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Gun Violence & Politics: Domestic Carnage in Federal Way
11/19/14 @ 10:41:16 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 1510 words   English (US)

The City of Federal Way recently experienced a shooting in which a young man used a shotgun to kill his live-in girlfriend and then also gunned down three other people. The police believe that he killed the additional three people in order to prevent them from testifying against him. This terrible event made national news and has caused series of repercussions in the local community.

A perennial candidate who had already indicated he would not be running for mayor- announced that he will now run because public safety is suddenly a concern. This despite the fact that law enforcement officers arrived quickly and neutralized the shooter by shooting him dead. There is nothing to indicate that having any more officers would have resulted in a different outcome or that anything that the police could have done would have stopped the carnage.

One victim, a 62 year old man, ran into his nearby apartment unit and bolted the door to call 911. The killer blew the bolt off the apartment door and then blasted away at the victim who was frantically calling 911!

Rudi Alcott, the publisher of the Federal Way Mirror criticized Mayor Skip Priest, implying that he handled the aftermath of “the horrific events on April 21 irresponsibly” and that our city leaders were remiss in the way they handled an initial press conference:

“At this point, things started to break down. Where was Mayor Skip Priest during this initial press conference? Not only did he not speak, he wasn’t even present. While I will grant the fact that this was predominately a police-centered press conference, the mayor should have opened the meeting assuring the general public that all of us were safe, that this was an isolated event, and that there would be a follow-up meeting — and then turn it over to the police chief for the details.”

Alcott compared how our city’s leaders reacted to the violence in Federal Way to how the mayor of Boston responded to the Boston Marathon bombings. Apparently members of the press were invited to a public meeting at City Hall.

The fact that the media was not permitted to remain in the room throughout the entire meeting caused a certain amount of indignation on Mr. Alcott’s part:

“For the first time, I wondered whether the mayor’s office or the police department was running this city. Imagine the outrage in Boston had the city issued a statement that said “Only the people of the blocks that were cordoned off to capture the fugitives could attend the meeting. All the rest of you need to go away.”

The publisher was “appalled by this action” and personally apologized to all of the citizens of Federal Way for the city’s “ineptitude’ in the way the meetings were handled. Rudi, your apologies are appalling!

Alcott inveighed, “Accept the fact that you mishandled this and begin to move the city in a direction that will heal the community. Your entire community deserves this, in likely the greatest time of need that this community will ever face.”

Does the publisher of the Mirror really believe that Federal Way has faced the worst it will ever face?

I wrote a column in the Mirror that regularly warned about how the times are becoming more violent and that we are all at risk. The Firearms Lawyer column appeared in print for four years because it was controversial and controversy sells newspapers. Although newspaper publishers often print editorial material that does not express the views of the publisher, Mr. Alcott certainly must have recognized that the reason so many people were purchasing guns was not because things are expected to improve for the better.

In fact, the Mirror suddenly terminated the Firearms Lawyer column after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, because management at the paper had determined that there should be “no more articles calling for more guns.”

I have been accused by some of blaming victims of violence for not being armed. I must say, however, that the 62 year old man who tried to call 911 when a shooter began slaughtering apartment residents in Federal Way might still be alive if he had picked up a gun instead of a telephone after he bolted the door to his apartment. He was known as a guy that watched over the premises. He and two other men laid down their lives just by being present on that terrible day.

Bob Roegner also climbed on, stating, “All that changed with the Pinewood Village Apartment murders. Suddenly there were several issues to raise: domestic violence, gun availability, neighborhood safety, and police department staffing.” Roegner also offered up additional pratings about domestic violence and twaddled about the city’s failure to take away the perpetrator’s guns (the murderer had no legal prohibitions and the weapons were legally owned). Other less preeminent sources of political wisdom also pontificated that Federal Way is going down the tubes (a recurringly racist theme often appears that our city has become a ghetto).

Jon McIntosh, a local pastor, got it right:

“As a local church pastor and a police chaplain, I had the privilege of participating in this meeting. I could not be more proud of our leaders than I was that night. It is moments like these that demonstrate the levels of integrity and care that assure us of a strong future. If you are unhappy with how the meeting was conducted, you have that right. But please remember, that evening you weren’t the most important thing.”

The same edition of the Mirror contained a highly informative story about gangs in Federal Way and surrounding areas. What the story failed to emphasize is that many of the gangs are affiliated with the Mexican cartels and every major cartel conducts operations in the Seattle area, including South King County and Tacoma.

The fact that the cartels routinely kill law enforcement officers, journalists, prosecutors and judges in Mexico, makes it appear highly likely that carnage will spread North from the border. The cartels have only held back because they know their operations will suffer if the bloodshed occurring in Mexico is duplicated North of the border.

It is easy to criticize Mayor Priest. He might become peevish or just not give you an interview. And I have to agree with those like Jim Ferrell (who announced he will be running for mayor of Federal Way after all) when they complain that money spent on the anticipated Performing Arts Center should instead go for essential services like police salaries.

But, as far as I know, politicians in the United States don’t cut off people’s heads like the cartels and jihadists. Criticizing Skip Priest for how he conducts grieving in Federal Way is misplaced and a bit arrogant.

The big question is who are you going to trust when things get ugly? For example, someone in high places abandoned Ambassador Stevens and three U.S. security personnel in Benghazi. The hearings last week put the spot light on the ambassador’s desperate phone calls for help while Al-Qaeda targeted him to be tortured, sodomized with a bayonet and killed.

Everyone knew that September 11, 2012 was a day when the risk of terrorism was high and the warnings about Benghazi were clearly written for all to see. J. Christopher Stevens was one of their own but the ambitions of those in the political class dictated that his death and the lies that were told during the aftermath are not a real story in the eyes of many except to the extent that the controversy imperils the Obama administration.

