Senator Nathan Dahm has revealed the wholesale disregard of the Oklahoma Game Wardens for Constitutional Rights of privacy. Farmers, ranchers, and other rural citizens are now being subjected to indiscriminate searches, surveys, photographic and video recording, and other forms of disrespect for the agri-business, and rural citizens. They can even let loose their "police dogs" on a farm. Ranchers' kids can find themselves under fierce persuit by a vicious dog and not know if it's a law enforcement dog or a wild and deadly animal threat. Try shooting a "canine unit" animal and see what happens to you? On second thought.... DON'T!!
But the game warden will shoot a farm dog whom he believes he is threatend by.
SB1142 was filed in the last Oklahoma legislature. The final language was vastly changed from the simplicity in which Dahm wrote his original piece. Never the less, Gov. Fallin would have none of it. She seems bent on killing anything coauthored by Dahm. To his credit, Dahm has achieved broad cooperative assistance from several of his colleagues. He has successfully forced some law via legislative override of the veto pen. Even achieving broad bipartisan support.
- That venison in the freezer seems suspicious? Where's the dear tag?
- There's not a current boat sticker on that canoe in the garage?
- Why is the shotgun loaded and hanging in the barn?
- Do you have a car title for that '63 buick in the feed shed?
Why do we call it "private property" if our own public servants don't respect our privacy? Why do they think that only the house itself requires a warrant and probable cause before being encroached? Why not the shed, barn, or even the barnyard?
One prominent spokesman for the state said" We can't properly enforce the law if we have to first establish probably cause?.... Yeah, I remember 1970s East German government officials saying that, too.
The truth is that many of us Oklahomans have suffered from our own selfish attitudes about civil rights. We only seem to care when our own lifestyles are encroached upon. We even get jealous of others who seek freedoms beyond which we enjoy. The SQ777 detractors even said openly; "Why should farmers have special rights?" The truth is that we all should see these constitutional liberties as our own, even when our lifestyles do not include exercising them on a daily basis.
"Liberty for me, But not for thee."
Currently, the rancher faces severe penalties if he shoots a feral hog behind the barn, in November. He must prove he has a current unused deer tag, or he gets charged with poaching and his gun is confiscated.
See, the game warden knows who owns what land. But since he feels the wildlife on that land belongs to the state, and the state authorized him to protect it, then he believes he has the right to do whatever is advantageous toward protecting any and all wildlife in his care. This is where the struggle really resides.
One point of clarification: The Game Wardens are not known to currently use canine units, but that's not outside the possibilities, either. That's why the article properly says "they can".
No Oklahoma statute was found which would prohibit wardens from letting a trained law enforcement dog on private property. We illustrated the point in the enclosed photo to make the point of what current policy and law could very easily lead to.
The proper & constitutional solution is to get a warrant like every other cop is required to do. This current practice is obviously a solution looking for a problem to get justified by.