ACLU Defends Missouri Gun Rights Guy

“On May 1, 2013, Jerry Bledsoe, a police officer, confronted [Jordan] Klaffer while responding to a noise complaint,” thefreethoughtproject.com reports. “Klaffer videotaped the interaction, where Bledsoe issued an ultimatum to Klaffer to surrender his guns or be arrested. Klaffer refused to give up his guns and was arrested for disturbing the peace.” That was just the beginning . . .

To express his opinion that Officer Bledsoe was using his position to harass him for exercising his Second Amendment rights, Klaffer posted recordings of the May 1 encounter on YouTube and Facebook. And, on Instagram, he posted a picture of Bledsoe alongside a photo of Saddam Hussein, with the caption “Striking Resemblance.”

Officer Bledsoe retaliated by obtaining a court order that prevented Mr. Klaffer from posting videos, pictures, and text data criticizing Officer Bledsoe on the Internet. “A government order prohibiting criticism of government is the worst kind of censorship,” explains Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] of Missouri. Click here to read the ACLU’s complaint.

So, while the ACLU may still skip the number two when counting to ten, at least they’re standing guard over a gun guy’s First Amendment protection against government infringement on the right to free speech. Oh, and since when do cops get to play let’s make a deal with the citizenry? Turn over your guns or I’ll arrest you for disturbing the peace? Geddowdaheah.

comments

  1. Bizarro world

    At least they were both polite about it

  2. avatar jwm says:

    Wow. CA got slapped by federal court as did ILL. Now the ACLU is actually going to bat for a gun owner.

    Think I’m going to start building an ark now.

    1. avatar Gene says:

      National ACLU doesn’t seem to do much and state ACLU’s pick and choose, supposedly. I’ve heard the rationalization being there are other organizations better suited to handle 2A issues so the various ACLU’s punt to them. Dunno how true it is, but sounds feasible to me.

    2. avatar SouthernPatriot says:

      Maybe some skis, since apparently hell is freezing over.

    3. avatar bontai Joe says:

      I’ll help you gather the animals.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        This time, leave out the cockroaches and mosquitoes, OK?

        1. avatar Vhyrus says:

          So does that mean we aren’t picking up ANY politicians?

        2. avatar Adam says:

          And mice, brown bears. I get to take Emma Watson, though.

          At least your country doesn’t have the defamatory (criminal) libel laws Canada does, which are generally used to protect the police from criticism:

          http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/man-charged-over-website-libel-against-police-1.923725

          And beware of the cyberbuillying laws popping up in Canada, the U.S., and UK. These are backdoor attempts at imposing Singapore, or Russia-style censorship, under the guise of fighting the latest moral panic.

        3. avatar William Burke says:

          Ticks. I’d like to add ticks to the list. And chiggers. And recluse spiders.

          Oh, and water moccasins!

        4. avatar Todd S says:

          And manatees… scourge of America’s waterways!

    4. avatar jwm says:

      Okay guys, I’ve heard your suggestions. Only kittens and puppies and unicorn foals and a large staff of centerfolds to care for the widdle animals.

      And I’ll be the captain of it all. Bwha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

  3. avatar ChrisF says:

    It’s good to see local Police departments don’t discriminate against those with low IQs….

  4. avatar KCK says:

    We know how ACLU counts but at least in this case
    1A + 1A= 2A

    1. avatar ReadMore says:

      ^ For the win!

  5. avatar Andrew says:

    The judge that signed that order should be spanked and sent to bed without supper.

    1. avatar TheBear says:

      Agreed.

      If these types of organizations want to avoid the stereotypes of stupidity and inbreeding they should probably stop acting like it.

      Good ol’ boy politics at its finest.

    2. avatar Adam says:

      Agreed.

      It was probably a local judge who is part of the good ole boy network with the cops int eh small town there, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in it as an example of government overreach. Rather it is more an incident of corrupt small town officials.

    3. avatar neiowa says:

      Certainly needs to be named.

    4. avatar nathanredbeard says:

      Too bad town squares no longer have stocks to lock him/her in.

