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News & Editorials

BATF Thrown a Curve Ball in the Bob Stewart Case?
Bob Stewart's Gun Rights Seem to Have Been Retroactively Restored.

from Angel Shamaya

August 22, 2001 -- Arizona gun kit maker Bob Stewart just received some fascinating news. On the day before the federal anti-Second-Amendment trial against him was to begin, his civil rights, including his gun rights, were restored by an Arizona judge.

According to a two-page ORDER signed by Arizona Magistrate Lindsay Ellis of the Superior Court of the State of Arizona, Maricopa County, on August 20, 2001,

"IT IS ORDERED that the civil rights of applicant Robert D. Stewart aka Robert W. Stewart, be restored, including the restoration of his right to possess firearms."

Considering the fact that BATF's prosecuting attorneys have been seeking prosecution on "felon in possession of firearms" charges, the above is quite relevant.

But far more intriguing is the fact that the ORDER by the judge is backdated to August of 1998. Specifically,

"IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that these rights be restored nunc pro tunc to August 17, 1998."

"Nunc pro tunc" literally means "now for then." Translated, a "nunc pro tunc" order by the court is to be treated as if it were ordered on the date ORDERED -- in this case, August 17, 1998. Could it be that the BATF's prosecution isn't prosecuting a "prior felon in possession" anymore?

If you would like to read the actual court ORDER, do so by clicking these links: PAGE 1, PAGE 2.


BATF agents originally invaded Mr. Stewart's home and pointed a machinegun at one of his young boys because they said the gun kit he was selling was "readily converted." And though they have no official definition of what that term means, they used it to justify stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of personal property, confiscating his customer list of approximately 3,000 names/addresses, etc., and basically ruining this good man's life. BUT, when they knew their forceful method of inventing a definition of the term "readily converted" was a LOSER, they decided to prosecute Mr. Stewart for being a felon in possession of firearms they allegedly found in his home during their violent invasion.

But his restoration of rights is dated long before the BATF conducted their "raid" on his home and family. See above documents. His rights have been restored, officially dated back to August of 1998 -- and the BATF machinegunners assaulted Mr. Stewart and his family much later than that date -- in June of 2000. Get the picture?

So now what are these BATF folks going to do in their bid to put Mr. Stewart in jail for a very long time?

According to the BATF -- who has been caught lying in the past -- Mr. Stewart was also allegedly in possession of unregistered machineguns. One reasonable guess is that they'll proceed with prosecution over an alleged violation of the unconstitutional ban on "unregistered" machinegun possession. If they do that, we'd have a case worthy of going all the way to the Supreme Court, where the ban on "unregistered" machineguns can be rightly challenged as a violation of the Second Amendment.

There are of course other possibilities; well-funded gungrabbers usually have something up their sleeve.

  1. Prosecutors may (probably will) say that the restoration of Mr. Stewart's rights being backdated is only a clerical issue and that he was still, for all intents and purposes, a "felon in possession of firearms."
  2. One Arizona gun rights activist suggested on Tuesday that the BATF "claims to reserve the right to pass on whether your 'gun rights' have been restored", suggesting that they'd deny Stewart's restoration in order to fricassee him. (That would be a very, very bad move considering the fact that the BATF's annual budget is $760 Million but they claim to "not have funding" to restore gun rights -- and for many other reasons. There would also appear, in my unlawyerly opinion, to be a conflict of interest in their being able to deny something they allegedly have the power to grant when to do so would serve only their purposes.)
  3. Another activist suggested that the restoration was politically motivated in order to give the BATF an out.

We shall see soon enough.


Naturally, Mr. Stewart filed a MOTION TO DISMISS in court on the day when his trial proceedings were due to begin, Tuesday, August 21, 2001. Judge Roslyn O. Silver -- who has refused ALL of Mr. Stewart's motions thus far -- has given federal prosecutor Welty until September 5th to respond to Mr. Stewart's MOTION TO DISMISS. Mr. Stewart will then be given FIVE DAYS to respond to the "MOTION TO LOCK HIM UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY" we expect from Welty. (REPEAT: BATF has a $760 Million annual budget and has been given 14 days to respond. Once they do, Mr. Stewart, who is now working another job to replace the income stolen from him by BATF, gets only 5 days -- and Stewart is defending himself.)

To my knowledge, a new trial date has not yet been set. When a date is set or any new information comes in, you will hear about it on And we will post each page of what Mr. Welty has to say the very day it is delivered to Mr. Stewart.


I have personally been called names like "stupid" and "foolish" and "ridiculous" for supporting Bob Stewart throughout his ordeal -- even by "pro RKBA" attorneys -- because "you look bad if you support a prior felon in possession." (I'll save for another day my commentary about the fact that Mr. Stewart was a non-violent "felon" who claims he was lied to by BATF agents to, in his admitted ignorance, plead guilty the first time he was assaulted by federal agents.) But that isn't the way it is now; we've cured his cooties for you -- and I would appreciate a few Real American attorneys stepping forward as soon as we receive the response from BATF's prosecutor. Expect to see that on or shortly after the 5th of September. If you are a pro-RKBA attorney willing to take a look at the BATF's response as soon as it comes in, please email me directly at with a subject of KABA PRO GUN ATTORNEY.

Other Related Articles on the Bob Stewart Case

U.S. vs. Stewart Hearing Gives Another Pause 1/29/2001

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Our Founding Fathers were proud that Americans were trusted with arms because they knew that only when people are armed could they truly be thought of as free citizens. And that's where the circle closes. Those who want to deprive you of your right to keep and bear arms are intending to deprive you of your freedom, period. Like the criminals their policies encourage, these elitists know that it is always best to disarm victims before you enslave them. Charley Reese

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