Rather than publishing editorials advocating for gay marriage and carping about phony issues like the press not being able to do its thing and folks that need to grieve and heal, the Mirror publisher should have been asking how Federal Way residents can better prepare for possible horrifying events in the future. The worse things get, however, the more those in denial will hide the facts from their own eyes. When the press is in denial, we all get shielded from the facts!

Getting prepared was the dialogue we fostered in the community with the Firearms Lawyer column. The dialogue continues in these blog pages. The key is not more guns but good communication between leaders in government, law enforcement, churches and those that live and work in Federal Way.

Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to have firearms training and carry a gun along with you- just in case. The hand writing is on the wall and we are entering a new time in which the whole world is a danger zone. Yes, I am still encouraging our neighbors to get trained with firearms. We cannot say for sure what tomorrow holds.

There are definitely times when a gun is better than a telephone. The four dead residents of Federal Way might agree. Ambassador Stevens and his security team were outgunned. The U.S. amabassador could have gone down shooting instead of being taken alive. But there I go, blaming the victim again!

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Frank Hamer and His Guns; The Moment He Almost Kept LBJ From Stealing an Election
11/10/14 @ 02:58:45 am, Categories: Announcements [A], 3486 words   English (US)

Francis Augustus Hamer (March 17, 1884 – July 10, 1955) is best known for ambushing Bonnie and Clyde in 1934. His reputation as a Texas Ranger would have made him a legend even if he had not ambushed Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Louisiana. Frank Hamer was born in Fairview, Wilson County, Texas. 1894 the family moved to Oxford in Llano County and Frank worked in his dad’s blacksmith shop.

In 1905, he captured a horse thief while he was working on a ranch in West Texas. Hamer was a cowboy on the Carr Ranch, between Sheffield and Fort Stockton when he captured the horse thief. Sheriff D. S. Barker recommended Hamer for a position with the Texas Rangers.

On April 21, 1906, Hamer enlisted as a Texas Ranger. Working primarily along the South Texas border, Hamer became known as an expert shot. Four of his five brothers also became Texas Rangers.

Hamer’s first stint as a Texas Ranger was with Captain John H. Rogers’s Company C. In his first assignment he put a stop to murders and riots in the Rio Grande Valley that, notwithstanding the efforts of federal troops, had been raging unabated for many months. He resigned in 1908 to become the Marshall in Navasota, Texas, a violent boom town in which “shootouts on the main street were so frequent that in two years at least a hundred men died.”

At the age of 24 years old, Hamer established and maintained order in Navasota. The town had seen over one hundred men killed in shootouts but the town became tame while Hamer was the city marshal.

In 1911, Hamer started working as a special investigator in Houston. Hamer was also an officer for Harris County before joining the Rangers again in 1915 and was assigned to patrol the South Texas border around Brownsville. The Rangers were dealing with arms smuggling, bandits and bootleggers along the Mexican border. Hamer left the Rangers and then returned again in 1921, transferring to Austin where he served as Senior Ranger Captain. In the 1920s, Hamer brought law and order to oil towns such as Mexia and Borger.

Frank Hamer hated corruption of any kind- even when other police officers were involved! In 1928, The Texas Bankers’ Association gave rewards to officers that set up certain petty criminals to be killed so that corrupt police officers could collect the rewards and pay finder’s fees. The police and the Bankers’ Association’s refused to cooperate with Hamer’s investigation. Hamer took such murder and corruption personally and wrote a detailed exposé of the “the bankers’ murder machine” which he handed out in Austin.

Hamer also provided a restraining influence during a Depression era race riot. The 1930 Sherman riot made Texas notorious for its racial animosity. The lynching of a black prisoner in Sherman started when George Hughes, a farm hand, admitted to raping a white woman. Hughes trial was scheduled for trial within a week and a mob gathered outside the jail every night.

Captain Frank Hamer, two other rangers and a police sergeant escorted Hughes to trial where a crowd packed the entire area of the courthouse. The crowd threw stones at the courthouse, forced the doors to the courtroom corridor and rushed toward the courtroom. Hamer and the other peace officers used warning shots and tear gas to break the crowd up on more than one occasion while Hughes was locked in the district court vault for safety. A rumor had been circulated that the Rangers had orders from the Governor not to shoot.

Nevertheless, Hamer used buckshot on the crowd and wounded at least two as they charged up the stairs of the courthouse. When asked by one of the rioters whether he would surrender the prisoner, Hamer replied,”Any time you feel lucky come on, but when you start up the stairway once more, there is going to be many funerals in Sherman.” This quieted the crowd for twenty or thirty minutes according to Hamer’s official statement. Judge Carter stopped the trial and planned a change of venue.

That afternoon, the lynch mob threw gasoline into the courthouse; the rangers attempted to rescue the prisoner while the mob prevented firemen from putting out the fire and cut their hoses. Soon only the walls and the vault remained. The mob battled National Guardsmen who were sent into Sherman by Governor Moody and tried to break into the vault. The mob succeeded in breaking open the vault and dragging Hughes’ dead body behind a car, then hanging it from a tree where they set it on fire.

The mob, estimated at 5,000 people, then proceeded to burn black businesses. Governor Moody dispatched more National Guard units and martial law was in effect from May 10 until May 24. Two men were convicted and sentenced to two-year terms and more lynching and riots ensued in Texas and Oklahoma.

Hamer spent 27 years with the Rangers. He hated political corruption as much as he hated murder and the other lawless activities that characterized Texas in the early Twentieth Century. He and forty other Rangers resigned to avoid serving under “Ma” Ferguson. In her first term as governor of Texas, Gov. Ferguson had proven that she was corrupt. At the beginning of her second term, she fired all the Rangers that remained and appointed replacements for them. Hamer retained a Special Ranger commission after retirement and he put it to good use.

