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View Full Version : DOJ & BATF - Too much credit?


ts
08-09-2007, 6:35 AM
As a owner of a company that deals with clients I have this view on business; everything is a fight, thus you never underestimate your opponent. Treat everyone your doing business with like they are smarter, more competent, and better at everything then you are.

I see you guys flipping bricks every time you see someone with an illegally configured AR-15 or AK (I don’t mean full auto or suppressed, I mean no mag lock or MMG).

Now the DOJ and BATF are our opponents in this fight against gun laws. My question is do you think we are giving them too much credit? I would think the CA DOJ has bigger fish to fry then someone with an illegally configured long gun and would most likely drop the charges. I think the BATF has to deal with a lot larger issues then guys with removable magazines. I am thinking they wouldn’t even pursue you if they didn’t have other reasons such as drugs they wanted to get you on.

The same way driving with a break light out is illegal – most cops won’t waste their time, unless it is late at night and they suspect you might have some sort of drug on your person or something of that sort.

Now we all know the story of Black Water Ops and how he got arrested. He was a college student with military stuff, and legal guns. Right after the VT incident. That was a series of bad events. Can anyone pull up someone who has just been charged with having an AR-15 with an open mag well with evil features – from the past 7 years?

I would be real interested if they got prosecuted, and I bet they never saw the inside of a jail cell. Costs too much money to keep someone locked up for BS reasons. Hell, rapists and drug dealers get out in a year or so (I know a guy, middle class, was 20, has sex with a 14 year old - 10 years probation and Sex Offender for the rest of his life). Anyone got any info on how much the BATF and CA DOJ really do pursue these things and the prosecution process?

It would be very interesting.

(I am not telling you to do anything illegal)

Tony

EastBayRidge
08-09-2007, 7:26 AM
My personal experience in a different area is that (with due appreciation for the fact that exceptions exist) state-level regulatory agencies tend to attract those who couldn't hack it in the private sector, or were unable to get posts at the federal level. So the answer to your question would be a qualified yes, but for parallel reasons - as a read through the posts detailing OLL-history makes pretty clear, you're not dealing with rocket scientists... Plus I think you're right - they do have bigger fish to fry, though that doesn't preclude harassment of smaller fish...

leelaw
08-09-2007, 8:20 AM
Anyone got any info on how much the BATF and CA DOJ really do pursue these things and the prosecution process?

Yeah, DOJ has been behind the prosecution of an M1A with flash hider in LA, and is going after dealers just because they deal with OLLs, not because they did anything illegal.

BATF doesn't give a flip about California gun laws.

ts
08-09-2007, 8:24 AM
Yeah, DOJ has been behind the prosecution of an M1A with flash hider in LA, and is going after dealers just because they deal with OLLs, not because they did anything illegal.

BATF doesn't give a flip about California gun laws.

Let's see some articles or something - I can understand going after people selling illegally configured guns - but not wasting the time with the owners.

PIRATE14
08-09-2007, 8:28 AM
Let's see some articles or something - I can understand going after people selling illegally configured guns - but not wasting the time with the owners.

Believe me the DOJ spent a few tax payer $$$ chking out dealers who sold OLL, they haven't stopped yet......

While it's true they have some bigger fish to fry, that doesn't mean that they won't eat a few small fish as an appetizer........selective prosecution....

leelaw
08-09-2007, 8:34 AM
Let's see some articles or something - I can understand going after people selling illegally configured guns - but not wasting the time with the owners.

Dealer in the Bay Area last month - ransacked his house, brought to you by the Iggster. Dealer in Modesto a few months ago - was building fixed magazine OLLs; a listening device was found inside the shop, and the owner and three customers had their first day in court this past Monday.

tenpercentfirearms
08-09-2007, 8:38 AM
I think the underlying tone here is that you can do what you want and not worry about it. I am not willing to stake my freedom on the chance they won't come after me because they are too busy. However, I am also one of those high profile targets and that also influences my decision making.

