8144986-largeMemo to American gun owners who see nothing wrong with so-called “safe storage” laws (e.g., NJ residents): The moment you make it a crime to fail to store your firearm in a legally prescribed manner is the moment you invite Johnny Law (a.k.a., the police) into your home to ensure compliance. And that could very well be an unannounced inspection. An inspection that could lead to firearms confiscation. In this case, centralsomersetgazette.com reports that the police entered David Robert Meek’s home “while making enquiries about a separate matter.” Does it matter? Nope. In The Land of Hope and Glory (as well as Canada), the police have the right to inspect any shotgun license holder’s home whenever they wish. And here’s what they found in Mr. Meek’s proverbial castle . . .

“When they inspected the inside of his house they found a gun cabinet with the padlock not securely clicked into place with three shotguns and a rifle inside which were therefore accessible,” he said.

“This was in contravention of the licence he held which stated that the cabinet must be locked at all times to prevent access by unauthorised people.”

Defending solicitor Gareth Webb said Meek was a self-employed lorry driver who had held shotgun licences for 40 years and considered himself a responsible person.

He said his client only used the shotguns if he went rabbit shooting but the rifle was a vastly more powerful weapon.

“If he takes it out he phones the police and gives them a long number and on September 24 he went out duck shooting and could have sworn that he closed the padlock because he remembered doing so,” he said.

“However he pushed it together and it obviously did not engage and was therefore not closed.

So the cops tugged on the lock and it opened. And Mr. Meek’s gun rights – such as they were – went out the window. In court, it turned out that the shotgun owner was Meek by name as well as nature.

“He accepts this was a serious problem because that would allow someone to go into the house and access the guns and he is a responsible member of the community who has admitted this offence.”

(Defending solicitor Gareth Webb) said that Meek had now had his shotgun licence revoked which had caused him concern as he had recently set up a consortium with friends who go shooting and he would now lose out financially.

The magistrates fined the defendant £220 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £22 victim surcharge.

Victim surcharge? Who was the victim here, exactly? I’m thinking Meeks. And British society, which is busy strolling down the road to a police state, having already established itself as the most surveilled nation on planet Earth.

95 Responses to Brit Loses Shotgun License for Failing to Close Cabinet Lock

    • Yep.

      Just like misguided/ignorant/stupid/drug-addled individuals, neither is useless; they can always serve as a bad example.

  1. This is what happens when someone lets cops into their home. In England. In Buffalo. Anywhere.

    Personally, I’d rather have rats in my larder than cops in my living room.

    • Exactly.

      FTA:

      In The Land of Hope and Glory (as well as Canada), the police have the right to inspect any shotgun license holder’s home whenever they wish.

      In the US (if the Bill of Rights retains any practical meaning), “unanounced inspections” would be a violation of rights protected by the Fourth Amendment.

      Come back with a warrant

  2. “The moment you make it a crime to fail to store your firearm in a legally prescribed manner is the moment you invite Johnny Law (a.k.a., the police) into your home to ensure compliance.”

    I don’t understand that statement. There are a lot of things that are illegal for me to do in my home – having illegal drugs for example – but that doesn’t give the police the right to enter my home any time they want to search for illegal drugs. So why should legal storage laws allow them in? They would need to show probable cause and get a search warrant just like for any other case.

    I am in favor of storage laws and I think it weakens our position when we say we are against them. It makes us sound irresponsible, like we want the right to leave our guns out even when 3 year old kids are around. Owning a gun is a serious responsibility, and we should admit that and take what goes along with it. Properly securing your firearms is one of those things.

      • @merits
        Wrong play brother. Stop that kind of ignorance in its tracks where ever found, lest it be continued all the way down the rest of the comments, picking up other similar critical thinkers.
        Eg: When puppy makes a hot mess, do you wait for your better half to come home and correct the dog, because it’s “not my turn”?

    • Guess it’s like being on parole. Except under exigent circumstances, cops need a warrant to enter your home, or have your PO in tow. You sign your 4A rights away as a condition of parole.

    • “So why should legal storage laws allow them in?” -Because, guns!

