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Old October 13, 2002, 11:21 PM   #1
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Goodbye TFL- for now

Assuming I can be disciplined enough I'm going to have to leave TFL for an indefinate time period. In fact it is pretty stupid that I am writing this here (at least my parents, and friends would think so), but I've been here so much over the past year I figure that I shouldn't leave without some kind of explaination.

Well, because I own guns and am into guns I got a call today from a federal agency (I've been told that I shouldn't say who- though I'll say not the ATF since I'm sure that is what everyone is thinking). I came to their attention (according to them) because I bought about a dozen guns in the past year (can't be more because I haven't bought much more than that in the two years I've owned guns)- so much for NICS not being registration. They wanted me to account for all my movements and activities over a specified period of time. I did verify by calling them myself (after looking up the local office of said agency in the phone book) that the number they called from was in fact this agency.

Anyway, I can't be here until I know that this situation is over because the gov't apparently already thinks I'm a gun nut. I've been advised to stay off gun boards. I'm also to stay away from gun ranges for a while. When it is over I may fill in the details- for now just know that I have done nothing wrong to justify this treatment and the threats that I am getting.

I've probably already said too much. Sad when the gov't in this "free" country of ours has one scared to even talk about their harrassment of oneself. I have always considered myself a patriotic American. I joined the Army out of high school. I have always loved this country. I am a conservative Democrat, not a Libertarian, so I even HAD faith in our government. Now, I think I may try to move to Israel (despite poor gun laws) before long.
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Old October 13, 2002, 11:27 PM   #2
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OK... I hear "The Twlight Zone" playing in the back of my head right now.

I've bought 5 since August (and have plans for at least 5 or 6 more by years end). Where does this leave me on the Fed's radar?
On Sepember 13, 2004 "Free America" became a bit more free with the sunset of the AWB. On that same day California banned the .50BMG. The nation looks to California as a "trend setter". Ignore what happened here at your own peril.

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Old October 13, 2002, 11:28 PM   #3
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Get a Lawyer.

You do know that it's not illegal to be a "gun nut" right?
"If you're not with us, you're against us," President George W. Bush
"Whoever is not with me is against me," Jesus Christ (Luke 11:23)
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Old October 13, 2002, 11:43 PM   #4
Mike Irwin
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The next call you make should be to the National Rifle Association's Civil Rights Legal Defense Fund attorneys.

I suspect that if you're getting a call, I might be getting a call soon, too. Joy, and I'm visiting friends in Illinois.
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Old October 13, 2002, 11:45 PM   #5
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I guess THIS will be my last post.

Yes I know it isn't illegal to be a gun nut, doesn't mean that your life can't be made miserable until YOU show that you aren't responsible for what they don't even think you are responsible for (I'm pretty sure they don't actually think I'm involved in what they are harassing me over). If you come up on their radar (which as a gun owner you are more likely to)- have fun.

Incidentally, apparently the NICS is defacto registration (what a surprise). The agent that called me seemed to know exactly what I bought going back a couple years (and MD doesn't officially have registration either).

Anyway, please post encouraging remarks. I won't be able to post anymore for a while but I will come back and check here (hopefully for encouragement).

BTW- I think I may have to change my party registration after this.
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Old October 14, 2002, 12:01 AM   #6
Fred Hansen
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Have these wing-nuts even bothered to read the stuff that you have posted on TFL (which they have warned you off of)?

No offense chaim, but on your best day you wouldn't pass for a "gun nut". Even now you say things like
I think I may have to change my party registration after this.
*emphasis added*

"This started out as a documentary on gun violence in America, but the largest mass murder in our history was just committed -- without the use of a single gun! Not a single bullet fired! No bomb was set off, no missile was fired, no weapon (i.e., a device that was solely and specifically manufactured to kill humans) was used. A boxcutter! -- I can't stop thinking about this. A thousand gun control laws would not have prevented this massacre. What am I doing?"

Michael Moore
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Old October 14, 2002, 12:02 AM   #7
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Good Lord

This is one of the most perturbing things i've read in a long while. Get a good lawyer, in fact, maybe all of us "gun nuts" should.

