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Federal agents hunt for guns, one house at a time

This is a discussion on Federal agents hunt for guns, one house at a time within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by mcp1810 So what are we saying here? We don't want the federal government to enforce existing laws? Straw purchases are against both ...

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Thread: Federal agents hunt for guns, one house at a time

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    So what are we saying here? We don't want the federal government to enforce existing laws? Straw purchases are against both state and federal law. Whenever someone talks about a new law we yell and scream that they should enforce the laws that are already on the books. Now they are doing that and now we say we want them to go violate peoples 4th ammendment rights at the border instead?
    It's not enforcing the laws that's the problem, it's the bureaucrats fishing for statutory criminals instead of good investigations starting with the crime scene. If officials are fishing through legitimate gun transactions to try to find someone they can prosecute, that, in my estimation, is morally wrong. Instead, ought they not start with the alleged "smuggled guns" in Mexico and then work their way back to the source? The great problem I see is that our benevolent gov't is more interested in creating, finding and prosecuting statutory criminals (i.e. people who are criminals 'cause they say so) instead of getting their hands dirty finding the real criminals.....
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source


  2. #17
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    And for a straw purchase the crime scene is? And if someone who breaks the law is a "statutory criminal" how does one become a non "statutory criminal"? I mean, unless you are in a common law state how is one a criminal without violating statutes?
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  3. #18
    Member Array natticarry's Avatar
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    Add to this the fact you have no 4th amendment rights if you are not a citizen of the united states. I would say walking across the desert at an undesignated border crossing especially if it is a tunnel you dug in a basement is probable cause even if you are a citizen. But you are right mcp1810 I much rather have my 4th amendment rights violated at my house than at the border because I happened to buy an "assault rifle", or is that the other way around??

  4. #19
    Senior Member Array tbrenke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by natticarry View Post
    Add to this the fact you have no 4th amendment rights if you are not a citizen of the united states. I would say walking across the desert at an undesignated border crossing especially if it is a tunnel you dug in a basement is probable cause even if you are a citizen. But you are right mcp1810 I much rather have my 4th amendment rights violated at my house than at the border because I happened to buy an "assault rifle", or is that the other way around??
    exactly...
    "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -1792, James Madison
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  5. #20
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by natticarry View Post
    Add to this the fact you have no 4th amendment rights if you are not a citizen of the united states. I would say walking across the desert at an undesignated border crossing especially if it is a tunnel you dug in a basement is probable cause even if you are a citizen. But you are right mcp1810 I much rather have my 4th amendment rights violated at my house than at the border because I happened to buy an "assault rifle", or is that the other way around??
    Ok, first, the protections we have under the Constitution are not exclusive to U.S. citizens. Anyone in our country has equal protection under the law. That includes illegal aliens. As far as hiking through the desert carrying these weapons, are your serious? Do you have any idea how many cars and trucks cross the border every day? Do you have any idea how few are searched?
    Now please quote for me the section of the article where they mention someones rights being violated. Whose house was searched without a warrant? What property was seized? No warrantless search, no right violated. Sorry, but you don't have a right to not have federal agents knock on your door and ask you questions. You have a right to not to answer the door. You have a right to tell them to go away. Did we all miss the paragraph about the seven thousand five hundred weapons from this area that have been recovered in Mexico? Did we all miss the part about these guys following up on weapons recovered at murder scenes?

    Am I to understand that you think it is a violation of your rights for the BATFE guys to come to your house and ask you about a gun that you bought and was found in another country at a murder scene?

    And as a matter of fact I have had federal agents show up at my house wanting to see my AR-15! Back during the "Beltway sniper" rampage two Secret Service agents from the task force I was part of showed up at my house while I was away and did the good cop/bad cop routine on my wife. Guess what! Their actions were perfectly legal! All I got out of it was a passing mention in Moose's book (page 123 in the paperback) and a letter of apology.

