How is this not a violation of our 2nd Amendment Rights?

JWCJWC New MemberPosts: 17 New Member
.

We are dealing with an issue that everyone who carries a gun should be concerned about. Many of you will find this hard to believe but unfortunately it is 100% true! We have been dealing with this for over a year and still going.

Jan 3, 2013 at 7:00 at night, my 18 year old son and 2 of his friends were driving to the family hunting camp in Lowndes County Alabama. They had an AR-15 in the back floor board of the truck with the clip removed. They pulled up to the stop sign at intersection of Hwy 29 and Brown Springs Rd in Lowndesboro. They were at the stop sign approx 30 sec as they waited for a car to pass so they could turn.

As they turned down the road to the hunting camp they noticed they were being followed. When they arrived at the camp and got out to unlock the gate a man pulled in behind them, blocked them in and began to shout at them about shots that he heard and accused them of shooting the gun at the stop sign. When asked he identified himself as a reserve deputy and a RETIRED game warden. When ask to show a badge .. He could not.

This man continued to accuse, in a not so friendly manner, the boys of shooting the gun. The boys were concerned for their safety and told him they were going to call the police. The man said that he had called the sheriff and he was not going to let them leave because it was a crime scene.

2 Deputy Sherrifs arrived about 30 min later, asked for the gun and their ID, inspected the gun ran the numbers through NCIC returned the AR to the boys and told them they were free to go.

4 days later- this retired game warden ( private citizen) signed an arrest warrant on all 3 boys charging them with

Code of Alabama 9-11-235. Hunting after dark
Code of Alabama 9-11-257 Hunting from a public road
Code of Alabama 220-2-11. Hunting fom a vehicle

We went to court and all 3 were found GUILTY of all 3 charges even though no one saw them shoot, only heard it. No shell casing were found either at the intersection or by the deputies when they searched the truck.

These boys were simply driving down a paved public road with an unloaded AR15 in the truck and stopped at a stop sign. They were not in camo, didn't have any flashh lights or spot lights in the truck... BUT the prosecution said that they were " hunting" because they were stopped in an area known to have wildlife with a gun!

I have emailed the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and asked the legal definition of hunting and what "evidence" would be required to be charged with 1) hunting at night, 2) hunting from a public road and 3) hunting from a vehicle. The response I received is below :

Definition of hunting as printed in regulation book:

DEFINITION OF HUNTING
Hunting includes pursuing, shooting, killing, capturing and trapping wild
animals, wild fowl, wild birds, and all lesser acts, such as disturbing,
harrying or worrying, or placing, setting, drawing, or using any device
used to take wild animals, wild fowl, wild birds, whether they result in
taking or not, and includes every act of assistance to any person in taking
or attempting to take wild animals, wild fowl, or wild birds.


Generally a Prima facie case for night hunting is established when accused is
1) In an area which deer or other protected animals are thought to frequent
2) Has in possession a light (spotlight, flashlight, headlights)
3) Has in possession a weapon or other device suitable for taking, capturing, or killing an animal protected by state law.
4) At night

This is from Rogers v. State (Ala Crim.App.1985)


Discharging a weapon is not required as stated above only possession.


Captain Chris Lewis
Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Law Enforcement Section
Office 334-242-3467
Fax 334-353-1603
[email protected]

This should be a concern for everyone who carries a gun! How can this not be a violation of your 2nd Amendment right?
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Replies

  • shootbrownelkshootbrownelk Senior Member Posts: 2,025 Senior Member
    I guess this is an example of "Guilty until proven Innocent" and evidently you didn't prove the boys innocence.Although the guy is retired, he evidently thinks he still has to prove his worth by harassing kids.
  • Vic's ViewpointVic's Viewpoint Senior Member Posts: 1,126 Senior Member
    Raw deal all around for the kids. And this may make it difficult for them
    to buy hunting licences next year. It's always helpful to have the gun
    inside a case, but I don't think that would have helped them in this
    instance, against that reserve deputy. He sounds like a bit of a head case.

    Is it too late to file an appeal? I know such things are expensive, but
    what if this bogus conviction goes on their permanent records and next
    year they're denied permission to buy hunting licences?
    Member formerly known as "vlafrank."
  • JWCJWC New Member Posts: 17 New Member
    I guess this is an example of "Guilty until proven Innocent" and evidently you didn't prove the boys innocence.Although the guy is retired, he evidently thinks he still has to prove his worth by harassing kids.

