Gun Control, the Dick Act of 1902, Bills of Attainder & Ex Post Facto Laws

By: Publius Huldah

The latest round of rubbish flooding our in boxes is an ignorant rant claiming that the Dick Act of 1902 (which respects our Right to be armed) can’t be repealed because to do so would “violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws”.

Who dreams up this stuff? Does anyone check it out before they spread it around?

Of course we have the God-given right to keep and bear arms, to self-defense, etc., etc. Our Declaration of Independence (2nd para) recognizes that our Rights come from God and are unalienable.

In addition, the 2nd Amendment to our federal Constitution recognizes that this God-given right to keep and bear arms is to be free from any interference WHATSOEVER from the federal government.

Our Framers were all for an armed American People – they understood that arms are our ultimate defense in the event the federal government oversteps its bounds. See, e.g., what James Madison, Father of Our Constitution, writes in the second half of Federalist Paper No. 46! The reason the Citizens – the Militia – are armed is to defend ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, communities, and States from an overreaching, tyrannical federal government.

Furthermore, the federal government is nowhere in the Constitution granted authority to restrict, in any fashion whatsoever, guns, ammunition, etc. Thus, ALL laws made by Congress, ALL regulations made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco (BAFT), are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers granted to Congress and to the Executive Branch by our Constitution. Regulation of arms and ammunition is NOT one of the “enumerated powers” delegated to Congress or the Executive Branch.

Furthermore, all pretended regulations made by the BAFT are also unconstitutional as in violation of Art. I, Sec. 1, U.S. Constitution, which vests ALL legislative powers granted by the Constitution in CONGRESS. Executive agencies have no lawful authority whatsoever to make rules or regulations of general application to The People!

In addition, the President and the Senate may not lawfully by treaty do anything the Constitution does not authorize them to do directly. Since the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to disarm us, the federal government may not lawfully do it by Treaty. See,

But the assertion that one Congress may not repeal acts of a previous Congress is idiotic.

And the assertion that Congress can’t repeal the Dick Act because a repeal would “violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws” shows that whoever wrote that doesn’t know what he is talking about. He obviously has no idea what a “bill of attainder” is, and no idea what an “ex post facto law” is.

This accurately explains what a “bill of attainder” is:

An “ex post facto” law RETROACTIVELY criminalizes conduct which was not criminal when it was done.

Say you barbequed outside last Sunday. That was lawful when you did it. Next month, Congress makes a pretended law which purports to retroactively criminalize barbequing outdoors. So, now, what you did is a crime (for which you are subject to criminal prosecution); even though when you did it, it wasn’t a crime. That is an ex post facto law.

Now, say Congress passes a pretended law making possession of firearms a crime and ordering everyone to turn in their guns. Only if you do not turn in your guns will you have committed a “crime”. That is not an ex post facto law because if you turn in your guns, you won’t be criminally prosecuted. The “crime” is the failure to turn in your guns – not the prior possession of guns.

Such a law would be totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL, because gun control is not one of the enumerated powers of Congress. Thus, the law would be outside the scope of the powers delegated to Congress.

It would also be unconstitutional as in violation of the 2nd Amendment.

But it would not be an ex post facto law.

People shouldn’t sling around terms, the meanings of which, they do not understand. It is immoral.

If TRUTH spread as rapidly as lies, our problems would have been resolved long ago. But if people can come to love TRUTH more than they love the ignorant rubbish they circulate, perhaps it is not too late to restore our Constitutional Republic. PH


1 In Federalist Paper No. 84 (4th para), Alexander Hamilton says re ex post facto laws (and of the importance of the writ of habeas corpus):

“…The creation of crimes after the commission of the fact, or, in other words, the subjecting of men to punishment for things which, when they were done, were breaches of no law, and the practice of arbitrary imprisonments, have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny…” PH

9 thoughts on “Gun Control, the Dick Act of 1902, Bills of Attainder & Ex Post Facto Laws

  1. I agree about the two details …
    “bills of attainder and ex post facto laws” …
    Agreed that Dick Act of 1902 did not change anything about the fact that we do have a right to bear arms, which the Constitution recognizes and protects.
    But what I need to be clear on is what that “Dick Act of 1902 (1903)” was supposed to help with?
    What confuses me is if this Act was what they say it is, then why do we have all those gun laws since that time?

  2. We have all these unconstitutional federal gun laws and the unconstitutional rules of the BAFT because WE THE PEOPLE stopped reading the Declaration of Independence and our federal Constitution. Instead of reading our Founding Documents and learning them; we just listened to what other people said and we believed what they said, and so never checked it out. In fact, we repeated what we had heard and thus mislead those who listened to us.

    Thus, only a few Americans understand the concept of “enumerated powers”. Most people do not know that in the Constitution, we listed – itemized – enumerated – every single power we delegated to the federal government. If a power isn’t listed in the Constitution, the federal government doesn’t have the power!

