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Am I an Enemy of the US Government? (JPFO Guest Editorial)
JPFO.org ^ | 02/12/07 | Len Savage

Posted on 02/13/2007 8:09:39 PM PST by Copernicus

JEWS FOR THE PRESERVATION
OF FIREARMS OWNERSHIP

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Am I an Enemy of the US Government?

by Len Savage


Prior to July 7, 2003, I would never have asked myself that question. Now I find myself reflecting back to that day when I ponder, "How in the world did this mess get started?".

I am a Federally licensed firearms manufacturer. As a responsible member of my industry I always worked closely with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). I had always encountered good people at the local Atlanta field office. Very professional, very prompt, and yes even courteous.

As a manufacturer I am not required to submit any sample to ATF for review. I submit samples to be completely open and transparent, and most of all, to verify compliance with all federal laws. I do not ever wish to make or sell an illegal product.

On July 7th, 2003 I called Sterling Nixon, Chief of the ATF Firearms Technology Branch (FTB), to ask the status of a classification of one of my company's products. To my shock, this guy acted like a hot head. He immediately told me about being too busy to deal with a "nobody" and hung up.

I had spoken with his boss on a previous occasion, and still had his number. I called him and asked, "What's with the new guy (Sterling Nixon)? Mr. Nixon called me a short time later and warned me to never ever go "over his head" again. He clearly explained that criminal cases always take precedence over submission samples at FTB, and FTB was very busy dealing with some federal cases. He went to say FTB serves every single Federal Court by classifying firearm-related evidence as firearm, machine gun, short barrel rifle, etc.

I eventually received my classification letter on the product from the FTB about a month later. However, the letter was an obvious "cut and paste" job from a previous letter that ATF had sent to my company and was full of errors (as it described a different rifle). I promptly notified the FTB of those errors. I was again told because of the high load of criminal cases that their mistake on my submission must have "fallen through the cracks." I was asked to make corrections in the margin and fax it to FTB so they could write a revised classification letter. I did so. Later I received a revised letter -- that I had essentially written myself.

I became very concerned with other errors the ATF/FTB was making on submitted samples. How many innocent people may have had their evidence in criminal cases "fall through the cracks" if FTB was under a large caseload? Would the agency take short cuts with submitted product samples or worse, with evidence in criminal trials?

I was soon to find out. The situation was worse than I -- or anyone -- could have imagined.

Among other things, I was more than a little curious as to how ATF/FTB conducted examinations on firearms used as evidence in Federal Court. Around this time, I was asked by defense attorney Monroe Whitesides, Esq. to examine a rifle the FTB had declared to be a machine gun in the case of US v Glover. Mr. Whitesides received permission to document the tests and my examination of the rifle in question, which we did using videotape. Only later would we understand how important that video was to be.

The day of the test came and it revealed that Mr. Glover, the defendant, had indeed "fallen through the cracks" at FTB. And that's describing the situation charitably. Firing tests and my examination of the rifle's mechanisms showed that the firearm was not an "illegal machine gun" at all, but a malfunctioning semiautomatic. Any expert who disassembled the rifle would have immediately discovered this. The FTB's "expert" admitted on tape that he had never examined the rifle's inner workings, and yet he and his agency were willing, even eager, to turn the rifle's owner into a felon! The video document prevented an innocent citizen from being imprisoned.

I shared my growing concerns with ATF during conference calls with both ATF management, and FTB management. I was knocked speechless one day (and brother that is HARD to do), by the revelation of both the Chief and the Assistant Chief of FTB that no documented procedures ever existed for testing firearms! They went on to tell me they design the test of a submitted "evidence" on a case by case basis. In other words, they make procedures up as they go along. (And many of those procedures, as we shall see below and as I have written elsewhere, are simply outrageous.) The lack of documented scientific procedure has been confirmed by Congressional Research Service investigation. There is no documented scientific testing procedures for firearms evidence in Federal Court!

The firearms "experts" from FTB will look official testifying in court in their three-piece suits. They will have impressive titles. They will sound technically knowledgeable. In short they will carry great influence with judges and a jury (after all they are from the government). I have seen it first hand, it IS impressive.

But it is simply an illusion. Nothing but smoke and mirrors.

