The BATF Meets the Blogosphere.UPDATED (AGAIN)

Oh, I HOPE this gets really interesting (for them). Yesterday Say Uncle reported

Reader, commenter, arfcommer, and friend Shoot-N-Scoot just called to tell me that:
*The ATF is at his house

*They’re asking if he has any machine guns

*They have seized his house pending approval of a search warrant

*Told him he was free to go but they were going to search his house

He did the smart thing and left. He also called his lawyer. He (like me) is one of those gun owners who meticulously follows the law to avoid trouble. In that situation, I, myself, would be wondering if I had all my I’s dotted and T’s crossed as there are a lot of technicalities out there. His only crime is apparently marrying his ex-wife, who has supposedly called the ATF and said he has machine guns. He does not have machine guns and is one of my friends who I build AR-15s with.

He asked that I spread the word. More details as I get them.

Say Uncle has a collection of updates at this post, and he’s getting Scoot some attention. Michael Silence has a round-up of links here. One of the bloggers taking note is Glenn Reynolds, which means millions of eyes are now pointed Tennesseeward.

Interestingly, Say Uncle notes that all of this is going on while the ATF is involved in hearings on its alleged abuses of power.

Let’s blogswarm this one.

And if you feel like contributing to Scoot’s defense, Say Uncle is taking donations. Remember: The government’s prosecutorial pockets are bottomless. After all, we’re funding them, whether we like it or not.

Uncle partially quotes a decision I noted a long time ago: New Jersey v. Pelleteri:

When dealing with guns, the citizen acts at his peril.

That’s true outside of New Jersey, too. Let’s see if we can help deflect, if not reduce the peril.

UPDATE, 3/25: Say Uncle reports

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.

He has more to say, but the fact remains that Scoot is apparently a convicted felon who did not get his rights restored. One thing about the blogosphere that I really like: instant updates, and the willingness to admit error. (However, Publicola’s comment echos my thoughts somewhat.)

Additional UPDATE: Say Uncle has more information on Scoot’s felony. Money quote:

A person who murders a child is a felon. But so is a person who imports orchids into the United States. You can lose your right to arms, right to vote and others whether you’re an axe murderer or you import lobster tails in plastic bags instead of cardboard boxes. Obviously, some crimes warrant stripping access to guns.

In other words, when it comes to determining the severity of a person’s crime, the term felon is about as useless as a cock-flavored lollipop.

That’s a point I’ve made several times here, myself. So many crimes are felonies these days that, for example, using a false ID can possibly get you a felony conviction that will revoke your right to arms essentially forever. The exclusion is far too broad, and it looks like it caught Scoot. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the next law that needs to be aggressively attacked, but it never will be. Our opponents will label it “arming felons,” and that will kill the idea deader than the proverbial doornail.

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