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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Mass Gun Grab?

I just ran across a story via Weapon of Mass Distraction. The precipitating event was the shooting of a police officer, for which there were apparently no suspects, nor was the round recovered.

Here is at least one version (i.e., the Wisconsin Gun Owners Website) of the events (scroll to 7-29-04 if you need to):

Police evacuated citizens from their homes within a quarantined area near Smith Elementary School Saturday night (July 17, 2004) to conduct a broad gun sweep of the neighborhood following the shooting of Oshkosh police officer Nate Gallagher.

Residents reported returning home from area shelters -- where they were herded by police -- to find their guns gone.

Others watched in awe as police took their firearms after giving police consent to search. Some were told by police their firearms would be subjected to ballistics tests, and would be returned.
The hitch:

"However, the bullet that hit officer Gallagher was not found," said Corey Graff, executive director of Wisconsin Gun Owners Inc. "So how can police conduct ballistics tests if there's no bullet with which to match the results? It defies logic."
My first thought would be that the police could at least claim that they wanted the balistics on record in case they did find the round...but that seems like it might just run against the old innocent until proven gulity thing.

According to this story from the local CBS affiliate:

After The Shooting, The Swat Team Confiscated Firearms From At Least Two Homes In The Neighborhood. There Is No Word As To Whether The Guns Were Used In The Shooting.
I cannot find any confirmation of what the Wisconsin Gun Owners website claims:

Some witnesses said the whole neighborhood was evacuated by force and citizens were being told – not asked, but told – to hand over their guns. Some weren’t even asked.
Even more disturbing (again, if true):

In a subsequent report, another resident, who worked the late night weekend shift, reported he came home to find a scene that looked like his home had been burglarized — he said personal belongings were thrown about — and his gun safe was empty.


An elderly woman said she woke up to find police — who were reported to be dressed in black, quasi-military gear — conducting a search in her home in the early morning hours.


One resident in the neighborhood may have found himself the subject of the investigation simply by refusing to consent to a search (entirely within his rights) according to the news report.


Wesner, one of the brave gun owners to speak out against the rash of gun confiscations that occurred after the shooting, said police confiscated his guns after entering his home without a search warrant.
And to be fair:

Doris Eichel was another 1700 block resident whose house was searched, but she said officers were very polite.

“They were very courteous,” Eichel said. “I have no complaints.”
Let me reiterate that I am not yet comfortable with the information I have been able to find. The straight news stories from (umm..) 'respectable' Media outlets suggest that the police might have acted aggressively to find a cop shooter. This is at the very least understandable.

However, the Wisconsin Gun Owners website suggests something much more disturbing. I'll see if I can find more info as it becomes available.


As of 11:00pm I have been unable to find any new factual info on this issue. Here are a few blogs that I have found with some good analysis etc:

Stop The Bleating has a good post with some possible future insider info so check back with them from time to time.

And, I'm totally with Random Nuclear Strikes on this one:

If you have heard my guns have been taken, you will know I am dead.
I couldn't have said it better myself.

8/4/04 9am

Still nothing by Google (or any other search engine). Anyone else run across info?


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