This question was published with permission from the author. The question email poses the question of gun confiscation during time(s) of civil unrest and during a disaster where any government is capable of reaching out and confiscating guns “for the good of the people.”
I’ve read your blog for several weeks now and found it well thought out.
But in regards to your plans for firearms, in the event of an emergency (SHTF or something leading up to TEOTWAWKI) do you *really* believe that you will be allowed to keep your firearms if such an event happens?
Remember that after Katrina, New Orleans police confiscated all [legal] firearms and held on to them long after the immediate emergency was over. It wasn’t until the NRA sued and won did people finally get them back.
And if there is social unrest predicated on an severe economic down-turn (as many very credible pundits believe there will be in 2011), goverment at the local, state and/or Federal level will most likely try a firearms confiscation as they try to maintain order — just at the very time you may need them (even if you don’t “bug out”). Can’t count on the NRA or the courts to support the 2nd ammendment in the event of such an emergency.
I’m presuming you have purchased them from legitimate sources (not asking, not judging) so they are licensed/registered/etc and easily tracked down.
And even if you don’t leave but are forced by circumstances to leave your home for ‘offical’ shelter like in a school or armory (or stadium as in New Orleans), I doubt you can take your firearms in. Afterall, it would make a statement to walk into a school gym with a duffle in one hand and a rifle slung over your shoulder!
So while I agree issues of defense can’t be ignored, can such *really* be relied upon to be available if/when needed?
Here was my answer. I do not claim to be right, and I hope it answered his question well:
You pose a few good questions and have some good points. Here is what I think. And, take this with a grain of salt, because this is just one man’s opinion.
First, if there is a predictable disaster geographically isolated disaster not unlike Katrina, I can see our government trying to confiscate guns. If there is an unpredictable disaster, such as an earthquake, etc. There will be no time to do so, and local and state LEOs will be too busy reacting to the situation. It will be mobilized federal enforcement that will be mobilized to handle situations such as confiscation, in my opinion.
As for civil unrest, well, that is another story. It is an unpredictable man made “situation.” And, if the situation is large enough, it will need to be contained before LEOs come to your door confiscating your guns. Again, I feel this will be geographically and demographically isolated.
As for official shelter’s, I would presume that everyone will be thoroughly searched on the way in. My friend who checked into a men’s shelter, must be back by 8:00 p.m. every evening, and CANNOT bring in food, a multi-tool, knife, or anything the city of NY deems a weapon. They took the mainstay rations and multi-tool I gave him away when they searched him on his way back into the shelter. Everyone gets searched when they go back inside. But they do not want ex-convicts or those hungry to fight over a cupcake. Which, ultimately makes sense to me. That said, I can see the SAME thing happening in a super-dome situation. No one will be allowed to bring food, knife, or gear in that is of a consumable or defensive nature. With that, everyone will be made to depend on the government as a resource.
As for my guns, all of them have been legitimately purchased. I hold several CCW permits. Getting caught with an illegal handgun is a felony offence, and I will lose all my CCW permits, as well as never be allowed to own one again, legally. Um, not exactly high on my list of offenses.
Now that said. I know you are an avid reader of the blog, and I certainly appreciate that. I also appreciate your comments and input. They help me think through my own processes.
I urge everyone to look for a Bug Out Location. Maybe it is a friends home 100 miles away, maybe it is your parent’s house, or a cousin, etc. Maybe it is a hotel room or your summer home on a lake in the country. Honestly, I do not care. I am out of Dodge, and I suggest if you can, you get out too. It may be the difference between a lifestyle of living (and not just being alive) vs. waiting for aid. I am not an advocate of waiting for aid.
In conclusion, I am an advocate of bugging out, as you know “if” you live in the suburbs or in an urban environment. To me, it makes sense. In addition, you have to be astute enough to understand what is happening as it begins, or have the foresight enough to get the hell out of town when there is a prediction of a hurricane, 10 days of hard rain, prediction of five feet of snow in three days, civil unrest, or any other man made disaster. Now, there is no guarantee I am going to actually get to my destination. There is no guarantee that I am going to be able to get out of town. But, if I do, gear, food, guns, etc. come with me. Guns go for various reasons. One, yes, is protection and security. Conversely, the other is offensive in nature, and that is hunting and food. Being from a rural town in the country, I have no problem with going out in the woods and “bringing dinner home,” per se.
- Here is a link to the 2006 Reuters story on another blog about gun confiscation during an emergency: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0714–06.htm