      How will safe storage laws prevent more problems? We are already really low on accidental shootings deaths, especially with children. Would a safe storage law reduce number of kids who are accidently shot per year? Is the juice worth the squeeze? Or will safe storage laws be used more to punish good people? When I lived in MA it was usually used to screw people over like this guy in Somerton for unrelated issues.

      This law in Somerton is just a revenue generator. Look at how much money he had to pay out for a victimless crime. I have a feeling if more places had safe storage laws it would turn into the same thing.

    • Safe storage laws lead to compliance inspections, including unannounced ones. It is a natural progression. It means you, by being a gun owner, cede your freedom from warrantless searches.
      Safe storage laws are a crock. Being against them is not irresponsible, it is about being pro-freedom.

      • In my original post I said that safe storage laws do not lead to compliance inspections. You simply re-iterated that they do. I fail to see how that adds anything.

        The reason they have unannounced compliance inspections in England is because a firearms license there is a privilege, not a right, so they can take the license away any time they like. This guy didn’t have to let the police enter his home, or touch his storage safe. But then they would just take away his privilege if he stopped them.

        It’s different here in the US because the 2A is a right. Police simply cannot enter or search here without probable cause, and one of our rights cannot be taken away for not allowing a warrant-less search.

        • The police can and do enter thousands of homes a year without warrants. They talk themselves in, no-knock the wrong home, chase suspects, parole search, etc. There is also a powerful gun control advocacy in this nation that sees “safe storage” (and smart guns, may-issue, mag cap limits, etc.) as stepping stones for control, registration, and confiscation. Heck, Feinstein is on record that she would have Anericans turn them all in if she had the votes.

          Safe storage laws have multiple issues. They are tactically unsound, expensive, prevent fast access, and are unequally applied and enforced. Even the expensive mag-locks in our cruisers don’t properly secure our AR-15s. I can pull out a lower from a locked and “secured” patrol car in 15 seconds with a rock and a knife.

          I don’t need the government to tell me to secure my hardware. That’s as natural to me as the NRA / Colonel Cooper safety rules. Of course I have loaded CCW pistol / revolver access virtually 24/7/365.

          But if you can’t see these things, then you are either willfully ignorant or naive.

        • You seem to have 2 misunderstandings going on here.
          “In my original post I said that safe storage laws do not lead to compliance inspections. You simply re-iterated that they do.”
          Yes he stated again that they do, because safe storage laws typiaclly have a clause in them that says that in order to ensure compliance, police can preform unannounced inspections without any type of warrant. This would be an end run around the fourth amendment protection against warrantless searches. In the article you missed the important statement, “In The Land of Hope and Glory (as well as Canada), the police have the right to inspect any shotgun license holder’s home whenever they wish.” I realize that in England there is no 4th amendment protection but the author here logically assumes that a future Anti would write the loophole bypassing the 4th amendment into any such future legislation. And in order for that law to have any teeth to actually catch people it would logically have to include such a clause. We are supposing, based on what we have seen already happen. Look at the NY SAFE act which already states that police do not need a warrant to confiscate firearms.

          “It’s different here in the US because the 2A is a right. Police simply cannot enter or search here without probable cause, and one of our rights cannot be taken away for not allowing a warrant-less search.”
          The protection against warrantless searches is the 4th amendment, the 2nd amendment doesn’t offer any protection from police entering your home. And our contention here is that many legislators are working to find ways of legislating away rights, right now. End runs around rights and protections. This incident in England is a cautionary tale. This is how bad it will get if we let it. Police will just walk into your home and the state of a padlock will be the only difference between being a law abiding citizen and a criminal.
          The point of the article is, it is a slippery slope.

        • Police simply cannot enter or search here without probable cause

          I’ve been a lawyer for 35 years and I can assure you that you are completely out of your mind if you believe a word of what you wrote.

        • Calling our 2A rights something besides a privilege is just wordplay. Background checks, concealed carry permits (for a right?), etc…..tell the truth of the matter. You can claim it as a right all you want, it doesn’t make it so. A “conditional right” is a privilege.

        • So, if what exactly is the purpose of storage laws if there is no compliance checking?

          The only thing these laws will do is punish people (i.e. people whose guns were stolen) AFTER the fact. It won’t prevent any crimes from happening.

