Homeless people and firearms

This is a discussion on Homeless people and firearms within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Just curious how a homeless person secures their rights to bear arms. Is he or she exempt simply because they are homeless? Do they require ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Forscythe87's Avatar
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    Homeless people and firearms

    Just curious how a homeless person secures their rights to bear arms. Is he or she exempt simply because they are homeless? Do they require a CCW simply because they have no home to store their firearm?

    Lets say homeless person is a person thats mentally sane and drug free with no record. Are they not still entitled to own a firearm without the requirement of a ccw? Shouldn't they still be entitled to the rights our fathers gave them?

    Perhaps im being a little close minded, but I think the answers clear that they should. In a sense I feel their rights are being violated off of what i've read in my law books for my criminal justice classes. Would like some opinions on the matter.

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    Senior Member Array tbrenke's Avatar
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    Really? This is what you think about?
    I can honestly say that I have never stopped to consider the second amendment rights of a homeless person.

    BUT, if they live in AZ or AK, they are good to go.
    too bad they sold the gun for more booze or drugs.
    "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -1792, James Madison
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    So if a homeless person isn't crazy and is drug free then why are they living under a bridge.
    Mark Twain:
    The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a
    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    At the time the 2nd Amendment was drafted, "the people" as in "the right of the people" did not include vagrants and beggars. Such persons did not have the right to vote and were not an active part of civil defense. They were a drag on society, the source of crime and trouble, and mainly fit for being put in the public stocks and subjected to general abuse as a warning to the public at large.

    "But... but shockwave! Even if they are homeless, mentally ill, suicidal and high on drugs, they should still be given AR-15s with extended magazines!"

    Maybe it's just me, but advocating to jam loaded pistols into the pockets of homeless people just seems like a really, really bad idea.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Somebody tell me there's a law against panhandling while carrying a loaded firearm. lol
    Although a gun safe fitted for a cardboard box is a niche I don't believe has been tapped yet...

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    Out of curiosity, which other rights do you forfeit if you lose your home?

    First Amendment rights of free speech and religion?
    Fourth Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure?
    Fifth Amendment rights?
    Sixth Amendment right to due process?
    Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights?

    In this economy, there are a lot of folks out there who are a bad turn away from being homeless. They are still citizens.

    Are there homeless people who are, through actual mental defect or criminal history, ineligible to own a firearm? Of course. Is every homeless person so situated? No.

    Matt
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    IMHO, actually you pose a very good legal question. On the surface it may be seen as fodder for sarcasm, but the roots of your OP has much to do with the depth of "our" 2A rights.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

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    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    Out of curiosity, which other rights do you forfeit if you lose your home?

    First Amendment rights of free speech and religion?
    Fourth Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure?
    Fifth Amendment rights?
    Sixth Amendment right to due process?
    Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights?

    In this economy, there are a lot of folks out there who are a bad turn away from being homeless. They are still citizens.

    Are there homeless people who are, through actual mental defect or criminal history, ineligible to own a firearm? Of course. Is every homeless person so situated? No.

    Matt
    Quote Originally Posted by ppkheat View Post
    IMHO, actually you pose a very good legal question. On the surface it may be seen as fodder for sarcasm, but the roots of your OP has much to do with the depth of "our" 2A rights.
    I agree with both of these. I don't believe just because someone comes on hard times and loses their home, that they should lose their right to protect themselves. I've never (so far) heard of any law that says a homeless person has no 2A right or right to protect their self.
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    'Some good points here.

    I think the solution need not be complex: Let the laws that apply to people with homes, also apply to people without homes. I'm always wary of additional legislation that attempts to micro-manage our lives.

    Someone may object; "But a homeless person has no physical address?". Tough. They can use a friend or family member's address, or they can do without. By the same token that we need not specifically penalize a homeless person from owning a firearm, nor should we encourage or make it easier for them.

    I guess for me, it all boils back to that we each are responsible for our own actions. If we can ever get back to those basics (doubt it), things will get a lot better.
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    We don't need special laws giving special people special rights. There is no federal law against homeless people owning a firearm. They can always change their sign from "will work for food" to "I need a gun".
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    I don't think there is any law specifically preventing homeless people from having guns. Nor should there be.

    However... Maybe I'm horribly misinformed, but I do think the vast majority of them are probably mental ill and should be denied on that basis. Failing so badly to achieve the minimum standard of living most of us take for granted says something powerful about either mental capacity or judgment. I understand things happen and may result in temporary homelessness, but living in a box for more than a day is a very bad sign.

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    VIP Member Array boricua's Avatar
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    I think the OP has a valid question. Life is like a football...you never know which way is going to bounce. I live comfortable now, but may find myself homeless next year. Who knows? In that case, one thing that I want to have is at least my Glock on my hip.

