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#52260 - 10/20/05 08:20 PM Defending Preparation Stockpiles - Legal/Political
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
This may be too philosophical, or political to post here, but its a question I have had, and is best for lawyers and politicians, but it's a concern I have. Please read all the way through before replying, if you feel the need.

I am the type of person that likes to help people, unfortunately a disaster poses a unique situation. I've taken the time to prepare, and others have not. While the "Ant and the Grasshopper" story is cool, it only has 1 grasshopper. Not 10,20,30,50 grasshoppers stopping by food. So, in a disaster, its probably best to keep supplies to yourself and those you care about.

Anyway getting to the point. I have not heard any stories, so I don't know if it has ever happenend, but there are definately people that have not prepared. What if these people come and demand your supplies with force, or implied force? Are you permitted to defend your supplies? I think ethically, yes, in a disaster situation. Those supplies are designed to meet your needs and no one elses.

I've done a little research, but there is nothing written that explicitly handles this provision. In Florida, statue 776.013 addresses the use of force, and apparently if your supplies are in your "dwelling" (which includes tents that you will sleep in), you can defend them (Not a lawyer, go look it up yourself, and get your own legal counsel)

Okay, great, I can defend my supplies (in my opinion...). What happens if an "official" comes up and requests supplies for himself? Does the state law prevent him from doing that? Defending your supplies against a "police officer", for example, in a disaster isn't probably very wise. Another case of no absolute answer.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't help people, but it gets to a point where you have to save yourself, and the way the laws are now (i.e. subject to interpretation), you choice isn't very clear.

This probably isn't a big deal in the big scheme of things, but if you've taken the time to prepare, and someone demands your stuff, do you just give it up, hope to survive and avoid jail?

I'm going to contact my representatives to see what can be done to clarify. Maybe making such clear statements would encourage others to prepare.

If you think that this is a problem, perhaps you should contact your local and state representatives.

If you feel the need to discuss, then keep it civil.

#52261 - 10/20/05 09:29 PM Re: Defending Preparation Stockpiles - Legal/Polit
xbanker Offline

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 484
Loc: Anthem, AZ USA
I’m sure you’ve already considered most, if not all, of my points.

It seems to me that situational circumstances, e.g. an ongoing disaster, wouldn’t modify existing laws governing self defense or protection of property. Either you have justifiable cause, or you don’t. Of course, much depends on the level of force exerted by the perpetrator and vice-versa. Obviously, there’s a difference between a forceful “No!” from you vs. displaying (or using) a firearm. Absent lethal force by a would-be food-snatcher, I don’t think a defense of “he wanted to take my food” would be a good defense against serious charges brought against you.

As disgusting as looters and other unsavory characters can be during a disaster, I can’t imagine that their protections under the law from an over-zealous homeowner would be any more, or less, than pre-disaster.

Practically speaking, the trauma and expense of defending one’s actions (whether right or wrong) in the legal system post-disaster can’t be disregarded. On the other hand, I'm not suggesting either that one merely rollover and relinquish gear/food etc. Guess I'm saying, consider consequences before acting.

As has been suggested in past threads, I think the prudent course of action is to minimize as much as possible the likelihood of facing these kinds of decisions, by keeping your level of preparedness to yourself, and selectively sharing only with those you trust implicitly.

Not that I’d ever be mistaken for an attorney, but for the record…I’m not.
"Things that have never happened before happen all the time." — Scott Sagan, The Limits of Safety

#52262 - 10/21/05 12:35 AM Re: Defending Preparation Stockpiles - Legal/Polit
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Did I miss something? My supplies do not include a neon arrow to rival the Vegas strip with the legend ' survival suplies here' above it periodically shorting out when I shut down the generator. Just like the various knife legallity queries the operating word is DISCRETION.

#52263 - 10/21/05 01:01 AM Re: Defending Preparation Stockpiles - Legal/Polit

I agree with Chris, keep your supplies as discreet as possible. Never flaunt what you have, especially in times of need or emergency. But, if you are threatened, then a show of force is warranted. Almost always, a show of force is all it takes to protect yourself and your possessions. Being prepared means being prepared for every possibility.

#52264 - 10/21/05 03:42 AM Re: Defending Preparation Stockpiles - Legal/Polit
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
Thanks, you guys have filled in the blanks, and Chris, that was a great visual description of your neon sign... <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

It just seemed to me that there was no special provision for supplies, after thinking some more, someone cannot threaten your supplies, without threatening you anyway.

#52265 - 10/21/05 12:21 PM Re: Defending Preparation Stockpiles - Legal/Polit
NIM Offline

Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 128
From the cases I've seen anyone using force to defend their supplies is very likely to be made an example of by the justice system.

There is somewhat of an agenda to prevent citizens from 'hoarding' and being vigilantes. So don't get caught.


#52266 - 10/21/05 01:09 PM Re: Defending Preparation Stockpiles - Legal/Polit
NAro Offline

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 517
NIM, what cases are those?

#52267 - 10/21/05 01:26 PM Re: Defending Preparation Stockpiles - Legal/Political
Hghvlocity Offline

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 248
Loc: Oklahoma
It's a good question and one that I have often wondered about myself. I think that actual scenario that most folks will be dealing with is exactly the scenario that happened in NO..but on a larger scale.

For example, we have all heard of the "paid for" buses that were confiscated by federal authorities, and there are several reports of citizens being ordered here or there..but the scary thing is that while America has slumbered there are a number of Executive Orders that cover the very thing we fear...and they give incredible power to organizations such as FEMA.

So you really have to ask yourself a question like...when a FEMA rep comes to you and says...we are confiscating your 4x4 truck to use in emergency operations...what do you do? and yes, there is an Executive order to cover "hoarding"..Executive Order 10998 that was eventually rolled into EO 11051. While neither of these specifically authorizes the gov't to confiscate anything...a smart person can read between the lines. I don't want this to turn political, but the Constitution is pretty clear regarding the right to keep and bear arms...but you see how it has been turned and twisted.

Here is a link to a pretty good summary of the EO's that are out there, but this is by no means a definitive list...just one that concentrates on the discussion at hand. Interesting reading.

Link to EO Summary
Get busy living...or get busy dying!

#52268 - 10/21/05 01:38 PM Re: Defending Preparation Stockpiles - Legal/Political
norad45 Offline

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1506
In my opinion, defending your supplies from citizen looters really comes down to the laws in your state. If you are allowed to defend your home/vehicle and not required to retreat, then I think you are on safe ground in doing so.

Defending them against public officials is much more problematical. If you give them up and the official's actions are later found to be unlawful/unconstitutional, the most you will get is the monetary value of the goods. If you resist and are injured or killed you or your heirs may not even get that. Think about it: is anyone aware of any legal justification for threatening and/or using deadly force against a police officer who is acting in an official capacity and in good faith? I think it would be foolhardy at best.

As others have mentioned, keep 'em hidden. (Although even that might not be enough if you are being forcibly evacuated... <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />)

Regards, Vince

P.S.: I don't know about you but I'd be leery of bringing up the subject with my representatives. They seem to delight in doing foolish things for the public good, and might just "clarify" our right to stockpile supplies right out of existance.

Edited by norad45 (10/21/05 01:48 PM)

#52269 - 10/21/05 01:46 PM Re: Defending Preparation Stockpiles - Legal/Political
Craig_phx Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 715
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I remember seeing armed men by signs that said:

You loot we shoot!
Thermo-regulate, hydrate and communicate.

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