Skip to comments.MARYLAND GUN OWNERS ARE BEING COERCED BY FEDS TO TURN IN THEIR GUNS FOR 'BALLISTIC TESTING' !!!
Posted on 10/17/2002 2:06:03 PM PDT by Vigilant1
Over at TheFiringLine.com, there are many reports from credible long-time posters that the feds are intimidating Maryland gun owners into 'voluntarily' turning over their guns for 'ballistic testing'. Please check out the following discussion threads:
5000 rifles turned-in, in Maryland?
A Special Note To Maryland Gun Owners
Goodbye TFL- for now
This is a realization of the worst fears of gunowners. Feds showing up at your door, demanding you turn over your guns. Threats and intimidation. Absolute proof that the fedgov keeps lists of who owns what guns. This is our Orwellian nightmare come true. If you turn over your guns to the feds, good luck getting them back! Perhaps Maryland is just a test case for federal gun confiscation techniques? We'll see....
How 'bout some names?
My recollection only, YMMV, IANAL, IANALEO, etc.
Federal form 4473's need to be filled out by the gun stores, I believe after GCA68 or so. The forms themselves stay at the store until the store owner closes the business at which time the store owner is required to give them to the feds. 4473s are supposed to be on hand for BATF inspection (strictly speaking requires warrant with good reason on particular individual).
Brady Act required background check info at FBI level to be destroyed within 90 days.
Maryland has some form of independent gun registration initiated at point of sale.
Bottom line is those who purchased guns legally are targets of a sweep which was not mandated at federal level by law though poss. at Maryland state level.
I believe there was a relatively recent case about Chicago getting 4473s from potentially the entire country, and appeals were denied.
Of course the 4473s, etc. are relatively incomplete in terms of who actually possesses guns, and in particular tend to leave out criminals (big surprise).
FBI using store 4473s for tracking down is to some degree a violation of the existing federal law as I see it.
So bottom line is that this is another potential gradual usurpation of citizens' rights. The boiling frog scenario. We are seeing yet another rise in the temperature of the soup pot, one that lawmakers at one point in time told us would not be permitted to happen.
Folks who are really knowledgeable this stuff, feel free to correct and add. I'm not so knowledgeable as disgusted.
"Investigators hunting the Washington area sniper have cast the net far and wide over the region's gun community confiscating sign-in logs from shooting ranges, tracking sales of .223-caliber weapons and knocking on gun owners' doors.
Montgomery County police and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) came knocking on the door of Ken Scott's home in Silver Spring twice last week, asking for his thoughts about the shooting spree and about where he was during the times of the shootings.
Mr. Scott, confident the account of his whereabouts eliminated him as a suspect, said that either his neighbors gave his name on the tip line or investigators singled him out because he owns a gun shop.
On Tuesday, ATF agents arrived at Mr. Scott's Article II Unlimited store in Silver Spring accompanied by a man who had sold Mr. Scott a .223-caliber rifle the same round that has killed nine and wounded two persons in the sniper attacks. The agent wanted to see the gun, but it had already been resold, Mr. Scott said.
"Based on what they said to me, it seemed they were checking everyone who owned any gun that shoots that [.223-caliber] ammunition," Mr. Scott said.
Some gun owners reported that ATF agents had taken people's rifles to perform test-firing experiments and later returned the weapons. The Washington Times could not confirm the reports.
Authorities declined to comment on the probe of gun dealers and gun owners. An FBI spokesman for the multiagency task force searching for the sniper said that they were using every possible strategy to catch the killer, and that countless interviews were being conducted.
U.S. marshals from the task force questioned the owner of Schelin Guns in College Park last week about a man who took a firearms-safety class at the shop in late September, less than a week before the shooting spree began Oct. 2 in Montgomery County.
The federal agents checked the class roster and asked about sales of .223-caliber rifles, said store owner John Schelin, who had not recently sold that type of weapon.
The agents told Mr. Schelin that they were following a tip about a specific man who took the class, which is mandatory when purchasing handguns or rifles such as AK-47s or AR-15s, which are considered assault weapons.
A Northern Virginia man recently visited by ATF agents was asked whether he owned a .223-caliber weapon or had access to a white van, which has been seen at the scene of some of the shootings. The man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he answered no to both questions, and the agents left.
He also said the agents told him that neighbors submitted his name to the tip line because he owns guns.
"You have all these news agencies saying to call the tip line if you know anybody who owns guns, if you know anybody with a white truck or anybody acting suspicious. You know, people act on that," he said. "It's too broad of a spectrum, and the ATF have to be thorough."
ATF agents last week confiscated the sign-in log from the firing range at Clark Brothers Guns in Warrenton, Va. The log included the signatures, some illegible, of customers who had used the range during the past six months, said owner Steve Clark.
"I don't know what they hope to glean from it," he said. "I guess they are trying anything."
Lamar Miller, a handwriting expert in Summerland Key, Fla., formerly with the Alabama State Forensic Lab, said the signatures could provide information beyond who used the range.
But it would be difficult to link a signature to the writing on the tarot card found at the scene of the Oct. 7 shooting outside a Bowie school that critically wounded a 13-year-old boy, he said.
"That's not to say it can't be done," Mr. Miller said. "You could find some similarities that might bear following up. They are trying to find some similarities such as the size of the letters and the shape of the letters. If there are [similarities] they would probably try to obtain more writing samples."
Task force investigators also paid a call on the Bethesda-Chevy Chase chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America, a conservationist and outdoorsman organization that operates a private firing range in Poolesville on the western edge of Montgomery County.
ATF agents have visited numerous gun shops in the Washington area to review sales records and federal 4473 forms that list buyer information for every firearms sale. In some instances, the investigators made copies of documents, said gun shop owners and employees.
No, it just makes it illegal. =]
No, it's not supposed to exist. The Feds are blatantly storing the information on those forms because they can.
Which might be required sooner than one would otherwise expect, if they are threatening to execute warranted searches (BTW this translates to a need for dynamic entry, or worse, in the minds of some ATF, cf. Waco, Ruby Ridge, etc.). Once they have one on a minor charge, they can use it as leverage to bargain away omes' other rights.
Still, an automated screening would seem to be a good idea under the circumstances. I would imagine the feds would be loath to identify themselves and make threats that are obviously being recorded. If it's a friend, of course one can always just pick it up.
Another embellishment of this idea is that once picking up the FBI call, simply inform the FBI that the call is being monitored by a recording device. Depending on various laws in the jurisdiction(s), one may have to ask for a full name and explicit permission before proceeding with the conversation, otherwise the tape may be inadmissible in court proceedings (if one is envisioning the eventual need for those). Better still I would imagine to have the non-gunowning family member or friend do all the talking even in this case.
Sounds like we're in lawyer territory already on this... :-( Some kind esquire may be able to put together a FAQ on the topic for the benefit of those who live in the region...
You may want the cooperation of a neighbor since the tape and all locally kept copies will probably "disappear" permanently in the event of a warrant based search... along with all of one's legal weapons, of course... and computers, etc. ...
Seriously, I only buy my weapons from private individuals. Makes it easier to not worry about the government keeping information about me ILLEGALLY.
Ahhh, but have you ever signed in at a shooting range ??? If so, your name & the caliber of weapon you own is recorded. And, of course, after posting this on this forum, it's probably a good bet you're on 'the list' now (if you weren't already)....
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