    You are correct they were considered guilty until proven innocent although there was not any evidence whatsoever! We are also dealing with small town justice .

    What concerns me, and should concern those that live in Alabama, based on the response from the DCNR, anyone who carries a gun capable of killing wildlife, in an area known to have wildlife can be charged with hunting. If it is at night and you have your headlights on you can be considered hunting at night.

    Now, you will be hard pressed to find any area in Alabama that isn't known to have wildlife, including on the side of the interstates.

    This was a private citizen who did this! So, have we now opened the door for private citizens to charge whom ever they want to with charges simply because they are carrying a gun?

    All 3 of these boys were of legal age to have the AR and, as according to Law, did not have a clip in it. 3 boys 1 gun no dead animal, no spent casings and only someone who claims they "heard shots" ?

    Again, how is this not a violation of their 2nd Amendment Rights?
  • JWCJWC New Member Posts: 17 New Member
    Each boy received $4600.00 in fines, 3 year suspension of their hunting license and 2 years unsupervised probation. Not one of them have ever been in any kind of trouble before.

    We are dealing with small town justice. The private citizen who signed the deposition is a retired Game Warden. He retired 5 years ago but served I this same county for 25 years.

    We have retained a new Attorney and have filed a motion for a new trial. We are waiting on the Judges ruling now.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,104 Senior Member
    JWC wrote: »
    Each boy received $4600.00 in fines, 3 year suspension of their hunting license and 2 years unsupervised probation. Not one of them have ever been in any kind of trouble before.

    We are dealing with small town justice. The private citizen who signed the deposition is a retired Game Warden. He retired 5 years ago but served I this same county for 25 years.

    We have retained a new Attorney and have filed a motion for a new trial. We are waiting on the Judges ruling now.

    I'm a skeptic here.

    A deputy DID arrive on scene and determined no foul play was afoot. Yest the charges affirmed by the reserve deputy were filed? Where is the full time deputy that said everything was fine?

    What is your county clerk's website and the case number for this incident?
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,419 Senior Member
    Find an ambulance-chaser lawyer who will bankrupt the "private citizen" by filing a multi-million dollar civil suit against him. You're screwed in the criminal courts because he obviously has connections, but in your situation, I would make it my life's mission to hound him for the rest of his miserable life for being a jerk!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 4,729 Senior Member
    JWC wrote: »
    Again, how is this not a violation of their 2nd Amendment Rights?

    It is not a 2A violation. They were not charged because they had a gun. I'm sure the retired F&G butthole didn't like being questioned by a group of kids, and pulled out the the old "hunting at night charge." I'll bet he's used it a lot over the years to punish people that didn't bow to his authoritah.

    If a randon person tried to detain me, at night, he just might find himself shot.
    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,104 Senior Member
    CaliFFL wrote: »
    It is not a 2A violation. They were not charged because they had a gun. I'm sure the retired F&G butthole didn't like being questioned by a group of kids, and pulled out the the old "hunting at night charge." I'll bet he's used it a lot over the years to punish people that didn't bow to his authoritah.

    If a randon person tried to detain me, at night, he just might find himself shot.

    Essentially.

    An ununiformed retired anyone who tries to exert any color of authority on me and detain me in a decidedly public and desolate place and they'd better be willing to be in a training video.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    Wow that sucks! People who feel/act like they have something to prove to the world cause so much grief to the rest of us who are OK with who we are. I do wonder though if the AR were locked in a case, if that might have made a difference. It would be good to know though, since they weren't breaking any laws, how to prevent this from happening in the future. Have you been able to contact the officer who was at the scene? Hope you can find a good pro gun attorney to make that miserable sob pay for the wrong doing. Otherwise there is nothing deterring him from screwing someone else.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Raw deal from the appearance of it. Keep us informed.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,280 Senior Member
    Since you were not present, how do you know the kids did not pop off a couple of rounds for fun? Can you really be 100% sure they didn't? Crappy deal for sure and I would push it as well. I would send a copy of the case to the state DA, Big Luther, and see what he has to say.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • Dr. dbDr. db Senior Member Posts: 1,541 Senior Member
    What Teach said. FIRST, be absolutely certain your teen isn't coloring the truth.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    The conviction needs to be appealed and every legal effort made to get it expunged. Such a conviction will follow these guys around for ages.