With no testing standard, no use of scientific method, what is to keep ATF agents from modifying the firearm, then declaring a legal semiautomatic to be "readily restorable" to the status of "illegal machine gun"? In fact, they have done this.

I have also seen an "expert" declare -- with a straight face -- that a lump of steel that is incapable of firing anything is a machinegun because of unspecified "machinegun features and characteristics."

FTB "experts" have even added external and internal conversion devices to legal semi-auto rifles during testing, then claimed that that the firearm was -- because of these ATF additions -- an "illegal machine gun." (The ATF-added devices are by law machineguns in and of themselves, because they when installed, allow a host firearm to fire full auto as a machinegun.) ATF "experts" have done this in full view of the entire court! In the case of US v Wrenn, for instance (another case in which I acted as an expert for the defense) FTB personnel did not take their conversion devices off prior to coming to trial.

Apparently I had enraged the ATF so greatly by the time of the Wrenn case that a few months later the agency declared one of my company's products to be "illegal contraband" and a "machinegun." The ATF had classified this device as a "non firearm" nine months earlier. I had been in production for months after receiving the "non-firearm" classification. Now suddenly -- for no reason other than spite -- my product was illegal. My investment was wasted. I was in jeopardy of becoming a criminal. Had I sold the device to any customers, they also would have been in danger of being declared felons.

The re-classification was obviously done to teach me a lesson for showing up at court cases

With my living and my freedom in jeopardy, I felt compelled to notify the United States Federal District Court of ATF malfeasance and to notify the Department of Justice, as well. This harassment of me and my livelihood is unacceptable behavior on the part of ANY federal agency.

Unfortunately, the result of my protest was predictable: The Department of Justice (of which the ATF is a subsidiary) claimed to have investigated itself. It found itself faultless.

Years after I first began asking questions, the FTB still does not have a documented firearms testing procedure. Today, defense attorneys use the Congressional Research Service report to demonstrate the ATF's lack of credibility. And -- no surprise -- prosecution of "mystery machinegun" crimes have dropped drastically. This is a good thing for justice. For years, too many innocent people were railroaded into prison.

Unfortunately my own circumstances are less bright. The ATF has forbidden me to contact it in any way other that written correspondence. This puts me at a disadvantage to all my competitors, who may still freely call the agency to ask questions. But that's not the worst. The agency has managed to "lose" many of my letters. They have not seen fit to answer some of my correspondence for 14 months. I am for all purposes shut down by the US Government. They have done this by bureaucratic fiat and bad faith. They have shut down my business and destroyed my livelihood without cause or court order, without the due process allegedly guaranteed by that same government.

Am I now an enemy of United States Government?

Len Savage

President,
Historic Arms LLC


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TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: 2ndamendment; bang; banglist; batfe; bootthebatfe; jpfo; rkba
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The latest news about BATFE.

Best regards to all,

1 posted on 02/13/2007 8:09:44 PM PST by Copernicus
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To: Joe Brower
Another article for your review.

Best regards,

2 posted on 02/13/2007 8:11:23 PM PST by Copernicus (A Constitutional Republic revolves around Sovereign Citizens, not citizens around government.)
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To: Copernicus

The BATFE should be abolished. The '34 and '68 gun control acts should be repealed, as should all other federal and state gun control laws.

My gun control is a steady hand.


3 posted on 02/13/2007 8:23:40 PM PST by MichiganConservative (Mary Carey 2008! It is time for better boobs in DC.)
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To: MichiganConservative

The BATFE should be abolished. The '34 and '68 gun control acts should be repealed, as should all other federal and state gun control laws.

My gun control is a steady hand.


Do we want Rudy appointing people to the ATF?


4 posted on 02/13/2007 8:39:06 PM PST by freedomfiter2 (Hunter '08)
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To: freedomfiter2

Do you think any of the Rudy pushers will even comment on this? I'm not going to hold my breath.


5 posted on 02/13/2007 8:48:06 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (BUAIDH NO BAS, JUST SAY NO TO RINO!)
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To: Copernicus

bookmark


6 posted on 02/13/2007 8:49:29 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/Ron_Paul_2008.htm)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

Do you think any of the Rudy pushers will even comment on this? I'm not going to hold my breath.