Is it possible that someone could have called the Feds on you? Perhaps a 'concerned citizen'?
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Old October 14, 2002, 12:13 AM   #8
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location: Maryland,

does that have anything to do with why they're bugging you?
(re: sniper shootings).

please do as others have said, get a lawyer, contact the NRA, etc.

you've owned a gun with the intent to fight back against a criminal right? have the fighting spirit regardless of attacker and venue; if someone is attacking you on a legal ground then get a lawyer and fight back.

I hope all turns out well for you.

I've just bought 5 new pistols within the past month (had been saving for a year for this) and have 1 more I plan to get in a week. If I get harassed by any agency over it I will most definitely post about it here! Noone has any right whatsoever to tell you not to post truthful statements on an internet forum!

Hell, if it happens to me I will post the agency, agent's names, phone numbers I reach them at or they call from, etc. I may get attacked, but I will not be intimidated.

I was tax-audited a couple years ago; I came through it fine, I keep detailed records, and on one critical point of my deductions I did NOT backdown, I had to work diligently to prove my validity for the business-oriented deduction but I got it proven and this one issue would've meant several thousand dollars. But I stood my ground knowing I was right, and sometimes right wins.

That doesn't mean I became hostile/combative; I understand the value of being polite/respectful, but still be firm.
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Old October 14, 2002, 12:37 AM   #9
aikidoka - mks
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Dang - good thing I lost my job and didnt have money to buy guns or else I would have at least 2 more on top of the two I already have. I wonder if Im a "gun nut" now?

Good luck and do follow the advice about getting a lawyer and contacting the NRA.

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Old October 14, 2002, 12:39 AM   #10
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Actually, I have calmed down a bit over the past hour or so. I doubt if I tell about it here that anything could be used against me (though the old thought "I haven't done anything wrong so I have nothing to worry about" is meaningless to me now). My parents didn't even want me to tell my friends (you tell someone and you lose control over who they tell). I don't want people who know me in person but don't know me well enough to know that the FBI is full of crap to hear about it either. You know how it is, so many people assume that if you are looked into or investigated you must be guilty of something.

However, now that I've calmed down a little I may post about it here since few here know me in person and what little I posted may make it sound more like I'm up to something than the entire story would.

I still am likely to change my party. Not to Republican (they're as bad as the Dems). I'm not sure about Libertarian, I agree (long have) that our civil liberties are being erroded, but I don't agree (sometimes strongly) with some of their ideas. I may simply have to start as an Independent and see if something better comes around. I'm also thinking strongly of abandoning our country and going to Israel for good (they have problems too, but at least they don't pretend to be the freeest country in the world).
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Old October 14, 2002, 12:45 AM   #11
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The reason they say not to talk about it is because they know what they are doing is bordering on the thing one can do it talk their fool heads off................if it was me there would e dozens of posters nailed to telephone poles, letters to the editors and I even have a cousin that has a talk show on the radio I would be screaming on that..................seems to me not only are they trying to trample on the second amendment rights but also the first!
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Old October 14, 2002, 01:25 AM   #12
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The whole story

Yes cor-man, it has to do with the sniper shootings.

This evening about 8pm I got a call from a man who claimed to be an FBI agent surveying local gun owners (yeah right). Now this guy called me and started asking questions (I didn't answer BTW) about my lifestyle, what I've done this past week and about my guns. As some of you may know you should NEVER give out any kind of personal info to someone who calls you (too many scam artists out there). Also, I've never done anything wrong so why would the FBI call me? I assume it is someone trolling around until he finds someone willing to devulge info that will let him know who has guns worth stealing. I tell him this is who I think he is, so no I won't tell him about my guns (actually, I tell him I won't tell him IF I have guns, it is none of his business), my daily habits, my travels, etc. I tell him, that even if he is FBI I've done nothing illegal and so it is none of his buisness then either.

Then it gets really interesting. I dial " *69" to find the number he called from and then call the local FBI office to let them know that someone seems to be fraudulently identifing himself as FBI to get sensitive info about who owns guns (and their daily habits). I tell him the kinds of questions the guy asked (very aggressive- like he was trying to intimidate me) and the nice man at the local office told me it couldn't have been the FBI because, first they don't call people like that, and second they wouldn't use such tactics. I give him the number from *69- it is their Montgomery County MD task force ! I tell the guy that I may call back to apologize for my tone then, but I still won't tell him what guns I own or what I did this past week (it is still none of their business) to which he responds "I wouldn't either".

