The facts in this story certainly sound like a cautionary tale for red flag laws and how they could destroy someone’s constitutional rights.
According to the MV Times, a couple of friends were sitting at Linda Jean’s restaurant in Tisbury, Massachusetts eating. School crossing guard 84-year-old Stephen Nichols told his friend, Andy Marcus, that he thought the school resource officer shouldn’t be leaving his job to get coffee at the Xtra Mart when the kids were coming to school in the morning. He told Marcus that someone could “shoot up the school” in the period of time officer was “leaving his post” getting coffee.
From Daily Wire:
Nichols, who was a Morse Code specialist for the U.S. Army, told the MV Times, “When I was in the U.S. Army, and it wasn’t just me, it’s anybody who’s in the U.S. service, if you are on guard duty for eight hours, you didn’t leave that position. … And I’m just so accustomed to that, that when I see someone who’s supposed to be protecting kids … leave the school unguarded — if you’re on guard duty, you stay there.”
The waitress reported Nichols to the police two days later, prompting Police Chief Mark Saloio and another police officer to relieve Nichols from working as a crossing guard while he was at the job, then going to Nichols’ home and confiscating his firearms license and guns, as the MV Times reported.
This despite that fact that Nichols was a Korean War veteran, had also been a police officer for decades and had a firearms license for 60 years, according to Nichols, without any issue. Nichols also reported that the police presented him with no paperwork, just took his license and guns.
Both the owner of the restaurant and Marcus said that nothing Nichols had said could be interpreted as a threat in any way and called the action against Nichols outrageous. Marcus explained that Nichols loved kids and would be the last person to ever be a threat. Ironically, it was that love and concern about the actions of the SRO that got him in trouble.
Saloio met with Nichols on Columbus Day to offer his job as a crossing guard back to him. NRAILA reported that an attorney who represents Nichols told the MV Times that Nichols intended to file an appeal to secure the return of his firearms. NRAILA continued, “Meanwhile, Nichols was informed that his grandson, who manages a Worcester gun shop, is ‘going to be allowed to come down and take the weapons and sell them for me.’ As it stands, Nichols has yet to receive his license or firearms back.”
Nichols was never charged with anything, never arrested and never was given a justification for the seizure of his guns and license. There was no adjudication before his property was seized.