Clyde Barrow’s gang shot and wounded two prison guards - one fatally- during a prison breakout in 1934. Barrow, Parker and associate Jimmy Mullens engineered the Eastham prison farm escape and freed Raymond Hamilton, Henry Methvin, Hilton Bybee and Joe Palme. The stage was now set for Frank Hamer to accept a commission to hunt down the Barrow Gang as a special investigator for the prison system.

Hamer, by then an accomplished detective and gunfighter, studied the way in which Barrow made a wide circle along certain state borders. In those days officers from one state were legally prohibited from chasing suspects across the border of another state. Midwestern banks were easy picking for a gang that outgunned the cops with fully automatic 30.06 Browning Automatic Rifles and fast cars. The Barrow Gang robbed banks in Oklahoma, Texas and Iowa with Hamer in hot pursuit.

The gang murdered two Texas Highway Patrol officers at Grapevine, Texas. Five days later Barrow and Methvin killed Constable Cal Campbell and kidnapped Commerce, Oklahoma Chief of Police Percy Boyd. Clyde certainly did not intend to be taken alive.

In mid-March Henry Methvin’s family contacted law enforcement in Louisiana. Sheriff Henderson Jordan and his deputy, Prentiss Oakley, joined Hamer along with former Ranger Manny Gault. Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Alcorn and another Dallas County deputy, Ted Hinton, had previously been involved in an attempt to ambush Barrow and Parker, in November 1933. Hinton requested a BAR because he knew that the lawmen would be up against more than one BAR that Barrow had stolen from a National Guard armory and with which Barrow had already gunned down several peace officers.

According to Rick Cartledge in THE GUNS OF FRANK HAMER:

“Frank Hamer Jr., a distinguished lawman in his own right, gave a filmed interview in which he showed the nimble .35 that his father had bought especially to go after Bonnie and Clyde. As to the rifle’s ability to tear holes in a V8 Ford, Frank Hamer had an unimpeachable source - Clyde Barrow. Though Clyde and Bonnie escaped the Sowers ambush by Dallas County authorities in November of 1933, Clyde ditched his shot up car near the Ft. Worth Pike and commandeered a less damaged car to make good their flight to freedom. The abandoned V8 spoke volumes to the able lawmen of Dallas County and to the Rangers. Ted Hinton had hit the car 17 out of 30 shots with his Thompson submachine gun and hadn’t penetrated the car body. Veteran Deputy Bob Alcorn had chugged away with his hefty Browning Automatic Rifle and ripped some respectable holes all the way through the car. Hinton called his Congressman, got a BAR from the government and a back seat full of ammunition, and learned how to shoot the roaring automatic rifle.”

Lawmen and outlaws confronted one another at 9:15 a.m. on May 23, 1934. Hamer and his men engineered the moment of the ambush with help from informants. After 102 days of hunting Barrow, Frank Hamer and his posse were ready for Barrow’s gang when they stopped at the ambush spot on a road near Gibsland, Louisiana.

Deputy Oakley fired the opening burst from his Remington Model 8. A round in Barrow’s left temple laid him out dead. The posse may have fired as many as 150 rounds.

Hamer used a customized .35 Remington Model 8 semiautomatic rifle with a special-order 15-round magazine. The Model 8 was one of at least two Model 8’s used in the ambush. The rifle was modified to accept a “police only” 15-round magazine.

Cartledge provides some interesting comments that contradict the conventional belief that Hamer also toted a 1911 pistol in .45 ACP:

“Two months later, Frank Hamer opted for the Remington .35 as his hole puncher and he picked an interesting pistol to go with his quick-pointing rifle. To front for “Old Lucky", Capt. Hamer stuffed a blue steel Colt commercial automatic in his belt and it is this gun that is most interesting to this writer. I had long suspected that this Colt was not a .45 but one of the then new .38 Supers and I had three reasons for believing this. First, gangsters (Dillinger, Nelson, etc.) as well as lawmen had caught on to bullet proof vests and their resistance to .45 caliber penetration. Second, gangster use of the .38 Super to telling effect was known and thugs had even hammered the .38 Super into the extremely deadly machine pistol configuration. Two of these 22 round magazine equipped death machines were confiscated in a raid on John Dillinger’s apartment in St. Paul in April of 1933. These Supers belonged to Nelson and were assembled from kits made by the Monarch Gun Company of Hollywood, California by underworld gunsmith H. S. Lebman of Texas. Nelson killed Federal Agent Baum at Little Bohemia with a .38 Super machine pistol. The third reason springs from a fortunate experiment done by a friend of mine in 1939 on a dare. Joseph Pinkston in his excellent book, with Robert Cromie, “Dillinger, A Short and Violent Life” writes of the apprehension of Dillinger gang member Leslie Homer and of his advice given to Racine officers in November of 1933. Since Capt. Hamer was known to have followed the Dillinger case as a matter of professional curiosity, he may well have been familiar with Homer’s published remarks which were “If you want to give your coppers an even break with present-day gangsters, you want to equip them with the new Super .38 caliber. A gun of that type will shoot a hole right through any bulletproof vest ever made.”

The March, 1992 issue of Guns and Ammo’s “HANDGUNS FOR SPORT AND DEFENSE” magazine contains an interview with Frank Hamer Jr. who confirmed that his father’s Colt was a .38 Super.

At about 9:15 AM just after the thundering torrent of lead subsided, Frank Hamer, Sr. approached the 1934 Ford V8 with his 1911 style .38 Super drawn. He knew that if any members of the Barrow gang survived the fusillade, a .38 Super round would penetrate the vehicle’s heavy steel body and body armor, too, if necessary! Ted Hinton, in his book “Ambush“, declares that two of the Colt automatics at the ambush were .38 Supers.