          Additionally, what constitutes safe storage? A 1,000 pound safe with 1/4 inch steel, or a locked wooden cabinet (which can be easily broken into)?

        • ” because safe storage laws typiaclly have a clause in them that says that in order to ensure compliance, police can preform unannounced inspections without any type of warrant. ”

          WHERE is there such a clause?

          I agree that safe storage laws, per se, do not in any way invite “Johnny Law” into your home without invitation. Now if you invite Johnny Law in yourself don’t blame the law.

        • Wa state tried to pass a bill last year, that among other things, required safe storage and allowed the local sheriff to inspect your home to ensure compliance. No warrant. It’s not far fetched.

          As to safe storage.. What’s the point, really? Irresponsible people will continue to allow access to their firearms by inappropriate people (children or whomever), and responsible people won’t. Putting a law on the book changes nothing, and only further criminalizes otherwise law abiding people. I don’t see it as a slippery slope, I see it as right off the friggin edge of the cliff.

        • Yes he stated again that they do, because safe storage laws typiaclly have a clause in them that says that in order to ensure compliance, police can preform unannounced inspections without any type of warrant. This would be an end run around the fourth amendment protection against warrantless searches.

          It would certainly be an attempted end-run around the Fourth Amendment, but I have a very difficult time that it would stand up to a legal challenge.

        • Garibaldi, in Washington state, in the 2013 legislative session (immediately after Sandy Hook), legislation was proposed that included safe storage laws AND a mandatory annual compliance inspection by the Sheriff’s department. It failed but it was proposed and will be by the gun control advocating zealots. Safe storage laws lead to intrusive compliance inspections. Even if you think it’s ‘the responsible thing to do’ there are many considerations that, as a gun owner, I don’t want to leave to some outsider to decide for me and my family. Have you read the stories of the ~12 years olds who have used their parents’ firearms to defend themselves and their family members? Those scenarios are real. It’s my job as a parent to train my kids to be responsible and to determine at what age and under what conditions they should have access to firearms. That pathetic, lying, hypocrite, Shannon Watts, and her handler, Bloomberg, would be more than happy to decide who gets access to what firearms, at what age and under what circumstances.

    • So how does one keep a shotgun or handgun for self defense safely stored and within easy access at the same time? If someone is breaking down my door at 3 AM I don’t have the luxury of fumbling for a key or a combination in the dark.

      Before you show me some amazing quick access safe, remember that people are on a budget and usually cannot afford to double the cost of their weapon by buying a special law complying safe to accompany it.

      • If they can afford the gun, they can also afford a small safe to put it in. I have one which opens very quickly and it only cost half of what my gun costs, so “double” is a bit of an exaggeration.

        • The logic of “If you cannot afford it you shouldn’t have it” is completely counter to the protection of a Right. If something is a Right then you always have it.

        • Poor people have the 2A as well. Your assertions seek to deny the rights of the less affluent. You elitist scum.
          That attitude is likely to disenfranchise people more than anything.

        • On the note. Are you aware that this blog ran an article some months ago that many of those “small, quick access” safes on the market can be defeated by a paper clip…. You might want to look into how safe you bedside safe actually is…. As I recall everything named Stackon can be broken into in under a half a minute. What’s the point of wasting money on a fast access safe if it doesn’t keep anyone out?

        • If they can afford the gun, they can also afford a small safe to put it in. I have one which opens very quickly and it only cost half of what my gun costs, so “double” is a bit of an exaggeration.

          Unless they can’t afford a small safe to put it in, or don’t want to put it in a safe. What problem are we trying to solve again?

      • If the guns are in your control, they’re safe. If someone else can access them because you left them alone unlocked and little billy decided to play cops and robbers then you’re guilty.

        • If the guns are in your control. and someone bigger and better armed comes along…oops, guns are no longer in your control. I guess that means you are guilty. Maybe we should just make guns illegal, and solve that problem too, while we are busy enacting silly laws.

      • If they can afford the gun, they can also afford a small safe to put it in.

        So, all of the St. Louis County residents who have become new gun owners over the past few weeks – most of whom, I would guess, are economically lower-class residents of north county – must be required to come up with the scratch to increase the cost of their investment by a minimum of 50-100%, merely to exercise their constitutionally protected rights?

