January 22, 2010
|The APD News press release. Click the image to see the PDF file.|
An APD News press release dated January 19, 2010, offers an official explanation of the actions taken by the Austin Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to ensure the shut down of Texas Gun Shows in central Texas. The press releases reveals that in addition to the ATF, Federal Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement (ICE) agents were involved in the conspiracy to deny Texans access to firearms at legal gun shows.
“Austin Police Department Firearm Review Unit detectives assisted in the Austin portion of the operation. They observed and participated in multiple arrests of prohibited persons (primarily convicted felons and illegal immigrants) that obtained firearms illegally at a local gun show. Federal convictions were obtained in a majority of the cases,” the press release states.
The alleged criminal activity occurred at the venue prior to Darwin Boedecker and Texas Gun Shows leasing the space. The APD, however, does not make this fact clear in the press release.
Due to the history of criminal activity at the gun show, the Nuisance Abatement Unit scheduled a meeting between the property lessee (HEB Grocery), the building sub-lessee (Andrew Perkel a.k.a Austin Market Place), the event promoter (Darwin Boedecker-Texas Gun Shows) and ATF. During this meeting, APD along with ATF offered to all parties, recommendations to curb the illegal activity that had been documented in the past. At the conclusion of the meeting the lessee agreed that the recommendations should be followed and instructed their sub-lessee to follow the recommendations. The sub-lessee then informed the event promoter to implement the recommendations at the next show.
According to the APD, Boedecker agreed to the following: 1) Only licensed gun dealers are allowed to sell firearms at the gun shows, 2) The promoter will provide on-site security to prevent parking lot gun sales, and 3) The promoter will define a process for people other than licensed dealers that show up with a gun that they want to sell.
[efoods]Darwin Boedecker posted the first two of these “recommendations” at the show held on the weekend of January 16-17, 2010.
It is not illegal for private citizens in Texas to sell firearms. The demand by the ATF and Austin cops is a direct violation of the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution). In addition, under the terms of the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, individuals “not engaged in the business” of dealing firearms, or who only make “occasional” sales within their state of residence (including parking lots) are not subjected to federal regulation.
The APD subsequently used the ruse of “criminal activity” (citizens legally selling firearms) as an excuse to close down the Texas Gun Shows. “Following the staged arrest of a man by the Austin Police — subsequently released without charge — the BATF pressured lease holders HEB to shut down the oldest gun show in central Texas,” Infowars reported on January 18, 2010.
It is now obvious the shut down of Texas Gun Shows is part of a larger effort by the Obama administration to close down gun shows and deny the American people their right to buy and sell firearms.
“What’s being touted as the largest single investigation and prosecution against individuals in the history of the Justice Department’s enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act occurred Monday in Las Vegas,” writes Illinois Gun for Infowars today. “The individuals arrested are executives and employees of military and law enforcement products companies that were in Las Vegas to attend the 2010 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (Shot show) and are charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).”
“The Justice Department called the case the largest single investigation and prosecution of individuals in the history of the 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars bribery of foreign government officials,” reports The Boston Herald.
The FBI operation was conducted as a sting. The individuals in question did not actually violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The corporate media, with the exception of The Boston Herald, BusinessWeek, and firearms trade magazines, failed to report the story.