ACLU is trying to slap down the ATF

I would like to think this is the beginning of the realization that the ATF is not known for it’s recognition of civil rights and there are lots of other opportunities for the ACLU to put some out of control government types in their place, but I’m not that hopeful:

The ACLU filed the case on April 18, 2006, on behalf of Karen J. Kilpatrick, who claimed that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) violated her Free Speech rights.

Kilpatrick was driving her blue van in Pensacola on April 19, 2004, with the slogans “Remember the Children of Waco” and “Boo ATF” written on some of the windows when she was pulled over by police for questioning by the ATF.

The ACLU argues in the lawsuit that her First Amendment Rights to Free Speech and her Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure were violated when officers detained her for an hour, searched her car without consent, and ordered her to remove the writing on the side of her van.

“The ATF’s actions were unconstitutional and there was no legal justification to stop and question Ms. Kilpatrick.  We believe that the ATF was trying to silence Ms. Kilpatrick and the 911 call substantiates this position,” said Bert Oram, ACLU cooperating counsel.


7 thoughts on “ACLU is trying to slap down the ATF

  1. Wow, I’d sure love to see a copy of ATF’s request for summary judgement! What possible pretext could there be for a federal agency to tell a citizen what politically-oriented sign they may or may not display on their vehicle?

  2. Amazing.

    “What possible pretext could there be for a federal agency…”

    It’s not about that anymore. It’s a matter of testing the limits of impunity– stretching out as it were, finding their practical operating parameters. They know the Old Media aren’t going to report this.

  3. What possible pretext could there be for a federal agency to tell a citizen what politically-oriented sign they may or may not display on their vehicle?

    For starters, that she/her significant other sold David Koresh his firearms? That she wasn’t just passing through, she was circling the Federal building, honking and screaming out the window? On April 19th?

  4. I don’t see the significance of having made legal sales of firearms to Koresh. How is having engaged in a constitutionally protected activity 10 years previously is grounds for detaining and searching someone?

    Circling the Federal building, honking, and yelling I can see being worthy of a brief chat. But unless their was resonable suspicion of a crime I don’t see why that should extend into an hour long detain, a search of the vehicle, and an order from them to removing the political speech.

    If a group of people carrying signs, yelling, and marching around the Federal building–what then? Should they be detained, ordered to leave and to not display the signs again?

  5. I’m not even going to say whether they over reacted on the face of it, since it’s not like they’re not famous for exactly that. And I’m certain everyday somewhere someone is carrying a sign, shouting about something or other. Given. But if you don’t think this particular person, on THAT particular day, suddenly acting erratically in THAT particular manner might cause a bit of an adrenaline rush in this particular day and age, then never mind.

  6. ths, Obviously I don’t know the whole story and I am pretty sure you don’t either. Therefore why don’t we let the courts sort it out. My cheering the ACLU in this is in part because the ATF have been thuggish on a number of occasions and partly because the ACLU has not been supportive of the Second Amendment.

Comments are closed.