There seems to be a consensus that Hamer carried a 1911 chambered in .38 Super when he ambushed Bonnie and Clyde:

For most of his career, Hamer carried an engraved .45 Colt M1873 SAA revolver with 4.75″ barrel (pp. HT110, OW86, W:D71) called “Old Lucky,” either in a holster on his right side, or, when he was no longer required to ride a horse, simply tucked into his waistband. When expecting a gunfight, he also took a .44 S&W Hand-Ejector revolver with 6.5″ barrel for backup. His favorite longarm was a .30-30 Winchester M1894 lever-action rifle.

However, for the hunt on Bonnie & Clyde, he replaced the S&W revolver with a .38 Colt Super Auto pistol (pp. HT108, W:D71) and the lever-action rifle with a .35 Remington Model 8 semiautomatic rifle (p. W:D72) with 20-round magazine extension (both weapons offering superior penetration against bullet-proof vests and the heavy Ford V8 sedans Clyde Barrow was partial to).

Hamer also owned many other guns. When the posse assembled in a hurry in a Louisiana hinterwald small town, three of the men could not bring their own long arms, and were outfitted from Hamer’s personal rolling arsenal – Gault got Hamer’s .25 Remington Model 8 semiautomatic rifle, Alcorn his .30-30 Winchester M1894 carbine, and Hinton his .30-06 Colt R80 Monitor machine rifle (a variant of the M1918 BAR which was the chosen armament of the outlaws).

See FRANK HAMER, TEXAS RANGER by Hans-Christian Vortisch.

After the Hollywood version of Bonnie and Clyde, Mrs. Frank Hamer and Frank Hamer, Jr., sued Warner Bros.-Seven Arts for the defamatory manner in which the movie depicted the famous lawman. In 1971, they received an out-of-court settlement.

In 1948, Hamer accompanied Gov. Coke Stevenson to the Texas State Bank in Alice, county seat of Jim Wells County in South Texas. Stevenson wanted to examine the tally sheets in the ballot box for Precinct 13; i.e.,fraudulent poll and tally lists for his opponent, then Congressman Lyndon Johnson.

Coke Robert Stevenson (March 20, 1888– June 28, 1975) was the only 20th century Texas politician to serve as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, as Lieutenant Governor and then as governor.

At about the age of sixteen Coke Stevenson began his career as the sole proprietor of a freight hauling business traveling back and forth across the rugged Hill Country of West Texas every week. The roads were poor and Stevens crossed several rivers with steep banks and few bridges. He slept under his horse drawn wagon in bad weather and studied accounting alone by the light of campfires often with snow and rain falling around him.

Over many lonely, weary years, he earned the absolute confidence of his neighbors hauling their goods to market. He eventually took a job in a bank and started the study of law the old fashioned way- reading law books in a nearby law office. His trial practice in Texas made him one of the greatest trial lawyers ever to try a case in a state known for famous trial lawyers.

His entrance into politics commenced when local leaders asked Hamer to catch a crew of rustlers that included the son of a prominent ranching family. After catching the rustlers, Hamer led a successful effort to organize his neighbors and several other counties around Kimble County to improve the roads so that merchants and farmers could get their products to and from places like San Antonio.

Stevenson succeeded W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel as governor in 1941 when O’Daniel resigned to take a seat in the U.S. Senate. Stevenson was elected to a full term in 1942, winning the Democratic primary with 69% and being unopposed in the general election. He was elected to a second term in 1944 and was the longest-serving governor in the history of Texas. He was a conservative Democrat who loved the Constitution and believed that the federal government needed to let states like Texas take control of their own destinies at a time when Truman and the national Democrats were desperately seeking a deal to force out state’s rights Democrats that were threatening to keep Texas out of Truman’s clutches.

The conservative ranchers and almost everyone else in Texas loved Coke Stevenson and what he stood for. Known as Mr. Texas, Stevenson represented a kind of independent thinking in politics that makes it now seem inevitable that he and his old hunting partner, Frank Hamer, would be destined to walk down the streets of Alice together under the hard stares of George Parr’s pistoleros most of whom were armed with rifles and shotguns.

In 1948, Stevenson led the Democratic primary with 39.7% to 33.7% against Lyndon B. Johnson. LBJ won the runoff by only 87 votes out of a total of 988,295. When Stevenson sent lawyers to Alice demanding to see the voting records (pursuant to Texas voting statutes) their lawful demands were refused. Stevenson and Hamer met the lawyers at the Alice Hotel and Hamer told them to take off their coats so that the well-armed gangs employed by the Duke of Duvall,George Parr, would know that they were unarmed.

Hamer also took off his own coat and displayed the weapon that he was still authorized to carry in retirement as a “Special Ranger” employed by the Texas Oil Company.

Hamer and Stevenson were both tall with big shoulders and carried themselves in a way that stated they meant business. The young lawyers following those two Texas legends saw groups of armed men standing all around the street. There were about five men directly in Hamer’s path wearing guns. A larger group stood in the doorway of the bank where Johnson’s cronies illegally kept the election records.

It was well known in Texas that Hamer had killed fifty-three men, been wounded seventeen times and left for dead more than once. A gunman had once jumped out to prevent him from testifying in a trial. Shot at point blank range, Hamer snatched the jammed gun out of the assassin’s hand when a second assailant started blazing away at Hamer. Hamer was still on his feet as one of the fleeing hit men turned to shoot. Hamer only had one good hand left but he dropped his opponent dead.

Such a reputation is in itself a most intimidating weapon and Hamer never slowed down as he approached Parr’s gunmen. “Git!”, he admonished and then, “Fall back!”. When he got to the next group, his fingers curled for the draw and poised just above the grip of his pistol. The gun men fell back but then they tried to follow Stevenson into the bank. Hamer stood in the doorway of the bank and a long confrontation ensued until finally Parr’s gunmen walked away.

