The Economist's Cookbook

Recipes For A More Free Society

  • "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design."

    - F.A. Hayek

You're Probably a Federal Criminal

There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws. – Ayn Rand

Yes I know this article is old and it comes from the ever even handed Faux News site. But still the anecdotes in this article are ... frightening.

This is what economists talk about when they say regulation is a bad thing because of the unintended consequences such legislation may cause. The idea that bureaucrats and their department enforcers get to look over everyone's shoulder at anything a normal peaceful person is doing. And while many federal agencies are responsible for stupid prosecution of poorly written and poorly enforced laws, I can think of two primary offenders: The ATF and the EPA.

The ATF recently seized a series of airsoft guns with an ATF agent claiming they could readily be converted into usable machine guns. REALLY?!

On the EPA side of things there are so many laws governing what you can and cannot do with your own land because of all the regulations that surround land use, endangered species, water control, etc.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Is this freedom?
More laws, less justice. – Marcus Tullius Ciceroca (42 BC)

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4 Response for the "You're Probably a Federal Criminal..."

  1. Anonymous says:

    What if you have a semi-automatic MG-34 that could be reasonably easily converted to NFA status by a gunsmith and you are one or have one in your employ, or an AR or two, or an AUG, or a M-14 or a Thompson or three or a or a? Anything semi-auto can become a full-auto even if it isn't a good idea. Just ask David Olofson. You don't even have to have it happen on purpose. You can even be a legal NFA owner of record. Also has happened in court.

    That's why if you get an 07, you are best served in requesting SOT status as well. In case something misfires the worst they most probably can do and have fly in courts is nail you hard for a past-due excise tax and improper transfer. Might bankrupt you but you'll have a lesser chance of going to prison.

    Saying, in an anonymous sense, as I sometimes have to deal with morons for a living that probably will read this and figure out who it is anyway. Ask Len Savage about his firearm upper that is currently being prosecuted by the Feds as being an illegal machine gun when it's just an upper like a lot of other uppers sold for that particular model firearm to shoot variant calibers. With enough odd mechanical mods at the Firearms Tech Branch, every single firearm pipe or potential piping apparatus that doesn't explode when a cartridge is discharged in it, or even a black powder charge, is a potential machine gun to somebody who modified it enough.

    Might be cautious if you are in the oil well, water well, gas well, or plumbing industry with the way things go these days in courts. Hell: Your convenience store might be an arsenal of potential mortar parts to IRA types or Zetas or Right Wing or Left Wing or Islamic Extremists! I've noticed a lot of immigrants buy service and convenience stores and motels. Hotbeds of plumbing. They all need background checks, aye?

  2. The_Chef says:

    I'm aware of Savage's run in with the ATF as well as the Olofson case.

    Those are part of the reason that I am so adamantly against the ATF.

  3. As soon as any federal regulation is posted in the Federal Register every American citizen is presumed to know of its existence and understand the laws and penalties related to that regulation.

    The fact that most Americans have no idea of the existence of the Federal Register, that it is published daily and requires constant vigilance to keep up with all the complicated regulations that go into effect on an almost daily basis, will not help them.

    Government lawyers and judges, on the other hand, refuse to acknowledge that a layman can read and understand any law and that every law needs to be interpreted in favor of government by someone with a law degree.

    What's wrong with this picture?

    [W-III]

  4. The_Chef says:

    @WW
    Why nothing at all is wrong with the system. It is functioning exactly as it is intended.