Self-Defense Violations

Acting in defense against aggression is yet another one of our most basic rights.  It’s nice to be able to defend oneself, and it’s also nice to be able to call upon professionals for assistance—but it’s sad when those hired servants decide to become our self-appointed masters, and prohibit us from doing it ourselves.  But, thankfully, all U. S. public officers have sworn a solemn oath-of-office to uphold the U. S. Constitution, whose Second Amendment explicitly protects our right to bear arms, including in self-defense.

Sadly, though, Provo’s politicians have chosen to ignore their solemn oath-of-office by restricting non-police firearm usage to recreation only—either at police-approved shooting ranges or at mayor-approved hunting grounds—while prohibiting any discharge of firearms whatsoever in self-defense.  (See Provo City Code, Title 9, Chapter 9.03.)  This means that ONLY police officers are supposedly allowed to defend Provoans from criminals—and, according to the U. S. Supreme Court, they are not legally obligated to defend anyone at all.

So, in short, when seconds count, Provo’s police are only minutes away, they might not bother to come at all, and they might even prosecute you for defending yourself in their absence.  It shouldn’t be up to police officers who gets defended and who gets allowed to die.  This must change—this city ordinance must be brought into conformity with the U. S. Constitution and, better yet, with our basic right to defend ourselves from others’ aggression.

While discharging firearms in self-defense remains illegal under Provo city code, it appears that merely bearing arms (without discharging them) for the purpose of scaring away suspicious trespassers can also be treated as a felonious act here in Provo.  Provo resident Ray Keller did this in 2015, which resulted in him being prosecuted, his gun being seized, and the possibility that the state would never permit him to own guns again.  Thankfully, Ray was ultimately acquitted, but such dangers remain.

(For more about Violating Natural Rights, please see Contractual Violations.)


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12 thoughts on “Self-Defense Violations

  1. Scott Mansfield

    I have the God given right to defend myself and family and friends.
    I should not have to ask permission.
    I think it’s time all government start paying for breaking their oath of office, they take my rights they go to jail same as anyone who takes rights from another.

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  2. Free Provo Post author

    Scott, yes, that’s absolutely correct. You have a God-given right to defend yourself, including with firearms. The U. S. Constitution acknowledges that right very explicitly, and demands that our public officers (at all levels) respect that right. Our public officers swear a solemn oath to uphold the U. S. Constitution and they should keep that oath. For such reasons, this section of Provo city code (as presently constituted) is invalid and, as such, should be revised into conformity with natural law (and the U. S. Constitution) as expeditiously as possible.

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  3. Andrew Ackerman

    Title 9 is about Public Peace and Safety, and other chapters in that Title talk about stuff like littering, fireworks, and public disturbances. I sincerely doubt that Provo lawmakers are prohibiting the use of firearms in self-defense scenarios since it’s far more likely that this code is directed more toward stuff like people building shooting ranges in their backyards.

    Also, 9.40 of Provo code states that the city adopts the Utah Criminal Code as its own criminal code. Utah Criminal Code 76-2-402 explicitly allows the use of force for the purpose of self-defense and also includes provisions on the use of deadly force when there is an immediate threat on your life and the lives of others. So, no, your right to self-defense is not being infringed on here.

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  4. Free Provo Post author

    Thank you, Andrew. As for myself, I’m having trouble reading Title 9.03 in any other way than that it’s illegal to bear arms in self-defense. In light of what you shared about Title 9.40, plus Utah state criminal code, this would mean that the city code contradicts itself. And, yes, Provo city code is subject to both the Utah state constitution, and the U. S. Constitution, both of which protect our right to bear arms. So, Title 9.03 should be brought into conformity with (1) state statutory law, (2) state constitutional law, and (3) federal Constitutional law in this regard.

    Until such revisions have been completed, unless I’m mistaken, it may be theoretically possible to sue a Provo resident for discharging firearms in self-defense based upon the present wording of Title 9.03, in which case the court would presumably side with the U. S. Constitution in declaring Title 9.03 to be unconstitutional as presently worded. Let’s hope so. But I’d prefer not to wait until then—it’s better to correct the city code BEFORE it needlessly costs someone both time and money.

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  5. Free Provo Post author

    Yes, Gregory, interesting things can happen whenever most Provo voters remain figuratively asleep (presuming that their conservative Republican neighbors are voting well), while most of those neighbors don’t bother to vote at all (trusting in the same thing), which means that it’s actually the small percentage of statists among us who keep dominating-and-winning elections year after year. Sometimes victory is achieved simply by showing up. How about, this year, we show up for a change?

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  6. Andrew Ackerman

    I’d definitely be on board with getting in touch with Provo legislators to eliminate the ambiguity in this law, because even though I stand by my previous assessment of it, I can see how it would be theoretically possible for it to be invoked outside of those bounds.

    That being said, there’s a big difference between it being theoretically possible and for the legislators having knowingly put that technicality in the Provo Code. Just like there’s a big difference between pointing out a potentially dangerous loophole and accusing law makers of being anti-Constitutional scum.

    Unless you have some sort of proof of any malicious intent, I would appreciate it if you would stop pointing accusatory fingers and riling Provo citizens with this fear mongering. This country is already far too divided on petty political brownie points as it is.

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  7. Free Provo Post author

    Andrew, thank you for that feedback. I respect that.

    I haven’t called them anti-Constitutional scum. But I do believe that their respective records leave much to be desired, and (in fact) demonstrate a clear pattern of attempting to centrally plan our economy in violation of our rights. And that’s not something that I can tolerate remaining silent about.

    You can accuse me of “crying wolf” if you like, but I think that the evidence is more in my favor than not. Perhaps you weren’t at the Vision 2030 meeting last summer when our city councilors blatantly discussed mandatory landscaping for every single-family home, regulated by city code so as to encourage a sense of “place” and “belonging” among all residents—but I was there, and I was appalled. Ditto when I read the Vision 2030 document about “sustainable” development, subsidies, monopolies, overseeing our diet and exercise, and so forth. Our city officers are getting away with such policies because not enough people are caring to pay attention—or realizing that they need to pay attention. This status quo needs to change, and it’ll only worsen if we continue to ignore it.

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  8. John Scottsman

    Just so everyone is aware this code does not apply to self Defense if it did it would have been listed in the code. It mearly means you cannot discharge a firearm in city limits. No officer will care if you fired one to protect yourself or another. They will care if you shoot a gun in your backyard like a dumbass. Over reading into issues to create one is not a sound tactic.

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  9. Free Provo Post author

    John, thank you for your feedback, although (for now) we stand by our position—this code needs to be revised into conformity with our God-given rights, as well as both federal and state law.

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