This time, Florida Man isn’t the one who comes off looking like an asshole. Excerpt:
Just last week, a man in Florida had his firearms confiscated simply because he had the same name as a criminal. That’s right. A man was stripped of his Second Amendment right…because the police failed to differentiate a law-abiding citizen with a thug.
According to Ammoland, Jonathan Carpenter received a certified letter from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services saying his concealed handgun permit had been suspended for “acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violations.”
Carpenter was forced to go to the Osceola County clerk’s office to have a form filled out stating he wasn’t the person law enforcement was looking for. At that point, the clerk instructed Carpenter to speak with the sheriff’s office.
The Sheriff’s office supplied Carpenter with a copy of the injunction. In the statement, the plaintiff stated that she rented a room out to a “Jonathan Edward Carpenter” and his girlfriend. She alleged that this Carpenter was a drug dealer who broke her furniture and sold her belongings without her permission. He had a gun, and she feared for her life. She was not sure if the firearm was legal or not.
Carpenter had never met the woman in question and never lived at the address listed in the restraining order. Moreover, other than being white, he looked nothing like the man the terrorized the woman.
The man in question is 5’8. Carpenter is 5’11. The alleged drug dealer is 110lbs. Carpenter is over 200. The man has black hair. Carpenter is completely bald. Last but not least, the man in question is covered in tattoos, and Carpenter only has a few.
Even though it was evident they had the wrong man, Carpenter was forced to hand over his firearms. There was no hearing or any kind of court proceeding.
This is so stupidly unconstitutional it’s not even funny. Here’s the Fifth Amendment:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Jonathan Carpenter was deprived of his property without due process. No judge was involved. No court order was filed. Carpenter had no opportunity to confront his accuser. The accuser wasn’t even talking about him, just some asshole who happened to have the same name.
Red Flag laws are the subject of much discussion right now. Proponents of those laws – in both parties – assure us that the law-abiding citizen has nothing to worry about; that due process will always apply; that nobody’s property will be capriciously confiscated.
Well, tell that to Jon Carpenter. He has a long road, a great deal of expense, and a nebulously defined path ahead to get back his own damn property that the government had no business taking in the first place.
And if he had refused to comply, the Osceola County authorities would have flung him into a cell.
If that’s not a horrendous injustice, I don’t know what is.