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Posted: 4/11/2006 8:38:43 AM EDT
After reading the ATF "interpreting" a VFG as an NFA item I have found a seperate post rather than a comment in that thread more beneficial.

What is the ATF? The ATF is an executive branch thus employed to "ENFORCE" the law. Their duty to enforce the law may require a departmental interpretation of what it is they are enforcing, however, it is NOT the power of any executive branch to interptet the law as the law exists. The ATF's "interpretation" (AKA opinion) and their implementation thereof is analogous Sheriff Bufford T Justice's opinion and his excercise thereof. Ol' Sheriff might see your "machine gun wit the Bo'nanna clip" and confiscate it on the spot (even arresting you in the process), based upon his "interpretation" of what a machine gun is. His interpretation, right or wrong is irrelevant to what the law really is. In the case of the Sheriff, your wrongfully seized AR-15 will not fly after you have retained an attorney, however you just might not bring any such recreational rifles to shoot on public land after hearing about this yahoo so as to avoid legal fees and the hassle. Once finals let out I plan on re-examining the NFA provisions myself in order to see how ambiguous the AOW provisions are and if their so-called interpretation might be agreeable to a LEGALLY BINDING one from the judiciary.

Nevertheless, if you run afoul of the ATF's interpretation and are "caught" and prossecuted that does not exactly mean you have broken the law. I am not raising this issue to claim with my own unauthoritative position that this or any interpretation of theirs IS IN FACT wrong (it may/may not be and I plan on looking into this further). I bring this up to help raise the collective awareness that the ATF and their UNAUTHORITATIVE OPINIONS are NOT the law. They are nothing more than federal "beat cops" who haul somebody in to the judge, who in turn determines what the law REALLY is.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:15:20 AM EDT
bump
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:22:01 AM EDT
Interesting argument, but it hardly matters a heap of beans if you're the guy they decide to test their interpretations on. Win or lose, they're gonna bankrupt your ass and ruin your life. It's a disgusting perversion of the judicial system but I don't know too many people willing to sacrifice their freedom, their savings, and their future to make that point to a nation that doesn't care anyway.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:43:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2006 9:44:04 AM EDT by A_Free_Man]
The problem is, they have been the governments long time "de facto" experts on firearms, and juries and more importantly, their judges will accept whatever they say, even if it is wrong. They have the attitude that they don't want a criminal to get off on some little technicality (like the law), so they accept ATF's "interpretations".

The problem is, laws, all laws, are written in such complex legalese that no one really knows what they mean, and you have to have lawyers and courts to tell you. Now, the lawyers on this board will tell you all that boilerplate has specific meanings and is quite precise. To which I say, Horse Hockey. Plain English, do you speak it?

The problem with gun laws and the Second Amendment is that 99.9% of the time when a gun law might conflict with the Second Amendment there is a chance that some vile baby raping murderer might be set free. So unfortunately precidents are set, laws interpreted in such a way that our rights are not upheld by the courts. Our rights have been determined by the actions of some vile criminal.

Take the recent case of the boy in Colorado with pictures on Myspace, convicted of being a minor in possession of a firearm... in his own home. His and OUR rights were not determined by his actions in his home. His and OUR rights were determined by the vile actions of the Columbine shooters.

This is the problem with our legal system. And it is wrong.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:43:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Interesting argument, but it hardly matters a heap of beans if you're the guy they decide to test their interpretations on. Win or lose, they're gonna bankrupt your ass and ruin your life. It's a disgusting perversion of the judicial system but I don't know too many people willing to sacrifice their freedom, their savings, and their future to make that point to a nation that doesn't care anyway.



Yep.
Dead, alive, bankrupt, or extra crispy, the ATF alwaays gets their man.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:46:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Interesting argument, but it hardly matters a heap of beans if you're the guy they decide to test their interpretations on. Win or lose, they're gonna bankrupt your ass and ruin your life. It's a disgusting perversion of the judicial system but I don't know too many people willing to sacrifice their freedom, their savings, and their future to make that point to a nation that doesn't care anyway.



