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Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, February 3

February 3rd, 2014 by Halli

By Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

This was supposed to be the year of non-controversy. In that light the press has had a field day saying that the members of the legislature are trying to play it safe in an election year. I find that not to be the case, and we are tackling the difficult issues that come before us.

We had a little bill come before the full House this week that should have been a very non-controversial piece of legislation. Last year we enacted a bill that prohibited the use of debit and credit cards for automated lottery machines. The new historic horse racing, that was authorized last year is done all by electronic machine. In keeping with what we enacted last year, it was thought that we should make it clear that debit and credit cards could not be used in these machines either. The bill came out of the State Affairs Committee very easily but was defeated on the House floor on Friday. After the bill failed, I was discussing it with a member of the State Affairs Committee who changed their vote and opposed the bill. The comment was that a debit card is the same as cash. What I have noticed however, is that there is something about having cash in your hand that is far different from having a piece of plastic with which to spend money. It isn’t the same at all. Cash in the hand makes a link that travels up the arm to the brain.

This past week we also had a joint House and Senate State Affairs Committee hearing where we asked five different agencies to come before the panel to go over the process of negotiated rulemaking that was recently put in to law. We had the Department of Administration, the Department of Environmental Quality, the State Tax Commission, the Department of Fish and Game, and the Department of Health and Welfare make presentations to us. The Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Health and Welfare are the most experienced at doing negotiated rulemaking while the Tax Commission and the Department of Fish and Game are just beginning the negotiated rulemaking process. It was interesting to hear their responses to questions. I think this was a healthy exercise because it put the agencies on notice that the legislature is very much concerned about how the rules get made.

There is also a piece of legislation coming from the Senate having to do with concealed weapons being carried on campus at our universities. This year’s effort has a much different approach than last year’s bill. For example this year the bill is requiring that an individual be at least 21 years of age and must have an enhanced carry permit, which has training requirements. Another sideboard is that there will be some discretion on the part of the university presidents to restrict concealed carry at events of all types at the universities. At this time it is expected that this bill will pass.

As you can see this probably isn’t the year of non-controversy at all. One of the most interesting experiences I have had in my life, was the very first time that I had to cast a vote in the legislature. It was a strange feeling for me because I all of a sudden realized that I was there to make these kinds of decisions and I absolutely had to vote. It’s not always comfortable but I wouldn’t have it and any other way.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Second Amendment, Taxes | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Our Culture of Deranged Values

July 5th, 2013 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

A friend shared a message with me recently that illustrated some of the absurdities we find in American society today. The caption was, “You know you live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots,” and then lists several provocative issues that illustrate how far we’ve departed from the principles of freedom and common sense which were dominant at our founding. Taking some liberties with the original phraseology, and adding some other examples, we clearly have become a warped and twisted culture with few core values, and a perverted sense of propriety.

For example, you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally.
School children have to get parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion or take a morning after pill.

We have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, or check out a library book but not to vote, in many states.
We have politicians that want to ban law-abiding citizens from owning guns but give fighter jets to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and want to give weapons to the resistance in Syria that beheads opponents and eats their hearts.

You can buy two 16-ounce sodas but not a 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might contribute to obesity.
An 80-year-old woman can be strip-searched by the TSA but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched.

A seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is cute but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable.

Children are forcibly removed from parents who discipline them with spankings while children of addicts are left in filth and drug infested homes.

Hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and free cell phones.

The government’s plan for getting people back to work is to incentivize not working, with 99 weeks of unemployment checks.
You pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself luxuries, while your neighbor buys iPhones, TV’s, and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage.

We have politicians who believe that the best way to make our communities safer is to strip the citizens of the ability to defend themselves.

The government’s idea of making health care more affordable is to dictate the terms of health insurance policies, which makes premiums skyrocket.

Our notion of “fairness” in taxation is to make those who pay the most, pay even more, and let more people pay none.
We have a whole segment of the population who profess tolerance, but show little or none for those who disagree.

Some Christian leaders declare the “end of times,” and are ridiculed by the media and the left, yet the doomsday scenarios of the climate change alarmists are conveniently forgotten when they don’t materialize.