    Does it say anywhere in that article that these record searches at the gun shops are not the result of the trace on the weapons recovered at crime scenes? For those that are not aware, the way a search works is BATFE contacts the manufacturer with the serial number of the recovered weapon. The manufacturer then tells the agent if a warranty card was filed, and who the distributor is they sold the weapon to. If they have a warranty card, they contact the person that sent it in. If not, they contact the distributor. The distributor then tells the agent which retailer they shipped the weapon to. The agent then has to go to the retailer get the purchasers information off the paperwork.
    So, with over seven thousand weapons traced back to the Houston area, how is having agents contact the first retail purchasers of those weapons, and asking them how their weapons turned up at crime scenes in another country not investigating crimes?
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  6. #21
    Member Array natticarry's Avatar
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    "Among other things, the agents are combing neighborhoods and asking people about suspicious purchases as well as seeking explanations as to how their guns ended up used in murders, kidnappings and other crimes in Mexico."

    The above bold print seems to indicate not all of these guns ended up over the border. A "suspicious" purchase as illustrated later in the article

    "It turned out two handguns, of a type drug gangsters prefer, were bought by a pastor for target practice."

    Now I agree there is nothing wrong with asking people who have guns registered to them used in crimes some questions. This appears to be going above and beyond. You are correct they are not violating the 4th amendment yet but it is a very small step to get to that point. They are also creating a de-facto database by now having case files that include the addresses of people who own types of guns that "drug gangsters prefer." As for hiking guns across there are people who actually use their trail rated vehicles off road. I am well aware that a great many things go through border check points and never get caught but that is no the only method used. As for the constitution applying to everyone who is in the country? This is most defiantly not true. I realize that there are court cases that indicate otherwise but that does not make it so (point to me the amendment that applies to abortion being a right). By definition a document put together to outline how a government will govern their citizens does not apply to non citizens unless a clause specifies otherwise.

    Even if I cede you the point the fact that you are illegal means you committed a crime which means you give up much of the protections provided anyway.

  7. #22
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    From the U.S. Constitution....
    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
    Please note, it does not say states shall not deprive citizens of life, liberty or property, without due process. It says "any person". Then we have "any person within its jurisdiction" that have "the equal protection of the laws."
    It seems to me that if this was only in reference to "citizens" they would have used that word throughout. As "citizen" is defined in the amendment "any person" would appear to include someone who is excluded by that definition, therefore a person who is not a "citizen".
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    From the U.S. Constitution....

    Please note, it does not say states shall not deprive citizens of life, liberty or property, without due process. It says "any person". Then we have "any person within its jurisdiction" that have "the equal protection of the laws."
    It seems to me that if this was only in reference to "citizens" they would have used that word throughout. As "citizen" is defined in the amendment "any person" would appear to include someone who is excluded by that definition, therefore a person who is not a "citizen".
    I just checked the text of the Constitution for "equal protection." The only place this phrase comes up is in the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Interesting question...literally, the states may not deny persons the equal protection of the laws per this amendment. The national government is not so constrained?
    If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.--Samuel Adams as Candidus, Boston Gazette 20 Jan. 1772

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  9. #24
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    The agents should work on securing the border instead of screwing with the gun shops and home owners. We are going to have a lot of job less people when the troops come home from Iraq. We can use those who want to remain in the service to patrol our borders and secure them.

  10. #25
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon1 View Post
    I just checked the text of the Constitution for "equal protection." The only place this phrase comes up is in the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Interesting question...literally, the states may not deny persons the equal protection of the laws per this amendment. The national government is not so constrained?
    That was the first part of the Fourteenth. As far as the feds, we go back to the Fifth:
    No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
    Does not limit these protections to citizens.
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    That was the first part of the Fourteenth. As far as the feds, we go back to the Fifth:

    Does not limit these protections to citizens.
    Fifth Amendment guarantees due process, as does the "citizenship" protection of the Fourteenth. Since the "equal protection of the laws for persons" segment of the Fourteenth is separate from the due process segment of the Fourteenth, it implies (under a strict reading) that they are not the same thing. So again, strictly parsing the text, the states may not deprive equal protection, but the national government is not so mentioned for persons.

