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CERT or Volunteer Disaster Emergency responders , H.R.5441 - S.706 & Concealed Carry

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by ThinkingMan, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. ThinkingMan

    ThinkingMan Montavilla, Portland, Oregon New Member

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    Hey all.
    So I have been researching laws about volunteers carrying concealed firearms. most specifically in the event of a MAJOR earthquake here in Portland, some of our volunteer emergency responders may self activate.. that means if the ground brings down a biulding arond you.. they can go in and get you.. for a lack of greater definitions. Citizen Corps has left it up to local jurisdictions to choose what they want to do RE: concealed carry however I think I have found a law that prohibits any kind of rule against concealed carry during a emergency. And would like someone elses view of this law..

    It is important to understand when reading this law the office I am referring to does receive federal dollars as part of its operations.

    H.R.5441 - S.706
    Bill Text - 109th Congress (2005-2006) - THOMAS (Library of Congress)


    If I read this correctly NO jurisdiction could prohibit their volunteers from carrying legally concealed firearms during a self call out situation. Perhaps during a call out that is ordered from the city.. but it seems not even in that case could the force a volunteer from carrying.

    My point it to show cause for a rule the exempts forcing volunteers to not respond because they have no way to secure their firearm someplace else due to the nature of the situation.


    -Joshua
     
  2. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    I am not a member of ARES (amateur radio emergency service) specifically because of the weapons issue which is largely due to the American Red Cross rules. They don't want me armed so they don't get my help.
     
    Buddhalux, nforest, Stomper and 3 others like this.
  3. Working 4 U

    Working 4 U Eugene Active Member

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    question for Quiet man

    So if you are a member of ARES operating you own gear during a time of emergency you are not permited to have a firearm?
     
  4. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    Not at any location sponsored or run by the American Red Cross... and they are normally a big part of any disaster response. I could get by if my "served agency" assignment was at Banks City Hall or Forest Grove Water District offices... or the like. Most assignments however are at public safety buildings, hospitals, and Red Cross served agencies. Therein lies the rub. You don't know where you will be assigned in an emergency. The Red Cross and ARRL had serious differences a few years ago over Red Cross mandated background checks, credit checks, and mode of living investigations for all volunteers but they agreed to forgo the credit checks and mode of living investigations in 2006. However, they are still on the Red Cross forms and many hams have quit over it. Some local ARES groups work on a "don't ask/don't tell" basis but firearms are generally not welcomed as part of volunteer programs at most "served agencies".
     
  5. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, this has been really informative. I didn't know much about the relationship between ARES and the Red Cross.
     
  6. Working 4 U

    Working 4 U Eugene Active Member

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    Thanks Quick man for the explaniation. Ok I was thinking if you were a volunteer during a time of emergency and passing traffic from you location (meaning your house) I am an instructor so this was of interest to me. thanks
     
  7. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    There is a wide variety of responses from different jurisdictions as to what's legal and what's not. I know as far as the feds are concerned, they got their hands tied after what both they and the locals did after katrina. ARES is technically federal, but you still have to contend with who the organizing body is. Technically, ARC should not be part of ARES, as ARC is an NGO, but there are MOU's with ARC in terms of using ARES.

    Most of the groups around here that are CERT/FEMA associated are RACES rather than ARES. I don't think CERT gets much to say about it, as I volunteer with the PD as part of RACES, and the chief of the department I volunteer for signed off on my CCW.
     
  8. PhotogUSA3

    PhotogUSA3 Boring, OR Member

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    Well to clear things up a little. ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service®) is a private. It part of the ARRL (American Radio Relay League). It has nothing to do with the feds, states or the ARC other than having MOUs with many of them.
    RACES is a federal radio service. To be part of it you need to be registered generally on the local level.
     
  9. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    Well said. However, the thread questions whether or not firearms are a welcome or allowable part of your kit when volunteering as part of an emergency response. My experience with ham radio related groups has been that firearms are generally not welcome, and in many cases specifically forbidden when functioning as an emergency communicator as part of a larger response. The reasons are many and varied, but have kept me from being a volunteer in this area.
     
  10. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    After reading this thread and thinking through the ARC's policy on no armed "members" is because in times of war the ARC and all associated RC (cross or crescent) groups are STRICTLY non-combatant, and "impartial" and have been "generally allowed" access to the needs of POW's, (mail to/from families, medical supplies, etc.) on either side of the conflict(s) throughout its history.