School children are allowed to spew the most vulgar words and expressions, but face suspension if they talk openly about God or Jesus Christ.

School children can be expelled for giving an aspirin to another child, but can share all the prophylactics they want.

Our exhaled breath, carbon dioxide, can now be regulated as a pollutant, but flatulence is not.

Our government classifies pro-lifers and veterans as potential terrorists, but not Islamists who want to destroy America.

Many children have legally-protected open access to the most violent video games, movies, and internet sites yet are suspended from school for holding up a pop tart in the shape of a gun.

A child can be suspended for wearing a T-shirt acknowledging the NRA, which teaches gun safety, but is just fine wearing one with the image of Che Guevara, who was a mass murderer.

A crucifix in a glass of urine passes as art, but don’t even think about doing anything pejorative with a visage of Mohammed, even a cartoon!

Minority youth use a racist term in their speech to one another incessantly, but a “cracker” who used the term 30 years ago, has a $100 million cooking franchise collapse.

Many colleges encourage students to participate in “sex week” activities but one student is suspended for refusing to stomp on a picture of Jesus.

Students can be taught explicitly about homosexuality, but can’t have mentioned to them the possibility of intelligent design of the universe.

Such inanity evidencing the devolution of our culture could go on inexorably. But clearly we are a ludicrous, upside-down society of skewed priorities and values, shaped by convoluted notions of what acceptable or politically correct behavior should be. Common sense, once common, is no more. It truly makes one wonder if there’s any hope for us. The prophet Isaiah said, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.” It’s a morally dark day in America, and it’s getting darker.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Second Amendment | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Emotion vs Common Sense on Gun Control

January 24th, 2013 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

To Americans who can still think, this week’s sensationalized gun-control presentation at the White House was all show, with little substance. The intended effect was to have us believe that the president was doing something about gun violence, but nearly all of his 23 recommendations are aimed at law-abiding citizens, rather than criminals.

You’d think that President Obama was from California, as masterfully as he stages events, complete with props, isolated talking-points, and emotional image manipulation. Perhaps it’s simply a “Chicago Way” skill acquired from “never letting a crisis go to waste.” The net result was an emotionalized response to a legitimate concern, which should’ve been approached with common sense, rather than emotionalism. This administration is perhaps the most adept ever at using fear and emotion to further its ideological agenda.

The props used in the presentation were four children who wrote to the president about gun control, and families affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary last month. Such blatant emotionalized exploitation of children for a political objective should be an affront to any sentient person. I couldn’t help but think of a picture I saw the next day of two adorable girls holding a sign that said, “Mr. President, we wrote to you about passing all of your debt to us. When do we get to be on TV?” Sorry, girls. That’s not an issue the president cares about; otherwise you could be similarly exploited, emotively, as child-props.

The props, staging, and presentation created the false image that if we care about those children, we must stand with the president in challenging constitutional rights and our own ability to defend ourselves. It’s a false dichotomy, for the basis of his Executive Orders is emotional, and the recommendations of no perceivable empirical value in protecting those children.

Proving that the 23 executive orders were all show and little substance, or mostly emotion and little common sense, consider the fact that had all of the president’s Executive Orders and Administrative Orders been in effect before last month, Adam Lanza would still have been able to perpetrate his crime in Newtown, Connecticut. As it is, he reportedly broke 20 laws that day. It is ludicrous to presume that a few more laws, regulations, or penalties aimed primarily at law-abiding citizens, would have prevented him from perpetrating his heinous act. What those orders will do is impede non-threatening citizens from procuring their own means of protection. The criminals will continue to break laws and regulations to get and do what they want.

At least Obama didn’t issue an Executive Order to ban certain types of weapons, or to enact what is undoubtedly his ultimate goal, the elimination of the Second Amendment altogether, and implement a complete gun ban. Had he done so, the consequences could well have turned sour for him with impeachment proceedings initiated in the House, and for the nation, as law-abiding gun owners across the country prepared to defend their rights against the tyranny of an administration that holds the Constitution, and certain of our inalienable rights, in contempt.