    Sounds as if the judgment was bogus and that happens all the time. But now it needs to be appealed. Get the best attorney possible even if you have to mortgage your property or sell it.

    Also, a civil suit needs to be filed against the ex-warden for harassment and so on. Sue for big bucks and demand that his charges be reversed.

    Yes it sounds like spending money for things you're not guilty of but that's how the world is, not perfect.

    Use EVERY legal means to clear the books and to sue the guy in civil court, both.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,731 Senior Member
    JWC wrote: »
    .

    We are dealing with an issue that everyone who carries a gun should be concerned about. Many of you will find this hard to believe but unfortunately it is 100% true! We have been dealing with this for over a year and still going.

    Jan 3, 2013 at 7:00 at night, my 18 year old son and 2 of his friends were driving to the family hunting camp in Lowndes County Alabama. They had an AR-15 in the back floor board of the truck with the clip removed. They pulled up to the stop sign at intersection of Hwy 29 and Brown Springs Rd in Lowndesboro. They were at the stop sign approx 30 sec as they waited for a car to pass so they could turn.

    As they turned down the road to the hunting camp they noticed they were being followed. When they arrived at the camp and got out to unlock the gate a man pulled in behind them, blocked them in and began to shout at them about shots that he heard and accused them of shooting the gun at the stop sign. When asked he identified himself as a reserve deputy and a RETIRED game warden. When ask to show a badge .. He could not.

    This man continued to accuse, in a not so friendly manner, the boys of shooting the gun. The boys were concerned for their safety and told him they were going to call the police. The man said that he had called the sheriff and he was not going to let them leave because it was a crime scene.

    2 Deputy Sherrifs arrived about 30 min later, asked for the gun and their ID, inspected the gun ran the numbers through NCIC returned the AR to the boys and told them they were free to go.

    4 days later- this retired game warden ( private citizen) signed an arrest warrant on all 3 boys charging them with

    Code of Alabama 9-11-235. Hunting after dark
    Code of Alabama 9-11-257 Hunting from a public road
    Code of Alabama 220-2-11. Hunting fom a vehicle

    We went to court and all 3 were found GUILTY of all 3 charges even though no one saw them shoot, only heard it. No shell casing were found either at the intersection or by the deputies when they searched the truck.

    These boys were simply driving down a paved public road with an unloaded AR15 in the truck and stopped at a stop sign. They were not in camo, didn't have any flashh lights or spot lights in the truck... BUT the prosecution said that they were " hunting" because they were stopped in an area known to have wildlife with a gun!

    I have emailed the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and asked the legal definition of hunting and what "evidence" would be required to be charged with 1) hunting at night, 2) hunting from a public road and 3) hunting from a vehicle. The response I received is below :

    Definition of hunting as printed in regulation book:

    DEFINITION OF HUNTING
    Hunting includes pursuing, shooting, killing, capturing and trapping wild
    animals, wild fowl, wild birds, and all lesser acts, such as disturbing,
    harrying or worrying, or placing, setting, drawing, or using any device
    used to take wild animals, wild fowl, wild birds, whether they result in
    taking or not, and includes every act of assistance to any person in taking
    or attempting to take wild animals, wild fowl, or wild birds.


    Generally a Prima facie case for night hunting is established when accused is
    1) In an area which deer or other protected animals are thought to frequent
    2) Has in possession a light (spotlight, flashlight, headlights)
    3) Has in possession a weapon or other device suitable for taking, capturing, or killing an animal protected by state law.
    4) At night

    This is from Rogers v. State (Ala Crim.App.1985)


    Discharging a weapon is not required as stated above only possession.


    Captain Chris Lewis
    Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
    Law Enforcement Section
    Office 334-242-3467
    Fax 334-353-1603
    [email protected]

    This should be a concern for everyone who carries a gun! How can this not be a violation of your 2nd Amendment right?

    Something doesn't sound right to me.

    They say that they were at a stop sign for 30 seconds waiting for a car to pass them before they could turn....................