The lawyers got to look at the records just long enough to make notes and it soon became apparent that Lyndon Johnson had engaged in a massive election fraud that was unprecedented even by the standards then prevalent in Texas where ranchers and political bosses were able to deliver blocs of voters to candidates willing to pay the highest price.

The Democratic State Central Committee proclaimed Johnson the winner of the primary by a 29-28 vote (then a deal was consummated in which state’s rights Democrats were run out of the convention) while Stevenson was granted an injunction by the federal district court. Thus, Johnson was off the ballot in the general election unless Johnson could do something quickly.

His lawyers argued about strategy for hours and Johnson finally turned to Abe Fortas who happened to be in nearby Dallas on business. Fortas advised them to make an argument to a Court of Appeals judge that they knew would quickly rule against Johnson- thereby avoiding the usual delays that occur when judges take cases under advisement- often for days and weeks- during which the deadline for getting on the ballot would be lost for LBJ. By doing so, Johnson’s legal team got the case in front of Associate Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black.

Black ruled that the federal district court lacked jurisdiction and that the question was for the Central Committee to decide. He ordered the lower court’s injunction stayed, and the ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court. In those days, Republicans had no possibility of winning a Senatorial race and the ruling ensured that Johnson was elected to the U.S. Senate from Texas.

Nevertheless, the brief opportunity to look at the election documents inside the bank was made possible by Hamer’s 200 yard walk down the center of Alice, Texas with his coat off. The testimony that the lawyer’s gathered- as a result of the names of voter’s that later testified they had never voted- and jotted down while in the bank- demonstrated, beyond any doubt, according to Robert Caro (the definitive Johnson biographer)- that Lyndon Johnson had personally conducted one of the most massive election frauds in U.S. electoral history.

Many of the accusations and dirty tricks that Johnson displayed have become standard protocol for modern day Democrats. Johnson went on to take the Senate seat that he stole from Stevenson and Stevenson retired to Junction, Texas.

Disenchanted with the Democratic Party, Coke Stevenson supported Republicans for the rest of his life, including John Tower for the Senate and Nixon and Goldwater for the presidency. Frank Hamer, on the other hand, retired in 1949 and lived in Austin until his death in 1955. He is buried in Austin. In his life he was wounded 17 times, left for dead four times and he killed between 53 and 70 people.

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I-594 and NFA Gun Trusts
11/06/14 @ 11:48:17 am, Categories: Announcements [B], 224 words   English (US)

It is too early to know whether a gun trust will provide any protection from charges of violating I-594. The initiative does not provide any exception for temporary sharing of firearms with trustees names in an NFA Gun Trust. The federal exception for temporary transfers of NFA restricted items to trustees has been promulgated administratively by the BATF and is not binding on Washington State.

In fact, there could be an issue as to whether even the temporary sharing of an NFA restricted item with another trustee named in your NFA gun trust violates I-594. I-594 defines a transfer as follows:

(

25) “Transfer” means the intended delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment including, but not limited to, gifts and loans.

The Initiative defines a person as follows:

(17) “Person” means any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, club, organization, society, joint stock company, or other legal entity.

Trusts are not listed as persons under the definition above but might qualify. If a trust is deemed to be a person and the trust owns the item, a transfer between co-trustees might be legal without a background check.

We are continuing to assess these and other issues regarding the new law. Please check this website and the NFA Gun Trust site.

See also Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC.

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11/02/14 @ 12:11:36 pm, Categories: Announcements [B], 415 words   English (US)

We will represent you in petitioning the court to restore your right to own firearms. At the present time, the federal government no longer considers a Washington State Fourth Degree Assault (DV) to be a prohibiting conviction. This a complete reversal because, up until a few months ago, the NICS would not recognize restoration of rights for non-felony domestic violence convictions entered in Washington State!

If you have a conviction in Washington, however, you still need to get your rights restored because you are prohibited from possessing firearms under state law. Nevertheless, this is very good news and applies even to people that have been previously denied for Assault 4 convictions in the past. The requirement is to have at least three years from the date the conviction was entered for domestic violence cases and five years for felony convictions.

There is a great deal of safety in relying on the advice of an experienced attorney. We can restore your rights in most cases provided that there is not Class A felony- such as kidnapping- and provided that the prior conviction was not for a sex offense. Your attorney needs to focus in the area of firearms rights in order to understand the complexities and conflicts between the various laws and jurisdictions.

Note well: When answering the questions for a NICS background check: Question 11i on Form 4473 should be answered with strict accuracy: answer “yes” if, and only if, you have a conviction for an offense that meets the federal Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence definition pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(9); i.e., “use or attempted use of physical force or threatened use of a deadly weapon“.

Thus, you should state no regarding convictions for domestic violence if you only have a Fourth Degree Assault conviction that was entered in Washington State. All of those offenses listed in 9.41.040(2)(a)(i) fall outside the federal definition of Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence.

Assault in the Fourth Degree, Coercion,
Stalking, Reckless Endangerment,
Criminal Trespass in the First Degree,
Violation of the provisions of a protection order or no-contact order restraining the person or excluding the person from a residence.

See RCW 9.41.040

On the other hand, when applying for a Washington State Concealed Pistol License the answer would be yes to the offenses listed above but not necessarily for every conviction identified as DV on your criminal history. Thus, you will need legal advice from an attorney with very technical expertise if you have a domestic violence conviction in Washington.

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I-594: Beware of Wolves in Billionaire's Clothing
10/15/14 @ 12:19:30 am, Categories: Announcements [B], 552 words   English (US)

Initiative 594 is a proposed measure that its proponents claim will prevent mentally ill and other prohibited persons from obtaining firearms.

The campaign is being financed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Nick Hanauer, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer along with other leftist Billionaires. The anti-gun Bloomberg’s “grassroots” organization Everytown For Gun Safety filings with the Public Disclosure Commission reveal a $50 million action fund to support I-594.