When we approach the issue logically versus emotionally, empirical data must be relied upon, rather than the highly emotional tugs at our heartstrings. The Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2003 thoroughly analyzed fifty-one in-depth studies dealing with gun control. Those studies included everything from the effectiveness of gun bans to laws requiring gunlocks. From their objective analysis, they “found no discernible effect on public safety by any of the measures we commonly think of as ‘gun control.’”

If we want to be serious about gun violence, first, abolish gun free zones, which blatantly advertise themselves to be uncontested areas to perpetrate mass violence. They allow loonies like Lanza to be foxes in a hen house. Armed citizens, like the one in an Oregon mall last month, are the best defense against the Lanzas of the world.

Second, address the gang violence issue in America. According to the Center for Disease Control, 70% of all gun violence occurs in the 50 largest cities, some of which have outright gun bans in place, and 73% of those crimes are committed by teenagers in gangs. Address the societal breakdown in the inner cities that fosters the gang culture, and armed violence drops significantly.

Third, focus much more effort on background checks including the abolition of the barrier that prevents mental health professionals from sharing patient information with law enforcement on individuals who pose a risk to society.

Fourth, rather than focusing on guns as an ideological agenda, start looking at all violent crimes. According to the FBI, there are 50% more non-firearm homicides each year than firearm homicides, 16,799 to 11,493. And the number one weapon used in all violent crimes is the baseball bat. Neither the bat nor the gun is the problem. The problems are cultural and societal.

And the media must quit playing into the quest for celebrity status by people like Lanza, and start praising people like Nick Meli who stopped the Oregon mall shooting rampage last month.

To solve the complex problems vexing the nation, we need much less emotionalized staging in reaction to crises, and much more common sense. Children used as props to advance an ideological agenda may provide a “feel good” moment for politicians, and even some citizens, but they solve no problems.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Second Amendment | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: UN Arms Treaty vs Our 2nd Amendment

July 20th, 2012 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

“All countries of the world are coming together in New York to negotiate what is seen as the most important initiative ever regarding conventional arms regulation within the United Nations,” according to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). They’re working on a new treaty throughout the month that will provide a framework for regulating, controlling, registering, and tracking all conventional small firearms in the world. If signed by our president, it could be the most direct and overt effort to annul the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, for treaties take supremacy over the Constitution, per Article VI.

In 2006, the UN passed a resolution, “Towards an Arms Trade Treaty,” with a stated objective of establishing “common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.” The rationale was that terrorism and gang violence could be thwarted by establishing international standards regulating small-arms proliferation.

The Bush administration did not support the 2006 resolution, maintaining that each nation is best in a position to monitor and regulate arms sales rather than a one-size-fits-all approach assumed by the UN. But in 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated the U.S. was no longer opposed to such an arms treaty, and in 2010, President Obama reversed the Bush administration objection to the earlier version.

Timing of this incarnation of a small arms treaty has been accelerated by the UN in hopes it can be signed by our current president and ratified by the senate before the November election, which could significantly alter the outlook for U.S. participation.

The UNODA has published a document titled, “Disarmament: A Basic Guide,” which lays out for the public the concerns regarding small arms. On page 68, we read, “Counting such weapons is difficult, as the majority are owned by civiliansThe trade in small arms is not well regulated and is the least transparent of all weapons systems. Due to the lack of regulation and controls, in many countries it is too easy for small arms to slip from the legal into the illicit market—through theft, leakage, corruption or pilferage.” On the next page we read, “Ammunition should be a key part of any discussion on small arms control.”

The UN clearly intends to address legal gun ownership within member states along with the trade of small arms. One of their many research and statement pieces on the UNODA website, states unequivocally, that arms have been “…misused by lawful owners and recommends that arms trade therefore be regulated in ways that would … minimize the misuse of legally owned weapons.”

Former UN ambassador John Bolton has affirmed this intent, and indicates that the UN “is trying to act as though this is really just a treaty about international arms trade between nation states, but there is no doubt that the real agenda here is domestic firearms control.”