I doubt it, but it's always good to innoculate.


7 posted on 02/13/2007 8:59:36 PM PST by freedomfiter2 (Hunter '08)
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To: Copernicus
Unfortunately, the result of my protest was predictable: The Department of Justice (of which the ATF is a subsidiary) claimed to have investigated itself. It found itself faultless.

Has it ever been otherwise?

8 posted on 02/13/2007 9:02:08 PM PST by Spirochete
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To: Copernicus

These type of situations disgust me beyond belief. This is what happens when immoral people are in positions of power, they bulldoze those who bother them.


9 posted on 02/13/2007 9:20:39 PM PST by ThomasBurn
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To: Copernicus

bump for later


10 posted on 02/13/2007 9:22:31 PM PST by herewego (Got .45?)
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To: Copernicus

Sue them, sue them for violating your 2nd amendment, 9th,10th, and 14th amendment rights.


11 posted on 02/13/2007 10:06:39 PM PST by SFC Chromey (We are at war with Islamofascists, now ACT LIKE IT!)
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To: harpseal; TexasCowboy; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; Shooter 2.5; wku man; SLB; ...


12 posted on 02/13/2007 10:56:33 PM PST by Joe Brower (Sheep have two speeds: "graze" and "stampede".)
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To: MichiganConservative
The BATFE should be abolished. The '34 and '68 gun control acts should be repealed...

Yes. It would have been nice if we had made some progress on repealing both when we had control of the house and the senate.

13 posted on 02/14/2007 12:09:06 AM PST by snowsislander
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To: MichiganConservative

I'm witchoo.


14 posted on 02/14/2007 12:15:16 AM PST by karnage
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To: Copernicus

From the book:

Broken
The Troubled Past and Uncertain Future of the FBI
Richard Gid Powers
2004

In 1933 when it was decided to merge several bureaus. Hover did not want the 1200 “Dry Agents” from the Prohibition Bureau. Because they were hopelessly corrupt. And Hover did not want them corrupting or tarnishing his special agents.
So Hover setup a new Alcoholic Beverage Unit. To keep the Dry Agents from contaminating his men.

Guess what there called now.


15 posted on 02/14/2007 12:53:37 AM PST by quietolong
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To: freedomfiter2
"Do we want Rudy appointing people to the ATF?"

No.

16 posted on 02/14/2007 1:14:12 AM PST by spunkets ("Freedom is about authority", Rudy Giuliani)
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To: Spirochete
I thought BATFE was under the Dept of the Treasury.

Their initial purpose was to enforce/gather the excise taxes on liquor and tobacco, and later included the transfer tax on class III weapons as well.

IIRC, Lloyd Bentsen was the one who essentially declared the street sweeper and other firearms to be "destructive devices" under the ATF regs during the Clinton Administration, and he was Secretary of the Treasury then.

I agree that the NFA of '34, GCA of 68 and a host of other infringements ought to be repealed, but the best opportunity we have had for such in decades was wasted by the former majority holders in both houses. Pity.

17 posted on 02/14/2007 1:20:34 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: Copernicus

Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms

Should be a convenience store, not a federal agency.


18 posted on 02/14/2007 1:59:25 AM PST by GeneralisimoFranciscoFranco
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To: Smokin' Joe
Repealing GC '34 & '68 would have been nice, but the Republicans NEVER had any intention of doing so. Most Republicans are only marginally less liberal than Democrats, and in fact are just as enamoured of the power of government and horrified by the thought of individual freedom as most Democrats.

Ga Democrat (former senator) Zell Miller is a lot more conservative than any of the current leading Republican presidential hopefuls. Can you imagine what will happen with our gun rights if Guiliani, Romney, Mccain, or Clinton becomes president. There isn't a f@rt in a hurricane's worth of difference among them in this regard

19 posted on 02/14/2007 3:46:19 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government)
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To: Joe Brower
This about the Akins Accelerator?
20 posted on 02/14/2007 4:22:05 AM PST by OXENinFLA
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To: ThomasBurn

"This is what happens when immoral people are in positions of power, they bulldoze those who bother them."

Worth repeating....