The initiative, sponsored by the Seattle-based Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, is thus being promoted by Bloomberg and other out-of-state interests that seek to destroy the freedom that has made Washington a state where there is less crime than other states.

Unfortunately, we also have people like Bill Gates living in Washington State that fail to respect the many gun owners participating in all kinds of shooting activities who do so very safely and in a law abiding manner.

Initiative 594 contains language that demonstrates an agenda less to do with universal background checks and more to do with creating difficulties for those of us that own and train others in the use of firearms.

The measure will criminalize, with few exceptions, all temporary transfers of firearms that do not involve purchases, such as for safekeeping, hunting, loan, recreational sharing, safety training, coaching, transport, etc.

The Federal Way based Armed Defense Training Association is a good example of how the law may impact local gun owners. Founded in 2010, the non-profit group provides opportunities for education, training and gun safety. Many of the public service presentations involve members teaching gun safety to new gun owners and those who may be thinking of becoming first time gun owners.

The fact that the association’s members volunteer to let folks handle unloaded firearms in very closely supervised settings, often in a church, library or similar setting, raises the issue of whether we could be prosecuted for a crime just by letting someone handle a firearm.

It sounds ridiculous but the I-594 definition of transfer includes temporary handling of firearms. The Armed Defense Training Association is not a political group but many of the members have become concerned about how the law will be applied to our training activities.

But it is not just armed citizens like us that are concerned. The Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs voted to oppose I-594 and support I-591. Initiative 591 is a proposal that prevents government gun confiscation without due process and requires that background checks in Washington comply with a uniform national standard.

If the Legislature were dealing with such issues, I-594 would never even be reported out of committee. Legislators know what happened in Colorado when lawmakers were recalled for infringing on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Voters should be clear and vote for I-591 to keep a clear national standard in place.

On the other hand, I-594 is deceptive and seems to be intentionally confusing. Bad legislation always has unintended consequences. The gun ban lobby wants Washington to believe that the NRA does not represent the large numbers of us that own firearms. The truth is that we should all be offended when Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others pour millions into the radically deceptive agenda of the gun banners, saying and doing anything to turn the rest of us into helpless sheep.

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Islamic State Forging Links With Mexican Cartels?
10/12/14 @ 10:46:51 pm, Categories: Announcements [B], 433 words   English (US)

About five years ago the new was that the cartels just across the border from El Paso, Texas had erupted in violence. According to the Wall Street Journal Ciudad Juárez was ground zero in Mexico’s war against drug cartels.

Now the news that is starting to leak out but still denied by the Obama Administration and ignored by the mainstream media is that Islamic terrorists are joining their operations with the cartels and may be targeting Fort Bliss. The reports of terrorists from the Middle East crossing the border from Mexico are not new. Nevertheless, the Islamic State’s control of huge quantities of money and vast amounts of oil rich real estate means that they have to invest their money somewhere.

Drugs, kidnapping, extortion and beheadings are the stock in trade for the cartels and ISIS. reaching out and touching U.S. personnel in the United States accomplishes several objectives shared by both the cartels and Islamic terrorists. Hitting U.S. interests sends a potent message to their enemies but it also sends a message to their friends. Thus, recruiting in which ISIS seems to be doing very well, will get even better. ISIS may even recruit cartel members (or form its own cartel) for financing operations near the Southern border) and joint operations bring new skills and increased firepower to both organizations.

Juárez’s approximately 165 deaths per 100,000 residents several years ago made it the murder capital of the world. That compared with 48 violent deaths per 100,000 residents of Baghdad.

The citizens in Michoacán province of Mexico are now in a more powerful position because they have armed vigilantes that have acquired full automatic weapons. Some of them lived in the United States and learned their skills in the street gangs of LA. But bearing arms makes citizens disciplined, vigilant and alert to danger whether it is from domestic political factions, criminal organizations or foreign terrorists. Every Mexican American should be in favor of making guns available to law abiding Mexican citizens.

Mexico’s government waged war with the drug cartels by militarily occupying many areas within Mexico. Mexico might have done more to fight drugs and violence in Ciudad Juárez than any other place in Mexico. The drug gangs have diversified and extortion has provided a new motivation to increase the body counts.

The extortion wave that is very familiar in Mexico is almost identical to the Islamic State’s operations in Syria and Iraq. Fasten your seat belts and discuss these developments with your neighbors. These things may not be as far from your town or city as you think!

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Islamic State Forging Links With Mexican Cartels?
10/11/14 @ 10:44:12 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 405 words   English (US)

Back in 2009, Mexico’s powerful drug cartels and affiliated gangs were battling for control of Juárez and President Felipe Calderón sent 7,000 soldiers and 2,000 federal police into the urban warfare. The residents of Mexican war zones like Juarez were helpless as murder rates soared in Mexico, a nation where citizens that are not members of the police and armed forces are prohibited from owning guns,

At that time, Juarez had more killings per capita than Baghdad- approximately 165 deaths per 100,000 residents made it the murder capital of the world. That compared with 48 violent deaths per 100,000 residents of Baghdad.

But now the Islamic State is reportedly linking its operations with the cartels. Despite Obama administration denials and a lack of news from the mainstream media, the opportunities to recruit, share skills and attack U.S. military and law enforcement interests are undeniable. In Michoacán, so-called vigilantes have stood up to the Narco Terrorists with full automatic weapons. An armed citizenry is always in a more powerful position to resist violence.

Keeping and bearing arms makes citizens disciplined, vigilant and alert to danger whether it is from domestic political factions, criminal organizations or foreign enemies.

Mexico’s government and the U.S. waged war with the drug cartels by militarily occupying many areas within Mexico. They trained and deployed the Mexican army to states where drug-related violence was on the rise, calling the cartels a threat to national security. Jorge Tello, Mexico’s National Security adviser, stated that Mexico had done more to fight drugs and violence in Ciudad Juárez than any other place in Mexico. Now there are reports that ISIS may be targeting U.S. military interests just across the border near El Paso.