  6. avatar Michael B. says:

    In before Hannibal defends the officer.

  7. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    “he posted a picture of Bledsoe alongside a photo of Saddam Hussein, with the caption “Striking Resemblance.”
    It’s good to know what it really takes to get the ACLU on your side.

  8. avatar g says:

    Good for them.

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    Wow. Is there more to this story? I’d USE theACLU if I had to. Once in a great while they get one right.

    1. avatar Roscoe says:

      I’d even join the ACLU if they started paying attention to infringements of 2A protections and interceding / filing on those rights violations.

      1. avatar Braenen says:

        I have joined the ACLU. You should too. The membership can push the leadership to support 2A issues.

        1. avatar 45acp says:

          I won’t join the ACLU when they state on their website that their position on the 2nd amendment is that it’s a collective right, not an individual right.

          https://www.aclu.org/faqs#3_6

          https://www.aclu.org/organization-news-and-highlights/second-amendment

        2. avatar int19h says:

          Why do you care about it? They don’t talk about this (unless asked), and they certainly never actively support that position in courts, when lobbying politicians, or in media.

          Basically, the reason to support ACLU is that they defend all your other rights. You don’t harm 2A by doing so, and there is no shortage of organizations that are specifically focused on legal support of 2A.

  10. avatar KCK says:

    He should have said he would respond to a citation WHEN a complaint has been file. The arresting officer was not a witness to the peace being didterbed.

    1. avatar TheBear says:

      Not only that, where are the black and white definition of what disturbing the peace actually means?

      If annoying a neighbor is disturbing the peace, I guess mowing the lawn is no longer allowed either.

    2. avatar Another Robert says:

      YES!! I kept waiting and waiting for the civilian to say, “until a complaint has been filed, there is no basis for a charge, right?” or some such. Poor guy needs to get a lawyer, a po-po can’t arrest you for a misdemeanor unless (a) it happened in the officer’s presence or (b) a formal charge has been filed and a warrant issued. Neither happened in this case.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Apparently, that’s no longer so much the case. Complaint more often becomes arrest than it used to.

        Did you know that America has more prisoners than China, India and Russia combined, with some left over?

        For-profit prisons = Prison Happy nation.

        1. avatar Another Robert says:

          Technically a “complaint” of the sort that is FILED and not just made over the phone generally is, in fact, the basis of an arrest. the problem is that there was no such “complaint” here. The damned cop was winging it, just like he was winging it when he made his completely extra-legal attempt to extort the guy’s guns from him in return for not [illegally] arresting him. The more I think of it, the madder I get.

  11. avatar the ruester says:

    “A government order prohibiting criticism of government is the worst kind of censorship,…”

    (Takes deep breath) aaaand, a government order to surrender ones arms to avoid harassment is the worst kind of INFRINGEMENT. They would be so close to seeing it our way if not for their blind hatred.

  12. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Your tax dollars, so very hard at work, all because yet another law enforcement organization has an affirmative action policy to hire the mentally infirm.

    Unless this is slapped down at the Circuit Court or lower, this is the type of case the SCOTUS likes to take and it would go up the ladder to the top. It’ll be costing us taxpayers millions of dollars to debate and re-re-re-debate this cop’s (and his buddy-buddy judge’s) stupidity.

    There should be a penalty for being this stupid in government employment. I think the penalty should be directly and personally painful, and result in this level of stupidity not being heritable.

  13. avatar Jim Cooper says:

    The ACLU of Missouri supposedly recognizes that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right to possess and use a firearm.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      It doesn’t really matter in this case. They’re defending his 1A rights, not his 2A rights.

  14. avatar Jon in NC says:

    The guy that was firing the guns on his personal property seems like a d*ck!!

  15. avatar SelousX says:

    Being a card-carrying member of both the ACLU and the NRA, I am very glad to see some overlap of interest concerning this case. Hopefully we’ll see more of it in the future.

