind of our resident gun
    expert. Let me know if you don't hear from him.
    Curt

  2. #2
    State Researcher Kevin Jensen's Avatar
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    Odd that he would forward your message to a "Pro-Gun Rep" rather than answering a constituent's question. :?
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

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    I recently got this reply from Logan Police Chief Jensen:

    I appreciate your comments, and although our opinions and experiences with this issue may not be completely the same, I appreciate that you are willing to share. Having said that, my comments on possible legislation regarding open carry and brandishing was to suggest that I am concerned and watching the structure of a bill and the language.

    Best regards!

    Chief Jensen

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    Ebeye wrote:
    I recently got this reply from Logan Police Chief Jensen:

    I appreciate your comments, and although our opinions and experiences with this issue may not be completely the same, I appreciate that you are willing to share. Having said that, my comments on possible legislation regarding open carry and brandishing was to suggest that I am concerned and watching the structure of a bill and the language.
    Don't you hate it when their reply makes you wonder if they even bothered to read your letter?

    That said, his comment regarding "brandishing" does have some merit, in the sense that there is something to be concerned about, depending on your point of view.

    The bill doesn't just state that open carry is legal, it also does a couple of other things.

    The part that's controversial -- and rightfully so -- is the one that legalizes making threats with a deadly weapon in response to fear of bodily injury that is not serious bodily injury. Under present law, that would be aggravated assault. Right now, you have to have fear of serious bodily injury in order to be justified in using deadly force, and that includes making threats as well as shooting. This bill would lower the requirement for merely threatening, so that if you have a reasonable fear that someone is going to slap your face, you can legally threaten them with death (though you can't actually shoot them).

  5. #5
    Regular Member UtahJarhead's Avatar
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    We totally need an OC dinner up there in Logan... I say we take comments like the Chief said and perhaps... MENTION it to the media. If they want to make waves about OC, then let's make our own waves to make a point about the legality. We all know it's legal. Logan officials have been enough of a thorn in our boots, let's pull the thorn out once and for all. Any ideas?

  6. #6
    Regular Member Utah_Patriot's Avatar
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    Patience lets wait till after the legislative session see where this goes.

    Logan is a far drive for me but more willing to make the drive when it is warmer out for the Motorcycle and me.


    Zach
    8014487574
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity"

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    The saying goes; You suggested it, you organize it! I will go to the event I have In-Laws up there. I vote for the spring as well.
    Utah Certified Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor
    NRA Pistol Instructor & RSO

    Lover of Freedom

  8. #8
    Regular Member UtahJarhead's Avatar
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    Can't do it! Already had 2-3 people mention the next one we're trying to coerce into doing it, but I think Sgt. Jensen is getting the next one. At least that's what Mrs. Dodge was saying over on UCC.

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    Regular Member UtahJarhead's Avatar
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    Besides, I just did the Layton RR one.

  10. #10
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    UtahJarhead wrote:
    Besides, I just did the Layton RR one.
    Great job I read it went well keep up the great work.
    Utah Certified Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor
    NRA Pistol Instructor & RSO

    Lover of Freedom

  11. #11
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    Further correspondence with Rep. Oda are below in three segments which should be self explanatory. Though my question has yet to be answered, I am more cynically coming to a greater understanding of why we have the legal situations in the nation and state as we do--and why more of the natives are sharpening their pitchforks...........

    Mr. Appel,

    Sorry for delay in getting back to you. You've stated your concern
    in very broad terms in regard to the code sections you cite versus
    how our state constitution reads on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

    Would you be more specific as to the wording of each section that
    your feel conflicts?

    No doubt that, over the past decades, prior legislatures have
    infringed into our rights, but over the past five years we have
    successfully taken back some of them. There is more work to do but
    are now on the offense.

    The first challenge was getting as many, in the legislature, to
    understand logic rather than to simply agree with the illogically
    emotional rhetoric put out by the likes of the Brady groups. All
    they do is fabricate myths that are destructive to our liberties.

    We now have about 50% of our House and Senate with Concealed Weapon
    Permits. (It was as high as 67% prior to the 2008 elections.) I
    will be conducting more class for the others this year for those
    who have yet to attend.

    But before I can really answer your concern, please be as specific
    as possible within each section and state your exact concern.

    Once I have those, I can be more specific in my answers to you.
    Otherwise, my answer would be overly broad and probably only
    partially germane.

    Thanks so much for being a concerned American!!

    Curt Oda
    House District 14


    Rep. Oda,

    Thank you for your time and attention, particularly now with the
    beginning of session.

    My query, though using the gun issue, is actually one of a
    considerably larger legal scope as there are other topics in which
    the constitution contradicts, one section to another, even itself.
    Though never a formal student of law, I have long studied legal
    issues and consider myself to be a "reasonable" man in thought and
    logic. Even in this, I have yet to find rational/reasonable
    explanation of how a legislature (national, state or even local) can
    pass laws which, at least to me, the common/reasonable man,
    contradict in both verbiage and application.

    Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but I'm under the assumption that
    the state constitution is the foundational document, and as such, it
    cannot grant greater power to subsequent refining laws than it has
    within itself. Much like government not being (rightly) able to
    wield powers the people themselves do not have to give.

    To begin again, the state constitution plainly declares:

    Article I, Section 6. [Right to bear arms.]
    The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for
    security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the
    state, as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed;
    but nothing herein shall prevent the Legislature from defining the
    lawful use of arms.

    I don't think we need a reading of Black's dictionary to know the
    definition of 'keep' is to possess and 'bear' is to wield, transport,
    carry about. The key word here is 'infringe'.

    Thesaurus

    infringe
    verb
    1 the statute infringed constitutionally guaranteed rights
    contravene, violate, transgress, break, breach; disobey, defy, flout,
    fly in the face of; disregard, ignore, neglect; go beyond, overstep,
    exceed; Law infract. antonym obey, comply with.
    2 the surveillance infringed on his rights restrict, limit, curb,
    check, encroach on; undermine, erode, diminish, weaken, impair,
    damage, compromise.
    antonym preserve.

    So any rule or law which would restrict, limit or erode the
    individuals rights is an infringement. So now, as per 76-10-500
    through at least 76-10-505 we find specific legally enacted
    infringements with criminal penalties on persons carrying firearms.
    Note: I'm not arguing 'use' (pulling the trigger?) only the right/
    ability to tote a gun with as much freedom as one might tote a
    cooler, book or backpack.

    As I wrote originally to Rep. Webb, "How can the plain language of
    the Constitution be so clearly bypassed AS WELL AS supported by
    officers and judges who, to my understanding, have sworn to uphold
    the law?" How can they live up to their oaths to enforce
    contradictory laws? Do they then become the judge and jury as to
    application? To require a license to carry a gun concealed without
    being in violation (with penalty) of law is, by very definition, an
    infringement AND in contradiction to the foundational documents
    verbiage and intent. Please explain to me how this is so.

    Without trying to open up a whole other can of worms, the same query
    is applicable in how the constitution declares religious freedom and
    non-interference in forming contracts. Nevertheless, the laws of the
    state clearly limit certain aspects of religious practices and the
    formation of social contracts. Due to the law being contradictory of
    these simple human rights issues, I'd bet there's others too.

    In light of this:

    Article I, Section 26. [Provisions mandatory and prohibitory.]
    The provisions of this Constitution are mandatory and
    prohibitory, unless by express words they are declared to be otherwise.

    How are infringing laws passed and upheld by officials at all
    levels? Why have these contradictions not been done away with or
    held unsupported by the courts and officers? It shouldn't take an
    aggrieved person, spending thousands on challenging the law. Seems
    pretty plain to me.

    I hope this explains my concern and question satisfactorily.

    Sincerely,

    Walt Appel


    Mr. Appel,

    There is no doubt that, in many cases, the constitution was violated by laws created to restrict. Without getting technical, most of these areas deal with restricting those who have done things that they should at least temporarily lose some rights, such as having committed certain crimes or criminal intent.

    Fortunately, many of us are working diligently to remove unreasonable restrictions that have affected the honest law abiding citizen. We have been slowly successful. We are on the offense now where before all we could do was to try to stop bad bills.

    Its nice to know there are other like minded people.

    Let me know if there are more specific issues.

    Thanks
    Curt Oda
    House District 14

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    Mr. Appel,

    There is no doubt that, in many cases, the constitution was violated by laws created to restrict. Without getting technical, most of these areas deal with restricting those who have done things that they should at least temporarily lose some rights, such as having committed certain crimes or criminal intent.

    Fortunately, many of us are working diligently to remove unreasonable restrictions that have affected the honest law abiding citizen. We have been slowly successful. We are on the offense now where before all we could do was to try to stop bad bills.

    Its nice to know there are other like minded people.

    Let me know if there are more specific issues.

    Thanks
    Curt Oda
    House District 14
    Mr. Oda,

    Thank you. Keep up the good work and stay on the offensive. I reside in your district and you will always have my support.

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    I'm pondering what to possibly write back that's any more specific than I've already stated.???

  14. #14
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    Ebeye wrote:
    I'm pondering what to possibly write back that's any more specific than I've already stated.???
    Mr. Oda clearly takes your core point, which is that there are bad laws on the books. My question to you is: What do you want him to do about it? What he is doing about it is chipping away at the bad laws and fixing the problem bit by bit.

    If you want to get more specific, you should research the law and point out all of the specific statutes that you feel are wrong, and say why you think they're wrong. You should probably also prioritize them and explain which ones you'd like him to tackle first.

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