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Second Amendment Foundation Supports Weinsier

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The Second Amendment Foundation has voiced their support for WPLG reporter Jeff Weinsier saying his “arrest has far less to do with his Second Amendment rights than it does his First Amendment rights”.

Full press release after the jump

SAF Defends Miami Reporter, Says First Amendment Important as the Second

BELLEVUE, Wash., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Second
Amendment Foundation today called the arrest of WPLG reporter Jeffrey
Weinsier a “First Amendment outrage” that only subsequently focused on a
concealed handgun he was carrying “simply to deflect public attention from
the fact that Weinsier was arrested for doing his job.”

Weinsier is licensed to carry a concealed handgun, and reportedly does
so because his investigative reports have resulted in death threats. He was
arrested Tuesday at Miami Central High School while working on a story
about school violence, and reportedly charged with trespassing on school
property with a weapon, resisting officers, and possession of a firearm on
school grounds. SAF has reviewed video of the incident.

“Weinsier’s arrest has far less to do with his Second Amendment rights
than it does his First Amendment rights, and we think school authorities
and the officers involved know it,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “Our
staff has reviewed the video and it does not appear Mr. Weinsier set foot
on school property. He appears to have remained on a public sidewalk, where
he had a right to be as a citizen, and a responsibility to be as a reporter
doing his job.

“He never exhibited the handgun,” he added, “nor does it appear he
entered any school facility. The only threat he seems to have posed to
anyone might have been his already-proven ability to flesh out a story that
perhaps school authorities would rather not see on the evening news.

“We are also alarmed at the attempt by one officer to block
photographer Frank Debesa’s camera, so he could not document the incident
on video,” Gottlieb said. “This is the United States, not a police state,
and our Constitution protects press freedom to the same degree that it
protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. The public has a right
to know what goes on in their schools, and Weinsier was trying to tell
them.

“The Florida statute regarding guns on school property appears to be on
Weinsier’s side, but that will ultimately be for a judge to determine, if
this case goes that far,” Gottlieb said. “We don’t think it should, and we
are hopeful that WPLG stands behind its reporter because if authorities can
arrest Weinsier today, who will they arrest tomorrow? A free society cannot
allow any abuses of constitutional rights. The Bill of Rights is an
all-or-nothing package, and we either defend every part of the document, or
the entire thing is worthless.”

The Second Amendment Foundation (http://www.saf.org) is the nation’s
oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal
action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately
own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more
than 600,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to
better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

SAF.org

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah, that’s what we need reporters carrying guns!
    I don’t think a company like Post Newsweek wants to deal with the liability of having its crews packing heat. That’s why they have a policy about no concealed weapons–permit or no permit.

  2. Veronica no more statutes and carriyng on school property bull? Now you are down to Post-Newsweek policy only?
    In this legal matter in front of us WHO CARES what Post policy is.
    What do you care if reporters or anybody else in that matter are lawfuly armed? Just show your true agenda.
    Weinsier didn`t break the law but allowed his captors to turn attention away from real issiue of police power abuse into antigun histeria.
    “Save our children from reporters with guns!” Idiotic, isn`t it?

  3. Veronica, Ch 10 does allow its reporters to carry concealed weapons, but u have to get permission first, Weinsier didnt do that, but if he had asked, they would have probably approved it.

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