By Dan Shea
It’s time. Here we are in October already (Although due to popular demand, we at SAR worked furiously to get each issue out a week early over the summer so that our cover date is now a month ahead- no skipped issues, no post dating, simply our response to what the readers asked for- a cover date that was ahead of delivery time). You asked for it, you got it.
Once again, it is time. The election is coming, and this one is probably the most important to our Constitution as any that I can remember. Let’s get the vote out- call friends, hell, drive them to the polling booth after treating them to a cheeseburger, just like the Democrats do with their constituents. We need to win this one. Not gaining the presidency back from “Clinton-Gore” will be VERY detrimental to our freedom.
It’s also time for something else. Attorney Jim Jeffries just contacted me, and the 1934 Group lawsuits are being filed today, as I write this (August 10). The basics? Kent Lomont (and 7 others, including Sheriff Samuel Frank of Vermont and Stephen Hose, Chief of the Clinton, Indiana Police Department) v. Summers (Secretary of the Treasury) and Buckles (BATF Director). The filing is thirty-six pages; 69 paragraphs, and has four main counts: violation of taxpayer privacy; violation of the Tenth Amendment; unlawful veto of Secretary’s duty to collect taxes; and arbitrary and capricious acts. The suit seeks a mandatory injunction and declaratory judgment that the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) signature requirement in the two offending regulations is null and void.
The goal here? To stop the de facto gun control that has been exercised by some local law enforcement agencies by refusing to sign Forms 1, 4, and 5 for legitimate citizens attempting to transfer NFA items. Basically, some municipalities have been violating citizen’s rights, and being quite unrepentant about it.
The chances of success? I would rate them pretty darned good. Attorneys Halbrook and Jeffries are professionals on the firearms side, and are both very thorough. They have what it takes. While there are no guarantees with the courts the way they can be, this group of counts is carefully designed to “Scattergun” the current abuses of the CLEO signature requirement, and to make for a good, solid approach to knocking down that requirement.
The results? Consider for yourself. A growing method of stopping Americans from obtaining NFA firearms has been the conspiracy of certain anti Second Amendment government officials and even some ATF agents in a few areas going around to chiefs of police and Sheriffs, and basically telling them not to sign that CLEO box on the back of the Transfer forms. No signature, no approval on Form for transfer. Examples would include Dade County Florida, and Houston. There are hundreds of other areas where only “Friends” of the local administration might get a signature, or not even that.
There are many violations of the basic precepts of the United States of America at work here- these are not just Second Amendment issues. Example- who authorizes the Federal Government to have unfunded mandates by local law enforcement officials- as in work to do backgrounds to ensure signatures? How can a local LE be required to make a statement that he has “No knowledge” that there might be problems with an certain individual, or no problems? There are privacy issues, tax issues, State’s Rights issues, so many issues that it is hard to describe them with out a 36 page brief.
This writer sincerely hopes that the courts will immediately recognize the problems, and put this issue where it should be. No CLEO signature requirement on the Forms. We go through an FBI background check including fingerprinting anyway, so what has local LE got to do with it? This is a TAX COLLECTION ISSUE, NOT A GUN CONTROL LAW.
SAR wishes the best of luck to the complainants and attorneys in this case and will update the readers as it goes.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V4N1 (October 2000)|