Amateur Radio Operators - ARRL ARES "weapons policy"
Hey there all my fellow hams on this site. I have a interesting one for you. Being that ARES is an entirely volunteer organization and we could be asked to do anything from provide communications for a hospital or shelter after a disaster, watching a dam for a flood, going door to door doing welfare checks after a tornado, or whatever, what are your views on the ARRL's "no weapons of any kind" policy? We in WI are just now starting this fight because someone was open carrying with a HT and the wife of the sheriff made a bid deal out of "who was the new deputy?
Below is an e-mail that was just sent out by the ARRL Section Manager for Wisconsin. Personally I can think of a lot of situations where I would want a weapon if nothing else to protect me for wild animals while I am watching a dam, or what have you.
I’ve been reading the threads on the issue of carrying weapons while serving as an ARES member. I will clear up some misconceptions on this issue.
Wisconsin ARES management does not have any authority to formulate a policy of carrying weapons while supporting ARES. ARES is a registered program of ARRL and, as the parent organization of ARES, it is the ARRL who has declared that weapons have no place in ARES – not only in Wisconsin but nationally. I have been in communication with ARRL HQ several times on this issue presenting the what-ifs and the answer is always the same – no weapons allowed. Period.
From Chris Imlay, ARRL General Counsel:
Greetings, Don. Let me be very, very clear about this. We are not going to talk about choice here, or "rights" or anything else on this issue. There is no place within ARES for weapons of any type. No one in connection with ARES is to carry a weapon on their person at any time they are participating in any ARES activity whatsoever. We are not going to discuss this or negotiate this with anyone at any time. If this is a problem for anyone, then as Dan says they are welcome to withdraw from the ARES program. We do not want anyone participating in ARES while possessing a weapon outside their home or vehicle and if we hear about it the person will be thanked for their services and terminated. This is an ARRL program and weapons are no part of it whatsoever. We can't have any liability on this issue. Please tell your field appointees this.
73, Chris W3KD
This policy has the support of all the top management within ARRL, Central Division leaders, Wisconsin Section Manager, and Wisconsin ARES senior leadership. In addition, there has been consultation with Wisconsin Emergency Management.
Wisconsin ARES will adhere to this ARRL policy and we will discuss, at the April 28 Leadership conference, the impact it has on Wisconsin ARES and the adjustments that need to be made within Wisconsin ARES to continue as one of the best ARES organizations in the country.
I look forward to your responses....