As correct as your assessment MAY be, your ambivelant and complacent attitude which is found amongst so many on and off this board is probably the key component to explain just WHY the state of affairs in this country has degenerted so radically. Either get up and say/do something or when "this" gets too close to your doorstep, be sure and and withhold all rants/pleas since you brought it on yourself. What a lousy attitude.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:47:11 AM EDT
The BATFE was empowered by the GCA 1968 to decide what is sporting and what is not .

Problemo is it never defined 'particularly suitable' or 'generally adapted'
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:48:18 AM EDT
they're bar none the most legislative law enforcement agency in the country
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:48:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Interesting argument, but it hardly matters a heap of beans if you're the guy they decide to test their interpretations on. Win or lose, they're gonna bankrupt your ass and ruin your life. It's a disgusting perversion of the judicial system but I don't know too many people willing to sacrifice their freedom, their savings, and their future to make that point to a nation that doesn't care anyway.



Isn't it possible to sue based on the law rather than to commit the "crime" to form a test case?
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:52:38 AM EDT
the first ammendment gives you the right to petition the government. I don't know that means you could go and sue to say that a law is unconstitutinal or if it means you can lobby congress.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 10:09:25 AM EDT
My mother, a lawyer, says you can, in fact, sue the government for an unconstitutional law. Of course, legal fees would be high and the plaintiff has to have an interest in the case, so the best course would be either a group of manufacturers or a pro-gun organization filing the suit.

So... who should we petition first, the GOA or Barrett?
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 10:10:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:
My mother, a lawyer, says you can, in fact, sue the government for an unconstitutional law. Of course, legal fees would be high and the plaintiff has to have an interest in the case, so the best course would be either a group of manufacturers or a pro-gun organization filing the suit.

So... who should we petition first, the GOA or Barrett?



Barret woulnt care beyond defending general gun rights. You'd be better off getting a pistol manufacturer in the action. Not sure if Glock would go for it, but maybe springfield or Kel Tec.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 10:22:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2006 10:26:39 AM EDT by pulpsmack]

Originally Posted By Napoleon_Tanerite:


So... who should we petition first, the GOA or Barrett?


Barret woulnt care beyond defending general gun rights. You'd be better off getting a pistol manufacturer in the action. Not sure if Glock would go for it, but maybe springfield or Kel Tec.



I wouldn't count Barret out by any means. He's the only guy I have ever heard of in the industry who has spoken his mind. Bushmaster might also have some interest as well. FWIW, the standing issue for constitutionality of a law generally comes from a special interest group representing those affected (NRA, ACLU, etc). That doesn't mean it MUST be, but the point is the petitioners must represent member(s) who have been afflicted, and if a case is universally applicable (i.e. "I don't like the way the gov spends our taxes on the war"), the case will not be heard.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 10:25:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pulpsmack:

Originally Posted By Napoleon_Tanerite:

So... who should we petition first, the GOA or Barrett?



Barret woulnt care beyond defending general gun rights. You'd be better off getting a pistol manufacturer in the action. Not sure if Glock would go for it, but maybe springfield or Kel Tec.

I wouldn't count Barret out, by any means. He's the only guy I have ever heard of in the industry who has spoken his mind. Bushmaster might also have some interest as well. FWIW, the standing issue for constitutionality of a law generally comes from a group representing those affected (NRA, ACLU, etc).



Ronnie Barret is definately not afraid to speak his mind, but his companie's resources are tied up in defending the .50 from those who say it will shoot down the space shuttle. The ACLU? doubt it. The NRA doesnt see this as a big fish worth fighting for, which leaves us back to trying to find a pistol manufacturer who would be willing to go to bat.

Kel Tec is an American company in a gun friendly state (FL) with a STRONG history of standing with its customers. They'd be my #1 bet for a company who might lend support with enough customer input.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 10:44:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CRC:
The BATFE was empowered by the GCA 1968 to decide what is sporting and what is not .

