Posted: 5/31/2002 10:53:45 PM EST
Oh yes and he is also a "member of the National Rifle Association, hunter, and avid gun collector."
"I'm for the Second Amendment," the 57-year-old medical software developer and consultant said as he displayed World War II-era British Enfield rifles at his Collin County home.
[b]But the terrorism threat looming over the country has led him to campaign against what he considers lax laws governing the importation of parts that can be used to make automatic weapons.[/b]
Many of these parts can be bought by anyone with a telephone, Internet service, and a credit card. Tucker has done it himself.
No background checks are conducted, even though they are required for handgun purchasers under the Brady law. Consequently, Tucker fears that those parts may fall into the wrong hands.
[b]"I'm trying to raise a red flag on this," he said. "I think this should be stopped."[/b]
He has taken his campaign to members of Congress, the Texas Legislature, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
"I've contacted a whole lot of people," Tucker said, displaying a thick sheaf of letters, faxes, and other communications at his home office.
But he has not met with any success.
Officials of the Dallas office of the ATF suggested the issue is more a policy than an enforcement question.
"If it is not illegal, there's not much we can do about it until a crime is committed," Tom Crowley, special agent, said.
Others contacted by Tucker included U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Plano, who could not be reached for immediate comment Thursday. Members of Johnson's staff said they would schedule a meeting with Tucker to discuss his concerns.
The weapon in question is the Sten gun, a World War II-era British submachine gun that is no longer made. But many have been broken into parts that can be sold.
Through one of many catalogues available, Tucker legally purchased a $48.95 kit that provided him with everything needed to assemble a Sten gun except the frame and receiver.
Buying frames or receivers is illegal. Under U.S. law, both devices are themselves considered machine guns and possession of them is a felony.
But Tucker demonstrated how, using tools and parts available through hardware stores, including a piece of automobile-exhaust pipe, a working machine gun can be constructed.
"If you've got any kind of basic skills, you can rebuild it," he said. "The scary part is that anybody can buy it over the telephone [b]with no background check.[/b] That is my objection."
Tucker questions why such kits are being sold in large quantities -- as cheaply as $15 each if 100 or more are purchased.
"If they're selling them in those quantities, somebody is buying them," Tucker said. "Why is there no background check required for sales on such a large scale?"
[b]Sten gun parts are not the only automatic-weapons parts available through print and online catalogues. Others include those designed for the Uzi, AK47, and AR-15.[/b]
Tucker originally asked the ATF for instructions on how to legally assemble a nonworking Sten gun, called a "dummy," for display in his home collection.
In a faxed response, Curt Bartlett of the ATF's Washington office said that "a combination of parts from which a Sten gun can be assembled is a machine gun" and is, therefore, illegal under the National Firearms Act.
"In order to make a dummy Sten gun that is not a firearm, we suggest you use a dummy receiver made from a solid metal bar that is incapable of accepting any type of bolt or firing mechanism," Bartlett said.
Under U.S. law, possession of automatic weapons is illegal. For display purposes, as in Tucker's case, the weapons must be rendered useless. This process is called de-milling.
Before World War II, the British had been buying U.S.-made Thompson submachine guns but decided they cost too much.
In late 1940, the Birmingham Small Arms Company proposed a new weapon designed by Major R.V. Shepherd and H.J. Turpin.
After tests, the military accepted the weapon, named for its designers and the Enfield factory where production began, and the first weapons left the factory in June 1941.
Ultimately 4 million weapons were manufactured. They were known for affordability and ease of construction, assembly, dismantling, and concealment.
British troops called them the Plumbers' Delight, Woolworth gun, and Stench gun.
Something of a legend has grown up around them, and the legend lives on through online chat rooms and kit sales.
But Tucker hopes the legend does not take a negative turn.
"If terrorists were smart enough to use a box cutter, they should have no problem putting these together," he said.
The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or collecting. That guy needs to pull his head out of his ass.
Another 15 minutes of fame bitch. He is using guns to drum up publicity for his software and consultant service.
Guns made by manufacturers don't always work out of the box, I can just imagine the reliability and functionality of a gun made from components off a hardware shelf. If they can be made to work reliably from hardware store components, why the hell can't gun manufacturers get it right the first time.
Register pipe at the hardware store to satisfy this idiot, I think not.
And if it's so freakin' easy to make a reciever, what makes the rest of the gun so hard to make? Why stop there? Let's restrict all machines and tooling systems, it's a TERRORIST THREAT! OH NO! And it doesn't even mention that there are legally owned machineguns out there, no doubt some stens too. Reminds me of 1984 where they constantly change history in order to always be correct, to make themselves right. A lot of things remind me of 1984 nowadays.
And he is also an ASSHOLE!!
F%ck him, I'm ashamed to have fought in the same war with him....
[b]Marine Vietnam Vet needs our support![/b]
I agree lets all go give the guy a hug.. then tie the SOB up and sit his ass on an anthill.
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