  16. avatar David says:

    I SCREAM BULLSHIT!!!! All county ordinances say you can make a certain disables worth of noise between say like 9am till 7pm m-sun. As long as he was firing during those hours, they cant do shit. False arrest charges here we come. Not to mention over use of police authority!!! Sounds like he has an anti gun asshole neighbor that needs an attitude adjustment. If no complaint was filed, it ends there! The only reason this prick cop was demanding this fellas guns was so he didn’t have to come back out to this guys house. Its a simple fu@kin noise complaint, you cant seize shit copper!! That would be like the cops coming to a rich MD’s house at 6pm for a loud noise complaint and seizing the bands musical instruments they were using to entertain the guests with!! Oh wait, that shit NEVER happens, cause the FIN chiefs at that party! So under that bullshit cops line of thinking, if my lawn tractor makes to much noise on sat morning, it gets seized, or I get arrested, BULLSHIT YOU ANTI AMERICAN BASTARDS!!!!! THATS A POLICE STATE IF I EVER SAW ONE!

    1. avatar Dev says:

      Noise ordinances are never as simple as “this is the volume level” and just about every town and county has a difference of opinion as to what constitutes a disturbance. You can’t just make any noise you want.

      1. avatar doesky2 says:

        Well there certainly are many cities that have ordinances that pretty much just state a max DB limit at the lot line. Elsewise you start getting into what is defined as noise versus let’s say ….music.

        I know if if I was the gun owner, I’d find that DB limit and place a speaker pointed at the neighboring house that would repeatedly play the Barney theme song repeatedly whenever I was not home.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      Unfortunately, and probably intentionally, “Disturbing the Peace” ordinances do not equate specifically with the decibel levels of whatever you are doing. Walking down the street while drunk can qualify as disturbing the peace, as can simply allowing your EDC to show accidentally in some cases. It boils down to whether or not the OTHER guy feels his peace has been disturbed and then if the LEO is in a mood to pursue the issue.

      It may or may not rise to the level of arrest and prosecution, but it certainly rises to the level of a pain in your ass.

    3. avatar William Burke says:

      ” All county ordinances say you can make a certain disables worth of noise”

      What on Earth does “a certain disables worth” MEAN?

  17. avatar SouthernPatriot says:

    Ever since local law enforcement began to purchase surplus military attack vehicles and automatic assault rifles, they appear to have gained a attitude that we are now the enemy. Too many incidents of local law enforcement over reaching. This is another case in point. The Atheist Communist Lesbian Union coming to his defense? That is a good one, but they sometimes do this to try to then say, they are balanced in the cases they choose.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Nevertheless, it’s a good thing, and we should praise them for it.

  18. avatar Jim March says:

    For the record, the ACLU chapters in Arizona, Nevada and South Carolina are in revolt against the national org and have learned to count to 10 without skipping 2. Those three specifically hold the 2A as a personal civil right in line with Heller and McDonald, by official policy of the state orgs.

    I was a member of the board of the Southern Arizona sub-chapter until early 2013 when I moved to AL to get married to a great gal. (My last name is now Simpson.)

    1. avatar Jim Cooper says:

      I think you can add Missouri to that list.

      1. avatar Jim March says:

        I tried to find anything similar to this official statement of the ACLU of Arizona:

        http://www.acluaz.org/sites/default/files/documents/Tough%20Questions%20about%20ACLU%20Positions.pdf

        5. Why doesn’t the ACLU support gun ownership/gun control?

        The Second Amendment provides: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The ACLU of Arizona policy on the individual right to bear arms is different from our National ACLU policy on the issue. The National ACLU, based in New York, believes that the Second Amendment protects a collective right rather than an individual right. The National ACLU Policy #47 supports the Supreme Court’s 1939 decision in United States v. Miller, which endorsed the view that the Second Amendment does not confer an unlimited right upon individuals to own guns or other weapons, nor does it prohibit reasonable regulation of gun ownership, such as licensing and registration. The ACLU of Arizona, which is based in Phoenix, supports the individual right to bear arms – a right that is expressly identified in Article 2, Section 26 of the Arizona Constitution. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court in D.C. v. Heller held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, whether or not associated with a state militia. In July 2008, the ACLU of Arizona Board of Directors passed the following policy: “Resolved that ACLU of Arizona does not follow national board policy #47 that the right to bear arms is a collective, not an individual right. The Arizona Constitution expressly provides that the right to bear arms, to the extent constitutionally protected, is an individual right, so policy #47 has never been operative in Arizona.”

