Gun-Seizure Debate and Poll
Do you support Gun-Seizure Laws ? 

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FACT 1

Starting Oct. 1999, Connecticut police will be allowed to confiscate guns from anyone determined to be an immediate danger to himself or others.

 

FACT 2

There must be evidence that the person recently tortured animals, threatened to kill himself or others or acted violently. A police investigation must conclude there is no other way to keep the person from doing harm, and a warrant must be issued by a judge.

 

FACT 3

The law also requires a hearing within 14 days to determine whether the gun should be returned.

 

CON 4

Allowing police to take weapons from people who haven't done anything wrong violates their Constitutional right to bear arms. ``You don't forfeit your rights just because you might do something bad,'' said Dennis Fusaro, director of state legislation for Gun Owners of America. The National Rifle Association declined to comment.

 

CON 5

The law also could lead to illegal searches, said Rep. Richard Tulisano. ``Now police can say, `We saw you kick a dog peeing on your petunias, so now we could go in your house and look for guns because you might be dangerous,''' Tulisano said. ``What happens if they're looking for guns and they find drugs? This law becomes the basis for which people could invade your home.''

 

PRO 6

Illinois Rep. Tom Darta, a Chicago Democrat, said he plans to introduce a similar Illinois proposal in November. ``The thing that frustrates me is that when they're pulling bodies out of a house, neighbors are telling the police 'Yeah, the guy who shot them was nuts - we all knew that,''' Dart said. ``But everyone says that there's nothing that they could have done to stop the shooting.''

 

PRO 7

But Rep. Michael Lawlor, the law's sponsor, said the new law could stop people like Benjamin Smith, the white supremacist who killed two people and wounded nine during a two-state shooting spree targeting Jews, blacks and Asians. Smith's criminal record and reputation for passing out hate literature could have prompted police to take action, Lawlor said.

 

CON 8

The law also could lead to illegal searches, said Rep. Richard Tulisano. ``Now police can say, `We saw you kick a dog peeing on your petunias, so now we could go in your house and look for guns because you might be dangerous,''' Tulisano said. ``What happens if they're looking for guns and they find drugs? This law becomes the basis for which people could invade your home.''

 

PRO 9

``The value of this law is not so much that police will seize your guns,'' Lawlor said. ``It gives police a system to investigate a person who poses a threat. If the police never confiscate a person's guns, they can at least look into the person's behavior and perhaps prevent a tragedy by intervening.''

 

 

 

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