Extortion, drug distribution and beheading are all commonalities shared by the cartels and ISIS! Trained and equipped by the U.S., the Zetas left the Mexican government’s forces to provide security for the cartels and then started their own cartel They decapitated rivals and law enforcement officers. The Zetas are an example showing how easily joint operations with the Islamic State can morph into a new Islamic cartel just South of the U.S. border.

Many of the worst human rights violators around the world sit on UN committees that condone violence, call for banning guns in every nation and support terrorism. The best antidote to the tyranny of crime-related violence or political gangsters is a disciplined, trained and well-armed citizenry.

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Action Shooting for New Shooters: Everett Outreach by Armed Defense Training Association
10/07/14 @ 02:20:37 pm, Categories: Announcements [B], 299 words   English (US)

The ADTA presented a New Shooters’ Clinic at a church in Everett. The Armed Defense Training Association’s board of directors has looked carefully at starting an ADTA chapter in Snohomish County and we even identified some interested individuals and organized an educational meeting. The interest is there but leaders still have not come forth. Everett, WA 98203.

Is there a need for an all volunteer chapter of the ADTA in Everett, Snohomish, Lynnwood, Northgate, Kirkland, Woodinville, and surrounding areas?

The New Shooters’ Clinic was held to prepare participants for a live-fire shoot at West Coast Armory. The Live-Fire events are an important part of what we do but our approach is to remind folks that the most important tool for staying safe is mental preparation. If you think this is something you would like to discuss and learn more about, contact the ADTA or Mark Knapp.

Topics discussed at new Shooter Clinics including hands-on segments:

… The Four Basic Rules of Gun Safety
… Semiautomatic Handguns
… Revolvers
… Shotguns
… Rifles

The West Coast Armory range in Factoria-Bellevue area was the venue for several live fire action drill events the ADTA presents on a regular basis. The group also regularly presents Live-Fire action drills at an indoor range in Federal Way.

We have discovered that many churches and church members are enthusiastic about what the ADTA has to offer. We presently hold our regular monthly membership meetings at a church in Federal Way. The meetings are open to the public and we present speakers that focus on practical aspects of self defense, not religious or political topics. Church members, including pastors, have gotten involved in our group. But we welcome people of every persuasion, ethnic and political background, provided that you do not advocate unlawful violence.

Inquiries can be directed to membership@armeddefense.org.

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10/06/14 @ 04:24:46 pm, Categories: Announcements [B], 1274 words   English (US)

NFA Firearms are guns and other items regulated by the National Firearms Act (the “NFA”). Many people mistakenly refer to them as “Class 3” firearms or weapons.

In Washington, suppressors (or silencers) are now legal to own and shoot. The NFA still regulates these items and individuals, business entities, and trusts are permitted to purchase suppressors and some other items by obtaining permission from the ATF. Transferring or making these items requires completion of a Form1 or Form 4 along with payment of $200 for a tax stamp.

While a traditional trust can be used to purchase NFA firearms, there are many problems with using a traditional trust and therefore only an NFA Gun Trust should be used.

WHAT IS AN NFA GUN TRUST?

We help individuals and their families educate and protect themselves from unintentional violations of the NFA. The process of creating an NFA Gun Trust involves talking with the Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC and The Apple Law Firm PLLC to determine what and how the client’s family makeup will influence the structure of the trust.

We will also assist you to limit future legislative and transfer tax risks associated with NFA firearms ownership. Once the NFA Gun Trust is designed an attorney who is licensed in the proper state reviews the trust and forwards the trust to the client. The client reviews the instructions and FAQs and has a phone consultation to discuss any questions or comments on federal and state laws.

If necessary, modifications are made, then all grantors and trustees sign the trust. Once the trust is properly executed, NFA items can be purchased. The entire process takes less than a week and often only 1 – 2 days.

WHY AN NFA GUN TRUST?

The ATF requires that all individuals obtain approval from their Chief Law Enforcement Officer (the “CLEO”) as part of the application process to obtain a Title II firearm from another individual or Class 3 dealer. Many CLEOs around the country are refusing to sign or even acknowledge the ATF Forms.

No CLEO Signature Required

There is no legal remedy in most states to force the review of these forms. In Washington a NFA Gun Trusts do not require the CLEO’s signature to obtain approval on a Form 4.
No Fingerprints or Photographs are Required
When using an NFA Gun Trust to acquire Title ii firearms, no fingerprints or photographs are required. This is a cost savings and can also significantly decrease the time required to take possession of the items. Often fingerprints have to be retaken because they are not acceptable for the FBi’s criminal database.

Privacy

Individuals who submit their ATF forms to their CLEO are often concerned about who will have knowledge of their firearms. They also express concerns that they will come under additional scrutiny because the police will have knowledge that they are in possession of these more restricted firearms. In most states when using an NFA Gun Trust, neither the CLEO nor the police are given notice that you will be in possession of or own the NFA firearms.

Incapacity

If you become incapacitated, your family or friends are often the ones to help you. in doing so, they may come in contact with the restricted items and put themselves at risk of violating the NFA without knowledge. An NFA Gun Trust helps protect these individuals from violating the NFA by providing them clear instructions on what they are and are not permitted to do. Many normal trusts actually instruct people to break the law.

When you die your individually owned firearms will be part of your “probate estate.” With an NFA Gun Trust, your firearms are not subject to probate or made part of a public record. Your beneficiaries will be protected because they will receive guidance on how and under what circumstances the items can be legally transferred. if you have children, a NFA Gun Trust has specific provisions to protect them and make sure they do not receive the firearms if they live in a location where it is illegal to possess NFA firearms, and most importantly an NFA Gun Trust can help ensure that your children are mature and responsible enough that you would want them to have the firearms.