I think people do overestimate the DOJ. They are not that worried about coming after every guy who has an OLL. However, you never want to make yourself a target. Shooting illegally configured OLLs at a public range is just really stupid. Driving around with an illegally configured OLL in your vehicle is really stupid.

It doesn't have to be the DOJ that goes after you, it can more easily be your local law enforcement who hates gun or just is bored and has an easy case.

Just follow the KISS principle and keep your guns legit, then you have nothing to worry about. Reduce your risk and don't take risky actions. If you do that, then it doesn't matter what the DOJ does or doesn't do.

ts
08-09-2007, 8:53 AM
I think the underlying tone here is that you can do what you want and not worry about it. I am not willing to stake my freedom on the chance they won't come after me because they are too busy. However, I am also one of those high profile targets and that also influences my decision making.

I think people do overestimate the DOJ. They are not that worried about coming after every guy who has an OLL. However, you never want to make yourself a target. Shooting illegally configured OLLs at a public range is just really stupid. Driving around with an illegally configured OLL in your vehicle is really stupid.

It doesn't have to be the DOJ that goes after you, it can more easily be your local law enforcement who hates gun or just is bored and has an easy case.

Just follow the KISS principle and keep your guns legit, then you have nothing to worry about. Reduce your risk and don't take risky actions. If you do that, then it doesn't matter what the DOJ does or doesn't do.

good point - but obvious mistake. your freedom is already being stripped. I heard of DOJ/BATF hassling gun shops (same way that selling marijuana gets you into jail but having 26 grams of it in a baggy will get you a ticket, that costs less then a speeding ticket) - but there has to be many AR-15 owners with illegally configured weapons. Can anyone find any prosecution info on them? Probation? Jail time? I am curious to know.

tiki
08-09-2007, 9:16 AM
I think most people have a short term memory and/or take what they hear or read in the news as gospel. So, you can't really blame these guys for going after the easy stuff.

They went after Blackwater because he was an easy target. I don't know him personally, and, I don't have anything against him. Although there is nothing illegal or wrong with posting a picture of yourself on the internet holding up guns, you have to agree that it invites trouble. And, if someone is sitting at thier desk in the morning drinking a cup of coffee looking for something to do that day, guess who wins the prize.

Something like that gets a lot of play in the news. Popping someone at the range driving an expensive car with a legally configured OLL just says to them, you aren't winning this one. Nabbing a college student short on cash holding up guns in a picture on MySpace, that they can claim are "military style", "assault", and "automatic", whether or not they finally nail him on something, they have already gotten the play in the news. His timing also wasn't optimal. Now, they look like they did something.

Busting BWO does nothing to stop crime. It builds news stories and the perception that something is being done about crime. It is far easier for them to bust a law abiding citizen with poor judgement and no money than do the harder work of getting someone that is a threat to society and is actively working to evade detection. For me, I wouldn't want to spend my career wasting time and giving the perception that I made a difference.

As far a dealers are concerned, they are a smaller group than buyers. So, harassing a few of them works also. Look at how many dealers won't sell or deal with OLLs in this state. The more they can push out from harassment, the better for them. They only push the buyers to the remaining dealers, and, eventually, there will be less and less to harass, so more harassment per capita.

They have the full force of the law behind them. They have lawmakers, police, lawyers, politicians and taxpayer money. They have huge budgets, and they have the news and media listening to them. After all that. They way they feel is the best way to stop crime is to arrest college students for legal guns, harass tax paying, law abiding gun dealers and tax paying law abiding citizens.

Instead of taking the tough route and working to really cut down crime and violence, the energy and resources are being focused on the easy route, giving the impression that something is being done by spreading misinformation, harassment and passing ineffective legislation like ammo sales recording and microstamping.

Lets not cut down on crime. Lets get busy saving the ****ing condor.

