BATF Using Confiscated
Maadi-Griffin List to Threaten Gun Owners
March 20, 2002
KeepAndBearArms.com -- The Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms is harassing gun owners whose names were found on a
confiscated gun list, basically scaring them into stamping serial numbers on
The list of gun owners they are
confiscated from Arizona gunkit maker Bob Stewart, who is now sitting in a
federal prison in Florence, Arizona awaiting
sentencing. Mr. Stewart was found
guilty by a jury of his non-peers of being a felon in possession of firearms
and of possessing unregistered machineguns -- neither of which was a crime
before the NRA-supported National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act
of 1968 became unconstitutional laws.
The BATF is essentially threatening to use
force against the purchasers of the unstamped, unregistered Maadi-Griffin .50
caliber rifle kits if they do not comply. Their "reason" is allegedly
because "it will be difficult to trace
should it be used in a crime in the future".
Nevermind that there is only one recorded case of a .50 caliber rifle being used
in a crime in America's history -- by a former police officer gone haywire --
let's pretend we're really doing something to fight crime here, right?
Click on each of the two images below to be
taken to larger versions, or read the transcripts below. Additional commentary
follows these letters and their transcripts.
In case you are unable to read the
scanned images of these two BATF documents, they are each transcribed below. The
first transcript below is the letter:
DEPARTMENT OF THE
BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS
February 25, 2002
CERTIFIED MAIL NUMBER:
XXXXXXXXXXX (withheld to protect a potential BATF victim)
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
Dear Maadi-Griffin Rifle Kit
The Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has become aware that you are the purchaser of
a Maadi-Griffin rifle kit. This kit is a firearm as defined under Title
18, United States Code 921(a)(3).
Please be advised that this
firearm was manufactured, possessed and sold by the Maadi-Griffin company
in violation of Federal law. Because the firearm was involved in these
violations, it may be seized and forfeited. However, ATF's primary concern
in this matter is that the above-described firearm was sold without being
stamped with a serial number and that, therefore, it will be difficult to
trace should it be used in a crime in the future.
ATF recognizes that you may
have purchased this firearm without any knowledge of the above mentioned
criminal violations. Therefore, so long as it is otherwise lawful for you
to possess firearms under Federal law (ie. so long as, for
instance, you have not been convicted of a crime punishable by
imprisonment for a term exceeding one year), you may retain possession of
the Maadi-Griffin firearm you have purchased under the following
(1) within thirty (30)
calendar days after your receipt of this letter, you must call Special
Agent XXXXXXXXXXX at (XXX) XXX-XXXX, and obtain a serial number;
(2) within forty-five (45)
calendar days after your receipt of this letter, you must have this
serial number stamped on the receiver of the firearm, and;
(3) within forty-five
calendar days after your receipt of this letter, you must complete the
enclosed certification form and submit it to ATF [address of local BATF
office withheld so BATF doesn't know who to target with their
sub-American, state-sanctioned violence].
As an alternative, you may
abandon the firearm to an ATF Special Agent.
We appreciate your
cooperation in this matter.
BATF Agent's Name Withheld
so BATF doesn't know which office this letter came out of, to reduce the
chance of violence against an innocent American citizen
Next is the transcript of the form that
accompanied the letter:
I HEREBY CERTIFY, UNDER
PENALTY OF PERJURY, THAT I HAVE STAMPED SERIAL NUMBER _____________ ON
THE RECEIVER OF MY MAADI-GRIFFIN FIREARM.
I HAVE MADE THIS
CERTIFICATION FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY, AND WITHOUT ANY COERCION OR
ATF Special Agent Witness:
First, I find it fascinating that
the BATF expects a person to sign something saying that there is no coercion or
duress to get their receivers stamped. The definition
of duress is "constraint by threat" -- and this move on BATF's
part carries the full weight of a threat of physical assault, with BATF
machineguns, against any who do not comply. Leave it to BATF to lie through
their teeth under the color of unconstitutional gun law; it's pretty much who
they are these days.
Next, I honestly wonder how many
owners of the Maadi-Griffin kit could comply if they wanted to. By the time
these letters were received and read, several days had already passed. Finding a
machinist to do the engraving to federal specification -- which includes a
certain depth into the metal and probably other criteria I haven't looked up yet
-- could prove a challenge for people who live in rural areas. Furthermore, a
thinking person might wonder if the BATF will assault a machinist who does the
engraving if that machinist is not a licensed firearm manufacturer. After all,
doing machinist work on the receiver of a firearm could feasibly be considered
taking part in the manufacturing process -- especially by such disingenuous and
inauthentic people as some of the thugs at BATF. If I were an owner of Mr.
Stewart's rifle kit, before I would get the receiver engraved (if I were going
to do so), I'd first ask my local BATF agent if the engraving had to be done by
a licensed firearm manufacturer -- to protect myself and him.
Finally, I wonder if BATF knows
something we don't about what's coming down in the way of gun control.
Considering that there is only one documented case of a .50 caliber rifle being
criminally misused, it's not like this kit is any real threat -- unless they
intend to make Mr. Stewart's 3,000 customers want to shoot somebody.
Then again, when you've got a
bloated federal agency whose hired guns busy themselves entrapping gun
collectors over asinine technicalities, I suppose they've got to keep themselves
busy if they want to keep their jobs.
In closing, if you are one of Bob
Stewart's 3,000 customers of his rifle kit, you'd better believe the BATF will
be at your door if you don't comply. And if you live in an area governed by the
9th circuit court, you can forget about fighting the BATF's arbitrary and
capricious finding that the Maadi-Griffin rifle kit is a firearm. I watched Bob
Stewart's crooked, oath-breaking judge ignore every sensible plea he presented
to argue that issue -- thrown out the window as soon as it was out of his
mouth. Your choices are simple: comply, or get ready to tangle with the American