[Editor’s note: As this post was going to press we learned that Stephen Nichols had been reinstated as a school crossing guard.]
By Faye Higbee
A gun seizure in Massachusetts raises serious questions about the state law on guns and the notion of red flag laws in general. Stephen Nichols, an 84-year-old retired Tisbury police officer and Korean War Army veteran, was conversing with a friend over a meal at a local restaurant. The waitress who was serving them reported the conversation she overheard to authorities. As a result Nichols’s guns were confiscated and his gun license was revoked.
To add insult to injury, it turns out the server heard only heard part of the conversation. Nichols was a crossing guard at the local school and was criticizing another employee for leaving his post during school hours. To emphasize the danger of such dereliction, Nichols remarked off-offhandedly that “someone could shoot up the school while he was gone.” The waitress didn’t listen to the tone of voice or the context for clues. She called police and reported him as a threat to the school.
Nichols was also fired.
The MV Times reports:
Nichols said the waitress made a complaint to Tisbury Police about what she overheard and on the strength of that, [Police Chief Mark] Saloio and another officer relieved Nichols of his crossing guard duties while he was in the midst of performing them and subsequently drove to his home and took away his firearms license and guns.
“He came up and told me what I said was a felony but he wasn’t going to charge me,” Nichols said of Saloio.
The confiscated guns were later turned over to Nichols’ son-in-law, Nichols told The Times.
Asked if he was given a letter or any paperwork for the seizure of his license, Nichols said, “No he just told me to hand it over so I took it out of my wallet and handed it to him.”
Saloio refused not only to comment to news media but to release the police report because it was, in his words, a “personnel matter.”
Nichols says he had had his firearms license since 1958. He has not been charged with a crime but has nevertheless lost his Second Amendment rights.
- Redmond, WA ‘red flag’ gun seizure raises big question
- Beto O’Rourke on Gun Confiscation: ‘This Is Constitutionally Sound’ — Video
- “Red Flag Laws” – Gun Confiscation and Mental Illness
Cross posted at Conservative Firing Line