Sunday 24th Jan, 2010

Dear Peaceable Texan:

As many of you know, I am an attorney of two decades experience practicing law in Austin. I have been investigating the events surrounding the gunshow of last weekend where APD and ATF used intimidation tactics to pressure the landlord of the property to cancel future shows at the Crocket Center. The following is what I have learned from my review of the law and speaking to the promoter and an individual that had his private collection confiscated Saturday.

On Tuesday APD attempted to deflect public attention by implying that multiple arrests at the location gave the city grounds to prosecute the landlords for nuisance. I am attaching a copy of the TX nuisance statutes and as anyone who can read can see–they clearly do not apply here.

But what is really ridiculous about such a claim is that if arrests alone constitute grounds for nuisance, then every mall and HEB in the state would be nuisances since arrests for shoplifting occur at these locations constantly.

The Crocket Center is owned by Walmart and leased to HEB, who in turn subleases to another entity which in turn leases it one weekend a month to the gunshow promoter.

The individual who was hassled and had his half dozen firearms seized Saturday was a private citizen there to sell his collection. According to him, APD and/or ATF had a man approach him and offer to buy a gun; the man displayed a Texas Driver’s License to prove he was over 21. The sale was made and later APD officers roughly grabbed the shirt of the seller and marched him outside and accused him of selling to an illegal alien. This apparently is the latest tactic to entrap the unwary citizen in the ATF’s snare. As if anyone could possibly know the immigration or citizenship status of anyone else. Yet ATF seized all his firearms and told him the matter was “under investigation.” This, ladies and gentlemen, is the ‘possible illegal gun sale’ referred to as the reason for HEB to pull the plug on future shows in the Statesman article (attached).

The tyranny of these laws and the APD/ATF “stings” are self evident. The government allows literally millions of foreigners to enter our country and then uses them to set citizens up for prison time. We should all be asking: who was this illegal alien, and where is he now? Why is he free with a driver’s license in our state and why is he not being deported? I would venture a guess that since Austin is a “sanctuary city” the police did not detain this man or turn him over to immigration authorities; indeed, they probably rewarded him in some fashion to get his cooperation.

THIS IS INTOLERABLE. We citizens are being used and abused at every turn. Our government is using foreigners to set us up, steal our property, lock us up, and end the venerable cultural events we know as “gunshows.” I want to suggest that perhaps the better tactic to prevent sales to aliens is to REMOVE THEM FROM THE COUNTRY.

In my opinion the appropriate place to apply public pressure is with HEB, since they have the right to continue to allow gunshows at this location. They have no liability under the nuisance law, and they have teams of lawyers who can figure that out. I am sure they can read. A general boycott of HEB is called for if they assist the government in shutting down a gunshow.

The TSRA has refused to get involved. NRA is also, as usual, silent. Once they see the grassroots taking action though, I expect NRA and/or TSRA will step in to take credit for leading them.

Word has it–I have not confirmed this–that today at 3 p.m. at Red’s Indoor Range on Hwy 290 the NRA is presenting Gov. Perry with an award of some kind and endorsement in his bid for re-election. Some are planning to be there to politely bring this matter to his attention–and the NRA’s–because if they are going to pretend to be pro-gun rights they need to actually DO SOMETHING to defend them.

Sincerely,Paul VelteMember Peaceable Texans for Firearms Rights