21 posted on 02/14/2007 4:37:48 AM PST by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
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To: Copernicus
The entire premise of this article is wrong. Since when are the King's henchmen supposed to be servants of "the people"? /s/
22 posted on 02/14/2007 5:33:27 AM PST by Gritty (Drastic gun proliferation means no control, accountability, or responsibility-J Vince,fmr ATF Chief)
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To: SFC Chromey
Sue them, sue them for violating your 2nd amendment, 9th,10th, and 14th amendment rights.

bad bad bad idea. atf will squader millions of our tax payer dollar just so that they don't lose. not to mention it'll likely become the next ruby ridge/ waco.
23 posted on 02/14/2007 5:39:49 AM PST by absolootezer0 (stop repeat offenders - don't re-elect them!)
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To: OXENinFLA
This about the Akins Accelerator?

A small part of it, I think so.

There have been other devices and "parts" that ATF has been..., shall we say, "concerned" over, to include the 50 round 10/22 magazine, the so-called "flash suppressors", and others.

The jack-booted thugs attempt to call every thing a duck, even if it moos, whinnies or chirps, for no other reason than to protect their overpaid, do-nothing, sit-on-their-asses jobs.

Bunch of stinking idiots, in my humble opinion.

We don't need them.

Period.

24 posted on 02/14/2007 5:45:49 AM PST by OldSmaj (Death to islam. I am now and will always be, a sworn enemy of all things muslim.)
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To: Copernicus

JBT bump fer later


25 posted on 02/14/2007 6:28:37 AM PST by Doomonyou (Let them eat lead.)
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To: caver

Time to feed the hogs?


26 posted on 02/14/2007 6:42:28 AM PST by Comus (There is no honor in dying with your sword sheathed)
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To: Copernicus
Enemies foreign and domestic.

If the BATFE isn't a domestic enemy of the People I don't know who is. Even the IRS isn't as corrupt and unlawful as the BATFE is.

27 posted on 02/14/2007 6:48:26 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: Comus

Past due time. Tell Claire she's next up to bat.


28 posted on 02/14/2007 6:49:03 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: Copernicus

This is really odd...

I had this same epiphany last night. I am an enemy of the US Govt.


29 posted on 02/14/2007 6:49:36 AM PST by Leatherneck_MT (In a world where Carpenters come back from the dead, ALL things are possible.)
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To: Leatherneck_MT

Welcome to the Club. Here's your membership badge, a cup of coffee, and a cookie. Feel free to mingle with the rest of the crowd. ;-)


30 posted on 02/14/2007 6:54:18 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: Dead Corpse

lol thanks


31 posted on 02/14/2007 6:55:37 AM PST by Leatherneck_MT (In a world where Carpenters come back from the dead, ALL things are possible.)
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To: Leatherneck_MT
There's a whole knot of us out here in fly-over country that are getting really damn tired of having our Rights pissed away by the Sheep.

I just want my Constitutional Republic back. This democracy crap sucks...

32 posted on 02/14/2007 7:00:43 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: Dead Corpse

I agree wholeheartedly.

Seems to me the entire time I was in the Corps keeping the wolf away from the door, the bastard snuck in the back.

We've been fighting the wrong enemy.


33 posted on 02/14/2007 7:10:50 AM PST by Leatherneck_MT (In a world where Carpenters come back from the dead, ALL things are possible.)
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To: traviskicks; Abram; albertp; AlexandriaDuke; Alexander Rubin; Allosaurs_r_us; amchugh; ...
Libertarian ping! To be added or removed from my ping list freepmail me or post a message here.
34 posted on 02/14/2007 7:18:43 AM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/Ron_Paul_2008.htm)
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To: Leatherneck_MT
No. We just have more enemies than we thought we did. Not everyone in government currently is a problem. Certain agencies and certain actors, these are the problem. They are a cancer in the body politic.

We've got the tools to get healthy again. We've just gotta have the guts to use them.

35 posted on 02/14/2007 7:24:08 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: Dead Corpse
...getting really damn tired of having our Rights pissed away by the Sheep.

