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doneroman

Hunter Safety Instructor fired

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Howdy fellow Cheeseheads, I did my first weekend of vending @ a gunshow this last weekend and as usual it started to slow down in the afternoon. So I bought a back issue of GunDigest from a co-vendor, the March 2, 2009 issue, and found a disturbing article.

 

Page 12 article talks about volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor Mark Palan, owner of Palan's Outpost Sporting Goods in Highland Wisconsin, and how he could/would not instruct new hunters to surrender their firearms to any DNR warden. That's right, this DNR policy says you have to surrender your firearm to any warden without any probable cause. Palan researched the policy in it's entirety from local statutes, Wi. Law, and Federal Law and found this policy to be unconstitutional. I am not one to spout off with anti-DNR rhetoric, let's get that straight up front, but I find this really disturbing for a couple of reasons;

 

a.) I am being told to unconditionally surrender a firearm for the safety of a conservation warden, and am being therefore considered guilty of something right off the bat. Who's to say the guy saying he is an agent of the DNR in the capacity of a Warden, is really a warden? Maybe he's the guy running the meth lab in the woods that i'm about to stumble on to, posing as a cop. It's been done before.

 

b.) My training from the Army is drilled into my skull; NEVER surrender your weapon. Period. We were disciplined SEVERLY if we ever turned our weapon over to someone asking to see it. I'm sure it wasn't any different for the Nat Guard, A.Reservists training, or any other branch?

 

If you are also uncomfortable with this policy tell the warden to get a back up officer to witness the procedure before you hand over a weapon. That's what I'm going to do.

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Is this just a WI thing or is this state wide? I have a hard believing all CO's would ask for you rifle straight off the bat unless they encountered a bunch of drunk hunters, poachers, etc.

As a law abiding citizen I would be extremely reluctant to hand over my rifle to anyone.

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Um, why wouldn't you hand your rifle to a uniformed officer presenting state ID and badge?

 

Asking for a backup officer or a witness is likely going to cause you some issues. LE, if they feel uncomfortable with your holding a loaded firearm while they conduct a lawful stop to check your hunting license, will take your firearm. It's part of the same kind of safety training that you got in the Army. Never let someone, who might be a meth head posing as a hunter (it's happened before), keep a loaded visible firearm while you're conducting business.

 

I've read about this case before. If this guy doesn't want to teach what the state tells him to, they do have the right to fire him. And telling students to argue with a law enforcement officer out in the woods over a loaded firearm is going to get someone hurt, possibly killed. His attitude seems not only against the content provided by the DNR, it is very irresponsible.

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I have had to let TWRA inspect my shotgun when going on dove hunts on public lands. But it is understood that you may have to get it inspected before you hunt. A dove is a federal migratory bird so you can only have a gun that holds 3 shells max.. Therefore, any pump or auto is suspect of holding more than the legal amount. The only way to tell if it is properly plugged is to check it. I am ok with that if I am dove hunting. Other than that TN has no mag restrictions on hunting. If I want to go yote hunting with a beta-mag it is legal.

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The next step in Gov. Doyle's anti-gun movement; Background check fees will go from $8 to $30, AND you will be required to purchase a $100 license in order to purchase handguns. Just found out today this is moving through WI legislation NOW.

 

A standing direct order in the Army is to pass your weapon to NOONE but the armorer. Even if your CO asks to see it to verify the Serial #s, that's a NO GO. Unreasonable seizure is unconstitutional, but if you want to hand it over, that's fine. I'll legally wait for my witness to show up.

Edited by doneroman

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I live on the Horicon marsh! They can also check for non lead shells!! I will unload it for them but if they want it they Will need a witness! They dont travel too far from back up TRUST ME

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Good luck with that guys. Telling a LEO that you're not going to put a gun down, or hand it over when you're lawfully stopped will not end well. If in the course of my work I have reason to ask someone to hand over a firearm, I also have reason to make them should they refuse. THis isn't the SHTF moment that some armchair commandos are praying for, this is a game warden, enforcing the law. If no hunters ever broke the law, they wouldn't need the game wardens. Knowing that some hunters break the law, then they have a reason to temporarily disarm hunters while they do what they need to do.

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In over 25 years of hunting I have only seen a warden a few times, and was never asked to surrender my weapon. Stay out of trouble, be respectful, and you will have no problems. You won't win anyway so just relax.

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LEO. Proper I'd. Ok he can look at my gun military rules be darned. I also know if a MP says turn over your weapon and he has good reason you had better.

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Um, why wouldn't you hand your rifle to a uniformed officer presenting state ID and badge?

 

Asking for a backup officer or a witness is likely going to cause you some issues. LE, if they feel uncomfortable with your holding a loaded firearm while they conduct a lawful stop to check your hunting license, will take your firearm. It's part of the same kind of safety training that you got in the Army. Never let someone, who might be a meth head posing as a hunter (it's happened before), keep a loaded visible firearm while you're conducting business.

 

I've read about this case before. If this guy doesn't want to teach what the state tells him to, they do have the right to fire him. And telling students to argue with a law enforcement officer out in the woods over a loaded firearm is going to get someone hurt, possibly killed. His attitude seems not only against the content provided by the DNR, it is very irresponsible.

The problem with all of this is that it is not constitutional! While I am a law abiding citizen, that does not mean I believe in every 2 bit, ridiculous law that they pull out of their "unconstitutional colon" to cram their version of freedom/control down the throat of the sleeping masses. If I didn't believe in what I was supposed to teach, I would refuse to. It isn't hard for someone to get a fake badge and uniform, I would need proof before I gave anyone my weapon.