While it’s uncertain what exact terms and provisions will be included in the new Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the archive of documents on the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs website provide ample indications. From their own documents, it’s clear that they want to accomplish the following, as published by Forbes Online last week:

“1. Enact tougher licensing requirements, creating additional bureaucratic red tape for legal firearms ownership.

2. Confiscate and destroy all “unauthorized” civilian firearms.

3. Ban the trade, sale and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons.

4. Create an international gun registry, clearly setting the stage for full-scale gun confiscation.

5. Control distribution and availability of ammunition for small arms.”

The outcome, if adopted by the UN General Assembly, and ratified by the U.S., would result in “Overriding our national sovereignty, and in the process, provide license for the federal government to assert preemptive powers over state regulatory powers guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment in addition to our Second Amendment rights,” according to Forbes.

Not only has the White House indicated support for the ATT, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has vowed to push it through the Senate for ratification. Until now, the administration’s attempts to diminish 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms have been under the radar, except when botched, as in the Fast and Furious gun walking incident which can only be logically explained away as an effort to create a crisis that they would capitalize on to this end.

We’ve seen all too many times how the Obama administration bypasses congress and implements its agenda through executive orders. Don’t be surprised if the White House attempts to circumvent the Senate’s ratification of the treaty altogether, and declares the ATT “in effect” by Executive Order. After all, constitutional limitations on government, and our constitutional rights, are only valid if honored and upheld, something this administration fails at when it conflicts with their agenda.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Presidential Politics, Property Rights, Second Amendment | No Comments »

Listen to Halli’s New Radio Show On-line

January 4th, 2010 by Halli

Yes, you knew it was just a matter of time before I found a way to share my views with Idaho and the world once again! And the internet has provided the means – “Halli & Friends” is now available online at BlogTalkRadio.com/IdahoTalk. The show is live at 1pm MST, weekdays, and available on-demand any time, day or night! Several great episodes are already available on the website.

It’s easy to listen on line. Just go to the website and click on today’s show. A new page will open and you’ll need to click the “play” button to listen in live. Be sure to call in with comments, too, at 917-889-3946. Or, you can “click to talk” from the page, using a microphone-headphone headset with your computer.

The show will also be carried on Minuteman Radio 1610, heard on the east side of Idaho Falls.

Listen to past episodes on-demand by clicking on the show title, and the show should begin to play.

Upcoming guests will include legislators, lobbyists, constitutional scholars, and many, many more. Be sure to call in to join the conversation!

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Education, Family Matters, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General, Second Amendment | No Comments »

Thomas Kime: A Little Military History

April 2nd, 2009 by Halli

By Thomas Kime of Howe, Idaho

While listening to one of our local talk shows, I heard a question asked by a seemingly elderly gentleman. It was one of the most naive and uninformed of all the questions I have ever heard. The question was, “Do you believe that the US military would go around door to door and confiscate the guns of US citizens?” Having spent the fifties, sixties, and seventies in the military, I feel qualified to answer. It all depends upon who is the “Tyrant in Chief” in the White House at that time.

Let’s go back to 1859…General Joe Johnston was ordered to Utah to disarm the Mormon people and to arrest and try the leadership of the church for the Mountain Meadows massacre. (The reason that this didn’t happen is that Lincoln declared war on the South and recalled the general.)

In 1956, then President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne into Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama and removed from office duly elected officials and confiscated guns from the civil authorities. More recently, there were federal troops at Ruby Ridge, Idaho trying to disarm Randy Weaver. Same scenario at Waco, Texas.

If there are still folks out there who believe the US Military won’t make war on you if the right tyrant is in office, just read the history of the US Army under Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman. They didn’t kick the doors down; they burned down the house down murdering the women and children and stole anything they wanted by order of the Tyrant in Chief!

Written by Thomas Kime of Howe.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Second Amendment | No Comments »

Press Release: Sali Votes for Second Amendment Bill – Measure Advances to Senate

September 18th, 2008 by Halli

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Idaho Congressman Bill Sali voted today in support of a bipartisan bill, containing language which he cosponsored, that reaffirms the Second Amendment rights of Washington, D.C. residents and, thereby, all Americans. The measure passed the House 266-152 and now moves to the Senate for further action.

