Skip to comments.Calaveras County Safe Again (ATF at it Again!)
Posted on 04/29/2005 5:23:31 PM PDT by P_A_I
Calaveras County Safe Again
By Jeff Knox (Manassas, VA, April 27)
The people of Calaveras County the remote central California mining region made famous by the gold rush of 1849 and the jumping frogs of Mark Twain can breath easier now that Richard Wilmshurst has been brought to justice. Wilmshurst was convicted last month of illegal possession of a machinegun and illegal possession of "Assault Weapons" in California. The judge sentenced Wilmshurst to three years probation and ordered that he dispose of his "arsenal". Wilmshurst, by the way, is a car dealer and land speculator with a law degree, a federal firearms import license, and a class 3 license. This could be the Second Amendment case we've been waiting for or it could be another case of a white-hat taking a fall because white-hats are easier targets than black-hats.
Wilmshurst's troubles began in January of 2003 when an ATF agent performing a routine inspection of his import inventory mentioned that a couple of the guns were not legal for Californians to own. Wilmshurst wasn't worried; the guns were within the umbrella of his import business and were intended for distribution outside the state of California for sale to law enforcement.
In February, officers from the California Department of Justice Firearms Enforcement Division, using information obtained from ATF, staged raids on Wilmshurst's home and Angel Camp car dealership. The raids were conducted in full "storm-trooper" fashion with black "ninja" suits, heavy body armor, and true assault weapons. This being "people friendly" California, the assault force included a medic to monitor 69-year old, stroke survivor, Wilmshurst's blood pressure as they dumped the contents of his safe and confiscated every gun he or his businesses owned.
Even though it is a violation of federal law for information obtained from records generated in compliance with import license regulations to be used directly or indirectly as evidence against the licensee, the judge refused to hear arguments that the warrants were illegal and that all evidence seized was inadmissible. Instead, he barred any mention of federal law in the courtroom and instructed the jury that if the prosecutor proved that Wilmshurst was in possession of the firearms in question (something that Wilmshurst never denied), that the jury must return a guilty verdict.
The guilty verdict was summarily returned and last week, Wilmshurst was sentenced to three years probation and, as a convicted felon, ordered to dispose of all of his firearms.
The judge in the case who happens to be the same judge that ruled against Wilmshurst in a property case currently on appeal expressed dismay that Wilmshurst is showing no remorse for his crimes Wilmshurst is planning to appeal the conviction and has filed suit against the Attorney General of California for violating federal law in conducting the raid and for violating Wilmshurst's civil rights under the Second Amendment.
The Firearms Coalition is bringing the Wilmshurst case to the attention of Second Amendment scholars and firearms civil rights organizations in hopes of generating "friend of the court" briefs and perhaps getting Mr. Wilmshurst the specialized legal assistance this case clearly deserves.
We will keep you posted as the case develops. In the meantime, let this be a reminder: Your white hat is no defense against aggressive police, prosecutors, and judges. There are many things that Richard Wilmshurst would rather be doing with his time, money and midnight oil. Cross your T's and dot your i's
Yours for the Second Amendment,
Jeff Knox Director of Operations The Firearms Coalition
If it comes down to it, I'm in for $100 for his defense.
I've seen some pretty ugly guns out there.
Most of them .22's and such.
(Browning Buckmark anyone?)
Jeff Knox ? .......... relation to Neil ?
Make note; -- "Wilmshurst is planning to appeal the conviction and has filed suit against the Attorney General of California for violating federal law in conducting the raid and for violating Wilmshurst's civil rights under the Second Amendment."
Of course, to some misguided FReepers here, -- Wilmshurst has no 2nd Amendment rights in California.
How dare Wilmshurst appeal my ruling!
Protection from mountain lions is real. There are many places in the west that you don't want to go without a gun big enough to stop a lion. Attacks on humans are on the increase.
Yeah, that pretty much gave the tone of it tehre.
First I've heard of this, but still -it's bad news.
