#138: The BATF

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

The following taken from The Course: The Journal of the Second American Revolution. I encourage you to read it. If you need a copy or need to know where you can get it, mail me.


Heavy-handed raids and abuses against law-abiding citizens, harassment of gun dealers, and the illegal computerization of out-of-business FFL dealer records are hallmarks of this rogue federal agency.

Ask Harry and Theresa Lumplugh. This past Summer, 15 to 20 armed men burst into their rural Pennsylvania home. The family cooperates — opening safes, handing over papers — but cooperation doesn’t ease the intruders’ wrath. One holds a submachine gun in their faces. Another utters a racial slur. One empties vial after vial of cancer medicine and crushes it on the bathroom floor. Another stomps a pet cat to death.

Who are these intruders?

Ask 21-year old Monique Montgomery. Four masked men break into her bedroom at four in the morning. The glaring lights and the timing of the hit are meant to maximize Monique’s disorientation as she wakes from a deep sleep. And wake she does, pulling a gun for self-defense, but the intruders already have their guns drawn and let her have it — four shots, four direct hits.

Who are these intruders?

Ask Louie Katona II of Ohio — successful businessman, civic leader, part-time cop, family man, model American. One intruder pushes wife Kimberly against a wall. Kimberly begins bleeding and later miscarries.

Who are these armed terrorists?

Not a gang of neighborhood toughs. They’re agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the incidents described above are not exceptions, but recent examples of the brute force of unchecked, renegade federal power. Who are the victims? People who’ve broken no law, in homes where nothing illegal is found.

The terror often comes at the hands of BATF agents clad in ninja blacks, but the terror doesn’t stop there. Even the desk jockeys in the licensing part of the agency get in their licks.

Bend to BATF’s politics — or get broken.

BATF visits Randy Engelken, a gun-store owner in Seneca, Kansas, and photocopies any transaction record involving the purchase of military-style semi-automatic firearms. Why just those firearms? The agent comments on Randy’s political activism — namely his vocal opposition to U.S. Rep. Jim Slattery (defeated last fall). In a style that would make the KGB proud, the BATF agent tells Randy: “If you don’t lay off Congressman Slattery, you wont have a firearms license.”

Surrender your license — or surrender your reputation.

BATF is committed to driving down the number of Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders to drive down lawful gun ownership. And they’ll do it any way they can. A typical case: BATF raises the zoning issue by contacting a Pennsylvania township directly, informing officials that a resident with an FFL is conducting retail sales in the township. BATF also speaks directly with a supplier to the dealer, suggesting that the dealer was lying about being a federal agent. The agent also goes to the dealer’s supervisor, demeaning his reputation. In fact, no crime was committed by the dealer — who was and remains a special agent with the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) — a law enforcement professional with 25 years experience.

They ban whatever they can — whenever they can.

Ignore the fine print in the ’94 Clinton Gun Ban that some firearms are “protected,” because BATF ignores it. Forget the fact that the 1860 Henry lever-action was listed as protected, because, for months, BATF banned it’s importation — considering the cowboy rifle an “assault weapon.”

And now they’ve got your name — and your number!

On February 15, 1995, at a hearing of the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government, officials of the Treasury Department and BATF admitted that all the records of firearms transactions between U.S. citizens and out-of-business dealers are being entered into a centralized registration system under the control of BATF. Throughout history, registration has always been a precursor to harassment, a stepping stone to gun confiscation. Recognizing this, the U.S. Congress has spoken clearly and distinctly over the last three decades: no money, no people and no administrative expenses can ever be used to register firearms, firearms owners or firearm transactions. Period.

But BATF is not listening. They’re copying, collating and computerizing (see Knox’s Notebook, P14) — while their agents in the field are harassing, intimidating and hurting honest citizens.

It must stop — and it can! Call your U.S. representative and U.S. senators at (202)224-3121, and do it now. Tell them it’s time to either abolish this rogue agency — or take immediate steps to (1) regain control, (2) expose and prosecute government agents and officials guilty of civil rights abuses and (3) institute strict policies and oversight to insure that the Bill of Rights is honored, not condemned.

Time For Congress to Rein in BATF
American Rifleman
April 1995
Reprinted without permission (But I don’t think they will mind)


Just after dawn on September 5, 1991 some sixty agents from the DEA, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), and National Guard, complete with painted faces and camouflage and accompanied by another twenty or more National Guard troops with a light armored vehicle, raided the homes of Sina Brush and two of her neighbors near Montainair, New Mexico. Brush and her daughter were still asleep. Hearing noises outside, Ms. Brush got up and was only halfway across the room, when the door was kicked in by the agents. Clad only in their underwear, Ms. Brush and her daughter were handcuffed and forced to kneel in the middle of the room while the agents searched the house. No drugs were found. Just as in the Carlson case, the police had obtained a warrant using information furnished by an unreliable informant and had entered Brush’s home without knocking first.


This most notorious case has stunned the sensibilities of millions of Americans. According to The Wall Street Journal, “…the BATF showed up at the Davidian compound with two cattle trucks full of agents in battle gear and a plan for ‘dynamic entry’.” The siege that followed the initial assault included terrifying, psychological warfare tactics and ended when a second attack, utilizing tanks and gas, led to conflagration. “Weird cultists” (your words)? Some of the adults, but certainly not the children.