“This is a victory not only for the law-abiding citizens of the nation’s capital but for all Americans,” Sali said. “An injustice for the residents of D.C. truly is an injustice for our whole country, and today’s vote sends a strong message that the Congress of the United States will take action to uphold the Second Amendment of our Constitution. And it is especially fitting that on Constitution Day, Congress has taken a step to defend the Constitution and the rights guaranteed by that great document 221 years ago.

“At the same time, it is a shame it literally takes an act of Congress to get the Washington, D.C. City Council to do the right thing and follow the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the clear meaning of the U.S. Constitution. The District of Columbia’s continued ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment and disregards the court’s ruling,” said Sali.

The House passed a rewritten version of H.R. 6842, the National Capital Security and Safety Act. The text of that bill was replaced with the text of H.R. 6691, the Second Amendment Enforcement Act, a bill Sali cosponsored.

Provisions in H.R. 6691 include:
Repeal D.C. ban on semiautomatic pistols
Restore right of self-defense at home by repealing the draconian trigger lock requirements
Reform registration requirements
Allow D.C. residents to purchase handguns

“After 30 years, it’s time for Washington, D.C. residents to have the same rights that Idahoans enjoy – the ability to protect their families, homes and property, as well to participate in hunting and other recreational shooting activities,” Sali concluded.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Second Amendment, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Guest Post: Boise City Attorneys Target Another Victim

September 16th, 2008 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

Count Dave Ferdinand as another victim of the grinding maw of the Boise City Attorney’s office. Ferdinand happens, perhaps not coincidentally, to be a conservative Republican as well as a Canyon County commissioner.

With at least 31 full-time attorneys and a $490 million budget, the city has the resources to create considerable mischief and pervert justice in the process.

Ferdinand was prosecuted by the city for having a hand-gun in his carry-on luggage. His first trial, recently concluded, ended in a hung jury. The jury was hung by a lone hero juror – Kisha Majors – who, after listening to testimony, was convinced that charges should never have been brought in the first place.

Ferdinand had placed the gun, which he carried for self-protection, in an inside pocket of his luggage for a trip to McCall the previous week, placing it in a rarely-used pocket to prevent his grandchildren from inadvertently finding it. He simply forgot it was there.

But the legal bureaucrats in Boise’s city hall trudge on, and will spend who knows how many more thousands of taxpayer dollars to prosecute Ferdinand again. The new trial has been scheduled for Dec. 12.

Ferdinand has already been forced to spend north of $10,000 to defend himself against a bogus misdemeanor charge. His only other option was to plead guilty to something he did not do – “knowingly” trying to sneak a gun onto a plane -, accept one year of probation and forfeit his Second Amendment rights in the meantime.

The law under which Ferdinand was prosecuted explicitly requires that the defendant “knowingly” try to bring a hand-gun into a secure area of the airport. But according to Ms. Majors, in actuality not one of the six jurors believed that Ferdinand intended to sneak a gun on the plane; all of them believed it was a simple oversight on his part and that he had not done it on purpose.

They were talked into a “guilty” vote by the city prosecutor who somehow convinced them he was guilty just because he owned the gun and that his intent was irrelevant. The prosecutor even tried to keep the judge from giving the jury any instructions regarding the issue of intent.

Ms. Majors agrees with Boise police, and with Ferdinand himself, that he was “neglectful,” but correctly said “that’s not what we were there to decide. There wasn’t any evidence that he knew.”

Since the law requires intent for there to be a violation, Ferdinand plainly was not guilty of violating this law.

Even the Boise police report called it “an honest mistake” and let Ferdinand board the plane after taking possession of his gun.

Unfortunately for Mr. Ferdinand, justice does not seem to be high on the list of priorities for the attorneys who work for the city of Boise.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Politics in General, Second Amendment | 1 Comment »

Press Release: Gun Owners of America Applauds Rep. Sali’s Effort Against Gun Ban

July 24th, 2008 by Halli

From Gun Owners of America

(Springfield, VA) – Gun Owners of America applauds Rep. Bill Sali (R-ID) for his efforts to protect Second Amendment rights on National Park Service land.