  19. avatar Don says:

    I’ve never heard of a cop arresting threatening to arrest someone for not surrendering their stereo or their guitar after a noise complaint.

    -D

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      I live 1/2 mile from an outdoor gun range and just over a mile from an airport. And I can honestly say the most incessant, obnoxious noise in my neighborhood comes from lawn mowers.

      We have one neighbor who mostly mows after 9:00 pm. If the cops hauled his lawn tractor away, it would be in the public interest.

      1. avatar JoshuaS says:

        Lawn mowers and leaf blowers…every day now. Used to be just weekends, and now many times past dinner time.

        I have often fantasized about get a cartoonish emp gun and knocking the gardeners’ equipment out many times….

        I would think that there would be, in any area with population density, certain hours where such things were not tolerated. But I know with my city the noise control law exempts mowers, etc between 7 am and 7 pm weekdays, but weekends and holidays it is 10 am to 10 pm (because obviously no one needs quiet early on a Sunday…urghh

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        Hey, give the guy a break! He likes to bitten by mosquitoes.

        They’re becoming sated, and not biting you.

  20. avatar David says:

    What judge order? This was a cop responding to a 911 call from an aggravated neighbor, this cop had NO JUDGE ORDER PAPPERWORK! He didn’t have shit for evidence, just a supposed 911 call reporting shots fired, that were causing a noise violation, that’s it!

  21. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    There is no evidence that pictures of government employee Jerry Bledsoe having relations with farm animals have ever been posted on the internet. To my knowledge, no pictures of government employee Jerry Bledsoe having relations with farm animals exist.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      I don’t see anywhere that the alleged photos included FARM animals.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        So it was deer? My hat goes off to that man.

      2. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        It is an offhand way to insult the cop and tie his name to pictures of congress with farm animals.

  22. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    I don’t know about seizing the weapons, but disturbing the peace is understandable. If you have a neighbor next door, don’t shoot your guns. That’s common sense. I wouldn’t want my next door neighbor shooting guns next door either. Go to a damn range. I mean, one shot once in a while wouldn’t bother me, but sitting next door and shooting a lot would piss me off.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      So file a complaint. But until you do, the cops have no grounds to haul your neighbor off for “disturbing the peace” unless they are present when it occurs. That, and the cop’s ham-handed attempt to confiscate the guy’s guns, are the issues here.

  23. avatar JoshuaS says:

    In fairness to many of those in the ACLU, there are the rights guaranteed by the bill of rights and then there are human rights. Many of them, even if they could admit the Heller understanding of the 2nd amendment, would see it as outdated positive law that should be changed, not an integral part of ordered liberty.

    Quite frankly the only reason I even utter one word of protest when the government, say, censures or infringes speech that is truly bad (say the KKK is marching) is because in doing so it violates its own law. Heck, without the “selective incorporation” (read arbitrary) magically done by SCOTUS, none of the rights would be guaranteed against the state. Even Jefferson wanted to lock up journalists who criticized him, just wanted the State governments to do it and he explicitly stated that it was within their purview to censure and regulate speech.

    Just as provisions of the 4th amendment do not apply to the states, because that is what the courts arbitrarily decided nor part of the 8th (namely you have no right to a grand jury and most states don’t use them, and excessive bail is not protected against), the ACLU has traditionally held the same of the 2nd and don’t expect them to suddenly change and agree with Heller or McDonald

    1. avatar John Thomas says:

      what in the world are you talking about?

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      Well. I’d offer that true liberty accepts a certain level of disorder.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        “certain level of disorder.”