    If the car approaching was travelling at 30mph it was over 400yds away from them when they stopped..............Why did they wait so long at the stop sign is the first thing I would be asking.............
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    Something doesn't sound right to me.

    They say that they were at a stop sign for 30 seconds waiting for a car to pass them before they could turn....................

    If the car approaching was travelling at 30mph it was over 400yds away from them when they stopped..............Why did they wait so long at the stop sign is the first thing I would be asking.............

    Interesting, missed that one entirely. From my drinking days, I know that sometimes I'd wait forever at a turn or often turn too fast. Was there any beer in the vehicle? Had the driver been drinking at all prior to the incident? Not that we need to know here, but a question that should be privately asked.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 4,729 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Interesting, missed that one entirely. From my drinking days, I know that sometimes I'd wait forever at a turn or often turn too fast. Was there any beer in the vehicle? Had the driver been drinking at all prior to the incident? Not that we need to know here, but a question that should be privately asked.

    i doubt alcohol was involved.
    2 Deputy Sherrifs arrived about 30 min later, asked for the gun and their ID, inspected the gun ran the numbers through NCIC returned the AR to the boys and told them they were free to go.

    It is entirely possible that the boys were shooting, but they were not charged with discharging a weapon, because there was no proof. They were charged and convicted of :
    Code of Alabama 9-11-235. Hunting after dark
    Code of Alabama 9-11-257 Hunting from a public road
    Code of Alabama 220-2-11. Hunting fom a vehicle

    This seems to be similar to "Disturbing the Peace" when the cops can't charge someone for open carrying a firearm. A perfect example of FYTW.
    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,419 Senior Member
    Deputy Dawg obviously has some juice with the local court system, so it is essential that your lawyer pushes hard for a change of venue where his good ole boy connections aren't a factor. If one of your local TV stations has an "investigative reporter" it might be a good idea to generate as much public outrage as possible, also. Cockroaches run for cover when someone turns on a light in the middle of the night- - - - -ditto for corrupt cops, judges, and politicians.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,055 Senior Member
    From the OPs narrative, it sounds like a raw deal...but how he figures this has anything to do with 2A rights is beyond me.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    Something doesn't pass the smell test.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,104 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Something doesn't pass the smell test.

    Yep.

    Even IF the reserve deputy was just out to get these kids, the effect doesn't fit the cause...

    Follow me here...

    If "deputy dawg" wanted to jam these kids up on something, what got his attention first of all? "They're a car full of no good teens!" Ok, but woukd he just detain a car full of kids for just being a car full of kids on a country road? I doubt it HIGHLY even if he hates kids. He has better things to do with his night.

    What sounds more probable?

    1. He got pissed off at the kids for shooting at the sign with a rifle in the middle of the night and detained them until a full time deputy could arrive, take his statement, file charges and wait for a state attorney to decide.

    2. He detained them because he hates teens and made the whole thing up?
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,731 Senior Member
    Ok, so 'We' went to court and the boys were found guilty.

    Tell us more about the court case. I assume this particular court worked on the same principles like 'innocent till proven guilty' and allowed both sides of the story to be told.

    Did the boys give evidence?

    Did the judge weigh up the demeanour of the witnesses and find 'credibility issues'. ?

    Were you legally represented?

    You have quoted the response you received from the DNR in relation to the legal definition of 'hunting' ..............and got this back....

    Generally a Prima facie case for night hunting is established when accused is
    1) In an area which deer or other protected animals are thought to frequent
    2) Has in possession a light (spotlight, flashlight, headlights)
    3) Has in possession a weapon or other device suitable for taking, capturing, or killing an animal protected by state law.
    4) At night


    That part of the law doesn't seem to be over the top. The term 'Prima Facie' simply means that 'On the face of the facts' the 4 facts mentioned, if present at the same time, shall be taken to indicate that someone was hunting.

    To counter this premise, the boys would have to give evidence to show that this was not taking place. It would then come down to the credibility of the witnesses as to who the judge believes.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,419 Senior Member
    There is no Brown Springs Rd./Hwy. 29 intersection- - - -maybe the kids got a few other facts wrong?
    :uhm:
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,731 Senior Member
    Same complaint posted here...............http://alabamaopencarry.com/forum/index.php?topic=4951.0

    and here.......................................... http://www.aldeer.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=927959&page=1

    I see that this matter is still being dealt with by the courts.....................Maybe you should wait until it has been dealt with before you post up anymore details.........
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • JWCJWC New Member Posts: 17 New Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    I'm a skeptic here.

