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Innocence Found

Bob Stewart Is Innocent
I've Proven it to myself, can we prove it to the jury?

August 15, 2001

The below information includes the new trial date/time.

I am certain that there are a number of folks familiar with the pending case against an American Patriot, Robert "Bob" Stewart.

I have never met Mr. Stewart personally or spoken with him on the phone. I have searched & searched for anyone to discredit him, to speak ill of or against him. The worst thing anyone could find to say was that he is very outspoken. There are no victims of his alleged crime, only himself and his family. I haven't sent any donations to him or transacted any business with him. I have emailed him with questions regarding his case and he has responded when possible. I honestly don't know why his case concerns me, or why I've spent many countless hours looking into and searching out laws related to his case. It has at times taxed my marriage due to the hours I have spent on this computer. Perhaps it's divine guidance, perhaps it's what appears to me as an injustice. The "why my interest" bugs me as much as the facts surrounding the case does. This is the expressed conclusion that I have come to by reading cases and the law. 

The statements below regarding Mr. Stewart are to the best of my knowledge, any inquiries I've made of him have been with the stipulation that he doesn't reveal anything that might serve to incriminate him since I am not his legal counsel and could be subject to subpoena. You can find more aspects of Mr. Stewart's story here: Bob Stewart's Case.

"But somehow I was drawn in by my own curiosity, and the deeper I dug, the more I discovered that it appears Mr. Stewart is a victim of injustice."

I don't ask you to take ANYTHING written here in this article on blind faith & face value; I didn't. When I first heard about it I didn't give it much thought; it was an event on the other side of the country that didn't affect me. But somehow I was drawn in by my own curiosity, and the deeper I dug, the more I discovered that it appears Mr. Stewart is a victim of injustice. I urge you to look into it as well and see if you don't discover the same. Again, I might very well be very wrong when it comes to law, but I believe somewhere it says to the effect "let no law be written that the common man cannot understand". I have no background in Law, I sincerely wish I had, for Mr. Stewart's benefit. Thank you for taking your time to review and consider this matter.

BACKGROUND

Mr. Stewart is an outspoken American who believes in the Constitution and all the rights it guarantees to Americans. Some years back, Mr. Stewart was arrested & charged for allegedly possessing some guns in violation of the NFA. Mr. Stewart apparently did not have very good representation and pled guilty to the charges brought against him. He served his time as a result. This made him a convicted felon.

Mr. Stewart got on with his life, his passion was still firearms and he assumed he had found a legal niche that allowed him to be involved with firearms without violating any laws. (Mr. Stewart's Web Site) He designed the Maadi-Griffin rifle, had a licensed firearm manufacturer produce the raw incompletely machined components. He then sold these parts kits to folks to complete the machining and assembly of the complete rifles. People building guns from scratch or from gun kits and demilled gun parts is not uncommon in the firearm industry. You can find such parts kits in Shotgun News and a number of internet sites dedicated to building guns like the FAL or Browning 1919A4 belt fed rifles. In fact, if there are no laws that otherwise prevent you from owning a gun, you can yourself build a gun from scratch if you like, certain restrictions apply. See question A7 in the BATF Firearms FAQ (a PDF File).

The Raid

Mr. Stewart operated his Maadi-Griffin company in full view of the law, advertised on the web and in all the trade journals and sold a number of kits. This began to worry the BATF and the Clinton administration. It wasn't long before BATF decided to raid Mr. Stewart. A "fishing trip" according to an inside source close to the BATF.

A Federal Agent purchased a kit from Mr. Stewart. The agent tried to get Mr. Stewart to assemble and complete the kit for him which Mr. Stewart refused to do. The agent himself then completed the kit enough for the firing pin to discharge a primer on a cartridge (in effect altering the evidence?) and presented it to a Judge to obtain a warrant to search Mr. Stewart's residence. The rifle was by no means completed due to the additional required machining, head spacing and hardening requirements. Had it been used to fire an actual cartridge, the rifle could have possibly blown up. I know this as fact from my own background in machining. The agent's claim was that Mr. Stewart was selling illegal guns through the Internet. The warrant was granted and in typical fashion, the agents stormed Mr. Stewart's residence.

Now Mr. Stewart isn't some recluse hiding out in some cabin somewhere. He is a devout Mormon with a wife and 3 children, he lives in an upscale neighborhood. Agents spent the entire day at his home combing it from top to bottom. They allegedly found a handgun and other evidence. This was what they wanted to find. This would make Mr. Stewart a felon in possession of a gun, a serious Federal crime, so they claim.