I call the office (though I don't have the agent's name) to find out who called me so I can apologize for my tone. The guy on the phone tells me that there are so many people there that there is no way he can figure out who it was without a name. I tell him the entire situation and he says "oh, wait, I think I know exactly who you talked to" "I'll have him call you back". A couple minutes later the phone rings and its the original guy (pissed as hell at me BTW).

I apologize for my previous tone, tell him that since I've never done anything wrong I couldn't imagine why the FBI would be calling me and reminded him that I had thought that it must have been someone trying to find out who owns what in the area to target homes. He tells me "Its a damn good thing you called. I had dispatched about a dozen local police and two ATF agents to your home."

I ask him how I came to his attention and why he is taking me so seriously (12 police and 2 ATF!!!). He tells me that "you've been buying an awful lot of guns lately haven't you" (btw, I have a fair #, but not like many here). I say that I have some guns but they are all legal so I still don't see the problem. I ask if he actually has a list of my guns (he does), how he got the list (won't tell me). I ask why he called (again). He won't tell me exactly but he then asks what I have been doing the past week. Now I'm getting REALLY mad (but I try to stay calm because I don't really want to go to jail). It becomes pretty clear in our conversatation that he somehow thinks I'm involved in the DC/MD/VA shootings . I then ask that if he has a list of my guns shouldn't he be able to tell that I don't own a .223, you know the round that the media has reported is the one being used. He tells me that many of my forms sent in by my FFLs were incomplete and didn't list the caliber (WHAT- who was the incompetent who sent the gov't an incomplete form and why is this the first I've heard about it, and I thought they weren't supposed to be used as registration/tracking/etc). Now he is clearly getting mad (and hinting that he won't call off the team he has coming for me). He DEMANDS to know what I've been up to the past week. I tell him that I've been home sometimes, at work sometimes, in Yeshiva sometimes and shopping sometimes (I know I shouldn't have said anything, but I'm tired, annoyed, a bit nervous, etc so I wasn't thinking straight). He then gets even angrier and threatens me with jail if I don't give him the answers he wants. I say it would help if he was more specific then. He asks where I was Fri morning (the time of the last shooting). I tell him I was at home. Now he's even madder (odd, I've just given him a specific answer like he wanted- once he gave a specific question). He wants to know if anyone can verify this (luckily my dad was home at the time- yes I currently live w/ my parents). He then ORDERS me to put my dad on the phone (luckily he was here) and tells me that if he doesn't verify my story exactly I should "be prepared to take a trip at around 11PM." My dad answers all his questions (incl. his birthday and why he was at home and not at work), I get the impression he was very hostile w/ my dad (he was shaking) and he kept telling my dad I have lots of guns (some of you may remember that my parents, esp. my dad, are strongly anti). Then they hung up.

To set the record straight:
-I do have more guns than average but I don't really think it is an excessive amount (13, though I have sold a few)
-I was no where near any of the shootings when they happened (though I live nearby enough that I have been in some of the areas since- no choice, my Yeshiva is nearby and so is my favorite Kosher supermarket)
-There was a little more to the conversation, I only listed the major parts. When he did get really hostile I probably got a bit more punchy than I should have. I had the nerve to point out that all of my guns were perfectly legal, I didn't have the caliber the murderer is using, I stressed that I did nothing wrong, etc. This only made him angrier. I then pointed out (at the "YOU OWN GUNS" badgering) that yes, they are protected under the Constitution too.
-No, I did not wait for a lawyer, I know I should have. However, I pointed out some of the reasons above. Also, I didn't really feel like being taken to jail for G-d knows how many hours (I have to be somewhere at 7:30am) to get it sorted out. I figured that since he already had a list of my guns, and since I didn't do anything wrong (heck, I wasn't even in the area of ANY of the shootings when they happened) and I could prove that I was someplace else for two of them (I had witnesses) it couldn't hurt to tell they guy I had been at home.

What I am doing:
-I am now a little paranoid. I guess I've decided against not posting here (though I doubt if I'll post except on this thread).