    I'm not advocating this per se, I'm just taking your original argument to one logical end....
    If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.--Samuel Adams as Candidus, Boston Gazette 20 Jan. 1772

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  12. #27
    Member Array natticarry's Avatar
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    agreed as originally stated and to the point of the argument. The 4th nor the 5th amendment apply to non-citizens or else it would not be necessary to enumerate those rights under the 14th amendment. Also as stated it is very specific that states are not allowed to violate those rights not the federal government. This is why the Federal Government is free to detain people immigrating to this country as they have done at locations such as Ellis Island and Angel Island.

  13. #28
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    How about:

    " I don't consent to any search officer"
    " If you have a warrant, you know you don't need my consent to search"
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  14. #29
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    From Bolling v Sharpe 347 U.S. 497 (1954)
    Chief Justice Warren writing for the majority ( I am just grabbing the parts I believe to be relevant)
    We have this day held that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the states from maintaining racially segregated public schools. 1 The legal problem in the District of Columbia is somewhat [347 U.S. 497, 499] different, however. The Fifth Amendment, which is applicable in the District of Columbia, does not contain an equal protection clause as does the Fourteenth Amendment which applies only to the states. But the concepts of equal protection and due process, both stemming from our American ideal of fairness, are not mutually exclusive. The "equal protection of the laws" is a more explicit safeguard of prohibited unfairness than "due process of law," and, therefore, we do not imply that the two are always interchangeable phrases. But, as this Court has recognized, discrimination may be so unjustifiable as to be violative of due process. 2
    Later
    In view of our decision that the Constitution prohibits the states from maintaining racially segregated public schools, it would be unthinkable that the same Constitution would impose a lesser duty on the Federal Government. 5 We hold that racial segregation in the public schools of the District of Columbia is a denial of the due process of law guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.
    From Graham v Richardson:
    Accordingly, we hold that a state statute that denies welfare benefits to resident aliens and one that denies them to aliens who have not resided in the United States for a specified number of years violate the Equal Protection Clause.
    and then we have Takahashi v fish and game
    'All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other.' 16 Stat. 140, 144, 8 U.S.C. 41, 8 U.S.C.A. 41.
    The protection of this section has been held to extend to aliens as well as to citizens. 7 Consequently the section [334 U.S. 410 , 420] and the Fourteenth Amendment on which it rests in part protect 'all persons' against state legislation bearing unequally upon them either because of alienage or color. See Hurd v. Hodge, 334 U.S. 24 . The Fourteenth Amendment and the laws adopted under its authority thus embody a general policy that all persons lawfully in this country shall abide 'in any state' on an equality of legal privileges with all citizens under non-discriminatory laws.
    Takahashi was legally prohibited from becoming a citizen. California passed a law that prohibited Japanese from obtaining commercial fishing licenses. SCOTUS said that was unconstitutional. As they did with the Puerto Rican law requiring civil engineers to be U.S. citizens to obtain a license.

    So, can anyone show me some SCOTUS opinions that say that non citizens do not enjoy the same protections that citizens do?
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  15. #30
    Member Array natticarry's Avatar
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    MATHEWS v. DIAZ, 426 U.S. 67 (1976)

    Now I know this is not necessarily a protection but I would say it is just as valid as your fish and game or welfare cases.

    This by the way assumes I believe in a living breathing constitution which I do not. I am a strict constructionalist and at most an original intenter. If you start opening things to interpretation you end up with court cases such as Wickard v. Filburn which arguably has caused much of the Federal Governments over reaching policy. I would also argue the notorious Plessy v. Ferguson falls into this category.

    If we were to use original intent on the 14th amendment a little historical perspective would be called for. The 14th amendment was drafted shortly after the civil war to try to make sure southern states couldn't find a back way into keeping slavery around. That is specifically why they use person instead of citizen in the amendment to try and protect slaves who were already born before the amendment was ratified or had been shipped over after they were born which would have nullified their rights. I would also contend this is why it did not limit the federal government because it was not foreseeable that at the federal level an attempt would be made to nullify these peoples rights during the remainder of their life times. However I would argue that it did not limit the federal government because it specifically wanted to maintain control over immigration. This is just my opinion but I believe with historical perspective it is hard to dispute that logic.

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