Skip to comments.Owner questions house raid
Posted on 07/06/2006 4:27:44 PM PDT by TVenn
DILLON The owner of a gun parts company that was raided last week by federal agents is proclaiming his innocence after numerous parts and records were seized from his home.
Richard Celata said agents with the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms went through his home and workshop near Argenta for hours on Wednesday, June 7, but didnt find anything illegal.
We havent been charged with any crimes, and obviously what they found here didnt violate any laws because I would have been arrested on the spot, Celata, 45, said Thursday in a telephone interview. They confiscated all my inventory, paperwork and made copies of my hard drive. Federal officials have been mum about the raid. A representative with the ATF in Helena did not return phone calls Thursday seeking comment.
And Beaverhead County Sheriff Bill Briggs, who assisted with the search, has said he cannot comment on the raid other than acknowledging it took place.
Celata manufactures gun parts at his shop near Argenta, about eight miles west of Dillon. He lives there with his wife and two children and sells the parts through his company KT Ordnance, which he moved to Dillon two years ago, on the Internet.
The parts that Celata builds are what he calls the 80 percent market, meaning theyre close to finished.
But theyre not gun kits similar to those available through mail order catalogs that can simply be put together and ready to shoot, Celata said. Those require a special license, whereas just to manufacture gun parts does not as long as the buyer uses them personally and doesnt sell the guns once theyre completed.
Celatas product requires some manufacturing work by the buyer, he said.
Theres no way to assemble this in any way that you can fire it, he said. You have to actually do some machining. The raid has fueled rumors around Dillon that Celata was building machine guns. But he said none of the rifle and pistol parts he makes, once completed, are automatic weapons.
The governments case, if Celata is charged with a crime, will come down to what constitutes a gun, said Quentin Rhoades, a Missoula attorney representing him. Rhoades stressed that he hasnt seen a list of the items seized and couldnt comment on them.
But Rhoades, who has represented the Montana Shooting Sports Association in other gun cases, said Celata did not intend to sell illegal firearms.
Its legal to create your own firearm, as long as you do it yourself, Rhoades said. He would provide instructions on how to complete that process, but he would not do it for you. The so-called 80 percent market of gun products is a legal undertaking that the ATF is well aware of, Rhoades said. And Celata is well known because hes one of the leading manufacturers of those products, but there are several other people selling similar gun parts.
There are all kinds of people who do that, and theyre not in jail, Rhoades said. I dont believe that Mr. Celata should have been singled out this way. Celata, who has been involved with the civil rights organization Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, said he has been a vocal proponent of the Constitutional right to own guns. Even if his items are returned and hes not charged with a crime, Celata said the incident could put him and other gun part manufacturers out of business because clients will fear theyre buying something illegal.
Theyve been wanting to shut down the 80 percent built market for a while, but theyd have to change the Constitution to do that, he said. Or they can just raid you and scare everybody away. Reporter Nick Gevock may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
ATF Raids KT Ordnance!
by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
Reprinted by The Libertarian Enterprise
June 8, 2006
Yesterday we received word that KT Ordnance, manufacturer of incomplete (80%-finished) frames, was raided for the alleged "illegal manufacture of firearms." KT Ordnance has been a great asset to those who wish to purchase unfinished receivers with which to anonymously manufacture their own firearmsa perfectly legal process, according to the BATFE website (http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#a6).
You can see from photos of the AR-15 kit (www.jpfo.org/kto1.jpg and www.jpfo.org/kto2.jpg) that the product cannot possibly be a functioning "firearm"it's simply a chunk of metal! So how can this happen?
Early reports suggest thatas Len Savage warned us in his "Talkin' to America" interview (www.jpfo.org/tta060508.htm)the BATFE has arbitrarily decided that certain products have the "features and characteristics" of firearms. As can be expected, there exists no definition of exactly what "features and characteristics" are in question at this time.
Other reports indicate that much of KT Ordnance's inventory is being confiscated, and computer hard drives have been duplicated, although the computers themselves remain at KT Ordnance's location.