For two years now, thousands of calls and letters of outrage have been received by government, the media and yes, the NRA. The cries of “thugs”, “Nazi” and “storm trooper” came first, not from the NRA, but from the minds and mouths of Americans describing what they had seen on television.


This debacle at Ruby Ridge continues to fan a seething backlash in the country. A fourteen year old boy was shot in the back and killed. A mother was shot by a sniper in the head and killed while holding a baby. A jury found BATF guilty of entrapment and the defendant was acquitted. How does it all add up to justifiable behavior by, once again, black shrouded forces with armored personnel carriers, helicopters and snipers all arrayed against a family in a cabin? Hundreds of good people have told me that scene reminds them of what this country once fought against and should never stand for.


Janice Hart pulled up to her house from grocery shopping with her daughters to find her house being ransacked by ATF agents who had kicked in the door. Agents searched her home, throwing dishes, pulling clothing from hangers and emptying drawers on the floor (she photographed the damage). Some eight ATF agents interrogated her in the basement for an hour before reading her rights. She asked to call an attorney and the agents refused. When they finally asked her if she was Janice Marie Harrell, she told them no, that she was Janice Hart. ATF agents mocked her, accused her of selling firearms and cocaine, then arrested her. The Portland Police, who she commended for their professional demeanor, took her downtown for booking and, within thirty seconds of fingerprinting her, realized ATF
had the wrong person.


Louis Katona is a police officer in Bucyrus, Ohio. When shouting and cursing BATF agents rushed into his home to seize his firearms collection, they grabbed his pregnant wife, Kim, and shoved her into a wall. Within days, she suffered a miscarriage. A federal judge threw the government’s case out of court and ordered BATF to immediately return Mr. Katona’s guns or face jail themselves. The Katonas are presently pressing civil charges against BATF.

The above incidents are true. For more information, read The Course.


All of the following stories and much more can be found in the July, 1993, issue of The Freeman.

1) In 1990 in California, dozens of legitimate agricultural supply houses and mail order businesses were seized because the DEA claimed they might have unwittingly sold supplies to marijuana growers. Both the DEA and California courts considered the merchants’ lack of control over how their grow lights and fertilizer might be used to be irrelevant.

2) In December, 1988, Detroit police raided a grocery store to make a drug arrest, but failed to find any drugs. After police dogs reacted to three $1 bills in the cash register, the police seized the entire contents of the cash register and a store safe totaling $4,384. No charge was ever made.

3) In 1989, police stopped 49 year-old Ethel Hylton at the Houston airport and told her she was under arrest because a drug dog had scratched at her luggage. Agents searched her bags and strip-searched her, but they found no drugs. They did find $39,110 in cash that she had received from an insurance settlement and from her life savings. Ethyl Hilton completely documented where she got the money and was never charged with a crime. The police kept her money anyway. As far as I know, she still hasn’t gotten it back.

4) Willie Jones owned a small landscaping business in Nashville. When he paid cash for an airline ticket, the ticket agent acted strangely. Ten minutes later, drug agents stopped and searched him. They found $9,600 in cash, which he was planning to use to buy plants for his business. He explained that he paid in cash because that was the way the growers wanted it. That didn’t stop the agents from taking his money. Willie Jones was never charged with any crime.

5) Dr. Jonathan Wright operated the Takoma Medical Clinic in Kent, Washington. On May 6, 1992, two dozen armed FDA agents broke down the door and held the 15-person staff, mostly women, at gunpoint for 14 hours while they ransacked the clinic. The FDA seized Dr. Wright’s books, laboratory equipment, supplies, patient records, reference books, and computers. The raid was part of the FDA’s crackdown on nutritional therapists. No one was charged with a crime.

6) In 1992, heavily armed men burst into a house in Oakdale, CA, and pinned 64-year-old retired ranch foreman William Hauselmann to the floor, bruising his back and cutting his face. They also held his 61-year-old wife at gunpoint on the bathroom floor while they ransacked the house. They were acting on a tip that they admitted “proved to be 180 degrees wrong.”

7) On August 25, 1992, the US Customs Service and DEA raided the house of Donald Carlson. Without announcing who they were, they began battering down the door. Carlson awoke and thought he was being robbed, so he armed himself. The agents smashed down the door and lobbed a concussion grenade. There was an exchange of fire, Carson was hit 3 times, and he spent six weeks hooked to a ventilator in intensive care. The agents found no drugs. They had been acting on a tip from an informant known only as “Ron” who had been kicked out of an anti-drug program because his reports lacked truthfulness.

8) On October 2, 1992, a drug task force composed of LA police, sheriff’s deputies, DEA, National Park personnel, and National Guard troops burst into the home of Donald Scott and shot him dead. The agents said they were looking for marijuana, but found none. The following March 30, the Ventura County District Attorney released a report disclosing that the real reason for the raid was because the government wanted Scott’s 200-acre ranch as part of its expansion plans for the Santa Monica National Recreation Area. Scott had refused to sell, so they made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. The ranch was seized under federal forfeiture laws.


Its time for change in this country. For those that believe the government controls the agencies under it, think again. Rogue agencies do exist. MIBs (Men in Black) do exist. No one truly holds their leash.

special thanks to: Will Spencer aka Voyager

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