The best concealed carry argument EVER: Federal judge rules police have NO duty to protect you

By J. D. Heyes

Our founders had many important reasons for enshrining the “right to keep and bear arms” in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, but the most notable of those was that all persons should have the most effective means of self-defense available to them.

Now, more than 230 years later, a federal judge has reaffirmed what our founders knew centuries ago: It’s foolhardy to rely on the government for protection against those who seek to do us harm.

As reported by The New York Times, that’s not what the judge sought to do, however:

The school district and sheriff’s office in the Florida county that is home to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had no constitutional duty to protect the students there during the deadly February massacre, a federal judge has said in a ruling.

The decision was made in a lawsuit filed by 15 students who said they suffered trauma during the Feb. 14 attack in Parkland, Fla. A total of 17 students and staff members lost their lives; 17 others were injured.

According to U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom, even an officer who was stationed at the school specifically to protect kids from the very threat posed by shooter Nikolas Cruz in February 2018 was ‘not obligated’ to act. Meanwhile, a county judge, Patti Englander Henning, ruled “that Scot Peterson, the armed sheriff’s deputy who heard the gunfire but did not run in and try to stop the attack, did have an obligation to confront Mr. Cruz.”

Two different interpretations of police obligations from two judges ruling on the same incident. Perfect.

However, and to the point of one intent behind the Second Amendment, historically Bloom’s decision has been the more commonly adopted opinion by courts, especially on the federal level.

“Neither the Constitution, nor state law, impose a general duty upon police officers or other governmental officials to protect individual persons from harm — even when they know the harm will occur,” Darren L. Hutchinson, a professor and associate dean at the University of Florida School of Law, told the Times. “Police can watch someone attack you, refuse to intervene and not violate the Constitution.”

He added that the U.S. Supreme Court has regularly upheld that police only have an obligation to protect those who are “in custody.”

“Courts have rejected the argument that students are in custody of school officials while they are on campus,” Hutchinson said. “Custody is narrowly confined to situations where a person loses his or her freedom to move freely and seek assistance on their own — such as prisons, jails, or mental institutions.”

Oddly, he said, there are some exceptions to the commonly held legal standard. For instance, he said, students in a crossing zone are in the ‘custody’ of the school crossing guard; if the guard would happen to be distracted by something like a cellphone and a child would get hit and hurt or killed by a car, then he or she would be liable.

Just not when an armed gunman attacks kids in a school that is then locked down — even when the officer who is stationed at the school specifically to protect them refuses to act (which is a violation of his oath and ‘duty to serve and protect’).

What’s even more offensive about this is that by law, no one except police officers is permitted to carry a constitutionally protected firearm onto school premises — a law that federal courts would also uphold as valid.

These kinds of Catch-22 situations with firearms cannot be permitted to continue. Either governments are all-in for protecting citizens at all levels and at all times, or governments need to get out of the way and allow Americans full use of their constitutional right to self-defense. 

A version of this story first appeared at NewsTarget.

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11 Comments on "The best concealed carry argument EVER: Federal judge rules police have NO duty to protect you"

  1. Catch 22 situation is right. What a mess the libs have made. This old fart is seriously considering getting his CC.
    The sad part is the places one would need a firearm is banned from the premises. Schools, businesses, government buildings, etc.
    Here’s some old adages that persuaded me to get a CC permit.
    ” When seconds count police are minutes away ”.
    ” It’s better to tried by twelve than carried by six ” .
    ” Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it ” .
    The more of us that have a CC the safer our country will be. It will make some of the bad guys have second thoughts. The hardcore scumbags won’t care. Those are the ones who might need to acquire a severe case of lead poisoning.

  2. Happy Magic Thoughts | April 30, 2021 at 8:53 am | Reply

    When only the police and government have guns all the crime will go away.
    If any crime occurs a faithful government servant who loves you will be there within seconds to save you.
    All the comrades of the glorious people’s collective will be too busy riding on unicorns and waving rainbow flags to do any crimes anyway.
    Now if only the bad orange man would go away we could have our man made utopian paradise on earth.

  3. The “police have no (constitutional) duty to protect the individual from harm” argument was made years ago and is well settled. What the police have is a duty to uphold an oath that they take when being sworn in as officers.. That oath varies from community to community but is often very specific as to what is expected from them. In the matter of the sheriff’s deputy at Stoneham Douglas, he had no constitutional requirement but he did have a moral and possibly local regulation requirement to intercede. If he was not going to confront a bad actor, then why was he there?
    Using the definition provided in this article of “Custody is narrowly confined to situations where a person loses his or her freedom to move freely and seek assistance on their own”, one can make the argument that the students were not “free to seek assistance on their own” as local regulations required them to be at that school under the conditions imposed upon them.
    I live in a Constitutional Carry state that allows firearm carry everywhere but courthouses. By default, carry is permitted in schools, public buildings, such as libraries, stores and even city halls (as long as the court is not located in the same building).

    • Ask yourself, why is only the Court prohibited space?

    • Hey Chuck, with regards to your CC state….you might not know, but you are forbidden “by federal law” to even have a gun in your vehicle, in a post office parking lot. There are some in my state (Ga.) that want CC state rights instead of a CC permit. However, with the success of becoming a CC state, we would no longer be able to carry them on our rapid transit system….a federal entity. We would even be breaking the law if we walked past a bus stop. As well, it hinders our ability to carry to other states that honor our CC permit. I do like your ability to carry in some places we cannot.

  4. All my firearms and all the times I carry I am 100% compliant with the second amendment.

  5. Dave Hardesty | April 30, 2021 at 11:56 am | Reply

    Gun control?
    Knowing when and when not to shoot, hitting the intended target with the first shot and carrying your weapon legally and concealed on your person at all times, at the ready if you need it. We really don’t need any more gun control than that.

    Before you vehemently disagree please pay attention to the 20th word in the first sentence.

  6. This is nothing new. That ruling was made decades ago.

  7. Well DUUHHHH it has only been settled law since since at least 2005. people had beeter wake up and realize it.

  8. Uppity White Man | April 30, 2021 at 2:57 pm | Reply

    This is why I carry a small .380 everywhere I go. I have no CCW. I go by the slogan in my old neighborhood. I can’t let the cops catch me with it & and can’t let the punks catch me without it. The difference is the punks will kill you.

  9. Stephen E. | May 1, 2021 at 4:52 am | Reply

    If not a constitutional obligation, then a contractual obligation. They are contracted to protect the public by whatever lawful method at their disposal. Enforcing the law and legal code and doings so at risk to their own safety is what they have been contracted to do, usually included in the oath they swear when made officers and definitely in their written contract.

    If the contract did not apply, then no officer could be held responsible for spending their day in front of a TV, in a bar, or a burger ignoring calls or ignoring or patrolling their beat on the off change that it might endanger themselves. But contracts are legal agreements that even superior or supreme courts are reluctant to overturn.

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