Problemo is it never defined 'particularly suitable' or 'generally adapted'



"All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

Congress cannot delegate legislative powers. This may be our angle.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 10:51:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2006 10:55:06 AM EDT by FLAL1A]
The problem you discuss is a big one and is by no means limited to BATFE or gun rights issues. Since the expansion of the federal government under Roosevelt, an entire body of law has grown which deals with the issue. What you are talking about is the basis of "Administrative Law."

In the typical situation, the Congress passes a statute which is on its face fairly simple, e.g.

Commercial vehicles in interstate commerce (a) shall be clearly marked with the owner's name, state of origin, and gross vehicle weight, and (b) shall bear reflective devices or material sufficient to allow other motorists to see the vehicle in darkness where the only illumination is the other motorist's headlamps or street lights. The Secretary of Transportation shall have the authority to enforce this statute.


DOT gets the law, goes through a drafting and public hearing process and generates two pages of regulations on the size, typeface, color, color contrast, and locations allowable for posting information required under Subsection (a) and 50 pages on size, number, material, location, reflectiveness standards, and color permissible under Subsection (b). This goes into the Code of Federal Regulations, or CFR. The CFR is published in trade paperback size, and is probably 2 or 3 times the size of the United States Codes - or bigger. It is enormous. Hundreds of volumes. The federal courts have expressly allowed the delegation of rulemaking authority to executive agencies (there are theoretical limits to such delegation, but only rarely is it determined that the limits have been exceeded, although a common sense view of things makes it plain that we are largely and unconstitutionally governed by executive decree), and courts are required when deciding what a statute means to give "great deference" to the regulations.

I would imagine that the original Act of 1792 (or 1789 or whenever) creating the US Marshals had a line saying that "the Marshal shall execute a District Court's sentence of death by hanging the convict by the neck until he is dead." If the same law came out tomorrow, there would follow a couple of hundred pages of US Marshals Service Regulations dictating scaffold design, rope material and diameter, permissibility of re-using ropes, soap vs no soap, drop lengths, hoods, whether chaplains are allowed on the scaffold, et c. et c. If you think about it, very few non-criminal laws have ever been self explanatory: the executive responsible for carrying them out has always had to figure out exactly how to comply. However, the modern mania for uniformity and certainty, together with the general philosophical turn toward regulation as an alternative to freedom of action (for the enforcers as well as the subjects) has created the monster of which you complain. Some of it is clearly out of hand: the CLEO signoff on NFA "applications" (which appears nowhere in the law) is a commonly noted example of overreaching (but one the courts have so far tolerated). On the other hand, if I were running a trucking company, I would want to know exactly what to paint and/or stick on my trucks to avoid having to deal with citations from the DOT. The logic is flawless. Executive agencies have always and everywhere engaged in rulemaking, whether they planned for it or operate by custom, and whther they wrote it down or passed it on by word of mouth. The downside is that it has in the natural course of things grown to a point at which the behavior of actual live individuals is governed by things that look, act, and smell like laws but have never been read by any elected representative of the people.

The danger is in things like the CLEO signoff, the "sporting purposes" clause, EPA and Corps of Engineers' definitions of "navigable waters" and "wetlands," et c. My personal thinking is that if it is impractical for congreessmen and senators to sit down and spell out exactly what they want people to do or not do, then the subject is by definition too complicated or esoteric for legitimate regulation by law. The government, driven by an organic lust for growth in size and reach, sees it otherwise.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 11:45:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FLAL1A:
The problem you discuss is a big one and is by no means limited to BATFE or gun rights issues. Since the expansion of the federal government under Roosevelt, an entire body of law has grown which deals with the issue. What you are talking about is the basis of "Administrative Law."

In the typical situation, the Congress passes a statute which is on its face fairly simple, e.g.

Commercial vehicles in interstate commerce (a) shall be clearly marked with the owner's name, state of origin, and gross vehicle weight, and (b) shall bear reflective devices or material sufficient to allow other motorists to see the vehicle in darkness where the only illumination is the other motorist's headlamps or street lights. The Secretary of Transportation shall have the authority to enforce this statute.


