Vehicles searched for empty bullet rounds
Paul Joseph Watson
November 12, 2012
Drivers were quizzed about their shooting habits and had their vehicles searched by Forest and National Park rangers at a checkpoint in Redington Pass, Arizona this past weekend.
Citing the problem of firearms enthusiasts shooting their guns near the main road and leaving empty bullet casings, the feds stopped and searched vehicles to check if the empty rounds had been picked up.
“A driver admitted shooting, but did not have the empty casings. A Game and Fish officer turned him around and told him to pick up his empty rounds,” reports KVOA.
The officials also searched vehicles for other illegal items, including marijuana, alcohol and in one case an illegally killed deer. Four people were arrested on outstanding warrants and officers issued 11 citations, including one for underage drinking.
News reports failed to raise concern about the fact that law enforcement officials used the Fourth Amendment-busting checkpoint to quiz shooters about their gun habits, claiming that, “Many who went through the checkpoint appreciated the enforcement.”
Although the checkpoint was ostensibly justified in the name of combating littering, the fact that gun owners are being pulled over and identified by the feds is certain to stoke apprehension amongst many in the second amendment community.
The checkpoint, which snagged around 250 vehicles on Saturday, was set up in the aftermath of record gun sales and a resurgence in first time gun owners following the re-election of Barack Obama. The Forest Service plans to close three shooting sites in the area, citing the scourge of trash and empty rounds.
Since most of Arizona is federal land, this also seems to be an effort to discourage the exercise of the second amendment in the state. While the feds are hyping the problem caused by empty bullet shells, they don’t seem as fussed about the piles of trash being left behind by illegal immigrants and drug smugglers as they pass back and forth between Mexico.
In September, we reported on how gun owners were being treated with suspicion for merely buying a few boxes of ammo. Commercial fisherman Brian Loftus was questioned by police after being reported for purchasing bullets at his local gun store. The man who reported him, an employee for the Chief of Police, called in Loftus as a potential threat to make sure he “wasn’t going to do something crazy.”
Unannouncedcheckpoints, historically associated with dictatorial regimes, are popping up in numerous different guises across America.
A “Constitution-free zone” which includes areas within 100 miles of the border has been put in place which authorizes US Border Patrol agents to set up checkpoints targeting two thirds of Americans who live within this buffer zone.
Drivers who are asked questions and threatened with searches at these checkpoints are refusing to co-operate in increasing numbers, citing the Fourth Amendment. Some are allowed to go on their way while others, like retired San Diego social worker Vince Peppard and his wife, are having their vehicles ransacked against their will.