Skip to comments.VA-ALERT: BATFE sinks to a new low in Richmond
Posted on 08/17/2005 10:57:12 PM PDT by SWO
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.
*************************************************************************** VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The membership considers the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to be an essential human right.
VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org
Especially that part about telling the neighbors.
I think it wise for gun owners to keep the fact they have guns in their house a secret from their neighbors, lest the word get out around the neighborhood, and burglars target their houses to steal guns for criminal purposes.
let me add my personal "holy hell!" alert to the banglist keyword...
your neck of the woods.
That sounds like ...Canada! Except in Canada, they phone. They do that when someone applies for a FAC (firearm acquisition certificate). They call your wife, your neighbors.
If you think that's bad, try buying a handgun in Canada.
you can't walk into a store and buy one, even if you have a valid 'restricted weapons permit.
it is delivered to the local police department, cataloged, balistic tested, and you have to pick it up from there, providing you have a permit to transport it from the police station to your home.
Then you need a transport permit to take it to your gun club, and you better not stray from the route that is listed on the permit.
Bad Attitude Towards Freedom =NAZI's
This will never happen if Republicans are in charge of the federal government!
And people get pissed when I tell them I don't feel for the BATF @$$holes that got shot up in Waco. No knock and announce, just break in stormtrooper tactics.
"And people get pissed when I tell them I don't feel for the BATF @$$holes that got shot up in Waco. No knock and announce, just break in stormtrooper tactics. "
"jackbooted thugs" - Wayne LaPierre
Incremental Communism at work
Actually, "jackbooted thugs" was the comment first used by (pro-gun) Congressman John Dingell (D-MI) and then repeated by Wayne and others...
On the other, isn't there a cheap shot at Mayhor Wilder here? Does the BATFE answer to the mayor of a city? I was under the impression it was a federal agency ...
The problem is the Republicans are not in charge of the federal government. For the most part bureaucrats run the federal government. And if they can just get Term Limits enacted for every elected office, they will have very little fear elected officals could actually take charge.
If they can just get term limits enacted, by the time any elected representative can figure out how the bureaucrats work, they will be required to leave office.
It works like this. Washington bureaucrats send field workers to take our rights. If they get complaints they blame it on the local agents and promise to investiagate.
They stall until the complainer goes away. They do the same thing to elected officials. They stall the "investigations" of agents misdoings for years. By the time the elected official figures out he is being conned he is out of office.
That is the deal with presidents and members of congress.
Of course many on the right play right into the bureaucrats hands by demanding term limits.
Under the guise of preventing presidents from appointing party hacks to govenment jobs, we have vested control of our lives in unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats. The funny thing is party hacks did a pretty good job of responding to peoples needs. Every party hack knew that if his party was out of office, they were out of a job. They were very reluctant to do something that would tick off voters. Ticked off voters could and did cause them ot lose their jobs.
Today the government workers are almost impossible to even repremand. They do as they please and voters can do nothing about it.
IF the day a Republican took office, he could fire all the Democratic bureaucrats and the day a Democrat took offic he could fire all the Republicans, bureaucrats would be busting their butts to keep their party in office.
IF we still had the spoils system of government workers BATFE workers would not dare hassle law abiding citizens. They would be fired with in minutes of a few citizens calling their local party headquarters.
In our current system, all elected officials can do is beg the BTAFE to be good. The BTAFE people just do their con act and essentially ignore elected officials.
Just for the record, it was a Republican president, Teddy Rooservelt, who ended the spoils system in our national government. Public workers unions, ended it on the state and local level.
Until we change back to a system where bureaucrats can be fired for any reason by elected officials, we are going to be little more than serfs of the bureaucrats.
Hey, you expect the jack-booted BAT-FAGS to change?? The only real solution is to disband the department completely. There is too much "cultural baggage" left over from the old "bootlegging cowboys" days.
Actually, the quote originated from Michigan Congresscritter John Dingell (a Democrat, no less).
You recall that a postal worker had tipped the Davidians that the cops were coming. BATFE knew the cat was out of the bag, and the element of surprise, critical in making a dangerous arrest, had been lost.
Two BATFE supervisors kept this information to themselves, and sent the raiders, who believed surprise was still on their side, in to make the arrests. Armed resistance was ready and waiting, and every spot they intended to utilize as entry points was defended by people with firearms.
You remember the BATFE guys who went up on the roof? They were machine-gunned through the wall, dead and wounded, lying on the rooftop.