DOT gets the law, goes through a drafting and public hearing process and generates two pages of regulations on the size, typeface, color, color contrast, and locations allowable for posting information required under Subsection (a) and 50 pages on size, number, material, location, reflectiveness standards, and color permissible under Subsection (b). This goes into the Code of Federal Regulations, or CFR. The CFR is published in trade paperback size, and is probably 2 or 3 times the size of the United States Codes - or bigger. It is enormous. Hundreds of volumes. The federal courts have expressly allowed the delegation of rulemaking authority to executive agencies (there are theoretical limits to such delegation, but only rarely is it determined that the limits have been exceeded, although a common sense view of things makes it plain that we are largely and unconstitutionally governed by executive decree), and courts are required when deciding what a statute means to give "great deference" to the regulations.

I would imagine that the original Act of 1792 (or 1789 or whenever) creating the US Marshals had a line saying that "the Marshal shall execute a District Court's sentence of death by hanging the convict by the neck until he is dead." If the same law came out tomorrow, there would follow a couple of hundred pages of US Marshals Service Regulations dictating scaffold design, rope material and diameter, permissibility of re-using ropes, soap vs no soap, drop lengths, hoods, whether chaplains are allowed on the scaffold, et c. et c. If you think about it, very few non-criminal laws have ever been self explanatory: the executive responsible for carrying them out has always had to figure out exactly how to comply. However, the modern mania for uniformity and certainty, together with the general philosophical turn toward regulation as an alternative to freedom of action (for the enforcers as well as the subjects) has created the monster of which you complain. Some of it is clearly out of hand: the CLEO signoff on NFA "applications" (which appears nowhere in the law) is a commonly noted example of overreaching (but one the courts have so far tolerated). On the other hand, if I were running a trucking company, I would want to know exactly what to paint and/or stick on my trucks to avoid having to deal with citations from the DOT. The logic is flawless. Executive agencies have always and everywhere engaged in rulemaking, whether they planned for it or operate by custom, and whther they wrote it down or passed it on by word of mouth. The downside is that it has in the natural course of things grown to a point at which the behavior of actual live individuals is governed by things that look, act, and smell like laws but have never been read by any elected representative of the people.

The danger is in things like the CLEO signoff, the "sporting purposes" clause, EPA and Corps of Engineers' definitions of "navigable waters" and "wetlands," et c. My personal thinking is that if it is impractical for congreessmen and senators to sit down and spell out exactly what they want people to do or not do, then the subject is by definition too complicated or esoteric for legitimate regulation by law. The government, driven by an organic lust for growth in size and reach, sees it otherwise.



Damn right.

I can see the day that the EPA tells me I am breathing out too much CO.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 12:03:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pulpsmack:

Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Interesting argument, but it hardly matters a heap of beans if you're the guy they decide to test their interpretations on. Win or lose, they're gonna bankrupt your ass and ruin your life. It's a disgusting perversion of the judicial system but I don't know too many people willing to sacrifice their freedom, their savings, and their future to make that point to a nation that doesn't care anyway.



As correct as your assessment MAY be, your ambivelant and complacent attitude which is found amongst so many on and off this board is probably the key component to explain just WHY the state of affairs in this country has degenerted so radically. Either get up and say/do something or when "this" gets too close to your doorstep, be sure and and withhold all rants/pleas since you brought it on yourself. What a lousy attitude.



I don't hear you volunteering to be a test case.

My above post neither suggested ambivalence nor complacence. It was factual, realistic, and free of the false bravado so clearly evident in your reply. Biiiiiiig man gonna take on EVERYONE, huh? Hey, while you're at it cleaning up the ATF, why not bounce over to the Social Security Administration and whip us up a fair and equitable solution to the ponzi scheme there? Hell, why stop there? The entire legislative branch of our government is rife with rot, why dontcha just head on in and clean out the special interest PAC's, fire all the lobbyists, and send the 85-99% of filthy dirty congresscritters packing? Oh yea, and there's this little matter of a decimated coastal area, could you find your way clear of snapping your fingers and rebuilding all that mess? Thanks.