        And for those who have purchased long guns, that investment becomes 100-200% minimum.

        • @Garibaldi: A couple of weeks ago I forgot to spin the dial on a safe. It didn’t have guns, just national secrets. Stuff happens and Mr. Murphy will be having fuun when the cops show up unannounced in your home.

    • Ok, I live alone, no kids – my doors are locked.

      The handgun in my nightstand is secure. Why do I need to invest in any more “safes”?

      Anybody who gains access to my firearms is by definition an intruder, all a “safe” will do is 1) scream open me I have valuables & 2) delay them getting the goods by a few minutes.

      All it is is a barrier to entry buy thousand dollar gun buy 3 thousand dollar safe to protect it. I don’t think so.

      Now that said, yes, if a person “allows” their firearm to be handled and somebody is injured they could be charged with negligence. That’s the crime – something that “happens”; not something that COULD have happened.

      You COULD have slipped and broken your neck this morning. Yup as much dead, as this is an actual crime.

      • Your doors are always locked 100% of the time? You never forget?

        You never have visitors, ever?

        This isn’t only about children. It’s also about curious people who have not had any firearm training and who probably don’t even know the “finger off the trigger” rule.

        • How about lock the door to the room with the gun in it when visitors come. Or CCarry it while they are in the home.

        • Not having your door locked is probably a violation of the safe storage laws. Off with your head!

        • Curious visitors? Really? I’m supposed to baby grown adults now too? Come off it. Perhaps I should lock up my knives and power tools just to be safe….

          I get if children are in the house and I most definitely do lock up my firearms, but to insinuate that a single guy in a home with no kids should have to worry about visitors “playing with his guns”, that’s stretching it.

        • @Garibaldi, maybe he’s more selective than you are.

          Nobody walks around my home. Nobody. And yes, I have several safes.

        • We have a word for “curious visitors” who snoop through your things in our society…
          We call them burglars. It’s against our laws to come into my home and take my things. If they are in a safe or not. Why should guns get special legal treatment over everything else I might own. Why don’t we mandate that everyone keep everything they own in a safe inside their home?

        • Are you insane?

          Doors locked or not- without permission they are an intruder.

          Besides, I could “forget to lock the safe”— cause that’s never happened( oh wait, what was this article again), or leave the angle grinder or crowbar laying near it.

          So sure, how many layers of protection should I be forced to have? A front door that I could forget to lock + a safe… But I could forget to lock the safe too, so better mandate that my safe be installed in a vault. Crap… What If I forget to lock the vault?

          Safe storage laws are nothing but a feel good measure, safes unless they cost several thousand dollars are not worth their weight as scrap metal.

        • @ Garibaldi
          Do I lock my doors all the time and never forget? Yes I do but that should not matter, as a lock is only a deterrent. Every single lock can fail or be breached. Do I get visitors? From time to time, but I can assure you that they can’t go wandering around my home, especially where they can get to my firearms. If they do, they aren’t visitors.
          Could I afford a safe after I just bought a gun? Not always.There have been times when I scraped and saved for a long time to get that gun and I had to wait till the next payday just for the ammo, but feel free to advise me on what I can or can’t afford seeing as you know more about my finances than I. By the way, I do own safes. Two of which are biometric, specifically to hold my pistols. I bought these when my wife was pregnant. They suck, plain and simple and I do not have more spending money to replace them nor do I want to be fumbling in the dead of night with keys, dials or codes.
          As far as your comment that we don’t want to seem irresponsible, I could not care less about what other people think of me. I know my responsibilities and take them very serious, weather firearms related or not. I have no time to worry about how I am perceived.

        • I laughed a lot when i read this.

          Your doors are always locked 100% of the time? You never forget?

          You never have visitors, ever?

          This isn’t only about children. It’s also about curious people who have not had any firearm training and who probably don’t even know the “finger off the trigger” rule.

          My visitors don’t pick up and touch my guns without permission. If they do, they are friends and family not visitors. Locking the door has nothing to do with it. If a person invited or not comes in my house and hurts himself or others by HIS negligence (not mine). Why would I be at fault? We are putting the gun on a pedestal with these comments you are making and acting like it is some magical instrument. If he came in my house, picked up a kitchen knife and then fell on it – is it my fault? I can’t believe i’m actually debating this point.

