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BATF Using Confiscated Maadi-Griffin List to Threaten Gun Owners

by Angel Shamaya

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 their receivers.

The list of gun owners they are "notifying" was 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 TREASURY
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 Purchaser,

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 conditions:

(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.

Sincerely,

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:

CERTIFICATION

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 DURESS.

Signed: _________________

Printed Name: _________________

Date: __________________

ATF Special Agent Witness: _______________________

Printed Name/Date: ___________________________

COMMENTARY

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 Gun Nazis.

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