        Life is Chaos. Stasis is Death.

  24. avatar David says:

    What you do with your farm animals in the privacy of your own barn has nothing to do with any of us! Lol! But come on people, what happened to hauling your fat ass off the sofa for a 5 min walk, down to the neighbors house and asking he or she “to give it a rest for a while” with out making a federal case out the secheation. I mean Christ on a crunch for heavens sake. Call someone who cares, here’s a quarter!

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      When PETA gets involved, there’ll be hell to pay.

  25. avatar neiowa says:

    Perhaps they can take this one up.

    Federal Snipers Train Guns on Family For Filming Cattle

    http://www.infowars.com/federal-snipers-train-guns-on-family-for-filming-cattle/

    Designated 1st Amendment Area??

  26. avatar David says:

    It may piss you off a little to hear shots fired over and over again, but we don’t know the hole story either. How much property he or she was shooting on, has there been a problem before between such 2 parties in the past? And why only the one neighbors complaint? Just something to consider, before hanging this girl, or guy out to dry.

  27. avatar David says:

    JUST PISS POOR ACTION TAKEN BY SO CALLED LAW ENFOREMENT!

  28. avatar Maineuh says:

    It’s the court order that leaves me scratching my head. A judge actually signed that?

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      The order that was signed was supposed to be a temporary order pending the outcome of the trial on the merits (ie whether the cop was entitled to prevent the civilian permanently from posting stuff on the net about the cop). As soon as the civilian complied with the temporary order, the cop dropped the main lawsuit (which he had no chance in hell of actually winning). Technically, the civilian could now repost everything he took down. It was abuse of the court process, plain and simple. And I’m curious as to how the “disturbing the peace” charge ever worked out. Probably dismissed, too.

  29. avatar Richard says:

    The proper response would have been to post a picture of the judge alongside a picture of Stalin for comparison. Sick & tired of LEO’s literally getting away with murder and judges covering for them. I’m on my property, I ain’t giving up sh*t to some cop with a god complex. It’s not going to end well for either of us. Cops had better learn to start policing their own ranks before it starts being done for them.

  30. avatar Pashtun6 says:

    I should probably go buy a new parka….

  31. avatar William Burke says:

    Whoa! Is the ACLU old guard being replaced by a younger, more libertarian-leaning leadership? It certainly warrants looking into.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      ACLU has long been consistent in their approach to rights: they will defend all rights they recognize (this includes freedom of speech), regardless of who exercises those rights and for what. This is a clear violation of freedom of speech, hence they are on it.

      Anyway, some state-level ACLU orgs have been pursuing 2A cases for several years now. In particular, they like to go for “equal rights” cases that pertain to rights of non-citizen immigrants to keep & bear arms. Ironically, this pisses off many on the right who think that non-Americans don’t deserve the same freedoms even on American soil.

  32. avatar Patrick Hayes says:

    As someone else posted, most noise ordinances specify a time or a time is implied.
    Lawnmowers, leaf blowers, loud cars, trucks, and all manner of noise was present when I worked nights and slept days.
    The video is daylight. Probably another anti gun liberal and another ignorant cop.
    The cop had no authority to sieze anything. If he wanted to issue a citation…fine.

    Sounds to me he just wanted to take this citizens guns.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Most “disturbing the peace” laws are not necessarily the same as noise ordinances. Fighting, for example, is traditionally considered a breach of the peace, as is particularly crude language spoken in public. In Texas, “brandishing” a firearm falls under the “disturbing the peace” statute in the Penal Code. Most local “noise ordinances” probably wouldn’t hold up under real judicial review because they are too vague to be enforceable. But once more, my beef here is that it doesn’t really matter what kind of ordinance was in play–if it’s a misdemeanor, the cop had no business–make that no authority–to make an arrest unless it happened in his presence (it didn’t) or a complaint had actually been filed and a warrant issued (that didn’t happen either).