WolfMansDad
08-09-2007, 9:58 AM
There have been a few other cases of harassment. Remember Mischief? He has since changed his screen name, but he and a buddy were driving back from Burro Canyon and got stopped in Orange County for having a cracked windshield. One of them had either a hat or a t-shirt with a gun logo on it (may have been sig arms). When asked if they had any weapons in the car, they answered 'yes' and were pulled out at gunpoint. As I understand it, they had a legally-configured OLL or two but were arrested and charged anyway.

They made bail pretty quick, only spending one night in jail, and last I heard they were at the same stage in the legal process as BlackwaterOPS. We talked with Trutanich-Michel about setting up a defense fund for them as well, and we are waiting to see how the case develops before moving forward on that. The case is Quartermain-Ferguson, and they or Chuck can add to this account if they are reading this.

It does happen, but given the number of OLLs now in the state (40,000? 70,000? could we reach 100,000 by 2008?) it is exceedingly unlikely that any one individual will run afoul of any LEO over their legally-configured rifle. It sucks to be that individual, but it's not common.

tenpercentfirearms
08-09-2007, 10:04 AM
good point - but obvious mistake. your freedom is already being stripped. I know what I said and it was no mistake. I am not willing to risk my freedom; that means my freedom to own guns, my freedom to sleep with my wife at night, or my freedom to not eat prison food.

Being able to have a detachable magazine with evil features is irrelevant at this point. You can be a gung ho moron and excersize your right to have such things in the name of liberty at the expense of being incarcerated for it if you want.

I would rather bring in a bunch of AR15s, legally configure them, and have them nuetered while staying out of prison. That is freedom, freedom we didn't have two years ago. Ever since 2005 the trend has actually turned in our favor. We are gaining more of our rights back. So your statement that "our freedom is already being stripped" is the mistake. It was stripped and now we are painting it back on.

Why someone would want to throw all that away and rot in jail while everyone else is enjoying the party is beyond me. I guess because they want to "stick it to the man". Yeah, going to jail sure shows them.

These true genuine political theorists scare me. You have to live in the context of the current political climate. Sure I can believe the 2nd Amendment gives me a right to keep and bear arms and that CA Penal Code violates my rights. That doesn't mean I am not going to understand that until a supreme court case comes along proving otherwise, I can and will be held accountable for these unjust actions. You have to be smart with your time, energy, and money. Going to prison over an evil feature is not a choice I am going to make.

That doesn't mean I can't fight the system in other ways. For example becoming a gun dealer and selling over 800 off list lowers to Californians in the last two years.

oaklander
08-09-2007, 10:31 AM
I know what I said and it was no mistake. I am not willing to risk my freedom; that means my freedom to own guns, my freedom to sleep with my wife at night, or my freedom to not eat prison food.

Being able to have a detachable magazine with evil features is irrelevant at this point. You can be a gung ho moron and excersize your right to have such things in the name of liberty at the expense of being incarcerated for it if you want.

I would rather bring in a bunch of AR15s, legally configure them, and have them nuetered while staying out of prison. That is freedom, freedom we didn't have two years ago. Ever since 2005 the trend has actually turned in our favor. We are gaining more of our rights back. So your statement that "our freedom is already being stripped" is the mistake. It was stripped and now we are painting it back on.

Why someone would want to throw all that away and rot in jail while everyone else is enjoying the party is beyond me. I guess because they want to "stick it to the man". Yeah, going to jail sure shows them.

These true genuine political theorists scare me. You have to live in the context of the current political climate. Sure I can believe the 2nd Amendment gives me a right to keep and bear arms and that CA Penal Code violates my rights. That doesn't mean I am not going to understand that until a supreme court case comes along proving otherwise, I can and will be held accountable for these unjust actions. You have to be smart with your time, energy, and money. Going to prison over an evil feature is not a choice I am going to make.

That doesn't mean I can't fight the system in other ways. For example becoming a gun dealer and selling over 800 off list lowers to Californians in the last two years.

Well said.