Rep. Sali offered and amendment during a hearing of the National Resources Committee on H.R. 5853, a bill to expand the boundary of the Minute Man National Historical Park in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to include Barrett’s Farm.

Minutemen stashed arms and ammunition at Colonel James Barrett’s farm and turned back, and then used them to turn back Redcoat troops in the first victory for America in the Revolutionary War. It turns out our own National Park Service is also against firearms at the site.
Carrying firearms on land controlled by the NPS is currently prohibited, even if the state in which the land is located allows firearms. The Interior Department recently proposed new rules to partially reverse the gun ban, but they have not yet taken effect. If and when they do go into effect, most gun owners would still not be allowed to possess firearms on these lands because, among other problems with the rule, open carry would remain prohibited.

Rep. Sali’s amendment simply would require that state and local law govern firearms possession on the new land to be controlled by the NPS.

“The Founding Fathers fought and died for the freedoms we still enjoy today,” said Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America. “One of the foremost of those freedoms was the rights to keep and bear arms. It is sadly ironic that the NPS would disarm citizens at a site where firearms played such an important role in our nation’s history. We applaud Congressman Sali’s effort to defend the Second Amendment against the anti-self defense regulations of the National Park Service,” Pratt said.

Rep. Sali offered similar amendments today on three additional NPS bills, dealing with: the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River; the National Trails System Act; and the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. The Sali amendments did not prevail in Committee. Rep. Sali has not ruled out bringing these amendments up again if there is an opportunity when the bill reaches the House floor.

Larry Pratt is the Executive Director for Gun Owners of America, a national gun lobby with over 300,000 members.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Constitutional Issues, Second Amendment | No Comments »

Press Release: Congressman Sali Helps Halt Anti-Gun, Anti-Private Property Outrage in BATF

May 16th, 2008 by Halli

From the Office of Rep. Bill Sali

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A federal agency has halted a controversial program giving agents engraved Leatherman tool kits reminding them to focus on the seizure of private property, after Congressman Bill Sali, (R-Idaho), raised objections.
Sali said he will pursue legislation to prevent the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from restarting the marketing program.

The ATF had ordered Leatherman tool kits, engraved with the words “Always Think Forfeiture.” Sali learned of the issue after a constituent brought the purchase to his attention. ATF said the tools were to be used as part of its Asset Forfeiture Program, which provides training to federal, state and local law enforcement. But Sali said the “Always Think Forfeiture” motto engraved on agent tools sent the wrong message to law-abiding citizens.

“Americans have a right to keep and bear arms. We have a right to private property. But ATF, through its engraved motto, sends a message that these rights are secondary to the government’s apparent goal to ‘always’ seek forfeit of private property. Of course, we all want our law enforcement agencies to pursue and prosecute criminals fully. But I have a problem with a federal agency sending a message, even an unintended one, that law abiding citizens will apparently ‘always’ be treated the same as criminals.” said Sali.

In an email to Sali’s office, the ATF said after hearing the Congressman’s objections, the agency had “halted the distribution” of “Always Think Forfeiture” engraved items.

The ATF email said, “As part of training for ATF special agents and state and local task force officers, ATF purchased a number of Leatherman tool kits engraved with the words ‘ATF – Asset Forfeiture’ and ‘Always Think Forfeiture’ for distribution to the participants. These training aids were designed to increase awareness of the asset forfeiture concept so that persons who do not regularly employ the strategy as part of a criminal investigation might be reminded to consider it. We regret that ATF’s training initiative created a misperception. However, be assured that ATF’s Asset Forfeiture Program complies with Federal law and Department of Justice guidelines. As a result of the concerns brought to ATF’s attention by your constituents, we have halted the distribution of the training aids at issue.”

Because ATF said the program complies with U.S. Department of Justice standards and federal law, Sali said he’s drafting legislation that would prevent ATF from launching similar marketing program.

Related post links here.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Constitutional Issues, Property Rights, Second Amendment | No Comments »

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