You quickly learn that the Government is seeking to preclude ATF FATD (Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division) determinations from being used in any way during trial. These determinations appear to have been part of a discovery dispute, which is also sealed and is evidenced by the Government’s statement that “[t]he Government produced the letters under the protection of a protective order that the Court authorized on August 1, 2018.”. For the reasons that follow, I find it extremely comical that the Government actually contended that “ATF FATD letters at trial creates a grave risk of confusing the issues and misleading the jury,” but I digress…for now.
Mr. Wright has likely incurred tens of thousands of dollars of attorney fees and costs fighting for his freedom – all because ATF decided that it would invent a new interpretation of the law and it did so without notifying the Industry or the public. Let that sink in for a couple minutes…
Joshua Prince, Esq.
October 28, 2018
ATF Unhinged: Prosecutions Made Up Out of Whole Cloth – You Might Be Next…
[Think about that for a bit. The government thinks interpretation of firearm law by the ATF and distributed to the public is too confusing for a jury to understand when explained to them by two or more lawyers. And they will prosecute individuals who violate the privately held interpretation of the prosecutor and suppress any interpretation publicly distributed by the ATF.
I think it’s time for some firearms law reform. The new law must be easy to understand by a person of ordinary ability. I would like to suggest:
No government entity shall pass or enforce, directly or indirectly, any arms specific law of any type. Every attempt to violate this shall be punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fined up to three fourths of the net worth of every individual associated with each attempt.
Even the most stupid and/or devious politician should be able to understand that.—Joe]
Your proposed law should be extended to those private individuals (Bloomberg, I’m looking at you….) who contribute mass dollars towards the passage of same. Like redefining a 10/22 as an “assault weapon.”
Private individuals would be unable to get the power of government behind them so it would be mostly redundant.
I think a more general idea would be:
“The requirements or prohibitions of law shall not change without a recorded vote of the appropriate legislature. Wherever the law is imprecise or vague, or misinterpreted in execution, the court shall find in favor of the citizen, and shall inform the relevant legislature of the nature of the deficiency, or the executive for their misinterpretation of clear legislative directive.”
A lot of ‘rulemaking’ has been offloaded to executive agencies, violating the principles of separating the roles legislative and executives. There are also ‘administrative courts’ which are not properly part of an independent judiciary, but a wholely owned subsidiary of the Executive agency.
So, as much as I agree that this is an abuse of Second Amendment protections by the BATFE, there are also deeper and wider maladies at play.
Even the most stupid and/or devious politician should be able to understand the second amendment. 242 is redundant to that already, and who cannot understand its simple text? I’ll emphasize the words of absoluteness.
§242. Deprivation of rights under color of law
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
It’s not about which politicians or bureaucrats understand the laws of liberty. They understand perfectly. A relatively high percentage of them have law degrees. In some cases they understand, and care, much more than we do. They just don’t agree with them, and will go to the ends of the earth to oppose them.
It’s all about their towering arrogance and presumption of authority. It is a grave error to confuse someone’s allegiance to evil with a lack of mental capacity. Until that is understood, we are ill equipped to oppose them, i.e. unless we understand the problem for what it is, how can we properly address it?
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This seems like a good time to remind people to (re)read “An essay on the Trial by Jury” by Lysander Spooner (from 1852). It’s available free at gutenberg.org.
It covers a lot of topics. One is the origin of the jury as both the deciders of fact and deciders of the sentence. Another is the topic at issue here, the notion that everyone is responsible for knowing and obeying the law yet juries are too stupid to apply the law.
I’m gonna play some devil’s advocate here. Now, I do believe that the ATF oversteps its boundaries far too often and walks back decisions arbitrarily and should be held accountable for it, but here’s my take on this specific case.
The guy in question installed a cheek weld to a factory made pistol brace. In every letter concerning braces as of late, the ATF clearly stated that any additions to a factory brace constitutes manufacturing a stock- therefore rendering it intended for a rifle, not a pistol (retarded, yes, but clearly stated). I read each and every posted letter that google kicked back, and every one of them states this explicitly.
So technically the defendant *is* in violation of already stated and publicly available interpretation. That’s about the only accurate statement I can make.
Now, the ATF is a clusterfuck of pants-on-head retarded decisions that make little sense (if any) in this day and age… but this one decision actually seems to be on the level. Does the guy deserve his life and finances destroyed over this? No, but he *did* have access to their previous rulings and did exactly what they said not to do.
That said, the ATF can kick rocks. Should’ve been disbanded long ago.