The police in Buffalo, New York are planning to pay a visit
to the estates of people who die.
But this will only apply to a certain class of citizens – pistol permit
holders. Unfortunately, the police
will not be paying a visit to offer their condolences to family members of the
Instead, the police are starting a program to confiscate
firearms. In order to better
“serve and protect”, the police department will be running a cross check
between the death records and gun permit holders. They are, of course, doing this in the name of public
I suppose this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise,
particularly out of New York. This
is the state that locked up football player Plaxico Burress for shooting
himself in the leg. The crime
wasn’t public endangerment, but the fact that Burress possessed a gun. Government officials in New York don’t
want anyone possessing a gun except for themselves.
It will be interesting to see if this new program goes
forward. It would have little
chance in the south, but there may not be enough gun advocates in Buffalo to
As one Buffalo attorney pointed out, if the police come to
your door without a warrant signed by a judge, you don’t have to let them in or
give them anything. Let’s hope the
people in Buffalo understand their rights. It is hard to imagine that the police will get a signed
warrant, but anything is possible.
Unfortunately, the police know that they can show up at doors without
warrants and some people will be intimidated into giving up their rights.
Gun Rights or
While this is a major government overstep that is getting
the attention of gun owners and gun advocates – as well it should – this is as
much of a property rights issue as a gun rights issue.
If the Buffalo police confiscate the guns of deceased
people, this can often be thousands of dollars or more worth of firearms. The guns can also be a piece of family
This program in Buffalo stems from a state law that says if
a gun owner dies, the estate has 15 days to turn in the guns to police. And if the guns aren’t turned in, then
police can confiscate them. This
law does not apply to long guns.
We sometimes hear people say that instead of passing new gun
laws, we should just enforce what is already on the books. I couldn’t disagree more because many
of the gun laws go completely against property rights and a free society. The Buffalo police are trying to
enforce a really bad law here that is already on the books.
This should concern everyone – even those who have no
interest in owning a gun. This is
a complete violation of property rights.
If someone owns a gun, they should be able to pass it down to their heirs,
just like any other item. It
doesn’t matter if it is a television, a diamond ring, or a gun. It is owned property, and as an owner,
you have the right to pass that on to others.
If this program goes into effect in Buffalo, I don’t see it
spreading throughout the country.
Maybe it will spread in New York.
But it will also be interesting to see the unforeseen consequences of
If anything, this will just encourage people to break other
laws. Perhaps some people will
stop registering for a permit to avoid detection. It is also possible that the city and/or state may end up
with a lot of lawsuits in court over this.
I know that many gun advocates will disagree with me on
this, but I don’t see this as a 2nd Amendment issue. I believe the 2nd Amendment
was designed to prevent federal gun laws.
I believe that all federal gun laws should be repealed.
But for this New York law, it is really a fight for the
people of New York, or more specifically, Buffalo. They should not rely on the U.S. Supreme Court to knock this
law down. The people of Buffalo
need to take a stand against this infringement on gun rights and property
rights. It is a bad law and it shouldn’t