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Appendix F
Potowmack Institute, amicus curiae
US v. Emerson, Fifth Circuit, Case No. 99-10331

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The 1994 National Platform*Libertarian Party (Excerpts):

The Libertarian Party Platform can be found at http://www.lp.org/platform/.

The preamble, Statement of Principles, and planks below are unchanged since 1994.

[The Platform linked above reflects revisions as of July, 2002. Explicit advocacy of repeal of the National Firearms Act of 1934 has been removed but the goal is still there.]

Preamble

As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which al individuals are sovereign over their on lives, and no one is force to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.

We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

Consequently, we respect each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own way, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.

In the following pages we have set forth our basic principles and enumerated various policy stand derived from those principles.

These specific policies are not our goal, however. Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.

Statement of Principles

W e, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individual and the fruits of their labor: Even within the United States, al political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.

We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely,

(1) the right to life— accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others;

(2) the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and

(3) the right to property— accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud and misrepresentation.

Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rightly, is the free market.

I. Individual Rights and Civil Order.

6. Juries

We oppose the current practice of forced jury duty and favor all-volunteer juries. In addition, we urge the assertion of the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law. In all cases to which the government is a party, the judge should be required to inform the jurors of their common law right to judge the law, as well as the facts, and to acquit a criminal defendant, and to find against the government in a civil trial, whenever they deem the law unjust or oppressive.

7. Individual Sovereignty

The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights— life, liberty, and justly acquired property— against aggression, whether by force or fraud. This right inheres in the individual, who— with his or her consent— may be aided by any other individual or group.

The right of defense extends to defense against aggressive acts of government. We favor an immediate end to the doctrine of "Sovereign Immunity" which ignores the primacy of the individual over the abstraction of the State, and holds that the State, contrary to the tradition of redress of grievances, may not be sued without its permission or held accountable for its actions under civil law.

15. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The Bill of Rights recognizes that an armed citizenry is essential to a free society. We affirm the right to keep and bear arms and oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, regulation, or requiring the ownership, manufacture, transfer, or sale of firearms or ammunition. We oppose all laws requiring registration of firearms or ammunition. We also oppose all government efforts to ban or restrict the use of tear gas, "mace," or other self-protection devices. We further oppose all attempts to ban weapons or ammunition on the grounds that they are risky or unsafe.

We support repeal of the National Firearms Act of 1934 [requiring a federal permit to possess such things as machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, silencers, hand grenades, etc.] and the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968, and we demand the immediate abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

We favor the repeal of laws banning the concealment of weapons or prohibiting pocket weapons. We also oppose the banning of inexpensive handguns ("Saturday night specials"), and semi-automatic or so-called assault weapons and their magazines or feeding devices.

16. Conscription and the Military

Recognizing that registration is the first stop toward full conscription, we oppose all attempts at compulsory registration of any person and all schemes for automatic registration through government invasions of the privacy of school, motor vehicle, or other records. We call for the abolition of the still-functioning elements of the Selective Service System, believing that impressment of individuals into the armed forces is involuntary servitude. We call for the destruction of all files in computer-readable or hard-copy form compiled by the Selective Service System. We also oppose any form of national service, such as a compulsory youth labor program.

We oppose adding women to the pool of those eligible for and subject to the draft, not because we think that as a rule women are unfit for combat, but because we believe that this step enlarges the number of people subjected to government tyranny.

We support the immediate and unconditional exoneration of all who have been accused or convicted of draft evasion, desertion from the military, and other acts of resistence to such transgressions as imperialist wars and aggressive acts of the military. Members of the military should have the same right to quit their jobs as other persons.

We call for the end of the Defense Department practice of discharging armed forces personnel for homosexual conduct. We further call for the retraction of all less-than-honorable discharges previously assigned for such reasons and deletion of such information from military personnel files.

We recommend the repeal of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the recognition and equal protection of the rights of armed forces members. This will thereby promote morale, dignity, and a sense of justice within the military.

IV. Foreign Affairs

5. Secession

We Recognize the right to political secession. This includes the right to secession by political entities, private groups, or individuals. Exercise of this right, like the exercise of all other rights, does not remove legal and moral obligations not to violate the rights of others.


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