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Well, since we are resurrecting the dead here, I'll throw in my .02. I feel for the game wardens I really do, they have not only a really tough job to do but unlike other police officers can expect to be outgunned by every single person they have contact with. I respect the heck out of them but I also do not believe that just because a person is hunting they should have to surrender their weapon without probable cause. Now checking for a plug in a shotgun is a check that I have been through several times and never once have I handed over my weapon to do so. Something I was taught at an early age was that whenever you approached someone or they approached you while hunting, you made your weapon safe. Open the action take out the shell or shells and leave it open until the encounter was over.

 

Several years ago while hunting with my dad we had a guy on a snowmobile drive up to us while we were walking a trail into where we hunt. The trail is very clearly marked as being closed to ALL vehicular traffic so we stepped off the trail and as our guns we slung at that point we left them slung. The snowmobile stopped and the guy got off and the first thing I said to him was that the trail was not meant for snowmobiles and he said he knew. Asked what we were up to and we told him hunting rabbits and he said well I am the conservation officer I need to see your licenses. OK we produced them and showed him but I was missing one part of the license and had to dig through the wallet looking for it, I knew it was there as we had gotten the licenses 1/2 hour earlier. My shotgun was slipping on my shoulder so I unslung it, unloaded it, 3 shells only even though 5 were allowed, and handed it to my dad to look further. The "conservation officer" had held his hand out as if to take it from me when I unloaded it, but at this point he was just a guy in a OD snowmobile suit to me as he had not produced a badge. I didn't know him from Adam and felt better handing it to my Dad. Found the tag and handed it to him and got my shotgun back from my dad. Now if he had produced a badge and asked for the gun I would have handed it to him unloaded and only if I was with someone else, if he wanted to inspect for a plug, I will do it. Until such time as he has probable cause that a crime or violation has been comitted he has no reason for the gun to leave my possession. If COs are that nervous around people that are armed, they probably really ought to go back to the city and finds a nice library to work in as being a CO is definitely not going to fit them well.

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I look at it this way, there are 2 sides. Yes, you're a CO. I respect you and you respect me and we'll have no issues. I have no problem unloading my weapon and leaning it against a tree, but more then likely it will not go into your hands, unless I am completely satisfied that you are who you say you are and you have a valid reason as to why you need to inspect it. As for disarming someone when you're inspecting their license, are you going to take my knives, leatherman, and possible sidearm as well, I could strip down to boxers and tshirt if that would be better. I'm not trying to be an ahole, but I'm not a criminal, so don't treat me like one. Like I said, I have no problem setting the weapon down and all I just rather my gun not go into the hands of someone I don't know from Adam, who could have fake id and uniform. Then again, I have never been hunting, so this doesn't bother me, unless I start.

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I look at it this way, there are 2 sides. Yes, you're a CO. I respect you and you respect me and we'll have no issues. I have no problem unloading my weapon and leaning it against a tree, but more then likely it will not go into your hands, unless I am completely satisfied that you are who you say you are and you have a valid reason as to why you need to inspect it. As for disarming someone when you're inspecting their license, are you going to take my knives, leatherman, and possible sidearm as well, I could strip down to boxers and tshirt if that would be better. I'm not trying to be an ahole, but I'm not a criminal, so don't treat me like one. Like I said, I have no problem setting the weapon down and all I just rather my gun not go into the hands of someone I don't know from Adam, who could have fake id and uniform. Then again, I have never been hunting, so this doesn't bother me, unless I start.

You definitely should start. It is good exercise and free meat!

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You definitely should start. It is good exercise and free meat!

 

This is true, but then you gotta worry about all this...:laugh: Have to get a shotty though, no rifle hunting here in Ohio. I think it would be quite fun as a matter of fact.

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Any contact other than, "Hi, how is it going today?" is going to mean I'm disarming the fellow until business is concluded. Now, that may mean I tell him to lean his rifle/shotgun against a tree while we continue our conversation 20 feet away, but I won't conduct business with someone who has a loaded firearm in their hands. A handgun in a holster, fine, as long as it stays there. A rifle or shotgun? Nope. Not gonna happen, and it's perfectly legal for me to disarm someone, temporarily, as long as I am not "unreasonable" in the length of time the person is detained.

 

Let me give you a "what if". Let's say the friendly game warden stops a guy, asks for the license. The guy with the loaded shotgun doesn't have one, and can't produce it. The game warden says (remember, we're 5 miles from nowhere), "Ok, you're going to have to come with me". Guy still has this loaded shotgun in his hands, and the game warden has a holstered pistol. Who is going to win that little confrontation, if the guy doesn't want to go peacefully? I'll give you a clue, it's probably not going to be the game warden. Asking someone to put their gun down, or give it to the officer is perfectly within the officer's rights, and the Supreme Court has agreed. Sorry it bothers some folks to be without their gun for a couple of minutes, but it's not up for debate for cops who don't know if you're a good guy out enjoying a day of hunting, or if you're a turd out poaching, and really don't want to go back to jail.

 

Please don't get me wrong, if there is no crime or violation being committed, the weapon should be returned as soon as the contact is over, again, without question. But removing it from the person's immediate reach is more than acceptable for a "reasonable amount of time" while the officer conducts his business.

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