Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"And Every Cop Is A Criminal..."

Wisconsin Gun Owners is reporting that the Oshkosh police is illegally confiscating legally held guns:



Shooting of Oshkosh police officer results in knee jerk neighborhood gun grab

Oshkosh, Wis. -- Following the shooting of an Oshkosh police officer Saturday night, area residents were forced from their homes, their lawful firearms being confiscated by police.

The Oshkosh Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics Unit responded to the area, with a K-9 police dog in pursuit of the perpetrator who was reported to have fled on foot.

Citizens' guns were seized through searches of area homes. The police promised to return the firearms after forensic tests proved they were not involved in the crime. The injured officer's name was withheld, but media reports indicate his condition is not life-threatening.

"The message is: Hand over your guns, now!" said Corey Graff, executive director of Wisconsin Gun Owners Inc. "This is a blatant case of guilty-until-proven-innocent and an abuse of police power."

Still, residents in the area are furious about the home invasions by police and what they see as theft of their property. Although early reports are unclear, they indicate a search warrant was issued for two homes, yet additional home owners also had firearms confiscated.

"We want the perpetrator of this crime caught and brought to justice just like everyone else," said Graff. "But that doesn't mean the police should trample citizens' 4th amendment protections, steal lawful private property and enter the home without reasonable suspicion or warrant."

One homeowner in the area said his guns were taken by police, guns that hadn't left his gun safe since last hunting season. Another victim of the police searches -- an elderly women -- reported waking up to officers' searching her home in the early morning hours.

The Oshkosh Northwestern reported, "Residents were not being allowed to return to their homes by press time."

We need to remind these people that "following orders" is not an excuse.

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