Tag Archives: stupid laws

Civil Forfeiture, or Why Keeping Cash in a Shoebox is Good Idea

cash

The Growing Problem of Civil Forfeiture Abuse

Spirit Lake, Iowa:  Mrs. Lady’s Mexican Food has been owned and operated for 38 years by Carole Hinders.  Carole has always preferred to accept only cash payments, so frequent bank deposits were necessary in order to keep from having too much cash on hand at her restaurant.   One day in August 2013, the IRS unexpectedly seized her entire bank account, totaling just shy of $33,000.  It was a clear-cut case of civil forfeiture abuse.  Read more about it at Breitbart.

Long Island, New York:  Bi-County Distributors has been owned by brothers Mitch and Richard Hirsch for 27 years. Their business distributes candy and snacks and other small food items to a number of convenience stores in their area.  Many of their clients pay cash on delivery, so that means that they need to make frequent bank deposits for their own safety.  Then one day in May, 2012, federal agents seized their entire business bank account, which contained a balance of around $446,000.  The federal abuse of civil forfeiture laws was once again the root cause of the near ruination of yet another successful and legitimate family business.

 Abusive Federal Authority Again

Those are just two of numerous examples of a growing form of abuse of federal authority.  These two cases involved the confiscation of cash assets. Numerous other cases involve the confiscation of property in all forms.

If the term Civil Forfeiture means nothing to you yet, you had better start learning about it fast, especially if you operate business which accepts a significant amount of payment in cash.  The IRS is on a mission to find any excuse they can to literally rob you of your hard earned money.

What is Civil Forfeiture?

Civil forfeiture is the act of government confiscation of your property with no accountability whatsoever on their part.  All that’s necessary to trigger it is someone in a law enforcement agency who claims suspicion of a victim’s criminal involvement.  Your property can be taken without you even being charged with any crime.  Depending on conditions of the situation, your vehicle, your home, or all of the cash from your bank accounts could be taken.

Worse yet, because you have not been charged with a crime, civil forfeiture leaves you without the legal protection you would have enjoyed if you really were a criminal!  Neither do any rules exist to control what the confiscating law enforcement agencies may do with the stolen, er, I mean, confiscated property.

One might reasonably expect your confiscated property to go into some kind of protected escrow status. But in fact, in 42 states, confiscating agencies simply keep what they have confiscated and use it as their own.  No law regulates them. It makes no difference if it is cash, vehicles, real estate, or anything else.

Such a rule of law, if it can be called that, provides law enforcement agencies with an incentive to falsely seize as much property as they possibly can.  And they do!

 On what basis are bank account assets seized?

Federal law now requires that banks notify federal agencies whenever a cash sum totaling over $10,000 is made into any bank account.  Such reporting is designed to tip off authorities to the possibility of illegal business acivity.  The war on drugs has contributed to the motivation for such law and invasion of privacy.  As invasive as that law is on personal business, did you know that your deposits may be under continual scrutiny by the IRS, whether or not you make deposits over $10k?

If you happen to have a business which generates a lot of income on a cash basis, you can be accused of “structuring” your deposits by consistently keeping them under $10k.  There do not seem to be any guidelines for federal agents to use to define what constitutes “structuring”.  If you make a series of large deposits of less than $10k, you might be accused of “structuring” your deposits to avoid IRS scrutiny.

In the act of IRS monitoring of your perfectly legal activity of depositing cash sums of several thousand dollars, you have already been scrutinized.  In fact it seems perfectly logical that if you were already aware of the $10k trigger value, you might very well for your own good be attempting to structure your deposits to avoid being targeted as a possible illegal operation.  Who wouldn’t want to avoid being targeted as an illegal operation, especially if you are really 100% legitimate?

Property owners who find themselves caught up in the forfeiture abuse system often spend weeks, months, sometimes years, without having an opportunity to appear before a judge. Too many victims are compelled to simply give up.  They never did anything wrong, but it’s just too pointless and too expensive to continue fighting.
In one well documented analysis of federal civil forfeiture cases, it has been shown that 80 percent of those whose property the federal government seized were not charged with any crime.  This is no better than legalized theft!

Make the federal government accountable, and stop the war on drugs

In order to stop the abuse of civil forfeiture, we clearly have two choices. The practice of civil forfeiture must either be totally abolished, or it must be carried out with accountability.

This abuse of property rights could easily be reduced by 80% by making the legitimate criminal arrest of every victim a prerequisite to property seizure.