Americans in general seem to have proven that they cannot govern themselves. Democracy sucks. I'm starting to wonder if we don't need some sort of principled, benevolent, dictator to fix this country. The sheep can't be counted on. Would we be better or worse off if someone such as Ron Paul were emperor and he had a group of like-minded men to carry out his laws?

This of course requires them to be principled, but so did the republic model. And we can see where we are now.

36 posted on 02/14/2007 7:49:56 AM PST by MichiganConservative (Mary Carey 2008! It is time for better boobs in DC.)
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To: MichiganConservative
I'm starting to wonder if we don't need some sort of principled, benevolent, dictator to fix this country.

Not sure I agree with that. Get rid of the abusive power structure we've got now and the sheep just kind of mill around bleating until they die off.

We need to allow Darwin his due, not find a better way to fleece the sheep.

37 posted on 02/14/2007 7:52:31 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: Dead Corpse
Not sure I agree with that. Get rid of the abusive power structure we've got now and the sheep just kind of mill around bleating until they die off.

I'd be ok with that. Not sure that will happen, though, and I would put the probability at 0 for a benevolent dictator fixing this country. It's all just academic, I think. I'm not sure anything will save the American herd before they're all turned into mutton.

38 posted on 02/14/2007 8:01:39 AM PST by MichiganConservative (Mary Carey 2008! It is time for better boobs in DC.)
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To: Dead Corpse

You got that right.


39 posted on 02/14/2007 8:33:24 AM PST by 383rr (Those who choose security over liberty deserve neither- GUN CONTROL=SLAVERY)
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To: Dead Corpse

"There's a whole knot of us out here in fly-over country that are getting really damn tired of having our Rights pissed away by the Sheep."

Oh, yes, there are quite a few. Of course, most of the idiots in OheilO would probably go right along with it.... we're one of the only states I know of that have snitch line phone numbers plastered of every "public" (riiiight) building....

Sure glad I bought that new M1-A, though.

Shades of tyranny, indeed.


40 posted on 02/14/2007 8:38:17 AM PST by 383rr (Those who choose security over liberty deserve neither- GUN CONTROL=SLAVERY)
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To: OXENinFLA
"This about the Akins Accelerator?"

I'm thinking that it is, but I can't be completely certain.

41 posted on 02/14/2007 10:07:47 AM PST by Joe Brower (Sheep have two speeds: "graze" and "stampede".)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

You didn't hear Rudy on Hannity this week? He cleared it all up and said he does respect the 2A and won't try to force federal restrictions.
That does it for me, a politician just told me what I want to hear. I can't wait to vote now!


42 posted on 02/14/2007 10:26:21 AM PST by TheKidster (you can only trust government to grow, consolidate power and infringe upon your liberties.)
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To: quietolong

DEA? no wait BATF?


43 posted on 02/14/2007 10:27:42 AM PST by TheKidster (you can only trust government to grow, consolidate power and infringe upon your liberties.)
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To: Copernicus
Federal bureaucrats and agencies out of control. They have all forgotten who they work for and as far as they are concerned, we work for them. No wonder they should get this twisted notion. It's the prevailing thinking in all our elected officials.
44 posted on 02/14/2007 10:38:57 AM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: freedomfiter2

This is a perfect example of how much quiet power the CIC has over issues such as gun ownership regardless of what legislation is passed in Congress.


45 posted on 02/14/2007 11:02:39 AM PST by ellery (The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. - Edmund Burke)
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To: ellery

ping


46 posted on 02/14/2007 11:07:25 AM PST by TYVets (God so loved the world he didn't send a committee)
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To: Copernicus
Ah yes, the Bureau of F.A.T.E.
Bureau of Firearms, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Explosives.

Submit, it's your F.A.T.E.

47 posted on 02/14/2007 11:17:34 AM PST by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: Copernicus

GIVE THE BATFE THE BOOT!

48 posted on 02/14/2007 11:19:38 AM PST by EdReform (The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed * NRA * JPFO * SAF * GOA *)
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To: Dead Corpse

Spot on. Well said.


49 posted on 02/14/2007 11:23:23 AM PST by EdReform (The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed * NRA * JPFO * SAF * GOA *)
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To: traviskicks

Yes, I am.


50 posted on 02/14/2007 2:46:32 PM PST by Abundy
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