(Interestingly, during the time very close to the raid on Mr. Stewart, former president Clinton passed legislation that, among other things, barred the import of the surplus M2 barrels specified in the Maadi-Griffin plans.)

Interestingly...

BATF dropped all charges related to the gun kits and charged Mr. Stewart with "a convicted felon in possession of a firearm in or affecting commerce". This is the key point in this case. It seems that most folks only hear felon in possession of a firearm and not the rest of the law.

The law reads:

"It shall be unlawful for any person who has been convicted in any court of law, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or
foreign commerce."

The portion that reads "to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce" cannot be ignored. Why so many don't hear the rest of the sentence disturbs me. The law says what it means and means what it says, it is literal, so much time is spent in cases using Blacks Law dictionary to define & determine & scrutinize the meaning of each and every word and the context in which it is used in the sentence. To ignore "to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce" is a travesty of justice. Furthermore, there are cases that specifically decide that mere possession isn't evidence of "shipping, receiving, transporting or affecting". Blacks Law dictionary will help answer any questions as to the meaning of those words. Perhaps the laws of the State of Arizona say that mere possession is a crime, but the U.S. Code does not.

Fatal Flaws in the Federal Prosecution

Well this is where it appears that the Feds case falls apart. Read the case law, the Emerson decision (a PDF File), Coward v. United States and the resulting Dalzell Opinion, Lopez v United States and many others. See James Bardwell's site for a significant collection of firearms cases. Do a search on google.com for any of the mentioned cases. Search FindLaw and the Cornell Law Library.

For Mr. Stewart to be guilty of the Federal crime of firearm possession, he would have had to been caught "shipping, receiving, or transporting" the alleged handgun across state lines. Like driving to a gun show in another state with a gun in the car. The Feds jurisdiction is between the States not within the State. See United States v. Antelope for one interesting jurisdiction example. At the time of the raid, upon discovery of the alleged handgun in the home, the BATF agents should have allowed the local Arizona police to seize the alleged evidence and brought charges under the laws of the State of Arizona. Every state has laws regarding felons possessing firearms otherwise it would simply be a federal crime everywhere and there would be no need for any state law with regards to felons with guns. Incidentally the law regarding felons possessing firearms sometimes reads "persons convicted of crimes of violence" instead of "Felons". The Arizona law reads this way. Using felons creates a bigger rights infringing net. This difference is important to the freedom of all Americans since so many white collar, non violent crimes are Felonies. Like writing a bad check.

Further investigation in the laws of Arizona are even more interesting. If a person has only one felony count, their civil rights are automatically restored. See Title 13-912 which also references Title 13-906. Two or more felony counts require judicial review See Title 13-905. The exception to this is the right to posses firearms. Providing that you haven't committed a violent or serious felony like murder, rape, armed burglary you simply apply to have your right reinstated. A special provision is made in the law specifically for those who have been convicted of Federal offenses See Title 13-910, or felonies outside of Arizona. In addition, you might question the act of obtaining a firearm from a FFL dealer & the resulting Form 4473 which it is a crime to falsely answer any of the questions and the question regarding being convicted of a felony crime. Perhaps you can't, by Federal law, purchase a gun from a FFL dealer. I would think that it would depend on your civil rights status with the State of Arizona. What about a purchase from private party? Note the statement from 13-3114 in regards to the Arizona Firearms Clearance Center or NICS system:

E. This section does not apply to private firearm sales or transfers which are not subject to any federal law or any other law of this state.

Ask yourself this question: If the Feds have supreme jurisdiction, what is the need to have these laws on the books in Arizona? Or any other state for that matter? The answer is in these words: "to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce".

Essentially, this appears to be the entire issue with this case. Mr. Stewart has petitioned the court for proof of jurisdiction in this matter. It's my opinion after reading tons of case law, (mind you I am not in the legal field in any manner so I might be grossly misinformed) that this may have been a matter for the Arizona Courts, certainly not the Federal Courts. In my opinion, the judge should have remanded the case to the State or BATF should have prosecuted Mr. Stewart on the original charges related to the gun kits. (Which would have likely been thrown out). 