Oh.. Wait.. That's not going to happen, because internet tough guys rarely do more than talk shit. "Ooh! The sky is falling! I'm being oppressed!! We've all gotta get up and DO SOMETHING!"

Ok Mungo, what would you have us do? What, no plan of action? No suggestions? Naah. Never happen. Nothing ever comes out of you guys but "We've gotta!" without a fucking CLUE as to what needs to be done. There's no plan, there's no fucking clue to be had as to what facts to even base a plan on.. Just a belly full of beer, a head full of bad english, and a double helping of piss and vinegar.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 12:52:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2006 12:53:34 PM EDT by pulpsmack]

Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:

I don't hear you volunteering to be a test case.



No, you don't. Nor had I advocated that YOU or anybody else pick up the standard to do it for us. you missed/still miss the point that there are other alternatives out there. Some more effective and difficult to implement than others.



My above post neither suggested ambivalence nor complacence. It was factual, realistic, and free of the false bravado so clearly evident in your reply. Biiiiiiig man gonna take on EVERYONE, huh?


I stand corrected. it is not that you are on the fence. The fact that you belong here shows you have a prefrence. If then you are not complacent, the better term for you would be cowardly. Either it doesn't matter much to you, or you are too chickenshit to actually do anything about it or make an attempt thereof.


Hey, while you're at it cleaning up the ATF, why not bounce over to the Social Security Administration and whip us up a fair and equitable solution to the ponzi scheme there? Hell, why stop there? The entire legislative branch of our government is rife with rot, why dontcha just head on in and clean out the special interest PAC's, fire all the lobbyists, and send the 85-99% of filthy dirty congresscritters packing? Oh yea, and there's this little matter of a decimated coastal area, could you find your way clear of snapping your fingers and rebuilding all that mess? Thanks.


I'll choose my own battles, in the time and manner in which I can fight them, thank you.


Oh.. Wait.. That's not going to happen, because internet tough guys rarely do more than talk shit.


Your critique cannot be more applicable to any other words than your own. Not only are you too scared or lazy to do anything, you sit here wasting space TRYING to detract from anything being done.



"Ooh! The sky is falling! I'm being oppressed!! We've all gotta get up and DO SOMETHING!"


1968 Act
1986 legislation banning further registration of transferrable autos
198? Brady Bill (which was finally ruled unconstitutional)
1989 Importation ban
1994 AWB
2004 Lawsuit settlement on Bushmaster
...

Nah you're right. let's just sit on our asses.



Ok Mungo, what would you have us do? What, no plan of action? No suggestions? Naah. Never happen. Nothing ever comes out of you guys but "We've gotta!" without a fucking CLUE as to what needs to be done. There's no plan, there's no fucking clue to be had as to what facts to even base a plan on.. Just a belly full of beer, a head full of bad english, and a double helping of piss and vinegar.


I'll take the piss and vinegar. As for the beer I don't drink, and I'll take the Pepsi challenge on the better command our language any day. Currently I have and shall continue to inform my representatives where I stand. I vote based on the issues. I also have enrolled in law school with our MY concerns (as well as those of SOME arfcom members) as determinant of a future career.

If it wasn't for this board alerts from SOME of the active, vigilant CONTRIBUTORS here, I might have missed the opportunity to sound off "to the powers that be" on a house proposal or two. I actually have a few things to bounce off some professors after exams, but maybe I don't have THE solution today or ever. Maybe someone here might. Sarah Brady had piss, vinegar, and a sad turn of events (yeah powerful friends didn't hurt either) and not only did she inspire the passage of unconstitutional legislation, she created a horribly misguided movement which continues to warp public perception about the cause. You may be too chickenshit to stand up for our rights, but don't go pissing in the punchbowl of those who may very well end up doing it for you.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 12:59:34 PM EDT
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