Licensed Gun Owners Being Targeted in Unwarranted Surprise Home Searches

police-raid

In another move towards a police state, the anti-self-defense gun-haters have won.

In the United Kingdom, new guidance has been passed allowing law-abiding, registered gun owners to be subjected to unannounced home searches to inspect firearms storage practices without a warrant.

The new guidance went into effect October 15. Gun owners in the UK were subject to home searches before the 15th, but had to have prior notice. Alarmingly, Obama has voiced his belief that Americans should imitate England’s gun control policies. The NRA’s lobbying arm posted on its website Friday that “Americans should view the UK’s ever-expanding gun control efforts with grave concern.”

The new rule declares:

Unannounced Home Visits
19.11. Where it is judged necessary, based on specific intelligence in light of a particular threat, or risk of harm, the police may undertake an unannounced home visit to check the security of a certificate holder’s firearms and shotguns. It is not expected that the police will undertake an unannounced home visit at an unsocial hour unless there is a justified and specific requirement to do so on the grounds of crime prevention or public safety concerns and the police judge that this action is both justified and proportionate.
19.12. It is recognized that there are new powers of entry for police or police staff when conducting home visits. To mitigate any misunderstanding on the part of the certificate holder the police must provide a clear and reasoned explanation to the certificate holder at the time of visit.

A press release from ACPO – the Association of Chief Police Officers – stated: “Police ask firearms owners: how secure are your guns… The UK has some of the toughest gun laws in the world and I am determined to keep it that way… I would encourage the public to report any concerns they have about firearms license holders to the new, dedicated Crime Stoppers helpline.” A helpline that, according to a tweet from The Shooting Times, doesn’t even work. “A quick Google of the number came up with a caravan towbar retailer in Cornwall, although the number has since been correctly reallocated to Crime Stoppers.”

Why rush it through so quickly that the phone number doesn’t even work? Perhaps to keep anyone from being able to contest it before it went into effect? Watch out, America, that you don’t get blindsided as well!

This “helpline” is being created so anonymous callers can report concerns of others’ storage of their legal firearms. It has aptly been nicknamed the “busybodies‘ charter.” Andy Marsh, chief constable of Hampshire Constabulary affirmed, “If you are concerned that guns are being kept insecurely or notice signs that shooters may be vulnerable to criminal or terrorist groups or have shown sympathy towards extremist acts, please report it.” Even though these legal gun owners have already submitted to thorough background checks that check for that sort of thing, people who are against owning guns are being encouraged to call in and report what they assume is happening in someone else’s home!!!?? In a world of busybodies causing trouble for innocent people on a normal basis, this just opens the door for feuding neighbors or any political, racial, or religious grudges to turn into unwarranted persecution of licensed, law-abiding gun owners. This “hateline” was added onto the new guidance without consulting any stakeholders.

Marsh also stated, “Our aim is not to catch out gun owners, which is why we are giving notice that these visits will be taking place. We want to work with the shooting community to ensure gun owners are aware of how to keep their firearms secure and, where appropriate, give advice to individual owners.”

All this in response to the…decline of gun crime. Even authorities admit that gun crime and violence is falling. However, the Home Office says they are worried that legitimate guns could be stolen more easily and wind up in the hands of terrorists if they are stored improperly. That warrants surprise home searches!? Shooting UK, a website for gun club members, posted that the Home Office's own figures show theft of guns is not a widespread concern. “On average, in the past five years, annually just 0.025% of the 1,837,243 legally held firearms and shotguns in England and Wales were stolen – an average of just 475 guns per year,” the post read. Adding that those figures were not broken down to indicate how many firearms were stolen from a legal gun owner’s home.

U.S. residents are protected from this type of persecution by the Second and Fourth Amendments, though that hasn’t stopped corrupt leaders from making their own rules for decades. The Second Amendment protects American citizens’ right to keep and bear arms, while the Fourth protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Which leaves the question: As in the UK, who really decides the definition of the term unreasonable? A decline in gun crime rate? Remember, Obama declared after the Washington Navy Yard shooting in 2013, “in the United Kingdom, in Australia, when just a single mass shooting occurred in those countries…they endured great heartbreak, but they also mobilized and they changed.”

Charles Marston of Pro-Shooting Campaign Group Firearms UK responded to this new guidance, “If the Home Office and ACPO wished to approach this subject in a conciliatory nature they have chosen an unusual way of doing so. Would it not have been far better and in the interests of good relations to have written individual certificate holders, remind them of their obligations and responsibilities, asking for vigilance when publicizing their ownership of firearms and request assistance in recognizing potential problems from those with knowledge of firearms, instead of the confrontational and divisive way they have chosen?” Adding, “Given we already have the 999 number for emergencies, and 101 for inquiries about all other potential misguided activity, plus published contact details for police firearms licensing units, why has a course of action been chosen that requires additional expense and resource to provide? Unless, of course, it is to be used to further justify fee increases.”

Tim Bonner, head of campaigns at the Countryside Alliance, told The Register:

“We have not been given a single example of a license holder being radicalized or using a firearm to pursue a terrorist agenda.”

On the website for Countryside Alliance, Bonner wrote:

“What we do have a problem with is the setting up of a dedicated Crime Stoppers line, which is an invitation for malicious and vindictive complaints, the ridiculous suggestion that license holders might be vulnerable to radicalization, and the demand by the ACPO that police forces carry out a proportionate number of checks, which could not therefore be based on intelligence.”

It seems law-abiding gun owners are being singled out by the police for being licensed to own their firearms or shotguns, even though they have followed every stipulation required to do so. In response to that sentiment, Hampshire Crime Stoppers tweeted:

@HantsCrimestopp October 13, 2014
“Why worry if you have nothing to hide?”

Yes, why worry? It’s not like history shows police states ending up enslaving and even killing their citizens, especially at the hands of corrupt, paranoid dictators.

The Home Office spokesman confirmed to The Register that Norman Baker signed off the change. Baker is a liberal democrat MP and a known conspiracy theory zealot. Baker wrote a book claiming the British government murdered former weapons inspector Dr. David Kelly. Dan Hodges, a writer for the Telegraph, wrote in review that the author of this book is “clearly bonkers.”