ACLU defends gun owner's civil rights in FL

ACLU defends gun owner's civil rights in FL

This is a discussion on ACLU defends gun owner's civil rights in FL within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/...284,full.story OrlandoSentinel.com ACLU petitions court to get man's guns returned from Broward Sheriff's Office Police say Robert Weinstein, bereft over late wife's missing remains, "wanted ...

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  1. #1
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    ACLU defends gun owner's civil rights in FL

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/...284,full.story

    OrlandoSentinel.com

    ACLU petitions court to get man's guns returned from Broward Sheriff's Office

    Police say Robert Weinstein, bereft over late wife's missing remains, "wanted to blow his head off"

    By Linda Trischitta, Sun Sentinel

    7:13 PM EDT, July 15, 2010

    POMPANO BEACH

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    The American Civil Liberties Union is petitioning a court to help an 85-year-old man get his guns back from the Broward Sheriff's Office.

    Yes, you read that right.

    In what may be the first time, the ACLU says, it is advocating on behalf of a gun owner to get his weapons back. And they're doing so free of charge.

    That the ACLU, a long-time target of conservatives' scorn, is supporting gun ownership is "a breath of fresh air," said Marion P. Hammer, board member of the National Rifle Association.

    "It's all very interesting that the ACLU has now decided that all of the rights are worth defending, and it's a welcome change," said Hammer, a Florida lobbyist for the NRA and its former president.

    Is this new alliance a sign of the apocalypse?

    Not really, says Fort Lauderdale attorney Barry Butin, a cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Florida's Broward Chapter who is representing the gun owner, Pompano Beach retiree Robert Weinstein.

    Two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have affirmed the right to maintain guns in the home.

    "Under the Second Amendment, he has a right to have his guns in his house. He's not a convicted felon," Butin said. "It is unusual for the ACLU. But the ACLU supports all constitutional rights. We don't pick and choose."

    Brandon Hensler, the ACLU of Florida's communications director in Miami, said: "This is the first time I know of in the ACLU's 90-year history that we have advocated on behalf of a citizen to have their weapons returned from law enforcement."

    Weinstein, a retired bar and restaurant owner from Hartford, Conn., had his weapons seized in February after Dana, his wife of 61 years, died. He told the Broward Medical Examiner's Office that he wanted to "blow his head off," according to a sheriff deputy's report.

    He said he was upset because three weeks after Mrs. Weinstein died, her ashes still hadn't shown up at the funeral home that was to bury them.

    Weinstein's call to the medical examiner prompted a visit from a sheriff's deputy, who took the widower to a hospital for evaluation.

    Weinstein said he agreed to surrender his Colt semi-automatic .25-caliber pistol and his Wesson .357 revolver, along with ammunition and holsters, for safekeeping after authorities insisted on it.

    A hearing on his petition is scheduled before Circuit Judge Dale Ross on Monday.

    Mila Schwartzreich, assistant legal counsel for the Sheriff's Office, said her agency has no choice but to keep Weinstein's weapons. She said the Sheriff's Office is not objecting to returning the guns, but needs a court order first.

    "Legally, we're bound to hold them until then," she said. "It's not that Mr. Weinstein is a bad person or we feel people shouldn't possess firearms. For him, it was a distressing time."

    Dana Weinstein was 81 years old when she died in January of complications from Alzheimer's disease and a stroke, her husband said.

    "When you have a good woman, you can't beat it," Weinstein said. "I miss her terrible."

    She was a homemaker who was also survived by two children, one grandchild and two great-grandchildren. The couple moved to Florida in 1972.

    The Sheriff's Office helped locate her ashes from a cremation company, which told authorities they did not receive proper documentation, according to a police report. Her remains were interred two days later.

    Robert Weinstein insists authorities took his comment about killing himself out of context. And although Florida's Baker Act allows people with mental illnesses to be involuntarily admitted to a hospital, that did not happen to him.

    Butin said he has a doctor's letter certifying that Weinstein is not a threat to himself. His client also has a clean Florida criminal record.