It appears that certain government agents are indeed getting desperate. Richard Celata, owner of KT Ordnance, has been a long-time supporter of JPFO and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment (see our alert at www.jpfo.org/alert20050513.htm). Did the raid take place because of his association with a Jewish civil rights organization? Was it related to the upcoming UN Conference on small arms (www.jpfo.org/alert20060523.htm)? Or could it be because too many gun owners are discovering that building their own firearms is simple, anonymous, and LEGAL (according to the BATFE's own sitesee above)?
Details on the raid are at this time very, VERY sketchy. We will continue to report on this outrageous, vindictive action by the BATFE as more information comes in. Visitors to the KT Ordnance website will note that the site is no longer online. Richard has informed us that this was to prevent orders from coming in during this time, as there is no way to know what is being monitored or otherwise tracked by BATFE.
JPFO and Gun Owners of America (www.gunowners.org) are working to establish legal defense for KT Ordnance, and will keep you posted on our progress. In the meantime, please spread the word far and wide about this outrageous, indefensible action by the BATFE. Ask questions and demand answers from those in power who claim they are "friends" of gun owners.
We must do what we can to help and support our brothers-in- arms at KT Ordnance.
The Liberty Crew
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JBT's raid KT Ordnance ^
Posted by M1928A1 Thompson
On News/Activism ^ 06/11/2006 7:17:55 PM PDT · 77 replies · 1,369+ views
Jackbooted government thug bump.
It will take a costly lawsuit, and possibly personal intervention by his Congressional representatives to effect the return of the confiscated property. That is the sad state of the BATFE.
I'm betting that the "AUTO" marking is what got him in trouble.
Do you have a source for this claim?
Let me guess.
You think,like Janet Reno, that federal agents had to gas and burn the children at Waco to save them from Koresh?
How about the ATF raid on Waco?
Necessary because the Davidians were "stockpiling" weapons?
Apologists for these jack booted thugs sickens me.
The owner of KT Ordnance had said on his web page right after the raid that the BATFE had staged the raid to prevent him from holding one of his BBQ/assembly parties.
As for your guessing abilities you are batting zero. In calling me an apologist for BATFE you are sadly mistaken, I have no use for them at all!!! All I did was let Panzerfaust, know that the excuse used for the raid had nothing to do with the "auto" markings on the receiver. My personal opinion about all Gun laws that all gun laws are unconstitutional!
P.S perhaps you should check out a persons profile before jumping to conclusions in the future
Of all the despicable Federal agencies, ATF should be the most "feared." Not only is law not important to them but citizen lives are not either.
I am betting that the ruling is against machine guns only, not other firearms (semi-autos, etc.) because federal law does not allow any more machine guns to be available for civilians. Making your own would violate that law. There is no such provision for non full-auto firearms.
The selector is an entirely different part. Just having it marked on the outside makes it neither full auto nor illegal.
I am betting that it is due to him being friendly to JPFO. The BATFE has been pissed off at them and anyone even remotely tied to them due to JPFO making known what a bunch of idiots the BATFE is. Shoestrings are machine guns, malfunctioning semi-automatic rifle is an illegal machine gun, incompetant "experts", etc.
With certain exceptions a firearm may be made by a non-licensee provided it is not for sale and the maker is not prohibited from possessing firearms. However, a person is prohibited from assembling a non-sporting semi-automatic rifle or non-sporting shotgun from imported parts. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and approval by ATF. An application to make a machine gun will not be approved unless documentation is submitted showing that the firearm is being made for a Federal or State agency.
[18 U.S.C. 922(o) and (r), 26 U.S.C. 5822, 27 CFR 478.39, 479.62 and 479.105]
...and just who do those agents ULTIMATELY report to?
The Constitution didn't seem to stop them when they banned common infantry rifles and machine guns. It didn't stop then when they banned semiautomatic clones of the current issue military rifle. They "don't need no stinking constitutional amendment" they just ban by legislative, or in this case bureaucratic regulations, and then the courts will not enforce the constitution as written.
The BATFE, and it's predecessor the BATF, and other predecessor agencies have *always* been that "sad state". But then what can one expect from an agency whose very existence is an affront to the Constitution?
Oh, Richie boy, you've got a LOT to learn about propery seizure in these United States.