“Legitimate” is a key word, and that’s why I lean towards its total abolition. Most cases of legally valid civil forfeiture revolve around illegal and victimless drug crimes.  The legalization of drugs would result in the elimination of a vast part of the underground syndicate. Grounds would then no longer exist to prosecute the greater portion of the remaining 20% of civil forfeiture cases.

Then the federal government  wouldn’t even need to take property away from people anymore, would it?  Or did they ever really need to? Liberty makes life so much simpler.

 

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Care to Surrender your Facebook Password for a Permit to OWN a Gun?

Facebook Account Information Used by Police to Approve or Deny Gun “Permits” in New York Town

 According to a piece in thefreethoughtproject.com,  the Watervliet  Police Department and the court which issues gun permits in that New York community have been found  violating the Constitution on multiple counts.  They’re not even violating it under the provision of any statute or law.  It’s simply police department procedure that has been unquestioned until now.

The City of Watervliet requires that residents wishing to possess a handgun there must be permitted to do so. As unconstitutional as that is in itself, that’s not even the main source of outrage here.

Recently the department sent a form to an applicant who had applied for a local handgun “permit”. The application received asked the applicant supply personal Facebook account information as a condition for granting the “permit”.

This applicant rightfully complained.  The department responded by claiming that the form was sent to him in error.  They said that the form he received was the one normally filled out used in face-to-face interviews.

There were other details and you can check them out here.

This is just one example of constitutional abuses increasing at every level of government nationwide.  The real history of the American Revolution is no longer taught in public schools, and it’s showing now.

Demanding Facebook Information for Gun “Permits” is a Threefold Constitutional Violation

First, this policy violates the applicant’s 1st Amendment rights to free speech by ruling for or against the issue of a permit to exercise 2nd Amendment rights on the basis of the applicant’s political views.

It violates 2nd Amendment rights first by virtue of the very existence of a law requiring a permit to own a pistol (more on that later), and second by making it possible to deny a citizen his natural individual rights for purely political reasons.

This policy also violates the 4th Amendment by forcing the applicant to accept a warrantless search of personal property, namely, Facebook account information.

Don’t Forget the 10th Amendment.  What’s That?

Let’s look at the unconstitutionality of all state and local law.  Such law may not conflict with rights defined in the Constitution.  The 10th Amendment covers that.  The 10th Amendment states that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”.

It is clear then, that states and localities may not pass law contrary to the supreme law of the Constitution, whose 2nd Amendment guarantees no infringement.  Issuing a “permit” to exercise what is already a right is infringement.  Therefore, every state or city law requiring the “permitting” of gun possession is infringing, and is therefore invalid on the basis on the 10th Amendment and the 2nd Amendment. 

Every Gun Law is Unconstitutional! Every One!

The existence of a law, regardless of the established constitutional process it went through in order to become law, by no means establishes or creates the constitutionality of that law.  It’s a fact that unconstitutional law is passed regularly, and that consequently we live in a maze of conflicting state and federal laws, many of them constitutionally invalid.  The 10th Amendment has not been honored.

In this small town case in New York, a local government has granted itself an authority it never had constitutional grounds to possess. Government regulation of speech and behavior is not a constitutional right at any level, federal, state, or local.  The Bill of Rights was written for the people’s protection from government, and no rights belong to government.  Only the Constitution defines what it may do.  The regulation of free speech, the regulation of the individual’s right to bear arms, the right to be protected from warrantless searches and seizures – these rights belong naturally to the individual.  Any claim of any level of government to act contrary to these protections is a tyrannical abuse of power.

This is getting old. The 2nd Amendment says “shall not be infringed”.

The primary motivation of the Founders for designing the constitutional republic that they did was to prevent the possibility of recurrence of the same tyrannical abuses they had just a decade earlier revolted against!

George Mason wrote that the 2nd Amendment was established to ensure that the people would be protected from repeating the very same tyrannical enslavement by government that King George III had inflicted upon them.  Noah Webster strongly agreed.  It’s all in the history that is no longer taught in public schools.

In the 4th Amendment, warrantless searches were prohibited, as well as standing federal armies.  Why do you suppose they mentioned that?  Could it have had anything to do with the presence of militarized police in the colonies that were directed by agents of King George III?

