Here we have a breath taking power grab only a modern government official can produce.
Update January 14,2009:
Apparently the DNR has forgotten about this little fandango from 2004.
Every one of the people killed had disarmed themselves because they obeyed Hunter Safety “Best Practices” and thought a stroll in the woods, even a heated argument, would not ever end in “shots fired”.
DNR to hunters: Hand over your guns on demand
Ex-hunter ed instructor says directive unconstitutional
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has a simple, blunt message for hunters in Wisconsin: When a DNR warden asks you to give up your legal firearm, do so, plain and simple, no matter what.
What’s more, that goes for all citizens, the agency has asserted. Citizens with firearms, the DNR argues, should always do exactly what law enforcement officers tell them to do, regardless of the circumstances of the situation.
To which one former hunter education instructor for the department has an equally simple and blunt response: The agency’s directive is unconstitutional, plain and simple, and citizens don’t have to hand over their firearms without any probable cause.
The first thing he teaches is, he said, when a person is on private property and a warden stops and asks to see a license, the first thing to do is ask the warden for his credentials. The second thing, Palan said, is to boot the warden off the property because he’s trespassing.
“And when they start throwing their weight around, you just reach in your pocket and dial 911 and have the police come out and have them removed,” he said.
Just as important, along with an ongoing non-DNR case in West Allis, the agency’s expression of support for the ability of police to take away legal firearms upon simple command has in effect opened the door for a de facto state policy for all law enforcement.
The question is, is it constitutional, or, as Palan contends, does the DNR’s position characterize an unconstitutional breach of a citizen’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure?
Simply asked, can law enforcement take a person’s legally carried firearm without any probable cause that a crime is being committed? Must a hunter in the field surrender his firearm just because a conservation warden tells him to?
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