  33. avatar CoolBreeze72 says:

    Our “hero” should have backed it down and apologized to the LEO for not understanding the noise ordinance. Looks like a fairly densely populated area too. I think LEO would have gone for a compromise. That said; “gonna take your guns” made me cringe.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Still not convinced a “noise ordinance” was involved. and I think the cop pretty well put the kibosh on any “compromise” when he demanded the guy turn over his guns. What was he going to do with them? Destroy them? Auction them off along with the unclaimed impounded vehicles? The whole thing reeks of official lawlessness.

  34. avatar ricnroll says:

    If anyone attempts to manhandle or kidknap you, you have the right to defend yourself just as if any other form of assault. Under false arrest the cop becomes the aggressor and you have the right to defend yourself. Although, unless you are big enough and have the talent to keep the asshole from beating the living Hell out of you, retreat should be the better part of valor.
    From personal observation of such an encounter, pitch his radio before he can call Run-Tin-Tin. And if he illegaly draws on you, that is your decsion to make, albeit better be a fast one. Oh, and your relatives are major lawyers in defense law.
    Which city around St. Louis was this occurance
    ? Since I live in the county, I was wondering which it was.

  35. avatar rlc2 says:

    Instapundit- (constitutional law professor Glenn Reynolds) has been on the topic of legality of recording police for some time:

    http://www.pjmedia.com/instapundit/?s=recording+police

    Not a lawyer, or an LEO, but guessing the good citizens and taxpayers of Scott County is gonna be spending some money on lawyers, that could have been better spent on basic legal training for their Sheriffs Dept…not that I fault this good ol’ boy, Deputy Bledsoe.

    He seems like a nice enough guy at least on the video tape, and this kind of Andy Griffith street justice, ie threaten to confiscate firearms for a complaint of “disturbing the peace” MAY be the order of the day in that part of Missorah…

    But I am WAY more interested in why the Judge didn’t know better on the recording/youtube posting issue. Its not like this is new.

    Can’t find the name of the presiding judge on the ACLU filing, nor does the Scott County Court website provide a link for searching, and the Clerks page link is busted- http://www.scottcountymo.com/courts.html

    But I am guessing the Hon. David A. Dolan has some ‘splainin’ to do, on why he or one of his stand-in’s didn’t know better than to issue the ex parte order of restraint for Adult Abuse/Stalking against the gun owner,
    at the request of petitioner and plaintiff, Officer Bledsoe.

    Bledsoe v. Klaffer, No. 13SO-CV01277.

    Just seems heavy-handed, and when combined with the threat to seize property for a citation, is an abuse of both the Judge’s and the Deputy’s positions representing the State of Missouri.

  36. avatar Mark says:

    That idiot in the red shirt would have looked very fine in the emergency room with multiple broken bones. What a crock. We really need to fight back.

  37. avatar Floyd says:

    From what little we know, it seems to me that there’s plenty of fault to spread around:

    1) Looks like a suburban neighborhood. If my suburban neighbor was firing guns on his property, I’d have a problem with that myself. I take mine to the range or somewhere secluded – I expect my neighbor to do the same unless there are lives at risk.

    2) Seeing as there was no complaint at the time of the incident, then the officer did not seem to have authority (a warrant or probable cause) for making an arrest.

    3) Give me your gun or I’ll arrest you? Baloney. Arrest the guy and seize his firearm, issue a citation for disturbing the peace, or give a stern lecture. “Give me your gun” is a great way to get shot.

    4) After the first law enforcement visit, you’d think our gun owner would be bright enough to put down the gun long enough to look up the local ordinance on disturbing the peace. Maybe even take the initiative to walk over to the neighbors and work something out. Seems our shooter may be lacking in the responsibility department…or maybe we should take that up with his mom?

    5) Posting pictures comparing Bledsoe with Hussein is a violation of Bledsoe’s personal right to privacy. May also possibly be cause for a civil defamation of character suit. Old red-beard will be lucky if he doesn’t get sued. Have to go with the judge on this one.

    We wouldn’t need to spin up over the law so much if we could just apply a little common sense. Seems lacking on both sides in this case.

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