Tag Archives: Law Enforcement

New California Law Allows Seizure of Legal Guns Without Notice in 2016

A new gun law taking effect on Jan. 1, 2016 in California will allow for the seizure of an individual’s guns for a 21-day “holding period” if a complaint is submitted, and if a judge determines that the individual is in need of a mental health evaluation.

Assembly Bill No. 1014 authorizes “gun violence restraining orders” which lets law enforcement seize the firearms of an individual if a judge “finds that there is reasonable cause to believe that the subject of the petition poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to himself, herself, or another by having in his or her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm.”

The law states that the petition to have an individual’s guns seized can be filed by “an immediate family member of a person or a law enforcement officer,” and that once granted by a judge, the petition can restrict an individual from “having in his or her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or ammunition.”

As previously reported, the bill was originally introduced in 2013 and it gained favor in May 2014 when 22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a shooting rampage, killing six people and injuring 14 others in Isla Vista, California. Rodger’s mother claimed she had raised concerns about her son’s mental state, but no action had been taken by law enforcement.

While California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country and it already lets licensed therapists recommend seizing a patient’s guns if they believe that patient is dangerous, it is now the first state to allow family members to petition for a seizure of firearms.

Other gun laws going into effect in California in 2016 will make it illegal for an individual with a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed weapon on the campus of a K-12 school or a college, and will require that all pellet, BB and airsoft guns can only be displayed in public if they contain special bright colored markers to differentiate them from real guns.

New Hampshire bill would end military-grade weapons in police hands

Many police departments have received military-grade weapons and hardware from the Pentagon and other government programs, but a New Hampshire bill would ban any police departments within the state from receiving these weapons.

Bill 407 states only the “state guard… with the approval of the governor and council,” has the ability to receive military-grade weapons from the government. The bill continues by saying, “no state agency or political subdivision of this state shall acquire, purchase, or otherwise accept for use any military-equipped vehicle or military grade hardware…”

Any weapons or equipment which are readily available to the public however will still be able to be used by the affected government agencies and departments.

Bill 407 would therefore make the Defense Department’s Program 1033 null within the state. Program 1033 allows the Department of Defense to transfer any excess of hardware in possession by the department to be transferred and distributed to law enforcement agencies across the U.S.

According to the Law Enforcement Support Office, since the inception of the program in 1997, about $5.1 billion worth of hardware has been given to police agencies across the country. In 2013 alone, about $450 million worth of equipment was given out to agencies.

The bill has already received wide-spread support within the state of New Hampshire as state representatives Michael Sylvia, Edmond Gionet, Bart Fromuth, and many more have co-sponsored the bill, according to the Tenth Amendment Center. Support for the bill within New Hampshire stretches across party lines as both Democrats and Republicans have co-sponsored the bill.

US Postal Service Surveillance Program Under Fire for Unjustified Snooping

Following leaks exposing the fact that the National Security Agency has been spying on Americans’ digital communications in an indiscriminate and warrantless fashion, SFGate is reporting that the United States Postal Service has also been compiling Americans’ mail records into a nationwide dragnet and giving those records to law enforcement agencies at all levels of government for reasons that are being called “unjustified.” Under the US Postal Service’s mail covers program, the cover of every piece of mail is photographed, and the subsequent image stored in a database just in case law enforcement might need it at a later date.

The data collected allows law enforcement and other government officials to monitor to whom and where an individual is sending mail. However, postal officials are not allowed to open mail and investigate its contents without a warrant. The Washington Post noted that, at a November 19 hearing before the House of Representatives, USPS Deputy Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb indicated that the agency she oversees approved 99.8 percent of last year’s 6000 outside requests by government officials for citizens’ mail records. An internal audit presented at the hearing noted that, in 13 percent of cases, the records requests were approved for inappropriate reasons. 20 percent of the requests were honored without approval from higher-ups, and officials ignored guidelines requiring them to purge records after an expiration date and conduct yearly reviews of the program. According to SFGate, the US Postal Service approved around 50,000 total requests for citizens’ mail records, including probes by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and internal queries by USPS officials.

In one case, the USPS allegedly approved a politically-motivated request by Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio for activist Mary Rose Wilcox’ mail records. Political opponents Wilcox and Arpaio are at odds with each other over their opposing views on immigration.

Timothy Edgar with the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University told The Washington Post that these revelations “shake our confidence in longstanding principles of privacy and civil liberties.”

The US Postal Service originally asked that Whitcomb not publicize her findings and argued that doing so would expose “investigative techniques and related information which could compromise ongoing criminal investigations.” When she did, the government-run mail carrier admitted that the criticisms in her report had merit and that it would work to resolve the issues, first by beginning to look more closely at records requests. Said a letter issued by the USPS on the subject, “All standard operating procedures will be reviewed, revised and adopted as practice.”


Norman Rockwell-Era Policemen Replaced By Domestic Army

martial law family

Historically in America, we have revered our civil servants: firemen, policemen, teachers, and numerous other professionals who keep our towns running.

Take policemen for example. In that Norman Rockwell version of America, the policeman was local, a part of our community. He was our neighbor, his kids were in Little League with ours, and he was in our Rotary meetings. There were human relationships there, a local sense of community pride and caring.

An alarming trend has been on the lips of hundreds of thousands of Americans. The trend was covered quite well in Radley Balko’s book, “Rise of the Warrior Cop”. The book documents the reversal of the “spirit” of the Posse Comitatus act of 1878. The Act restricted the powers of the Federal Government in using federal military personnel to enforce laws.

While the Act from 1878 does not legally cover DHS, a viral video in August shows a Marine Colonel at a Concord, NH town hall stating:
“What’s happening here is that we’re building a domestic military, because it’s unlawful and unconstitutional to use American troops on American soil,” he says in the video. “We’re building a domestic army, and we’re shrinking the military, because the government is afraid of its own citizens… We’re building an army over here, and I can’t believe that people aren’t seeing it. Is everybody blind?”

How did we get here?

Federal money has been pouring into local police forces all over the nation for years. The Pentagon started giving out riot gear as “freebies.” Local units accepted the Federal money. With that came, of course, riot gear training. The “1033 Program” gave out more than $500 million of military gear to U.S. police forces in 2011 alone.

More than 500 of BearCat’s, tank-like vehicles, have been sold by Lenco, its Massachusetts-based manufacturer by the end of 2011.


Training has involved Federal money paying for disparate counties and states to come together for exercises. These police units have been advised that they may be dispatched to other regions, or states, in the event of a large scale situation. During an event, the police may be from states away, with heightened vigilance due to being in a foreign environment.

When police have been trained to use riot gear, provided BearCat’s and tank-like vehicles, and taught to shoot with the “No Hesitation”targets, it’s no wonder news media has reported shocking stories of excessive force.

Law enforcement no hesitation targets

From pet dogs, to WWII vets with bean bag bullets, to the unarmed Connecticut woman that rammed barricades in Washington, D.C. two weeks ago, all were killed by police.

As writer Kristin Tate reported on Benswann.com on Friday, a mentally ill man, sitting in a chair in his driveway, shot by cops with four bullets to the stomach.

The question arises of cops being in a state of hyper-vigilance, due to the training and weapons provided.