BATF Victim Gets Hundreds of His Guns Back
BATF Victim Gets Hundreds of
His Guns Back
And Now for the Civil
March 27, 2002
KeepAndBearArms.com In November of 2000, we
"On October 25, 2000, The Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms sent approximately 30 federal and local agents
in stormtrooper attire to confiscate firearms from a dealer who, according to
what they told him, 'did not have his papers in order.'"
Arizona gun dealer Jerry Michel formerly of
Jerry's Guns & Ammo d.b.a. Specialty Firearms, no longer in business
due to BATF assault, harassment and theft has had all but a handful of
hundreds of guns returned to him.
And he was never charged.
The federal machinegun-wielding,
machinegun-ban-enforcing thieves known as BATF had the stolen property in their
evidence room for well over a year, too.
To say that the BATF has egg on its face is an
understatement. According to Mr. Michel's attorney, Dave
T. Hardy, "the fact that BATF has caved in should speak for itself
they simply didn't have a case."
Mr. Hardy wrote The
Firearm Owners' Protection Act: A Historical and Legal Perspective, 17 CUMB. L.
REV. 585 (1986) a 519-footnote law review article on federal
firearms laws, which has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and by eleven of
the thirteen U.S. Courts of Appeals. He was also an active participant in
exposing BATF's unscrupulous practices during the Congressional hearings of the
early 80's. And BATF's ineptitude is once again out in broad daylight, thanks to
Dave T. Hardy's able assistance. According to Hardy, the BATF attempted to claim
ownership over some of Michel's guns by saying they'd been reported stolen. When
the Tucson-based attorney requested NCIC records on those guns to challenge the
feds' assertions, at least two pieces of information surfaced that show BATF's
overly ambitious "Special" agents to not only be liars, but complete
1) One of the weapons the BATF alleged
to be stolen was registered to Jerry Michel. Laughing while he relayed
this piece of information, Mr. Hardy said, "I guess the BATF thought
Jerry stole the gun from himself."
2) Another of the guns the BATF alleged
to be stolen was allegedly stolen in Philadelphia while it was in the BATF
evidence room in Arizona. "The theft report was dated after
the BATF's raid" on the innocent gun dealer, said Mr. Hardy. (NOTE: That
may have been possible if a rogue BATF agent was peddling "evidence"
in Pennsylvania and they sure had the guns long enough to sell them and
steal them back from their unsuspecting buyer.)
Aren't you glad BATF's budget was raised to an
all-time high of $767 Million during Clinton's last year in office? That's some
fancy police work!
Mr. Hardy also said that there is some
discrepancy in the list of what BATF claims they returned and what they actually
returned. According to Hardy, Mr. Michel says at least a couple of the allegedly
returned guns are nowhere to be found. (NOTE TO BATF: Check with your
agents in Philadelphia.)
When haggling with the BATF's thieves, Hardy
said the negotiation "got down to two guns that were allegedly stolen over
25 years ago. There were no records of the thefts, but we just let those
A few of Jerry Michel's guns weren't returned
to Mr. Michel because he held them on consignment for his customers. The BATF
claims to have withheld them from Michel in order to return them to their
rightful owners. And we can trust them to follow through on that.
CONDITION OF RETURNED GUNS
We also reported
in November 2000 that BATF's thieves handled Mr. Michel's guns roughly while
"They were throwing vintage collector's
items in mint condition through the air and into a trashcan 10 feet
away," said Jerry Michel, licensed gun dealer, after being assaulted and
pillaged by the ATF. "I felt like I was going to throw up."
BATF Victim Michel says he has videos of the
returned stolen property and suggests that there is plenty of damage to them.
CIVIL SUIT PENDING
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms kicks your door in and points a gun
in your face, it's their word against yours, and their word is backed up by
brute force that can stomp you into mush if they are so inclined. I'd suggest
that you confirm that fact with KeepAndBearArms.com Member
Charlie Puckett, but he's unavailable
after being railroaded
by BATF's illegal enforcement of an ex-post-facto and thus unConstitutional
law with a $5,000 BATF bounty on his head, paid for by your tax dollars.
(Anyone who says we shouldn't claim Charlie Puckett as a member of our
organization can unclaim us at any time his dues are paid and current, by
him, and he's another in a long line of BATF VICTIMS.) You can write
Bob Stewart and ask him how honest the BATF is, too, if you like he's
sitting in federal prison in Florence, Arizona while his customer list is being used
by BATF to harass innocent people, and we are urging those potential BATF
victims to be
careful. Or we can wait until next month for their next victim to disappear,
go to jail or die.
Or we can go on the offensive with a winnable
case such as this one, and expose the BATF for what it truly is.
The BATF is long overdue for
When asked if Jerry Michel has a viable,
winnable case for a civil lawsuit against the BATF, Mr. Hardy responded with an
So how does one go about determining the
monetary value to place on such a dereliction of justice as has rained down on
Jerry Michel? The Mesa, Arizona resident was put out of business by BATF
that's what happens when a gun dealer's entire inventory and livelihood are
stolen by armed Anti-Second Amendment forces. He lost his livelihood for well
over a year. His health took a hit under the stress of it all. And he suffered
vicious character assassination attempts from not only a few gun owners but from
"pro gun" police officers who declared him guilty
until proven innocent, too.
What's it worth to the BATF to put this mess
behind them? Hopefully, we will get to find out.
Dave Hardy has referred Mr. Michel to a trusted
legal team in Phoenix. Mr. Hardy said a civil suit of this kind will require
many appearances, and he lives two hours away too far to be on hand with the
required frequency, but he said he'd advise as needed.
Many gun owners would love to see the BATF pay
out the nose for abusing an innocent gun owner. Even though the BATF can get
more money out of everybody's back pocket including your own, their losing a
case like this can help move us one step closer to exposing their entire
organization. To help make it happen, we are offering to throw some money in the
hat to hire Mr. Hardy's recommended legal team. Jerry Michel knows we are with
him all the way on this case, and we've offered to help him raise funds for
legal action. As soon as
he confirms his intent by establishing the legal relationship and the lawsuit is
on, you'll hear about it on KeepAndBearArms.com.