    If now I feel that I need to have firearms for home defense or to walk the dogs, I am darn sure that I will need one if I have to live on the streets. IMO, if a homeless person can get one legally, he/she should get it. How they store it will be secondary; surviving and self-defense come first.
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    Member Array Forscythe87's Avatar
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    I mentioned the fictional homeless person as being drug free and mentally sane (not common but they are out there).

    The legal question that arises with me bringing up the question is the following:

    If a homeless person does not have a home he or she would most definitely be required to acquire a carry permit of some form. Considering leaving it anywhere else would violate laws in most states in regards to leaving a firearm easily accessible. Now I imagine it would not be so easy to obtain a carry permit when you do not hold an address and can not afford said permit. Now before anyone throws it out "if you cant afford a permit you cant afford a gun", perhaps said homeless person inherited a pistol and held onto it.

    The person still has the right to defend themselves, and has even more reason when they are thrust into a world where becoming a victim is highly increased.

    Consider a scenario before judging all homeless folks. Say you get divorced and get the pink slip at work. Best employment options at the time are McDonalds part time (which will not keep you in a home). Homeless shelters are filled to the brim so you are pretty much out of luck for a while. This could very well happen to any of us.

    The idea isn't to arm all homeless people but to instead bring up the idea that those that fit the criteria to own a firearm should have a viable legal means of doing so. In short, being homeless does indeed tie your hands behind your back in regards to your 2nd amendment rights.

    Im in the process of getting my carry permit, but feel considering the above that they should not be required. Perhaps some of the wise people around here can offer a good counter argument as to why permits are a good thing for LEGAL gun owners besides giving the government an account of who legally carries.

    P.S. I am not an advocate for homeless people. Again, just had the idea run across my mind since im taking a few basic law classes and find the issue an interesting one to debate.

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    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Wow, some of you are really isolated from the world.

    I've been there, done that.

    Nasty breakup with the girlfriend whom I was living with, and no liquid cash savings available. Working for a chain grocery store as an Administrative Assistant ($34k yr). All my stuff went into storage except for 6 days of clothing and personal hygiene items. REALITY - There is a lot of up front money to get an apartment. First and last months rent and deposit, then there are utilities deposits. Never mind any vehicle payments, insurance, and other monthly expenses you already have.

    I couch camped for 2.5 months until I had the money to get a place to live. Quite a few of those nights were spent in my pickup as I did not want to wear out any friendships I had (pride). If I was unemployed, or had no friends or family close by as I do now, I'd be doing day labor and living under a bridge.

    2 years ago the wife and I had an ugly, and was all but thrown out. I figured 2 weeks minimum to save the money for a place to rent. Again no liquid cash, Sole income for the household, and all my income was going towards paying the debts.

    There are a lot more sane, drug/alcohol free people living on the streets than you think. To presume a person that is homeless is a lower class person and not worthy of constitutional rights is IMO bigotry of the worst kind.

    So, those of you that presume that the constitution was written to exclude those people, please show me the clause that states that.
    Sticks

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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    So, those of you that presume that the constitution was written to exclude those people, please show me the clause that states that.
    Whatever it is that you do in this life, do not, under any circumstances, become a "Constitution" fetishist. That way lies madness.

    However, you can read deeply into the words of those who lived in the 1700s and get a sense of what life in those days was like. You can, if you are diligent, form some idea of what the people who drafted the Federalist papers were thinking. And, if you do that, you will gain the sense that "citizenship" wasn't some magic, golden gift you got from being born here. You didn't.

    Being a Citizen of the United States of America is something that you earned. Unfortunately, if you were a woman, a black person, an indentured servant, a prisoner, a native American, or a member of some similar marginalized group, you did not qualify. Over the course of our history as a nation, we've expanded the definition of "citizen" to become more inclusive. Google "suffrage" to get some idea of what women in this country had to struggle through just to get the right to vote.

    So, looking back, the idea that homeless people, vagrants, landless individuals should have access to firearms, is just plain ludicrous. In the eyes of the founders, you didn't have a stake in this nation and the Constitution did not apply to you if you were not "in the club." Being a citizen meant that you were invested in the nation. At bare minimum, you had to own property. So, to this way of thinking, only homeowners should have the right to firearms.

    Yep - if you rent an apartment, you don't qualify.

    Well, over the years, we've relaxed the requirements a bit. Today, women, black people, renters, Indians, such persons now can vote and they can own firearms. We've become more inclusive. But those concepts are modern and not at all what the founders envisioned. So keep that in mind. And to that extent, we can still decide who should or should not own firearms. It isn't a "god-given right." It's something we decide based on common sense.

    If some dude doesn't have an address, then no, sorry. No gun for you. If you want a roscoe, get yourself an address.

    If you do have firearms, but through some misfortune have lost your property and address and are now homeless, well, I won't take your weapons from you - but you acquired them before you fell through the floor. See the difference?
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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