    Weinstein, who said he learned to shoot in the military, said his guns were only kept for protection.

    "They'd been in the drawer over 20 years. They were loaded," he said. "God forbid somebody came into the house to harm us."

    Weinstein said he doesn't belong to the NRA and that he turned to the ACLU when someone told him his civil rights had been violated.

    He is looking ahead to life after the court hearing.

    "When I get these guns back, I'm gonna turn these old ones in and get a new one," he said.

    Staff Researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.

    Linda Trischitta can be reached at ltrischitta@SunSentinel.com or 954-356-4233.

    Copyright © 2010, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!


  2. #2
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    He and everyone who reads this article learned a valuable lesson here. Never say ANYTHING like that even in jest to a government employee of any sort, from the police right down to the clerk who collects your water bill.

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    Okay, I won't badmouth the ACLU today.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    ...and don't give your guns to the sheriff because he/she asks for them. Make THEM get the court order.
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    Member Array charlie1826's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    ...and don't give your guns to the sheriff because he/she asks for them. Make THEM get the court order.
    +1
    Just like you wouldn't let them in your home without a warrant, they don't get your property without a court order. In the article it said he "wanted" to that he was planning on doing it, anyone would have been angry in that situation, that was a dumb thing to say though.

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    WOW!! they're super efficient in Florida, they even confiscated those dangerous holsters.
    "First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    Okay, I won't badmouth the ACLU today.
    Don't badmouth them ever. There are very, very few organizations fighting to protect our Constitutional rights. The people who train you to hate the ACLU are not your friends. If you think the ACLU are the "bad guys," you have been played, laid, and filleted.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shockwave View Post
    Don't badmouth them ever. There are very, very few organizations fighting to protect our Constitutional rights. The people who train you to hate the ACLU are not your friends. If you think the ACLU are the "bad guys," you have been played, laid, and filleted.
    Seeing as they admit this is the first time in 90 yrs that they supported the 2A in this manner, I'm not so sure about that. They had to have SCOTUS tell them it was OK to believe in the 2A apparently. Sure, it's refreshing. It will be even more so if it becomes normal. Till then, I'm on the wait and see plan.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

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    Senior Member Array Bubbiesdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shockwave View Post
    Don't badmouth them ever. There are very, very few organizations fighting to protect our Constitutional rights. The people who train you to hate the ACLU are not your friends. If you think the ACLU are the "bad guys," you have been played, laid, and filleted.

    But, one must wonder if they are more concerned with with his 2nd amendment rights or his right to "blow his head off".

    How does an ACLU member count to 10?

    1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.
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    Every time the ACLU asks me for money, I ask them "where were you in the Heller case?"

    Hmmm...let's see if the ACLU can learn some new tricks...
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Good for ACLU

    this moves them up on my scale of usefulness from a zero to a .01 out of 100. When they get into the teens, I might take notice...
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

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    Senior Member Array Rob P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefjason View Post
    Seeing as they admit this is the first time in 90 yrs that they supported the 2A in this manner, I'm not so sure about that. They had to have SCOTUS tell them it was OK to believe in the 2A apparently. Sure, it's refreshing. It will be even more so if it becomes normal. Till then, I'm on the wait and see plan.
    The problem with this is that until McDonald the 2A wasn't incorporated. Thus we couldn't really say that the 2A is a constitutional right applicable to the people like free speech, freedom of religion, right to be free of unreasonable search & seizure, etc. So, until McDonald, the ACLU couldn't really defend 2a issues because they weren't incorporated Constitutional rights. They are now so the ACLU can get involved.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Oh really...........

    Quote Originally Posted by shockwave View Post
    Don't badmouth them ever. There are very, very few organizations fighting to protect our Constitutional rights. The people who train you to hate the ACLU are not your friends. If you think the ACLU are the "bad guys," you have been played, laid, and filleted.
    ..."except for lawful police and military purpses, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected."
    -ACLU policy #47

    Sounds like they're the bad guys to me. All you have to do is check their web site.
    "First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
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