        • Where do you draw the line Garibaldi?

          Lets mandate safe storage for firearms by rule of law. What about the thousands of other hazardous items in ones home? Draw the line for me. Why one but not the other?

        • Actually, this is about freedom and self-determination, and the government having no business telling law-abiding, private citizens how to live their lives, or how to exercise their rights.

          If you want to store your firearms in a safe that you have purchased, more power to you. Nobody has the right to tell anyone else how to store their firearms.

          Personally, I want a gun safe. I have priced out what will fit into our budget, and would be suitable for my needs. The total cost is approximately twice what I paid for my last long gun – a purchase that I took six months to purchase, until I could afford it. And even at that cost, the safe would provide only minimal deterrence to a thief. A high-quality safe would cost 2-3 times as much.

          My plan is to purchase this safe when I can afford it, and then get 10 years of use out of it – at which time, I will have saved enough to get a truly high-quality safe that will hopefully be the last I ever need to buy.

          My point is this: what business does the government have in any of the above? If I choose to store my long tuns on a rack in my closet, what concern is that of the government?

          It’s none of the government’s business.

    • Well I knew my post wasn’t exactly going to be popular, but I also wasn’t expecting some of what I got.

      A few people did make some good points, which I will think about. A few others – well, not so much.

      I was accused of being “willfully ignorant or naive” – yet locking up guns was compared to locking knives and power tools. Well if you cannot see that guns are more dangerous than power tools, who is being willfully ignorant now?

      As for “passing a law with a no-warrant search clause built in” – that’s a straw man argument. I never said we should allow that kind of law.

      But my favorite one was the poster who called me an “elitist scum” because I supposedly said “if they can’t afford something then they should not have it”. I’d love to have someone point me to exactly where I said that. Talk about being willfully ignorant.

      I think I’ll give this a rest now. Like I said, a few (a very few) posters made rational and sane arguments that I will have to think about. Perhaps I might even end up changing my mind.

      • Guns are no more dsngeroud than power tools.
        You claimed if someone can afford s gun, they can afford a safe. Not always, only an elitist would use safe storage as a tool to disarm the common folk.

      • Guns are no more dangerous than power tools.
        You claimed if someone can afford s gun, they can afford a safe. Not always, only an elitist would use safe storage as a tool to disarm the common folk.

      • Garibaldi,

        I was accused of being “willfully ignorant or naive” – yet locking up guns was compared to locking knives and power tools. Well if you cannot see that guns are more dangerous than power tools, who is being willfully ignorant now?

        There are many thinks in the house that can be dangerous to a child. (E.G. Firearms, gasoline can, Bottle of MEK, Can of brake disk cleaner, Bottle of “denatured” alcohol, bottle of Muriatic acid, swimming pools, etc). Many of these things are extremely deadly and even more so for persons of smaller size.

        Please elaborate on why a law should be passed for firearms but not for any of these other items. It is arguable that can of gasoline is much more dangerous to a small child than an unattended (and likely unloaded) firearm. Where do you draw the line on laws that should be passed for safety within the home?

        I have a two year old and I worry about stairs. So we have these baby gates installed. I’m very diligent about having them closed and locked at all times. Do I think there should be a law for it? Absolutely not. Every child is different and learn things at different times. Where do you draw a line for the age at which a baby gate should not be required?

        I have a garage full of stuff that a two year old should not be messing with. There is no way for me to secure all that stuff (chemicals, overhead storage of significant weight, electric start lawnmowers). There is just too much. So I keep the door to the garage locked and closed. Do I think there should be a law requiring I do so? Absolutely not.

        This is a matter of personal responsibility within the home and cannot be legislated, because laws are in black and white, and life is in color. Educating my child on hazards within my home is part of my job. Right now, he is simply too young to understand those hazards or even understand my explanation of those hazards. Therefore, we restrict his access until we have deemed his understanding to a sufficient level that he can be educated on those hazards.