You can read & research the cases yourself. The Dalzell Opinion in the Coward v. United States in fact says that the firearm must be involved in interstate commerce. In fact, the BATF contradicts themselves in their own explanation of the law & implied jurisdiction. First, it is perfectly legal for individuals to sell their personal firearms to other individuals within their own state without any license or paperwork, there are legal stipulations of course like selling them to kids. To sell a firearm across state lines or to a resident of another state, even if that person drives to your home from another state requires a FFL dealer to complete the transaction. In addition, laws related to the purchase and use of explosives specify that the State governs the purchase and use by individuals as long as the explosives stay within the boundary of the state. See questions 38 and 77 at the BATF Explosives FAQ (a PDF file). In fact, a type of explosive called a Binary explosive is not regulated by BATF. A Binary explosive is a compound that is only explosive when mixed, like the fertilizer & fuel oil bomb used in Oklahoma City tragedy. Note though, that most states require a State issued Explosives License to possess or use ANY explosives including the Binary type.

In addition, there could be more to this case than just the law. As I researched and read and became more and more disturbed at what I read, I hastily jotted down a timeline of events which transpired -- and formulated it into the following outline. I will admit that this outline sounds very "Conspiracy Theory" and quacky in nature, and I place no credible merit in what it represents; it was just an incomplete compilation of my notes that came about. I will admit, when I organized these notes chronologically, I got that sick sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Timeline of Events:

2-8-95
Debate of The Exclusionary Rule Reform Act H.R. 666 where US Representatives refer to the BATF as "Jack-Booted Fascist Thugs". Start reading after time mark 12:10

7-95
The BATF Good Old Boy Roundup Scandal
Gene Rightmyer, former BATF agent, organized and led the Roundup from 1980 through 1995. This was the noted gathering with African American check points & African American Hunting licenses. (Note: African American isn't the word they used.)

9-95
Busey Report
BATF agents willingly commit perjury when testifying about the accuracy of the NFA registry.
...the BATF knew its records were faulty as evidenced by statements of Mr. Thomas Busey, Chief of the National Firearms Act Branch, in an official Roll Call Training Session (Oct. 1995)..... their chief man says they were 49 percent wrong.

1996
John Ross publishes “Unintended Consequences” -- an 864 page fictional novel in which, in part, BATF agents are charged with the duty of confiscating all firearms from citizens.

3-29-96
GAO Report responding to complaints of excessive force by BATF agents.
Use of Force: ATF Policy, Training and Review Process Are Comparable to DEA's and FBI's (Chapter Report, 03/29/96, GAO/GGD-96-17).

3-29-96
GAO Report responding to the sharp decline in firearm dealers
Federal Firearms Licensees: Various Factors Have Contributed to the Decline in the Number of Dealers (Letter Report, 03/29/96, GAO/GGD-96-78).

4-25-96
GAO testimony regarding the BATF recording & cataloging firearm purchaser data when they are restricted by law from doing so. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms: Issues Related to Use of Force, Dealer Licensing, and Data Restrictions (Testimony, 04/25/96, GAO/T-GGD-96-104).

9-11-96
GAO Report responding to BATF recording & cataloging firearm purchaser data when they are restricted by law from doing so. Federal Firearms Licensee Data: ATF's Compliance with Statutory Restrictions (Letter Report, 09/11/96, GAO/GGD-96-174).

10-7-96
Open Physical Abuse by BATF Agents as reported in the The Detroit News by Wayne Woolley.
Detroit Cover-Up Results In Charges ATF agents accused of lying. Charges claim one mistreated suspect, both covered it up. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agents Regan J. Scott and Joel J. Kirkpatrick were indicted earlier this month by a federal grand jury on charges they abused their positions and disobeyed orders by participating in a raid with Detroit Police on Oct. 7, 1996.

1997
Lawmaster v. Ward, - F.3d - (10th Cir. 1997)
Lawmaster sued Ward & 6 unknown BATF agents & the US Government for willful damage of property resulting from a fruitless search warrant. Presiding judge recognized the abuse.

5-3-99
GAO Report & testimony prepared by Rep. Rod R. Blagojevich & Rep. Henry A. Waxman
Titled: Long-Range Fifty Caliber Sniper Weapons (a PDF File)
The Original Typed Brief (a PDF File)

6-30-99
GAO Report Office of Special Investigations
Subject: Weaponry: Availability of Military .50 Caliber Ammunition
B-282665 Henry A. Waxman, Rod R. Blagojevich

5-24-00
The ex-wife of John Ross, author of “Unintended Consequences” targeted and approached by BATF agents in an attempt to solicit probable cause for a raid on John Ross. The novel has continued to gain in popularity among people in all walks of life. In its 5th hardback printing.