We are all very weary of the daily onslaught against those who think they have a right to own firearms. This is just another tale of judicial tyranny. The really sad part is that here in California, there is no one in government who will defend the 2nd amendment RKBA. The entire judicial system here is geared toward gutting the right to own a gun. The RKBA does not really exist as it was intended - it has been legislated and "judicialized" into the PKBA - Permission to Keep and Bear Arms over the last century.
Every gun law on the books whether state or federal is unconstitutional - IF one interprets the 2nd as it was intended. No court has done that over the last 100 years and no court will do it in the future. The 9th Circuit? F'ing clowns who work tirelessly to usher in the New Marxist Utopia. The Supreme Court? Maybe two or three of the current justices would rule correctly in this case, but the majority decision would almost certainly be 5-4 against the RKBA.
The writing has been on the wall for some time now. Many have been fighting the good fight to preserve what's left of the former right to arms for the last several decades. Over that time the road to the ultimate tyranny of a national gun confiscation has been plodded on by the enemies of freedom who at this time appear to be legion. The retiring of the 1994 AW ban was the first time in my lifetime that a gun law was removed from the books. The trend has been just the opposite.
I hate to sound pessimistic, since I truly defend the former RKBA nearly every day, sometimes in very small ways (like take a liberal associate to the pistol range) sometimes in larger ways (like try to influence one of my elected whores - I mean representatives). The adoption of shall issue by over 30 states may signal a change in the direction of legislative firearms policy - but right now, I don't trust any court to make the right decision regarding guns.
All threads don't always get the attention they deserve. This one has a lot to digest for me to jump up and yell "OUTRAGE".
But I did read it and this is my reply.
Now why would the Federal Inspector hot-foot it over to the state AG to report these fire-arms when he had proper federal liscensing for them?
And he's got some property issue in court too.
I can't help but think the purpose of this legal harassment is to get him to give up property that someone else wants. Wear him down or bankrupt him with legal costs.
Or is my tinfoil hat on too tight?
"The original post shows that info"Oh,i forgot my smart pill today:)BTW,i've commented on a number of articles today,but none of the threads are realy taking off.Some interesting topics,but not a lot of discussion.
Yeah, and protection from two legged predators is definitely a consideration as well: "Wilmshurst said he keeps guns at his car dealership because, in the 1980s, a man with a gun tried to enter the dealership's body shop. He also noted that, in the 1970s, a man kidnapped and raped his office manager's wife."
Eagle Eye wrote:
If it comes down to it, I'm in for $100 for his defense
It sounds like it'll be a good case.. Me too..
What's the judge's name and what's his title?
Wilmshurst is typical of many in the area where he lives. You can bet that after his arrest, more than one local checked up on their gun locker and made mental note of all who were aware of it's contents.
Calaveras County Safe Again (ATF at it Again!)Citation: Misrepresenting story - Inaccurate Title
As it turns out, factually speaking, this was the State of California that brought charges against Wilmshurst and not fedgov which so many people here love to loathe; I also happen to think he has a case against CA ...
Here's an interesting tidbit - and Ii think it casts an interesting light overall on this case:
Richard Wilmshurst, 68, filed a civil complaint against Lockyer in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, claiming that his federal arms importer's license should shield him from state prosecution.From:
Wilmshurst claims, in his civil complaint, that the state is prosecuting him solely to cover up the theft of 10 ounces of gold and other gold coins by state agents and to hide the "cruel and inhuman procedures employed to intimidate a 68-year-old man in failing health."
Even sadder, imo, are the 'states rights' groups who insist that the 2nd does not apply in California. There are at least a half dozen active FReeper 'conservatives' who hold that position.
Every gun law on the books whether state or federal is unconstitutional - IF one interprets the 2nd as it was intended. The Supreme Court? Maybe two or three of the current justices would rule correctly in this case, but the majority decision would almost certainly be 5-4 against the RKBA --
-- but right now, I don't trust any court to make the right decision regarding guns.
I say bring on the showdown. A case like this could force the issue, and if we lost, it would bring on a Constitutional crisis, one long overdue..