They climbed on the roof and were ambushed. Those guys didn't have a chance to knock (not that they would have anyway).
The Davidians fired first, and they intended to, and you think BATFE should have knocked? What an asinine statement.
Waco isn't the subject here, however. The major problem with BATFE is that their jurisdiction is so narrow (alcohol moonshining, tobacco smuggling, and federal firearms violations), that they don't have enough to do, frankly.
The agents hang around police departments, waiting for the police to make an arrest where a gun is found. That's the extent of their investigation, aside from record checks, and it's not very exciting. They also hang around with DEA, because there's always action, DEA needs the help, and the drug/gun circumstance is a heavy federal violation.
And they try to set up undercover sting operations now and then to attract illicit gun owners/dealers and develop prosecutable cases. Ruby Ridge started with just such a BATFE sting.
This gun show invasion is but another idea somebody in BATFE, with too much time on his hands and wanting some meritorious recognition, probably, came up with. And the outcome of it all was no arrests and their promise to never do that again. At least no one got killed.
Any federal law enforcement agency has to justify its budget, and reason for existence, by showing how effective it has been.
That's easy (relatively) for the FBI, DEA, Customs and Secret Service, because of the high volume of cases they handle. BATFE does not have the "luxury" of a high volume caseload, but still has to show statistical accomplishment, which mainly comes from the PD and DEA associations.
You may not know this, but BATFE has, in the recent past, been considered for elimination, with their personnel absorbed by other federal agencies. This is because BATFE has difficulties showing worthwhile statistical accomplishment.
If they had found an angle at the gunshow, they might have made thirty arrests.....wow, lots of stats!
Here's a contrast: BATFE, with too many resources and no jurisdiction/caseload to keep them busy; Border Patrol, with not enough resources to handle its jurisdictional responsibilities.
BATFE is kind of the runt of the federal LE litter. It seems that every time they attempt something above their routine, they are spectacularly unsuccessful. They have blundered into a deserved reputation....FUBAR.
Where the HELL is Bush???
And what the HELL is that damn Gonzales up to?????????????
I warned people about Gonzales before he was appointed. Since he has been in there the border situation has deteriorated and now this.
I'm writing my Re[ublican representatives in Congress demanding Alberto Gonzales be removed and e-mailing my outrage to Bush and Cheney.
People mock me for calling them JBTs.
I go to that show when I can. I was hassled by an ATF agent when I sold my neutered AK-74.
When I sell guns at shows like that I usually ask to see a voter reg card or CCW.
"The Davidians fired first, and they intended to, and you think BATFE should have knocked? What an asinine statement. "
That they did not. The BATFAGS fired first while killing some dogs, penned bitches and puppies. They like to do that. It establishes the relationship with their victims right off and it gives them woodies.
If the BATFAGS had been ambushed, given the flat stupidity of their assault plan, there would have been dozens of fedscum dead instead of four.
Oh, and that machinegun fire though the roof? It came AFTER some of the assault crew had knocked out a window and entered the building. A following BATFAG threw a flashbang into the room for some bizarro reason and his buddies inside responded with fire.
Very astute analysis. Fed bureaucrats and Congressional staffers run this country, not our elected officials.
Something to add to your daily campaign report.
To my knowledge, no illegal weapons were ever found, and it wasn't from lack of looking. Plus, I have seen video of the holes being made in the wall from exiting rounds when those agents were shot: That fire was definitely semi-automatic. No one was "machine-gunned".
The BATmen raid was stupidity of an unconscionable level. They pulled up in the yard of people they suspected of owning illegal high powered weaponry and started shooting. What kind of response did they expect?
The Branch Davidians were kooks and nuts, but our federal law enforcement agencies showed themselves to be just as bad and far more dangerous.
Every part of that fiasco was handled by people drunk on their own arrogance, and every time they failed they just opened another bottle.
This is a "machine gun":
This is NOT:
How long will it be until they begin registering and confiscating? I am beyond sickened by this. I guess I've just come to accept the inevitable future of our rights and of this country.
BS! Congress cuts funds, jackbooted thug's stand in unemployment line. It really is that simple. Blackbird.
You know, you're just wrong on this. Every report related basically the same progress of events, and the video confirms it.
