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News & Editorials

Update on Bob Stewart's Case

Motion for Suppression of Search Warrant to be Submitted This Week

by Angel Shamaya

We've had an increasing number of people concerned with and asking about Bob Stewart of Maadi-Griffin. If you're just tuning in to the case, Mr. Stewart was raided by Phoenix BATF in mid June and released on his own recognizance a few days later. At question in his initial and followup hearings was whether or not his .50 caliber rifle kit might actually be a gun. The judge ruled it was a gun even though the government "specialists" never fired a live round from it after 85 minutes of professional work was done on the kit - for to do so could have blown the shooter apart and they knew it.

Hitting the links above will bring you up to present.

Mr. Stewart's attorneys are submitting the 'Motion for Suppression of Search Warrant' this week. The case is scheduled to go before Judge Roslyn O. Silver on Sept. 28-29th - ironically timed as the Gun Rights Policy Conference just outside D.C. begins. At question in the motion is the legality (or lack thereof) of the search, seizure, arrest and incarceration that took place. Chapter 41 of the Federal Criminal Guide Book clearly states that the FEDS can obtain a search warrant on anyone, just on hearsay evidence. Check it out for yourself. It is expected that this convenient "law" will come up when the motion is submitted. The word "law" is in quotation marks because we liberty advocates still hold that all "laws" repugnant to the constitution are null and void. Getting the government to acquiesce on that point is another matter. Thomas Jefferson's words come to mind: "No tyrannical government has ever been made to stop but by force."

From the perspective of an American Patriot, the BATF has illegally conspired to deprive and destroy Civil Rights of citizens many times before, and this is one such case. From where we sit, the BATF lied to Magistrate Sitver [not Silver, but Sitver] in a sworn affidavit and submitted false, misleading, and incomplete information. (Lying to a judge under oath is a serious crime with stiff penalties if it can be proven in a court of law.) In our estimation, at least the higher-up agents in the BATF - those who knew the full facts of the matter but still ordered the assault without so much as approaching Stewart directly - are responsible for the immoral assault on Bob Stewart and his family. Getting a typically anti-self-defense, anti-gun district court to see it that way is another matter entirely.

If Judge Silver takes the side of the BATF in this issue, the case is scheduled to go to trial November 7th, 2000. This case could prove to be a significant Second Amendment Case in that it could take the agency to task on its methodologies. Because the BATF's tactics are in question, a ruling in Mr. Stewart's favor could produce in inquiry into the practices of an agency that is seen by many gun owners as dangerous to our society's freedom - an inquiry many gunowners feel to be LONG overdue. In a best case scenario, this case could help wipe the floor with the thuglike tactics by which the BATF has become known and feared throughout America, and that would be a welcome turnabout indeed. The rights of citizens targeted by these folks might get a well-deserved bit of breathing room.

But we're not holding our breaths. The judge who ruled the kit was a gun - after showing some intelligence in Stewart's first hearing - passed down his judgment in the second hearing against a good deal of logic and reason, suggesting his mind was made up before we set foot in the courtroom that day. Nobody in the room would have fired that partially assembled kit, unless they were stupid or suicidal, but he amusingly called it a gun. That BATF had no definitions or clear delineations of exactly what constitutes a "gun" seems to have slipped this judge's mind, as did the fact that the "gun" was never testfired with anything but blanks. (A primer is like a firecracker; a .50 caliber round of ammunition has a tad bit more punch to it.) If the motion to suppress the search warrant is denied and the case does go to trial, Judge Silver could easily follow the now standard 9th circuit court's anti-gun posture and order Bob Stewart to serve time in a federal prison. To hell with his wife and children, screw the fact that he's never hurt a flea, just lock this "awful gun dealer" up, and throw away the key. That is what the BATF wants. They pushed to keep him locked up, without bail, until his trial. Swell guys, all the way around.

Several things are worth considering if you've not yet supported Bob Stewart's legal defense: The BATF did not have to make a Federal Criminal Case out of this, but they did. They could have sent Maadi-Griffin Co. a polite letter indicating their concerns about the status of the 'unfinished receiver' in the kits. They could have sent an agent directly to the Maadi-Griffin Co. to visit and bring the matter to his immediate attention through civil discourse - like human beings are supposed to do when there seems to be a differing opinion. They could have been civil and decent. I have enjoyed two private lunches with Gentleman Bob Stewart, and I have been in his home. I met his lovely wife, Naomi. His oldest son, 8, is a handsome young man, and though I didn't get to meet the two younger children, if they are anything like their parents and their older brother, they're wonderful human beings with tender hearts. These are decent people in every sense of the word who've been targeted by an agency that has a hard-on to get rid of guns, starting with gun dealers and outspoken activists who say or do the "wrong" thing. BATF tactics are far too often to vilify, incriminate, terrorize, steal, and to bully. Not "always". Nothing is that black and white any more. But there are less than savory people engaging in less than becoming ways in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Just ask the many folks who've never done harm to a living soul who are sitting in prison while you sit here and read this message.

