BATFE sinks to a new low in Richmond

Discussion in 'National Laws, Bills and Politics' started by Gunstar1, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    (below text is from VCDL's latest email alert)

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE), who
    seem to go out of their way to alienate gun owners with their
    heavy-handedness, behaved in a shameful manner this last weekend at
    the Showmasters' gun show in Richmond.

    I had reports from members of police going to their houses while the
    member was waiting for their approval to purchase a gun at the show!
    The police asked the spouse and other family members questions about
    the purchases and filled in a survey! "Did you know your husband was
    going to a gun show today?" "Did you know your husband was going to
    buy a gun today?" and many other such questions.

    If no one was home at the gun purchaser's house, the police went to
    the neighbors! "Did you know that your neighbor was buying a gun
    today? How do you feel about him doing so?"

    One member, who was carrying a personal gun to sell, was approached
    by BATFE and taken to a car while they checked him out. The officer
    said in front of Showmasters' management, "Did you know you need a
    business license to sell a gun at this show? I have seen you at a
    lot of shows - are you in the business of selling guns? I think you
    are." That's called a fishing expedition and intimidation. In the
    end they let the VCDL member go because their fish hooks came up
    empty.

    They had over 17 BATFE agents at that show. Richmond and Henrico had
    a large number of officers running to the homes of anyone purchasing
    a handgun to ask questions.

    I guess Mayor Wilder is flush with cash all of a sudden. Too bad he
    didn't use that money to put all those cops into the rougher
    neighborhoods of Richmond, instead of harassing the decent citizens
    who buy guns at a gun show.

    And, if you are sitting down, the main BATFE agent at the show told
    Showmasters' management that Richmond was going to be the model for
    this kind of behavior across the nation!!!

    BUT, THERE IS GOOD NEWS.

    Steve Elliott, who heads up C&E Gun Shows and is affiliated with
    Showmasters, along with Annette Gelles, who heads up Showmasters,
    went to Washington with some lawyers to get this straightened out on
    Monday. (BTW, Steve told me that he has spent in excess of $10,000
    this year on legal fees fighting this kind of abuse.)

    Steve and Annette were told by the BATFE in DC that BATFE would no
    longer be sending officers to people's houses who were purchasing a
    firearm and that what happened in Richmond should not have happened.

    We will be watching carefully to see if BATFE keeps its word or not.
    Report any such abuse immediately to VCDL, along with the officer's
    name, badge number, and department.
     
  2. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    All I can say is "wow."

    Unbelievable. I am not even sure I DO believe it . . .

    Simply amazing.

    Don't answer questions from "officials," folks. That tends to end "fishing expeditions" rather quickly. No sense fishing when the fish are not biting.
     

  3. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    I know, the part hardest to believe for me is the part where if the family was not home they would go to the neighbors house and ask them if they knew their neighbor was buying a gun.
     
  4. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    MY neighbors would say, "Really, what's he getting this time? Think he'll let us come over and shoot it?"

    I guess it all depends on where you live . . .
     
  5. john

    john New Member

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    What you should do is invite the PD to go shooting with you.They probably think this is B S too and could use a brake.
     
  6. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    Yes it does, in fact I was thinking of the last apartment I lived in. I lived in a duplex, next to a gas station and another duplex on the other side of it.

    On Mondays at 6pm when the gas station closed, the owner (who lived in a little apartment attached to the gas station) would turn on the rear most lights and we (all but one person in the duplex's since he worked late) would all go out and shoot various weapons until about 9pm.

    We used to joke about any unlucky soul who decided to break into the gas station or one of our apartments.
     
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Are police officers who follow these kinds of orders deserving of a break? :roll:

    Really?

    I have no sympathy for them even while I am quite aware that the vast majority of people would rather follow orders than stand on principle. Just because the majority does something does not make it right. As for me, I will do what is right. :wink:
     
  8. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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  9. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    I like that...
     
