Maadi-Griffin .50 Kit Owners:
Don't Fall for BATF Entrapment
by David Codrea
March 22, 2002
I'm not a lawyer. I am absolutely unqualified to give anyone legal advice.
But I can tell you what I would do if I got a letter
from BATF ordering me to sign a form admitting to violating federal firearm
edicts under penalty of perjury: I would GET competent legal advice.
BATF's coercive actions have all the markings of a grand ENTRAPMENT scheme —
right now, they have no PROOF that any of you on the Stewart list are currently
in possession of the gunkit. But that hasn't stopped them from trying to
intimidate you and other kit owners into forfeiting your Fourth and Fifth
Amendment rights, in addition to your Second.
BATF's stated position is that the kits which THEY designate as
"firearms" are in violation of federal law. They say that the weapons
are subject to forfeiture. They CLAIM their primary objective is to ensure a
serial number is stamped on the receiver. But they make no assurances that they
will not seize the kit or prosecute you. Nor, legally, CAN they give such
assurance — and even if they did intend to give you a pass, there are no
guarantees that prosecutions could not be forced by later rulings.
So here is my admittedly unqualified advice to all kit owners:
RUN, don't walk to an attorney competent in such matters. If you don't know
such an attorney, contact your gun owning friends or gun organizations you
belong to for a referral. Show the BATF demand to the attorney and then follow
his or her advice. Any compliance, any form completions, any firearms stampings
should only be done as per competent legal advice.
In the meantime do NOT let them entrap you into incriminating yourself! Admit
to nothing. Sign nothing. If contacted by BATF, decline to speak with them. If
they show up to see you, ask to see a warrant. If they don't have one, don't let
them intimidate you into making any statements or entering your premises. If
they DO have a warrant, say nothing except that you want to see your lawyer.
Can't afford a lawyer? Yes you can — you can't afford NOT to have one, and
you need to get one without delay. TODAY. Because if you listen to BATF, not
only could you have your property seized, there is every possibility that you
will find yourself facing prosecution and a prison term for federal firearm
edict violations. That is, assuming you survive the raid.