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News & Editorials

Rights Restored Last Month, Revoked a Few Days Later

BATF's $760 Million Budget Put to Nefarious Use -- Again

from Angel Shamaya

September 8, 2001

If you've been following the Bob Stewart case over this last 15 months, this won't come as much of a surprise to you. (If you haven't a clue who Bob Stewart is or how he's being railroaded by the BATF Thugocracy, links at the bottom of this page will fill you in.)

The judge who restored Bob Stewart's firearms rights on August 20, 2001 just stamped an order to undo the restoration, alleging "good cause" as the reason. And the order to vacate was stamped on August 31, but Stewart didn't find out until September 7 -- and the judge didn't even sign the thing. (Click the picture below and to the left to see the document.)

Rights Restoration Vacated:

click to enlarge

One glaring oddity in this situation is the fact that the Order to Vacate came as a result of the BATF having filed a "Motion to Reconsider" to the Maricopa County judge who signed the rights restoration order. The BATF's last reply to Stewart's Motion to Dismiss told us of their "Motion to Reconsider" on Page 3.

But in that same 5-page reply, the BATF attorney basically told us that the order carried no weight and that the persecution of Bob Stewart could proceed as if it didn't exist. Mr. Welty, BATF's attorney, said that "...the restoration of civil rights by a state could not remove the firearms disability imposed as a result of a federal conviction." If that were true, why did they move so quickly to undo Mr. Stewart's rights restoration order?

Close examination of the facts in this case suggest that the BATF knew the rights restoration does carry weight, and they didn't want to lose the ability to put this man in prison or to lose a few years from the length of Stewart's prison sentence if he's convicted. One thing that has turned up in the last few days -- thanks to several helpful allies -- is that there are two recent rulings in federal district courts that held that a state court's order for rights restoration can apply to (expunge) a federal conviction. And one of those two recent rulings was in the 9th circuit where Stewart's case will be heard.

Additional research has also yielded worthy court precedent showing the potential to win against the BATF's argument that a state rights restoration doesn't trump a federal conviction -- based on equal protection of the law and the fact that there is no federal support system for rights restoration.

More than a few people would like to see all legal documentation that can be used in a court of law as justification for the judge's recent actions. What exactly does the BATF's "Motion for Reconsideration of Order Restoring Civil Rights" say on its pages? What alleged "facts" were considered by the judge? If a state court's order restoring civil rights cannot undo a federal conviction, why did the BATF bother filing the Motion for Reconsideration? By what process did the feds extract this Motion to Vacate? And why didn't the judge sign it?

Information that can assist in legal discovery is still welcome as per instructions on our last update. This situation is a long way from its conclusion, and we are still hoping and working to let justice be served through the court system. Bob Stewart has never been convicted of any crime against another person, he's a gentleman, a decent husband and father of three handsome young boys, and it would be nice if a few more legal-minded people would invest some spare time helping him -- a lone individual defending himself -- find a way to the other side of this anti-constitution government assault being waged against him.

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