Running over the Constitution

The Constitution was carefully designed to provide infallible guidance which, properly applied, would suppress tyrannical government actions at all levels.  However, when the Constitution is neither respected and nor honored for its original intentions, it becomes useless.  In proportion as knowledge of the history of our founding era has diminished, so has respect for our Constitution.  As a result, Supreme Court rulings have replaced and superseded constitutional authority, and consequently the Constitution is now regularly run over by the courts.

Constitutional Infringements Running Rampant at Local Government Levels

Come to think of it, I said that the Watervliet police department was not violating the Constitution under the provision of any statute or law.  But they really were.  The very fact that their city honors an unconstitutional law is the basis of this entire set of additional infractions

Contentions that a law is constitutional and valid until its validity is overturned by the Supreme Court, are ridiculous. That position would render the Constitution of no value unless it were to be first sanctioned by the federal government  –  the very entity it was designed to protect the people against!

Read more at http://westernjournalism.com 

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Obama’s Executive Ordered Study Report On Gun Violence Slaps Him In The Face | Guns Save Lives

white house gun free zone

If you recall, back on January 16, 2013, standing with little children, Barack Hussein Obama tried to pull a fast one on the American people and issued 23 executive orders pertaining to gun control. Among those was number 14: Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence. Well friends, that study did happen and it destroyed Obama’s position on guns and gun violence.

Well like all things in government, the people tasked with the study simply directed the study to the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. However, many people have not heard about the report. Could it be that much of the information in the report didn’t quite “jive” with Obama and the anti-gun crowd?

Actually, that’s exactly what it did. In fact, not only did they not hold any water for Obama’s claims regarding gun violence, it poured it on him, pretty much backing every Second Amendment lover’s argument that has been made.

The report, titled Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-related Violence, which identifies the particular topics of gun violence to be researched over the next few years, made the point that the majority of deaths that take place annually by the use of a firearm are not related to crime, but to suicide.

“Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States,” reads the study.

That’s obviously not a good thing. However, it indicates that many Americans suffer from both a spiritual and mental health issue. With that said, let’s not then run to government to deal with mental health issues. I’ve warned before and I’ll warn you now: That would be a very bad move.

Here’s the great news in the report though. It points out that virtually every study which “assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns” discovered the same thing. Those using their guns for self-defense “consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”

Oh and remember how we’ve been told by the Obama administration and the socialist gun grabbers that guns aren’t used that often in self-defense? Well, the report shows that isn’t true either.

 

“Defensive uses of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed (Cook and Ludwig, 1996; Kleck, 2001a),” the study reads. “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year (Kleck, 2001a), in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008 (BJS, 2010).”

 

Yeah, not as uncommon as the propagandists would have us believe.

In all fairness, the report does point out that “some scholars point to radically lower estimate of only 108,000 annual defensive uses based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (Cook et al., 1997).”

While the report does maintain that this will always be a controversy in the field, the study does state that “the estimate of 3 million defensive uses per year is based on an extrapolation from a small number of responses taken from more than 19 national surveys,” while the “estimate of 108,000 is difficult to interpret because respondents were not asked specifically about defensive gun use.”

“A different issue is whether defensive uses of guns, however numerous or rare they may be, are effective in preventing injury to the gun-wielding crime victim,” reads the report.

The report does have a downside. It indicates that we have the most firearm related deaths of any western nation. However, the good news is that the study claims that is rapidly declining.

 

“Overall crime rates have declined in the past decade, and violent crimes, including homicides specifically, have declined in the past 5 years.” However, “Between 2005 and 2010, the percentage of firearm-related violent victimizations remained generally stable.”

Additionally, the report goes on to inform about other declines. “Firearm-related death rates for youth ages 15 to 19 declined from 1994 to 2009,” the report continues, adding that accidental shootings were declining as well.

 

The report also states that “Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century. The number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents accounted for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.”

While everyone recognizes that there will always be crime and violence and yes, even gun violence, the fact of the matter is that gun control is not the answer, except to make sure you control your own gun and hit your target. For sure there will be more data added as the study continues, but already what they do have from the past indicates something that is completely opposite from what this administration has presented and there is no doubt that any information that comes out of the study will be thoroughly scrutinized.

The report also referenced video game violence to see how it might contribute to gun violence, but said that more research would need to be done and no research to the present has been conclusive.

Anyone wondering why Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Dianne Feinstein aren’t running to the state run media to air out this little report? It’s because they have egg on their face.

One last question that is on my mind is, how much did will this study end up costing the American taxpayer?

Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/07/obamas-executive-ordered-study-on-gun-violence-slaps-him-in-the-face/#ixzz2YKlFOzyW

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