        Requiring that everyone secure their firearms in a safe is a vast blanket-wide restriction that affects everyone (even those that should not be applicable), when the decision is better left to personal responsibility of the adults of the home.

        As for “passing a law with a no-warrant search clause built in” – that’s a straw man argument. I never said we should allow that kind of law.

        Fine. But I would really like an explanation for good justification why a law like that should be passed.

        But my favorite one was the poster who called me an “elitist scum” because I supposedly said…

        I agree. Name calling doesn’t afford itself to constructive debate.

        “if they can’t afford something then they should not have it”. I’d love to have someone point me to exactly where I said that. Talk about being willfully ignorant.

        You stated: “If they can afford the gun, they can also afford a small safe to put it in.”

        This statement is not logically true. Just because they can afford a gun, doesn’t mean they can afford a safe, nor does it justify that storage within a safe should be mandated.

        I think I’ll give this a rest now. Like I said, a few (a very few) posters made rational and sane arguments that I will have to think about. Perhaps I might even end up changing my mind.

        I apologize for the comments and bold statements of others if they were construed as rude and out of line and likely some of them were. But I think I speak for a lot of people here when I say that we are a freedom seeking group. We want more freedom and more responsibility. Not less freedom and less responsibility.

        In my honest opinion, having a safe storage law for firearms would do little to actually force “irresponsible” parents to either educate their children or remove access to firearms that would would pose a risk. Irresponsible parents are by definition irresponsible, and would likely not follow the law anyways. Furthermore, the law is unenforceable unless home inspections were allowed, and if allowed is easily abused against gun owners as described in my comment here:

        http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/11/robert-farago/brit-loses-shotgun-license-failing-close-cabinet-lock/#comment-2003664

      • I was accused of being “willfully ignorant or naive” – yet locking up guns was compared to locking knives and power tools. Well if you cannot see that guns are more dangerous than power tools, who is being willfully ignorant now?

        And what of the household items (and hazards) that are demonstrably more dangerous/fatal than firearms?

        Accidental firearm fatalities are a blip on the radar. What public good is advanced by safe-storage laws?

    • So… how would they enforce it Garibaldi?

      1) Anonymous tip from visitor. Thank you probable cause. Now they can go in since someone has affirmed you are in violation of your safe storage laws. Also, lets take a look around while we are in your house.

      2) If you tell everyone you support safe storage laws and then they enact it, do you think there would be no provision for the enacted law for inspections? Why would they simply have a safe storage law with no provisions for inspections. It defeats the whole point.

      3) Grandpa lets the cops in for a discussion about the rowdy neighbors during an unannounced visit. Cops see a shotgun in the corner of the room. Grandpa is in violation of the “firearm safe storage act” and it’s time to confiscate and revoke his gun rights privileges regardless of who actually has access to what within his home.

      Are we going to pass a law for storage of home chemicals as well? Maybe we need tiny little locks on the kitchen cutlery block – need a law for that too. Swimming pool fencing – law for that.

      Safety within my house is my business Garibaldi. And if someone broke into my house and took my gun that wasn’t in a safe (even though it was safely locked in my home) – that is a criminal matter, not a public safety issue.

      Owning a gun is a serious responsibility, and we should admit that and take what goes along with it. Properly securing your firearms is one of those things.

      Properly educating children regarding the hazards of life is a serious responsibility as well, just a little more difficult to regulate/legislate.

    • So she we have safe storage laws for household cleaning chemicals? Laundry detergent? Kitchen knives? You know, all manner of things that a child could poison or harm themselves with? If I have a power saw in my home, should there be a law that I have to keep it locked up and inaccessible in the event a child enters? As for the notion that such laws won’t lead to fourth amendment violations, all it takes is a law that does do so, and then a court that upholds said law.

      Don’t think it can’t happen. We had the SCOTUS by a 5-4 uphold the 2nd Amendment and free speech. In each case, it came very close to going the other way.

      • Don’t forget that many of those other things prove more dangerous than guns every year. The focus on gun laws is never about safety.

  3. Let’s not come to the brits aid when they’re overrun with Muslim hoards. Like we did a couple times last century. V for Vendetta…

      • What are you talking about? The only way that the Brits are our “ally” is when it comes to bombing children in Whogivesakrapistan. When it comes to freedom / civil rights, they’re always telling us that we’re “backwards” and “inbreds” for thinking people should have any rights.