    A deputy DID arrive on scene and determined no foul play was afoot. Yest the charges affirmed by the reserve deputy were filed? Where is the full time deputy that said everything was fine?

    What is your county clerk's website and the case number for this incident?

    The retired GW called the Sheriff who sent 2 deputies out. The deputies also testified in court that they could not tell if the gun had been shot and did not find any spent casings.

    The boys were given YO status - I don't want to release case numbers at this time as it still an active case.
  • JWCJWC New Member Posts: 17 New Member
    CaliFFL wrote: »
    It is not a 2A violation. They were not charged because they had a gun. I'm sure the retired F&G butthole didn't like being questioned by a group of kids, and pulled out the the old "hunting at night charge." I'll bet he's used it a lot over the years to punish people that didn't bow to his authoritah.

    If a randon person tried to detain me, at night, he just might find himself shot.


    First let me say the boys did not question him, other than to ask for a badge when he said he was a reserve deputy sheriff, the private citizen followed them 2 miles to the family hunting camp. When they got out to unlock the gate he confronted them in an aggressive manner.

    It is a violation of anyones 2nd Amendment right when the Conservation Laws on hunting are so vague as to be able to charge anyone who is carrying a gun, in an area known to have wildlife with hunting. If they didn't have the gun they wouldn't have been able to charge them with hunting..... They were legally carrying the AR -
  • JWCJWC New Member Posts: 17 New Member
    You are right, I wasn't there but all 3 boys tell the same story, independent of each other, and continues to do so 14 months later.

    I am not a parent who thinks my kid does nothing wrong, quite the opposite, but If I, for one minute, thought they had done this I wouldn't be spending all this money to defend it. We would have paid the fines, punished him and made him pay us back for the fines.
  • JWCJWC New Member Posts: 17 New Member
    No drinking involved and no alcohol in vehicle.
  • JWCJWC New Member Posts: 17 New Member
    Exactly.... When the private citizen is a retired GW who served in that county.... What do you think? Does it not concern you that just having a gun in an area known to have wildlife can get you charged with hunting and it would just depend on who the judge believes?
  • JWCJWC New Member Posts: 17 New Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    Yep.

    Even IF the reserve deputy was just out to get these kids, the effect doesn't fit the cause...

    Follow me here...

    If "deputy dawg" wanted to jam these kids up on something, what got his attention first of all? "They're a car full of no good teens!" Ok, but woukd he just detain a car full of kids for just being a car full of kids on a country road? I doubt it HIGHLY even if he hates kids. He has better things to do with his night.

    What sounds more probable?

    1. He got pissed off at the kids for shooting at the sign with a rifle in the middle of the night and detained them until a full time deputy could arrive, take his statement, file charges and wait for a state attorney to decide.

    2. He detained them because he hates teens and made the whole thing up?

    They did not shoot the stop sign or discharge the gun at all. I have pictures of the stop sign from the front and the back... NO HOLES!
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 4,729 Senior Member
    JWC wrote: »
    First let me say the boys did not question him, other than to ask for a badge when he said he was a reserve deputy sheriff, the private citizen followed them 2 miles to the family hunting camp. When they got out to unlock the gate he confronted them in an aggressive manner.

    It is a violation of anyones 2nd Amendment right when the Conservation Laws on hunting are so vague as to be able to charge anyone who is carrying a gun, in an area known to have wildlife with hunting. If they didn't have the gun they wouldn't have been able to charge them with hunting..... They were legally carrying the AR -

    If you search this site, you will find me complaining that F&G laws regularly violate the Second and Fourth Amendments. Your particular case, in my opinion, is not a 2A violation, but rather a poorly written law intended to control poaching. Sometime since the law's inception, F&G has realized just how vague the law is and use that to prosecute anyone that they can not otherwise charge. Thousands of laws on the books are similar and it takes people like you to fight them to get them fixed. Maybe your case is the case that overturns this law, or at least gets the wording corrected.

    If your intention is to get the law overturned, (or clarified) set up a legal donation page. Facebook is a good start.
    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand
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