-I will be keeping a log of my activities, time, and the people who I'm with until the shooter is captured in case I should get called again. That way I can say with certainty who I was with and put them in contact with him/her (I'm pretty sure I was with people at the time of some of the shootings I didn't have witnesses for, I just don't remember for sure who I was with or what I was doing- try to remember all the details of the last week, especially under stress).

-I will try my best to never be alone until the shooter is captured so that I will have witnesses to where I was and what I was doing.

I must say this situation is really scary. First, I find it scary that my only reason to be suspect is that I own guns (what some faceless person determines to be an "excessive" number of them). Second, the threats to me, someone who's done nothing, the bullying (I was STRONGLY advised against a lawyer, I was threatened with jail, a forced entry, etc). Last, the "be prepared to take a trip" part, especially for a Jew (remember the Nazis), is reminiscent of certain totalitarian regimes.
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Old October 14, 2002, 01:52 AM   #13
Kenneth Bowen
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In addition to logging your activities, you really should contact an attorney. If you don't have one, you might try the NRA-ILA. In fact, you might want to contact them anyhow.

I find it strange that the officer told you he had dispatched 14 officers to your address, but no one showed up. Sounds like a very confusing encounter.

I really think you need some legal council before you talk about this with any body.

Did I say, "you should talk to a lawyer?"
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Old October 14, 2002, 01:52 AM   #14
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OMG, that is horrible! You do know why they STRONGLY recommend you don't get a lawyer, don't ya? GET A LAWYER NOW!!
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Old October 14, 2002, 02:14 AM   #15
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yeah when those types of cops tell you to NOT get a lawyer it's the same as when a spammer has a line in their email saying "to be removed from this list please respond with 'remove' in the subject line" --spammers use that to verify ACTIVE email addresses which are worth more money than non-verified email addresses as they resell the address lists.

GET a lawyer.

If you have an aswering machine at home learn what buttons to push on it to record conversations and record any further conversations with any such person. I'd recommend telling them you are recording it also, so that it is legal evidence in court later (not telling someone they're being recorded probably gets that evidence tossed out).

You have a right to tell this guy he can ask you questions but he does not have to be rude and that you will document his rudeness and illegal threats. He's threatening arrest, make him state exactly what crime you'll be arrested FOR.

Be calm, be firm, and remember you don't have to speak to this eff-face at all without a lawyer present.

I don't know how your dad handles such things but I don't recommend putting anyone else on the phone with a creep like this; you need to be in control of the situation; other people likely may do stupid things and volunteer information you don't have to give.

...if you feel to paranoid to post here, you could set up a new bogus alias id and continue to pass the info/story to us ;-).

Me personally I would want harassment documented as publicly as I possibly could. I'd get my phone recorder all set to go, and get my vid camera all set as well, and start instructing family/house members how to operate my vid cam in case I were arrested. Fight this type of harassment specifically BY making it public, do you think Rodney King's beating would have gotten those cops in trouble if it hadn't been televised across the nation? hell no, it would've been swept under the rug like so much other police brutality.

Be aware, there are lots of GOOD cops and good FBI/higher level investigators out there, and they don't like their rep being soiled by the *******s among them.
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Old October 14, 2002, 04:22 AM   #16
Bud Helms
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Contact the NRA/ILA. Contact GOA. Get a lawyer. Contact the Lawyer's Second Amendment Society. Contact the 2nd Amendment Foundation. But before you contact any of these organizations, sit down and write up what happened in as concise a manner as you are capable. If any interest is shown by them, make sure you tell the same story to each in the same way. An email cut'n'paste will work.

I don't think I'd worry about posting here. But you should always TTPO.
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Old October 14, 2002, 05:13 AM   #17
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I know people who have guns in the hundreds. You own 13??? That's IT??!?! You should be working harder!!

Harrassment via phone is illegal, regardless what agency they are from.. Tell them, under the phone harrassment act (There isn't such a thing, but sounds scary to the idiots) you will report them.

You'd think they'd actually do things like solve real crime..
"An unarmed society is one that's ripe for tyranny and oppression."
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Old October 14, 2002, 07:30 AM   #18
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You shouldn't really talk to this guy without legal counsel. Like my attorney told me when I was trying to help some local police who were looking for a tall buglary suspect, "It's easier for me to help you if you keep your mouth shut." The guy they were looking for and finally arrested was 5'9" and I'm 6'5".