      • @ Publius, I don’t recall any Brit PM “always telling us that we’re “backwards” and “inbreds.” If you know otherwise, please post the site here. Otherwise, STFU.

        • Ah, Ralphie. I’m sorry that you miss out on anything the Brits have to say about free speech, gun rights, religion, etc. It’s not my job to be your baby sitter, I’m sure you can type in the Google machine and find more results than there are liberals in California.

  4. “Sorry constable, I must have left it unlocked to answer the door…”

    Victim surcharges are an additional fee to support victims’ services programs. Just another tax.

    In CO we have: Fines, Court Costs, Sheriff’s Fee, Juror fees, Brain Injury Fund, Victims’ Programs Surcharges, Probation Fees, EHM Fees. Sometimes, if you catch the right case, the fees and costs will exceed the fine.

    • The fee’s are a scam. I got a drag racing ticket for driving down a two lane road that had about 15 people pulled over for drag racing. I told the cop I wasn’t here for any drag race I just drove down the road after they had stopped everyone, he called me a liar and told me he recorded me drag racing with the camera he showed me on the dash (I saw the screen with it recording my car parked in front of his). so I paid my family lawyer $1200 to fight the ticket, the cops claimed they don’t have cameras (liars) then I had to come back two more times to court for their non existent witness before the case was thrown out and I was still charged court fees. Should of taken the cop to court for writing a false ticket but I was informed by my lawyer I would be harassed by the cops in every surrounding town.

  5. He said his client only used the shotguns if he went rabbit shooting but the rifle was a vastly more powerful weapon. Really? How so? I understand the rifle has more range. I think in England the largest rifle cartridge you can have is a .270 Winchester.

    • I don’t really understand what that statement is all about anyway. Who cares about the rifle being more powerful than his shotgun. Seems to have nothing to do with what happened to him. Why this comment ? Also, does that fact that he lost his shotgun license mean he can keep his rifle, or not ? These British folks need to get off their asses and protest this kind of thing. Their gun laws are a bad joke anyway. Why restrict guns to law abiding citizens when the criminals can get them? And why pick on a guy like this rather than use that time and resources to actually fight crime ? What the heck is going on over there ? The gun owners need to fight for a 2nd amendment in GB.

  6. “The moment you make it a crime to fail to store your firearm in a legally prescribed manner is the moment you invite Johnny Law (a.k.a., the police) into your home to ensure compliance. And that could very well be an unannounced inspection.”

    No. Please back this up with American examples, not British ones where they do not have the 4th Amendment. To do otherwise is intellectually dishonest.

    There is a variety of situations wherein the police may enter your house and observe a violation of this kind but none of them fall under the implication here, which is that the police could force you to let them enter your house without a warrant just to check if you’ve secured your gun. As it stands, safe storage laws basically function to punish someone whose failure to secure their firearms led to them being used improperly or stolen.

  7. I’m sending this to my brother in law. He has a couple of “fowling pieces” that he uses on a regular basis to shoot critters trying to get to his chickens. He explained the laws there. Quite intrusive and restrictive.
    When he visited here in August, we took him in the hills to shoot everything from .22 to .50. Oh, and several pounds of tannerite.
    His mind was blown.

  8. I’m shocked at how many people think that our 4th Amendment rights are secure in this nation. The NSA collects all sorts of data on us, police can search homes for a host of reasons from exigent searches to parole compliance to welfare checks, we have thousands of no knock raids a year (Ares Armor is suing the ATF on one), NYPD stop and frisk, etc. I’m not saying every search is a bad one, or that every warrant is based on lies, but some of the folks on this site really need to wake up and acquaint themselves with reality: we have dirty searches in this nation.

    Even if we had perfect warrant compliance, there are still dirty cops, statist judges, and idiot laws on the books. Heck we have the TSA groping old ladies and pecker-checking passengers on body scanners. I don’t see any warrants in that equation.

    Anyone who thinks the 4th Amendment is safe in this nation, or that safe storage laws couldn’t have a warrantless search feature written in, is a dumba$$.