Call the Firearms Lawyer or (904) 685-1200.
See www.GunTrustLawyer.com

Co-owners and Authorized Users

When an individual purchases Title ii firearms, he or she is the only one permitted to use or have access to them. Many people incorrectly believe that it is permissible to let others use their NFA firearms when in their presence. However, the NFA would consider this a transfer and be a violation of the law. When your spouse or someone else knows the combination to your firearms safe, you may be violating the law through constructive possession.

Improper possession through constructive possession is a form of an unapproved transfer and a violation of the NFA. If you use an NFA Gun Trust to purchase Title ii firearms, you can designate additional owners and authorized users. if you want to add or change users or owners a NFA Trust can be adapted to reflect your current desires. The risk of constructive possession can be dealt with by adding that person to the NFA Gun Trust so that they can be in legal possession of the Firearms. This can help protect you and your family from the penalties of violating the NFA.

Reducing Risk of Legal Changes

Many groups are attempting to limit the ability to transfer firearms to family members or friends. With an NFA Gun Trust an adult child, family member, or friend can be made a co-owner of the trust. While the ownership of the NFA Gun Trust can be changed, the NFA Gun Trust is still the registered owner of the firearms and no transfer has taken place under the NFA. Penalties for violating the National Firearms Act can be severe.

Each violation of the National Firearms Act subjects the owner to forfeiture of all weapons, 10 years in prison, and fines of up to $250,000. Thus, our NFA Trust provides guidance to family members that rely on the trust after you are gone.

Benefits of a NFA Gun Trust Over a Corporation or LLC

Corporations and LLCs have annual fees associated with them. Business entities are not private and much information about the individuals associated with them is contained in public records. Corporations and LLCs have annual state fees and other costs associated with the maintenance of the entity.

To make a change to an NFA Gun Trust, one simply amends the trust to change who can use, purchase, or possess the firearms without risk of criminal liability for violating the NFA.

The Copyrighted NFA Gun Trust

Our NFA Gun Trust is protected by US Copyright Laws and designed from the ground up to protect the firearms and those who are using or may be in possession of them from the penalties proscribed by state laws and the NFA. The NFA Gun Trust has been rewritten with these principals in mind. This trust instructs the grantors, trustees, successor trustees, and beneficiaries on their rights, duties, and qualifications and guides them through the proper way to purchase, use, and transfer the items under state and federal regulations.

Each NFA Gun Trust comes with a comprehensive instructional memorandum that covers how to purchase, transfer, use, share, transport, store the firearms as well as how to use the trust based on questions and feedback from thousands of clients.

How to Begin the Process of Creating Your NFA Gun Trust

The first step in creating your NFA Gun Trust is to call Mark Knapp at (253) 202-2081.

www.FIREARMSLAWYER.NET

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10/05/14 @ 04:21:34 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 636 words   English (US)

The FBI-NICS no longer issues denials for most non-felony convictions for domestic violence entered in Washington State. This is based on the 2013 case of Descamps v U.S. Up until recently, anyone that had been convicted of a Fourth Degree Assault determined to be domestic violence in Washington State was in a tough position because the NICS did not recognize a Restoration of Rights for Washington state non-felony domestic violence convictions. State and federal laws on the subject of domestic violence and gun rights are very technical and you should schedule a legal consultation in order to look carefully at any convictions that you think resulted from allegations of domestic violence.

Many Washington State citizens with misdemeanor DV convictions who had their right to possess firearms restored were seeing their rights denied by federal authorities. The intent of Congress has along been that a state court order restoring firearm rights should remove federal prohibitions on posssessing firearms.

“A person shall not be considered to have been convicted of such an offense for purposes of this chapter if the conviction has been expunged or set aside, or is an offense for which the person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored (if the law of the applicable jurisdiction provides for the loss of civil rights under such an offense) unless the pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.”

The FBI-NICS was taking the position that a Washington State court order restoring firearm rights to misdemeanants does not remove firearm prohibitions under federal law because the conviction does not result in the loss of civil rights.

Note that vacating a Washington conviction does not completely expunge or set-aside the conviction as required by federal law. Thus, restoring gun rights in Washington requires a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Restoration of Firearms Rights; merely vacating the conviction or expungement does not meet the requirements of Washington law nor will vacating a conviction satisfy federal criteria for restoration of the right to possess firearms.

If you have been convicted for felonies and Washington state restores your right to possess a weapon then the NICS will recognize Washington’s restoration of your gun rights and you will also be eligible for a Washington Concealed Pistol License. The federal government has now determined that conviction for a Fourth Degree Assault (DV) does not prohibit possession of firearms because the statute for that offense is too vague.

Nevertheless, there is still a need to obtain a restoration of firearms rights in order to satisfy state law requirements and federal interpretations of Washington State law related to firearms rights seem to change unexpectedly.

Note well: When answering the questions for a NICS background check: Question 11i on Form 4473 should be answered with strict accuracy: answer “yes” if, and only if, you have a conviction for an offense that meets the federal Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence definition pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(9).

Thus, you should state no regarding convictions for domestic violence if you only have a Fourth Degree Assault conviction that was entered in Washington State. All of those offenses listed in 9.41.040(2)(a)(i) fall outside the federal definition of Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence.

Assault in the Fourth Degree, Coercion,
Stalking, Reckless Endangerment,
Criminal Trespass in the First Degree,
Violation of the provisions of a protection order or no-contact order restraining the person or excluding the person from a residence.

See RCW 9.41.040

On the other hand, when applying for a Washington State Concealed Pistol License the answer would be yes to the offenses listed above but not necessarily for every conviction identified as DV on your criminal history. Thus, you will need legal advice from an attorney with very technical expertise if you have a domestic violence conviction in Washington.

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