Where else in the world can a 26 year own two Cadillacs? (A '73 Eldorado convertible and a '96 SLS.)

Ted Kennedy said it best when he said, "Don't worry, I'll drive you home!"
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Old October 14, 2002, 08:03 AM   #19
Derek Zeanah
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I had a 1st Sergeant in the National Guard who was an FBI agent as his full-time job. Once we sat down and had a heart-to-heart about an upcoming drill, as I was bucking for a debate scholarship and needed to go to state finals. We reached an agreement about what was/wasn't important, I won the state championship (novice class) and thought all was good. Then I found out that what he told the CO was 180 degrees different from what was said in the conversation, and I lost rank in the incident (administrative reduction -- something they can't do on active duty).

The big thing I got out of that experience is that FBI agents lie whenever they feel like it. Note that it's a felony to lie to an FBI officer (or any federal agent, isn't it?), but he's already started lying to you (12 po-po + 2 ATF? Do you really believe that? If they had a warrant, they wouldn't have called it off over a phone call...). What happens if he decides to lie again and say you agreed to/admitted to/confessed to something else in your conversation? Who's a judge going to believe?

Get a lawyer, and have him broker the transaction. At a minimum, have a lawyer present during all questioning/conversations, so you'll have a record of what was/wasn't said.

Understand that I'm a little more paranoid about law enforcement than most -- in that same NG unit I had cops that bragged about framing innocent people when they "copped an attitude," so I'm a little more sensitive about the possibility of abose-of-power issues than most. Not trying to be a paranoid nut -- just trying to get you to think this through, as talking to this joker at all is foolheardy, in my opinion.

Oh yeah -- keep posting. You're 2 posts away from a thousand posts. Doesn't Rich have to buy you a cake or something?

(edited because I can't type.)
-- Derek

"An elective despotism was not the government we fought for."
--Thomas Jefferson
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Old October 14, 2002, 08:10 AM   #20
Dave P
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Sounds like you are doing the right things, and have the right attitude. Get a recorder. Take names, times, notes. Stay strong; Don't let them trample your rights!

Let us know how it progresses.

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Old October 14, 2002, 08:28 AM   #21
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Time to "Run Silent, Run Deep"
Screen door removed and hatch closed.
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Old October 14, 2002, 09:34 AM   #22
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Remember, "you have a right to remain silent" USE IT!!!!!!!!!

Did the caller read you your rights. No? He's fishing. Tell him to kiss off. Be prepared to get an attorney. Start recording phone conversations (check your local laws, it's legal here in alabama). Don't talk to anybody on the phone about YOUR guns. If the sniper is really the reason anybody is talking to you, it will go away by itself.

Always Remember:
A firearm is only an instrument. It contains no evil, no conscience, and no ability. It is strictly the intent, competence, and character of its user that decide the outcome of any and all actions taken with it.

(I don't know who to credit but I like the quote.)
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Old October 14, 2002, 09:48 AM   #23
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The good news is that we are not paranoid.

The bad news is that they really are out to get us.
"The inherent right in the people to reform their government, I do not deny; and they have another right, and that is to resist unconstitutional laws without overturning the government." --Daniel Webster
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Old October 14, 2002, 09:49 AM   #24
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Good for you in calming down. One of the things that these guys do is to try to make someone like yourself nervous so that you then go and do something stupid and they can jump on you. Keep in mind that they are very frustrated right now because they really are just treading water with the sniper chap.

I'm wondering if you shouldn't try to use you being a Jew to your advantage, maybe even the ADL will help you out. Well, wishfull thinking anyway

I, too, think that getting a lawyer is something you should do NOW. I can't get over the nerve of a Fed advising someone not to get a lawyer.

As far as libertarianism goes, what positions or philosophies are you unsure or unconvinced about?

"It does not take a majority to prevail...but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."

-Samuel Adams

"Give me ten Jesuits and I shall conquer the world"

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Old October 14, 2002, 09:55 AM   #25
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First, I assume that you managed to get the clown's name?

Call his boss.

And his boss' boss.

Heck, call Ashcroft.
Job hunting, but helping a friend out at - and learning the finer aspects of becoming a precision machinist.

And making the world's greatest bottle openers!
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