Scoot update – 2
I lied, this is the last update: Just so we’re clear, the update below is not to say that what happened to Scoot is right (I don’t think it is) but that the felony thing really isn’t good in terms of a victory for gun rights or reigning in ATF problems. I’m not mad at Scoot. I still support him and will do what I can to help. A felony at 18 does not make one any less of a person and reform is possible. Not all felonies are equal and conviction of a crime stripping the right to defense forever for sometimes minor incidents isn’t good.
In this case, his only crime is that he committed a crime 9 years ago.
In comments, KNS reporter Jamie Satterfield writes:
I cover the courts for the News Sentinel. I have checked out this case after being notified by Mike Silence of blog interest. Although I will be reporting on it next week, court records show the person at issue was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of firearms that included two rifles, a shotgun and a loaded .45-caliber pistol. He was not charged with the “assorted gun parts” the ATF agent wrote in his affidavit that he found in the gentleman’s basement. Stay tuned to the Sentinel next week when I will write about his court appearance.
I’ve had some private correspondence with her regarding the situation and she basically read to me right from the database the felony info. Convicted felons can’t own guns and thems the rules. That said, I think the ATF went for the MG. Then manufacturing. Then, finally, the felon thing would stick. It was a fishing expedition and, unfortunately, they dug deep enough. That’s all assuming the other info that was being given to me was correct. But something don’t seem right as most felons don’t have custody of their kids.
I tried to help a friend by getting the word out. It didn’t work because the ATF dug deep enough and because it was there to find. Felony possession is a big no-no.
Any way, I feel like a bag of dicks for bringing all this up, though I did so based how it was presented to me. I wasted everyone’s time. In short, I blew it due to information I did not have.
Everyone who donated money, it has been returned. If you have problems, let me know and I’ll make it right. This is not a case where donations will help much.
Programming note: Instead of multiple posts, I’ll put any of today’s updates here. Check back.
Very likely today’s last update: Thanks to a reader, I have put Scoot’s family into contact with gun rights attorney of some reputation (no names for now, apologies). They’ve been in contact and the attorney is calling some local muscle. Will let you know more when I have it.
9: Major update:
They’re holding him until a hearing on 3/28, which oddly coincides with ATF abuse hearings. They seem to have dropped the machine gun angle and are going for the manufacturing without a license angle. No mention of MGs on the paperwork, according to his girlfriend. They took: drawings, guns, parts, gun magazines, magazines that you read, books, his computers, his Wal-Mart WWB ammo, tools, digital camera, his pull along trailer, and his address book. Some of those don’t seem consistent with gun crimes, if you ask me. They stated he had drawings, precision milling machines, aluminum blocks, and was operating as a manufacturer.
Guess the good news is the MG charges are gone.
He has been arrested
A hearing is scheduled this afternoon
They took his guns, some books, and drawings he had
They’ve been there all night
They are currently taking his milling machine
They keep telling his girlfriend You know he was making machine guns, right? Which he was not. He was finishing up some 0% lower receiver castings for semi-auto AR-15s, which is a lawful activity.
When it comes to gun laws, gun enthusiasts do act at their own peril.
Update: My scientific wild ass guess is they’re going for the constructive possession angle. Their prosecution, if it gets that far, will go something like:
He has parts (none of which are full auto, by the way);
He has books;
He has a milling machine;
In a random number of hours, he could possibly assemble a machine gun.
Update 2: Thanks to a reader, I have been put in contact with a gun rights attorney who is interested in the case.
Update 3: Got an in with some gun rights activists. Looks promising, I’ll let you know. If the latter does not work out, I may set up a fund. I was also told there’s a small and pricey legal industry that specifically caters to addressing issues with the ATF. I will put Scoot into contact with some of these folks once I hear he has been released.
Update 4: And his local legal counsel is apparently on the scene, making calls and doing what they do. The folks mentioned in Update 3 told me that’s good but he’ll eventually need someone with firearms law expertise.
5: A gun rights attorney has told me there is particular interest in this case because Tennessee apparently has a high number of reported ATF abuses. I found that quite interesting. I think it may be the result of Tennessee being a fairly gun-friendly state.
6: A few more thoughts:
Regarding the fact this was initiated by his ex (whom he has confided in me in the past that she has threatened to call the police on him for his guns), why is the word of an estrange ex considered probable cause or reasonable?
Guys like Scoot and SayUncle have knowingly raised their profile through their Internet presence. They know they are subject to increased scrutiny, and they tend to act cautiously because of that.
Indeed we do. But that doesn’t seem to matter when someone with an axe to grind lies about you to the authorities. I get regular visits to this site from hosts whose names end in .gov. That is why I particularly note things about complying with the law, such as when I posted a primer on the now defunct assault weapons ban and 922 compliance.