    We NEVER delegated to the federal government any power to restrict guns and ammo! The federal government has NO LAWFUL AUTHORITY in the Constitution to make any restrictive laws about guns and ammo. So when they do it any way, they are acting unlawfully – they are usurping powers they do not possess.

    We were too ignorant and/or cowardly to protest when the federal government started restricting gun & ammo use and possession.

    The Dick Act is irrelevant. No act of Congress is our Rock. Our ROCK is the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution of Enumerated Powers only. Congress’ powers are enumerated. The President’s powers are very limited and enumerated. The powers of the federal courts are likewise limited and enumerated.

    All of us need to learn those two founding Documents. And demand compliance. And start drawing some lines.

  3. We have, therefore, the right to manufacture, sell, purchase and own fully automatic weapons.

    That known, I’m wondering just how many folks who have recently spoken so vehemently about Cold Dead Hands and piles of dead ATF agents in response to the threat of confiscation, will actually have the courage of their convictions and obtain automatic weapons (without paying the BATFE “tax”) and defend their right to THOSE weapons with their lives.

    That’s not a criticism in any way; though it is a challenge … actually, it’s a recommendation.

  4. The federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate automatic weapons. If federal swat teams have them to use against us, WE THE PEOPLE need them to defend ourselves.

    Re defending our natural or God given rights with our lives: At times the options are to defend rights with one’s life or be killed in gas chambers. Just a handful of armed German soldiers got millions of Jews to get on the trains. The Jews submitted – they believed the lies. But if just a few of them had taken on the German soldiers, the others could have escaped and many could have lived.

    Those on United Airlines Flight 93 are among the Great Heroes of our Time.

    I think it was Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who said that if, when the secret police were going out to make arrests, they had known that they would be met with citizens with stones and pitchforks, instead of non-resistance, the people could have stopped the arrests. But the people didn’t resist – they docilely permitted the secret police to take them away to the gulags. The secret police had nothing to fear from the people they came to arrest and their neighbors.

    When every executive department in the federal government has armed squat teams with fully automatic weapons and hollow points; but The People don’t, democide is on its way. You can count on it.

    By far, the leading cause of death in the 20th Century was….. civil governments murdering their own People. They did this by the hundreds and hundreds of millions.

    James Madison said the American People must be armed to defend themselves from the federal government. WE THE PEOPLE must have the same weapons the federal government is stockpiling to use against us.

  5. All exactly right, Publius. And you raise an issue that truly worries me:

    “The secret police had nothing to fear from the people they came to arrest and their neighbors.”

    The real point in these discussions is not whether you or I will fight and/or die to defend our God-given rights …. it’s whether we will do so to defend our neighbor’s rights.

    As I see it, this poses a problem. How can you jump to your neighbor’s defense if you have no idea WHY the SWAT team is raiding your neighbor’s home? Are they executing a legitimate warrant for some heinous crime? Or, are they busting in his door at 3 a.m. to engage in a warrantless unconstitutional search for & confiscation of firearms? The SWAT teams aren’t likely to tell you which it is.

    If people want to keep their rights, they’d better get to know their neighbors very well. Especially if they’d like their neighbors to come to THEIR defense.

    I’m not so sure how reasonable it is to believe that such “neighborly defense pacts” are terribly common.

  6. Before TV, people knew their neighbors. Actually, those who lived in subdivisions knew everyone who lived in the subdivision. Really. I well remember life before TV and knowing everyone who lived in my subdivision.

    I didn’t know life in the big cities then; but understand from various sources that people who lived in apartment buildings knew each other.

    Yes, one of the things we should be doing now is getting to know our neighbors.

  7. PH, Excellent and very timely. The real issue in the gun control debate, that’s never debated is why are there so many who don’t respect and value human life that are so willing to murder? The failure of parents to civilize their children is the issue. The guns aren’t the issue, it’s people who think murder is a problem solving tool.

  8. And the removal of The Ten Commandments from the school – especially the “Thou shalt not kill” one.
    When I was in high school, the boys brought their rifles to school – kept them in their trucks and they went shooting after school. Never heard of any of the killings we have today. Of course, this was over half a century ago and the Ten Commandments were still posted in the schools!
    And after The Ten Commandments were removed, “values clarification” was introduced into the public schools where the students were freed from “authoritarian” moral values and were taught that morality is a matter of personal choice and group consensus.
    STATES need to NULLIFY those supreme Court opinions which pretended to ban prayer and the posting of the Ten Commandments in schools.
    Don’t forget, Hugo Black, the supreme Court justice who wrote the majority opinion in Engle v. Vitale, the first opinion banning prayer in the public schools, was a former Ku Klux Klansman. Yes, and he was FDR’s first appointment to the supreme Court and a staunch advocate of FDR’s “court packing scheme”.

  9. I totally agree PH… and I can remember the 10 commandments and the Golden rule hung side by side thru my 3rd grade year at my grade school. The further from religion people have gotten, the more barbaric they became…. you don’t have to be an Einstein to see that.

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