Protective Orders and Firearms, the Salem Witch Trials of Today


Between the years of 1692 and 1693 more than 25 people were accused of being witches and were either executed or died in prison in the area around Salem Massachusetts.

Nearly all of the accused and condemned had little more evidence against them than some other person pointing at them and yelling “WITCH!!”

One might think that some 300 plus years down the line we might have evolved over such knee jerk reactions and rushes to judgment but when it comes to gun owners that is often not the case. In particular, a person can request a protective order in many states by simply saying they were threatened. No proof is needed, no evidence required. Yet for a falsely accused gun owner they are completely stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights, as a condition of a protective order is that you must forfeit your firearms for the duration of the order.

That doesn’t seem like due process to me. That seems like you are going to be treated as guilty until you can somehow prove your innocence. Yet considering that you were condemned in the first place by someone who didn’t produce any evidence proving you did anything wrong, disproving it may be difficult.

I bring this up because of a story in neighboring Connecticut where a Fire Lieutenant is facing this type of baseless accusation and the repercussions it brings.

Hartford Fire Lt. Michael Patterson had a protective order issued against him on Oct. 1st after his mother-in-law, Cynthia Chevannes, said that he threatened him. That’s it, that was the extent of her proof. She said so. The mother-in-law lives in the family home with Patterson, his wife and their two children. As such the police came and confiscated all of Patterson’s firearms and ammunition.

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