  10. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    I hope they don't try that here. The part about talking to the neighbors really annoys me. I like to choose to whom I make certain information known. Imagine if the ATF tipped off some less-than-honorable person that you have guns by indiscriminantly knocking on doors. Do you think they would be responsible for a theft that resulted? :roll:

    Guess I'll find out tomorrow...
     
  11. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Is this true?

    "At Pittsburgh, the Firearms Task Force there that's also headed by the ATF, instead of doing residency checks immediately, they're collecting the 4473 with the purchaser's address on it, then they go knock at the door about a week later and ask, 'Could we see the gun that you bought?'" McComas explained. "There's absolutely no process involved, there's no reason for them to do it. If you cannot produce the gun, they ask you for the sale paperwork. If you refuse to produce the paperwork they put you under arrest for a 'straw purchase.'"


    I hope they do try that here!
     
  12. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Where is the NAACP on this?

    "Anyone who was a [member of a] minority [group], they picked up their 'tail,' if you will, and just followed them through the gun show. When they stopped at a table, the agents would literally stand on one side or the other and watch what they were doing. If they started to purchase a gun [the agents] would ask them why they were buying it, what were they buying it for, what did they need that gun for," McComas related. "It was ridiculous. There was absolutely no reason for it other than the color of their skin."
     
  13. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Even the Democrat from Mass. had some biting comments for the ATF agents. The article noted that they were testifying on Feb 28, and that the subcommittee had requested the documents that the ATF refused to turn over previously under an FOIA.

    Are these hearings concluded?

    What was the outcome?

    Big shake up? People held to account?

    Or more of the same to come . . .
     
  14. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    They are in the same place as the Brady Bunch. Probably why this story is downlplayed so much in the media as to be non-existant.

    If you spend 10 years lobbying for more powers for the ATF and more restrictions on citizens (and sueing gun manufacturers), you can't just turn around and say the ATF can't be trusted to follow the law.

    Well you can, but you will look like a fool.
     
  15. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    I'm sure a couple of the Representatives shook thier heads and said something to the effect of "what a shame", "isn't that awful", or "somebody should really do something about that". :roll:
     
  16. thebugman

    thebugman New Member

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    For real? Where's Jheeeseeee Jhak son and the Raainbow Co alition?
     
  17. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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  18. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Two great links!


    John White, a show exhibitor, licensed firearm dealer and former police officer, said he appreciates law enforcement officials’ efforts to prevent illegal sales, but that the Richmond show activities went too far—especially in focusing on buyers who were women or members of minority groups. “Every woman that makes a purchase, every woman who comes to my table to buy a gun was automatically [treated as] a straw purchaser,†White testified, adding, “If a woman showed up at my table, she was surrounded by law enforcement.â€
    . . .
    At a second hearing on Feb. 28, the subcommittee gave BATFE and two local police departments their chance to respond. In sworn testimony, BATFE’s assistant director for Field Operations, Michael Bouchard, offered a very limited apology for a few of the Bureau’s actions, admitting only that “some techniques†used at the show were not “consistent with atf’s best practices.â€


    :sly:

    Yes, Assistant Director Michael Bouchard, the "best practice" would have been to send in several masked men to light the place on fire and then shoot any children trying to flee the flames, right? :roll:
     
  19. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Section 6 has the relevant "reform." It does not do nearly enough. It asks the wolves to check on whether the fox raided the hen house. It is kind of like asking Saddam Hussein to report on whether the Fedayeen overstepped their authority.

    Section 11 is probably more important (not to gun shows, but in general).

    I have an idea for reform - abolish the BATFE!

    I think if anything significant is to come out of this, it will have to come from lawsuits by people who had their rights violated. Those will only matter if the NRA is not involved.

    I have not heard of any such lawsuits (with or without the NRA).
     
  20. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    No that is too much, just abolish the ATF and leave the BE. :D
    Nor have I.