Robert Hettinga rah at
Fri Aug 15 10:32:16 PDT 1997

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Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 09:22:03 -0700
To: rah at
From: Vinnie Moscaritolo <vinnie at>

GENERAL-RKBA digest 282


     At press time, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee had passed
H.R. 1965 -- an assets forfeiture bill. This legislation contains
provisions that would allow the Clinton-Gore Administration to
seize the assets of virtually any business on any pretext --
including firearms-related businesses! Even if the warrant for
the original seizure is struck down, the government would then be
given additional time and "discovery" to examine the business
records to try and build a case to continue holding the assets
(read: firearms). Virtually any business that has any substantive
inventory and that is extensively regulated by the government is
in danger of having its goods seized -- even for non-criminal
regulatory infractions. H.R. 1965 is a Clinton-Reno scheme -- and
a civil rights nightmare -- and we strongly believe it will be
used as a tool against gun stores, collectors, or anyone else who
has a firearms collection or inventory worth stealing. We are
trying to work in Congress to get the needed changes to this
legislation before it is brought to the House floor, but it may
be put on a fast-track to try and dampen opposition. Call your
Congressman now at 202/224-3121, and explain the problems with
asset forfeiture from the gun owner's perspective, and urge him
to oppose the Reno-backed asset forfeiture scheme.


     Hoping that going on the offensive would provide him with a
good defense, President Clinton has elevated the falsehoods
surrounding the Brady Act to new heights. Obviously anticipating
that the Supreme Court would strike down the "mandated background
check" provision of the Brady Act, the President, along with
Sarah Brady, began touting their latest statistics on the Brady
Act's "success." (For a complete summary of the Court's decision,
see the article on this subject in the September issue of the
American Guardian.) Previously, the President, Attorney General
Janet Reno, and others used the inflated figure of 186,000 to
note the number of felons, fugitives, and stalkers they claimed
were prevented from buying a handgun under Brady. That 186,000
figure was derived from a February 1997 Bureau of Justice
Statistics (BJS) report that concluded that of nine million
handgun transactions nationwide, 186,000 (2%) were rejected. The
President, in turn, incorrectly claimed that the BJS study showed
that the Brady Act had resulted in 186,000 handgun purchase
attempts by prohibited persons being denied. However, the BJS
stated on the front page of its report the 186,000 was a national
estimate. Recognizing that 18 states and the District of Columbia
have never been subject to Brady's five-day waiting period, BJS
noted only 86,000 denials occurred in the 32 "original Brady
states." Even that figure is inflated, however, because 12 of
those 32 states are no longer subject to Brady, having adopted
instant check or other laws in the past three years.
Additionally, many Brady-exempt states conduct records checks on
people who purchase long guns, while Brady only applies to
handguns. However, prior to the Court's ruling, Mr. Clinton upped
the ante by unveiling his newest "success statistic." According
to the President, apparently in the course of a few months, the
number of felons denied handgun purchases under Brady
miraculously skyrocketed to 250,000!

     Even if that claim was true, "handgun purchase
denials"--warranted or not (data indicates that most denials are
not)--is not the standard by which the Brady Act should be
judged. Rather, the effectiveness of a law titled the "Handgun
Violence Prevention Act" should be measured by how much handgun
violence is prevented. And on that test, Brady is a failure, as
we know our prisons aren't bursting at the seams from "felons"
who violated federal law by attempting to purchase a handgun. In
fact, there have still been only three individuals who've seen
the inside of a prison cell for violating the Brady Act.
Unfortunately, in addition to the numerous individuals who've
been denied a handgun purchase under the Brady Act because they
had unpaid parking tickets or had the same name as a prohibited
person, the truth apparently will continue to be another casualty
of this misguided law.

Vinnie Moscaritolo
Apple's Key Escrow Agent (for now)
PGP:      4FA3298150E404F2782501876EA2146A
DSS/DH:   B36343A790489C8D4E149147D57A7566C206F586

1 if by land, 2 if by sea.
	 Paul Revere - encryption 1775

--- end forwarded text

Robert Hettinga (rah at, Philodox
e$, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'
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