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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 2/11/2006 5:29:43 PM EST
America's Aggressive Civil Rights Organization

February 9, 2006

JPFO ALERT: Congressional Hearings on the BATFE

In August of 2005, participants at gun shows in Virginia
were shocked to discover that while they were purchasing
perfectly legal firearms, BATFE agents visited their homes
and their neighbors' homes, asking questions like, "Do
you know your spouse/neighbor is buying a gun? How do you
feel about that?" (1) Agents obtained the residence
information from purchase forms that buyers are required to
fill out ... a clear violation of federal law.

Now, seven months later, the U.S. House Judiciary
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security will
hold an oversight hearing to investigate apparent
wrongdoing by BATFE. The hearings will be held on February
15, at 4:00 p.m. While we applaud the fact that _someone_
is looking into the issue, we remain skeptical as to the

For one, the hearing is being chaired by James M.
Sensenbrenner. Despite the (R) after his name,
Sensenbrenner has shown multiple times that he is no friend
of gun owners. Author of the Real ID Act (2), Sensenbrenner
vigorously defended the BATFE after the John Glover
travesty (3). Not content with that, he has also refused to
allow HR 1603 -- the "Fairness in Firearms Testing" bill
(4) -- out of the _same_ committee now conducting these
hearings! With Sensenbrenner's record of support for the
State over the individual, how impartial can the hearings
be? That it was scheduled for 4pm -- too late for it to be
part of the evening news -- is equally telling. Are gun
owners being set up for betrayal yet again?

There's no dispute that the Virginia incidents were
completely unacceptable violations of individuals' rights
(as well as violations of federal law!). But we must ask,
what about all of the innocent gun owners currently rotting
in prison or left financially destitute as a direct result
of BATFE's capricious and arbitrary actions (5)? Will the
hearings address those who are falsely accused based on
dubious informant tips, set up by "experts" who don't
bother to examine the firearm in question (6), and
convicted on the subjective opinion of those same "experts"

The BATFE has been known as a rogue agency for decades, yet
no one -- neither Democrat nor Republican -- has
attempted to rein them in. The few investigations into this
organization have netted at most a slap on the wrist. Why?
Because they are useful to those who wish to gather and
maintain power. A police state, after all, must have its
police force.

We must continue to educate everyone -- even those who
neither own nor like firearms -- about the dangerous power
of the BATFE, and the precedent it sets. If one agency can
arbitrarily decide whether an object is "legal" (without
any standards or documented testing procedures), than ANY
agency can. After all, if the BATFE can decide a shoestring
is a machine gun (8), what is to prevent the DEA from
declaring your greenhouse a "drug manufacturing plant"?

This issue affects all Americans, regardless of political
affiliation. Please, please take a moment to join our "Boot
the BATFE" campaign at http://www.jpfo.org/bootbatfe.htm .
We must continue to make noise about this issue and demand
our representatives do whatever it takes to put the BATFE
genie back in its bottle.

With all of the documented abuses the BATFE has indulged
in, there is NO excuse for defending this agency gone mad.
Anyone who defends, condones, or apologizes for the BATFE
is either willfully ignorant ... or maliciously power-
hungry. Boot them out of your lives, and tell them why. The
American people have tolerated this monstrosity for far too
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:47:47 PM EST
vigorously defended the BATFE after the John Glover

Who is John Glover?
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