A New York man was left shocked when two of his Second Amendment advocacy signs were removed from his property by uniformed police officers on Monday.
Jon Gibson of Lake Lincolndale, N.Y. is a staunch defender of the Second Amendment in a state where Governor Andrew Cuomo drastically limited gun rights with the passage of the SAFE Act in January. Gibson received his original sign advocating for the repeal of the SAFE Act following a donation to the Shooter's Committee on Political Education (SCOPE). Following repeated complaints from a neighbor, the sign went missing the day after the most recent complaint. Following this incident, Gibson crafted a sign of his own and stationed a trail cam pointed at the sign to catch the thief and potentially press charges against him. He caught the police destroying and removing his property, which is a potential violation of his First Amendment rights.
As Gibson readies himself for potential legal action against the Somers Police Department, the only issue that stands in his way is whether or not the town has any rights concerning property four to five feet off the road, which is where the sign was placed. If the town has no property rights to the land, then it is clear that the man's First Amendment rights were violated. The state, at least on this occasion, entered private property and destroyed a sign advocating for the Second Amendment.
The destroyed sign, pictured above, features no hate speech, no offensive imagery, no threats of violence or really anything that warrants the continual harassment against Gibson. The SAFE Act has limited this man's Second Amendment rights, and now the police are attempting to limit his First Amendment Rights.
Whatever the neighbor or officer thinks about repealing the SAFE Act and defending his constitutional right to keep and bare arms does not matter. Gibson has the right to express his opinion on his land. Gibson took a stand to assert his constitutional rights and now he must continue to defend those rights.