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A United States military veteran, of Northern Mariana decent, has filed a complaint in federal court, asking for damages because his Second Amendment rights have been denied. The damages appear to be quite clear, as his guns were confiscated upon his arrival in the Islands in July of 2007, and the Department of Public Safety has refused to release two rifles to him, even after the issue of a CNMI Firearms, Ammunition, Explosive’s identification card in September of 2007 . . .


 DPS withheld all firearms and ammunition until the issuance of a CNMI Firearms, Ammunition, Explosive’s identification card on Sept. 20, 2007, withholding certain firearms and ammunition after the issuance of the ID. Two firearms were sent to the Guam Police Department Armory for holding while the ammunition is still being held by the DPS’ firearms section, Murphy said

This is an interesting lawsuit, in that it appears to be a “pro se” effort, where Mr. Murphy filed the complaint himself, without the aid of counsel. From the comments section:

Mr. Murphy, who is a person of Northern Marianas Descent, simply filed a complaint in court, which is his right. That is not easy for a non-lawyer to do. This is a public document, and the press is free to quote from it.

Murphy attempted to regain access to his property for years, all documented in the lawsuit. The permitting authority refused to do so repeatedly. This looks like the proper set up for a decent suit, but I am no fan of pro se suits. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens, with the Radich case already well under way, and the defendant in that suit already admitting that the court will likely rule against him with a summary judgement:

District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona will preside over a hearing on the motion for summary judgment on March 5, 2015.

Anticipating an unfavorable ruling from the federal court, Deleon Guerrero and Zarones have asked the Legislature to act “swiftly and without hesitation” to pass an alternative gun control law that is currently pending in the Senate.

Not surprisingly, the anti-Second Amendment comments are full of personal attacks and misinformation. That’s what happens when the facts and the law aren’t on your side.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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  1. Stealing personal property and refusing to return it.
    Sounds like a perfect case. I hope someone with good legal knowledge will step in and help him.

  2. The ignorance is strong in the comments. They think that they are somehow immune to the Constitution. Somebody needs to put those clowns in their place with some hefty jail sentences and perhaps and execution or two for corruption and violating the civil rights of their fellow citizens.

  3. The Marianas are like the USVI, a beautiful place spoiled by the inhabitants.

    Both are corrupt from top to bottom. There is no government function not ruled by nepotism and family/tribal connections. Nothing. This guy has not a snowball’s chance on that island, because though he was connected enough to get a card, he was not connected enough to get the guns. Imagine your favorite small town, with big piles of Uncle Sugar’s money and no supervision.

    Seriously, our protectorates, territories, and commonwealths are banana republics at most generous. Sure, they have some theoretical protection under US law, but that really only extends fully to incorporated territories. This guy could win 50 Federal cases, it will amount to nothing because there is no one there to enforce the law.

  4. I think he has a fair shot in federal court, since his right to return of the firearms seems pretty clear, at least on a conversion theory. Whether he prevails on a 2A basis for civil damages is a separate question, but it is notable that Guam very quickly went shall issue after Peruta, and he is not claiming a right to carry, simply a right to keep, which is fully within the scope of Heller as an established right..

  5. Ahh US territories… all the benefits of being US citizens while getting to dodge all the responsibilities to their people. Nice.

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