6-16-2000
BATF Raid
Bob Stewart's Residence raided by BATF agents

6-30-2000
Letter by James Jeffries III, attorney for John Ross addressed to Bradley A. Buckles, Director Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms requesting that they cease their harassment of Mr. John Ross.

8-16-00?? Date Uncertain
President Clinton signs an Executive Order or legislation that among other things bans the importation of M-2 .50 caliber gun barrels. These are the barrels specified in the Maadi-Griffin plans and the Paladin Press "Home Workshop .50 Caliber Sniper Rifle" Video

9-25-2000
BATF Raid
Arizona gun dealer raided by agents. Firearm inventory seized including numerous antique firearms willfully damaged by agents. No charges filed against the dealer, Jerry Michel of Specialty Firearms (480) 962-0913 1055 N. Mesa Drive, Mesa Arizona 85201.

11-26-00
New York Times “alarmist” report on .50 caliber rifles:
The Big, Bad, Fun Gun
The .50 caliber sniper rifle can blow a hole through an armored car. You call that recreational?
by Bruce Porter

5-19-01
MSNBC Report “The Fifty Caliber Militia”
Extremely biased and outrageous report on the private ownership of single shot .50 caliber target rifles. Rep. H. Waxman linking all owners of .50 caliber rifles to the militia and Timothy McVeigh.

I encourage you to read the entire debate regarding HR 666 (a coincidence too) Exclusionary Rule Reform Act. Where Representatives of our own government refer to the BATF as "Jack Booted Fascist Thugs" and cite examples of their abuse. This is a government document on a government Server.

[Congressional Record: February 8, 1995 (House)]
[Page H1380-H1390]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr08fe95-56]
EXCLUSIONARY RULE REFORM ACT OF 1995

All of the information supplied within this article comes from public records, official court documents or the Governments own computers. When I started this search, I found plenty of information but I refused to consider anything other than official documents or publications. I was certain that I wouldn't find anything substantial. I was very wrong. As I continued my research and discussions on the Internet, I began to notice strange things going on with my computer, specifically my external modem. A substantial amount of data transmission was taking place when I was idle and web pages were taking a very long time to load. I installed a Firewall and was alarmed at the number of pings and "hits" that I was receiving. I traced many to Alexandria, VA. Again, more than likely just a coincidence, but a creepy one at that especially with what I was reading. If you take the time to verify everything that you see here and become alarmed, you will not be alone.

If you discover what I have found to be true regarding the application of the law in Mr. Stewart's case then I urge you to be there in court if possible with Mr. Stewart to stand by him and support him and to report on what takes place. When I began writing this article, Mr. Stewart's court date was August 14th, 2001, this has been postponed. Strangely, I read in a discussion forum a number of posts where Mr. Stewart's case was being discussed and someone claiming to be an attorney insisted that as the trial date approached, that Mr. Stewart would plead guilty. This individual had an invalid email address and would only answer in the forum and their posts were very carefully worded. I find the fact that Mr. Stewart has no intent of pleading guilty to anything and the trial postponement to be yet another strange coincidence. Also interesting is that on 8-6-01 the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of a previously convicted felon's right to possess firearms under a State charge of felony firearms possession. (9th Circuit Ruling, a PDF file).

The trial is to be held in Judge Silver's courtroom in Phoenix on:

Aug. 21st at 2:00 PM
401 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003

If you know anyone in the legal field that might be interested in this case or able to provide legal support, please forward it to their attention.

As the author, I grant permission to repost this article in any public forum providing that is is copied in its entirety with the HTML links to the supporting data (not in simple text format). If you don't know how to do that, then simply link to its original publication address on KeepAndBearArms.com: https://www.keepandbeararms.com/newsarchives/XcNewsPlus.asp?cmd=view&articleid=1864

I choose to remain anonymous, and I seek no credit for my work. Those who need to know who I am, do know. After all, if BATF will harass someone for a work of fiction, imagine what they might do to someone for printing the facts.

 

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 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
"Secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy ... censorship. When any government, or any church, for that matter, undertakes to say to it's subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything. You cannot conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him." --Robert A. Heinlein, "Revolt in 2100" (Pg. 68-69, Baen Books paperback edition, 1999 printing)

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