Now, don't get me wrong. All you BATF "line cops" reading this message, I know you're not all bad; I trust some of you are yourselves very decent people. Law of averages says there are some good old home grown Americans in your ranks, and you might just be one of 'em. But let's get real with the order-originating folks who made this raid happen, please. You could have sent Bob Stewart a LETTER. You could have picked up the PHONE. But you had him on your list, you singled him out, you planted a young agent in his midst to check out his kit, without just checking in with Bob directly though he is ultra-approachable, and you went in and trashed his place to prove something that just isn't so. I myself was going to buy one of those fine kits, and my first exploration into the matter was "where on Earth do I find someone I can trust enough to do the machine work properly so I don't blow myself to smithereens the first time I shoot the dang thing?" In other words, you head haunchos who called the shots on this assault on Bob Stewart and his loving family are inauthentic, entrapping cowards who prefer to put a non-violent man in prison when a phone call would have sufficed. A man to man conversation as to the nature of Mr. Stewart's kit would have sufficed, but apparently Bob Stewart would have been the only man present to chat. Bob Stewart never pointed a gun at anyone, but you sent your hired guns to point theirs at his cute little boy, probably scarring the little tyke for life. Congratulations. You must be so so proud. No doubt you lied to the agents you sent to do your dirty work about the facts surrounding this case, for no self-respecting person would have been able to do what was done if they had had the benefit of full disclosure on this case at their disposal.

The Gestapo Tactics of the BATF are not a new thing. If you haven't done so, you might read Kevin Starrett's writeup of The Al Woodbridge Story. The guy was ramrodded into prison and away from his family under circumstances that make any fair-minded American see red.

If Stewart loses this case (and even if he doesn't), the BATF can and will break into the next human target's home and search and confiscate ALL firearms, ammo and any gun-related items they may find. They've got their next lot of targets already picked out, their snares in place, and he's going to be in for a rude awakening, quite soon, maybe today. They can "legally" get a search warrant on "hearsay" evidence. That "evidence" can be made to exist by the BATF, for every gun owner in America; it's their word against yours, and guess who wins that game. "You didn't know you had a machine gun in your closet? Sorry sir, we found it right behind your suitcase, and Agents X & Y will testify in court to prove it."

And thanks to the NRA's Instant Check Registration Scheme, any gunowner who has submitted to the "background check" is now on a federal registry awaiting their turn with a gun to their heads - just like Bob Stewart has now experienced TWICE. These folks read your email if they want to and admit it openly. They've helped put innocent citizens behind bars because they dealt in self-defense devices and were thus considered the enemy. They are now profiling children in schools and compiling lists from the ripe young age of 10 - or younger. Blah, blah, blah.

If you don't think they know about you, please wake up.

Helping Bob Stewart is helping yourself. Pitch in to help this man TODAY. Please donate to: Bob Stewart Defense Fund, 2812 N. 34th Place, Mesa, AZ 85213. [480-325-5623] [fax 480-325-5625]. Joining our organization online or by mail assures that 20% of your membership fee will go to his defense fund, as well, and you'll even get a ticket for a drawing where we are giving a Maadi-Griffin .50 caliber rifle away to one lucky gun owner. It's a very fine gun. No home of responsible citizens should be without one, and you can quote me on that; I'll stand by those words until I die.

Our liberty depends upon exposing the tactics of this agency at every turn, and Mr. Stewart's case is a big turn, indeed. While you're putting a couple or a few bucks in an envelope to support this case, go ahead and stick a prayer or two in there - for the children.

Angel Shamaya is the Executive Director of Tour the site to see what we're up to. Lend some support if you find we're a match. Several ways we are supporting the development of this organization include: pro gun internet access, online shopping for things you'd have bought elsewhere, annual memberships, tax deductible donations (pending Uncle Slam's "approval"), web hosting, web development, etc. We've got some very big national projects soon to be announced that will make the committed socialists in America soil their britches, as well they should. We The People are going to win this nation back, and our ranks are growing steadily every day.

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The right of the people to keep and bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States....Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America Gazette of the United States, October 14, 1789.

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