I fail to see how having an illegally configured rifle helps anyone. The best way to fight the good fight is to:

1) exercise your rights *under the law* as written - that means Bullet Buttons and Monster Man Grips and U-15's etc.

2) register to vote, and *vote*

3) call, email or write your representatives (local, state, federal) as needed on gun legislation.

4) join the NRA

5) join your NRA Members Council and volunteer to sign new members up at gun shows.

6) spread the word

We have no need of "martyrs" - once you have a felony conviction, you lose your right to vote, you lose your ability to own firearms, you lose your ability to freely communicate with your politicians and fellow gun owners.

The progress we have seen in the last couple of years has been because numerous people (many on this board) have worked *within* the system. We are winning because of that.

We are not winning because of people who choose to have illegally configured rifles. They do nothing to help our cause.

JALLEN
08-09-2007, 11:09 AM
I think most people have a short term memory and/or take what they hear or read in the news as gospel. So, you can't really blame these guys for going after the easy stuff.

They went after Blackwater because he was an easy target. I don't know him personally, and, I don't have anything against him. Although there is nothing illegal or wrong with posting a picture of yourself on the internet holding up guns, you have to agree that it invites trouble. And, if someone is sitting at thier desk in the morning drinking a cup of coffee looking for something to do that day, guess who wins the prize.

Something like that gets a lot of play in the news. Popping someone at the range driving an expensive car with a legally configured OLL just says to them, you aren't winning this one. Nabbing a college student short on cash holding up guns in a picture on MySpace, that they can claim are "military style", "assault", and "automatic", whether or not they finally nail him on something, they have already gotten the play in the news. His timing also wasn't optimal. Now, they look like they did something.

Busting BWO does nothing to stop crime. It builds news stories and the perception that something is being done about crime. It is far easier for them to bust a law abiding citizen with poor judgement and no money than do the harder work of getting someone that is a threat to society and is actively working to evade detection. For me, I wouldn't want to spend my career wasting time and giving the perception that I made a difference.

As far a dealers are concerned, they are a smaller group than buyers. So, harassing a few of them works also. Look at how many dealers won't sell or deal with OLLs in this state. The more they can push out from harassment, the better for them. They only push the buyers to the remaining dealers, and, eventually, there will be less and less to harass, so more harassment per capita.

They have the full force of the law behind them. They have lawmakers, police, lawyers, politicians and taxpayer money. They have huge budgets, and they have the news and media listening to them. After all that. They way they feel is the best way to stop crime is to arrest college students for legal guns, harass tax paying, law abiding gun dealers and tax paying law abiding citizens.

Instead of taking the tough route and working to really cut down crime and violence, the energy and resources are being focused on the easy route, giving the impression that something is being done by spreading misinformation, harassment and passing ineffective legislation like ammo sales recording and microstamping.

Lets not cut down on crime. Lets get busy saving the ****ing condor.

It's not the condor, it's the budget. When Chiefs and Department heads go down to the legislature or the Board of Sups, etc. to get their budgets approved, they need numbers to show that they're "doing something", which does not include sitting around on the back of their laps reading the paper. Statistics, increases, effectiveness, more people, more managers, more gear, more money. That is how bureaucrats keep score. "My budget increase was more than your budget increase!" is their way of saying to their peers, "I'm successful!", like Bill Gates saying to Steve Jobs, "My stock is worth more than your stock!"

They would much rather go pop innocent citizens than take on the real bad hombres; when those guys get mad, they come out shooting!

zenthemighty
08-09-2007, 7:16 PM
+1 on what Wes said. We've lost our rights through creeping incrementalism. Its now our turn to repay the favor. Its going to be a long road, but we need to see it to the end of the journey. Until then we do no good behind bars... So we need to keep it legal and low key.

Guns by themselves scare the sheeple. A gun in the hand of someone who doesn't appear cool calm and professional scares them even more. Ask BlackWater Ops.

The name of the game is to present ourselves and our hobby/sport in a professional manner. The orange jumpsuit just doesn't look that professional.