    • I don’t think (?) anyone here is claiming that the fourth amendment is “safe” today; rather, I see people arguing that unannounced inspections – i.e. warrantless inspections – to ensure compliance with safe-storage laws would not pass constitutional muster if/when they actually happen, and are challenged in court.

      I have at least enough faith to trust that the courts would still view such an egregious violation of the fourth amendment as a violation. NSA data mining aside, pretty much every other fourth-amendment violation has been “justified” on the basis of some sort of articulated probable cause. Under current court decisions, mere exercise of a right does not constitute reasonable suspicion, much less probable cause, of unlawful activity.

      If I were being Pollyanna-ish, I would claim that the underlying safe-storage laws themselves would be deemed unconstitutional.

    • “Anyone who thinks the 4th Amendment is safe in this nation, or that safe storage laws couldn’t have a warrantless search feature written in, is a dumba$$.”

      I’ll go you one step further. Anyone that thinks the 4th Amendment exception would have to be written into the law for violations to occur is missing a lot of puzzle pieces.

      Here’s a fun one just to show an example of a 4th Amendment violation (case from 2011):

      “Parents Tasered, Sprayed, Handcuffed – as Kids Watch”

      http://app.response.hslda.org/e/es.aspx?s=775692352&e=255288&elq=1624770eab864696b4ba675d32147c5e

      Incident has resulted in a federal lawsuit. From the article,

      “The suit charges Glidden and White with unlawfully forcing their way into the home of HSLDA members Laura and Jason Hagan on September 30, 2011, in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights.”

      This home invasion brought to you not by ‘failing to secure a gun,’ but by an alleged “messy home” investigation by CPS.

      Also, from the article:

      “At Jason and Laura’s trial, the judge determined that White and Glidden had violated the Fourth Amendment when they forcibly entered the Hagans’ home without a warrant. “The State has not offered sufficient, if indeed any, evidence of an exception that would justify a warrantless entry,” the judge wrote in his ruling. The case against Laura and Jason was dismissed.

      All too often, law enforcement officers and child-welfare workers act as if the Fourth Amendment does not apply to CPS investigations. They are wrong.

      • Oh, and another fun little tidbit from that same story:

        “The officers also sprayed the Hagans’ dog with chemical agent and threatened to shoot it if it didn’t stop barking.

  9. Actually, the RCMP, which is somewhat the Canadian equivalent to the FBI, is the only branch that could enforce an inspection but yet, without a warrant I still wouldn’t let them in. And if i’m inside my house, there’s most certainly a firearm out, if not on my hip (I dry fire A LOT for IPSC) and it’s completely legal. As a Canadian gun owner and gun shop/range worker, I consider us to be alright compared to what’s happening in Britain or Kalifornia.

  10. Florida has a decent safe storage law. As I understand it, you have to leave a loaded firearm unlocked (not in a locked box or with a trigger lock) in a place under your control AND have reason to know someone under 16 is likely to get to the firearm without his parents’ permission. If you do this AND the minor is found with the gun in public or threatening somebody with it, then you can be convicted of a second degree misdemeanor. Nothing happens if the kid who gets the gun was on the premises unlawfully. The law is a little unclear about whether it’s a violation for your own kids to leave the house with your own gun or use it improperly at home.

    In other words, somebody else’s kid – who is not breaking in – has to get your loaded gun without his parents’ permission and get caught with it before you get in trouble. The crime doesn’t happen until the kid gets caught with the gun. You’re free to leave your own loaded guns out around your own kids, as long as they don’t do something stupid with them. Seems reasonable enough to me.

  11. There is a huge problem no one has mentioned.
    The government has already managed to manage that as purchase, with our own funds, auto and health insurance.
    They conceded the field before you knew their was a battle. Now it’s all a rear-guard action, trying to delay HOW FAST our rights disappear.

    We must oppose them ALL THE TIME, WITH FORCE. In every way. I know this won’t make me popular, but if you abandon the principle, you’ve given up the argument. We could be ordered to buy Fords now… no Toyotas allowed! Or we must buy Roundup-ready GMO gain… or electric cars. Or rail passes instead of cars.

    Shoot first, forget the questions.

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