Do you not recall the information that the shots through the wall, at the guys on the roof, were from a .50 cal machine gun? BATF didn't have a gun like that. I suppose you think the Davidians always had someone sitting there behind the MG, facing the wall, ready to blow away intruders on the roof, whomever it might be?
I never heard the dog story, and challenge you on this point to provide your source. If the dogs were penned, as you say, why shoot them? That gunfire would tip off the Davidians, and those raiders believed they had surprise on their side. And shooting the dogs to stop their barking is just simply stupid....the dogs barking eliminated the surprise element.
The dogs were undoubtedly considered in the raid plan, and they would have been shot in the case that they posed a threat to the raiders.
The investigation determined (something like this) that the raid team leader and others tried to breach the front door, only got it open a few inches because of barricades, etc, and during that moment, Koresh and others opened up on them. Fire was returned as the agents retreated. I think two agents were killed, one at the front door, and the other on the roof. The report surmised that the shooting at the front door set the roof events in motion.
Barricaded front door, with automatic rifles right there? A .50 Cal MG waiting in ambush upstairs? And, still, you think they should have knocked? Is your claim that if they'd knocked, the Davidians would have cooperated and submitted to the federal warrants for weapons violations?
If these are your conclusions, they are, indeed, asinine.
You may be a little young and immature, IMO, to make intelligent posts on FR. Do you know that you are the ONLY poster who calls the BATFE agents "BATFAGS"? That's truly an impressive way of making your case, and all of us marvel at your diction. /sarc Do you realize that you're at FR, and not some Counter-Strike forum?
It's way over your head here, young man.
I am gratified to hear that the show is advertised on WCVE-FM, the local Richmond National Public Radio franchise. I do not know when it began, but this has been done for the last several shows, including the one referred to here.
I don't know where you got your information on Waco but if you think the dribble you posted is what really happened there you've got your head so far up your ass you'll never see daylight again.
I suggest you do a lot more research and a lot more reading on the subject before pretending you know anything that happened at Waco.
You can start by searching this forum. I'm sure the many posts made are still in the archives.
Where the heck are you getting your information? Your info is 180 out from every report, book and article I have read.
They could have arrested David Koresh on his bicycle when he came to town.
re: John Dingell (D-MI) & "jackbooted thugs"
Thanks for the correction. It's been a few years since all of that happened, and my memory isn't quite what it used to be. It seems Bush Sr. resigned his life membership in the NRA over the comment repeated by LaPierre. I also remember LaPierre getting grilled on one of the Sunday Morning shows over it as well. Tht'a probably why he came to mind. The Dingell part just faded from memory.
Sorry CT, you are 180 degrees wrong. The United States will not survive another two decades without Term Limits. Republicans are in charge of the government; the problem is that too many Republicans have become part of the problem.
Both the current system and the spoils system are wrong. By turning over enough elected officials, we can eliminate a very large number of government's bureaucratic jobs all together. Beginning some time after Labor Day, a series of articles are going to be posted to FreeRepublic that will detail exactly how We the people can take our country back by restoring the Constitution. No time for debate or explanation now. You will recognize the series when you see it. Stay tuned. Good things are coming to FreeRepublic and FreeRepublic can play an instrumental role in ensuring that good things are coming to America.
If the ATF and the ICE swapped agents and law enforcement philosophies, every illegal alien in America would be arrested, deported or shot in a month.
And gun owners could fire unlicensed full-auto machine guns in their back yards anytime with no hassles.
Well in general if someone comes and knocks on my door I answer it and ask what they want. If someone surrounds my house and sends men with masks through second bedroom windows with Uzi's in their hands I'm a lot more likely to shoot first.
Used to be real bravery was a part of being a law enforcement officer. This might include being the person selected to "ring the doorbell" in an arrest case. We won't know what might have happened had they done that, but we do know that law enforcement had many other opportunities to arrest Koresh outside the compound in the weeks running up to the raid. He frequently jogged on local roads.
How do you reconcile the overwhelming force used to effect an individual arrest with the large number of women and chlidren in compound.
So maybe the answer wasn't the BATF knocking, per say, but rather using their brains to effect an arrest without killing everyone in the vicinity. They abjectly failed in that goal, brought derision and disgrace on the agency and the Federal Government. Now THAT'S ASSININE !!
You may be a little young and immature, IMO, to make intelligent posts on FR. Do you know that you are the ONLY poster who calls the BATFE agents "BATFAGS"?
I like those guys on the forum. They've got the right attitude about the whole thing. ;-)