Breaking News: A 70-year-old Vietnam POW and war hero was just sentenced to 87 months in Federal prison for failing to register a gun he bought at a gun show back in the 1970s!
Alfred Pick is 70 years old. He is a Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Silver Star. He participated in more than 100 combat missions and even spent time as a POW.
By all measures, this man is a hero. But he has spent the past year behind bars. Why? ATF agents raided his home and found an unregistered gun.
Back in the 1970s, Pick purchased an automatic M-14 rifle at a gun show in Texas. At the time, the law required that he register the weapon with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and send the ATF a check for two hundred as a registration tax. The laws surrounding these weapons changed in 1986. Before then, it was relatively easy to purchase and own these types of weapons.
Throughout the years, Congress has passed "amnesties" to allow gun owners to register weapons that they might have forgotten to register in the past. Most of the time, these windows are opened to let veterans and their families register their heirlooms and war trophies. Alfred Pick missed all of the amnesties and there hasn't been a new one in years.
ATF agents raided his home shortly after his wife died and found the gun. He has been in custody ever since. Alfred Pick was just sentenced to 7 years in prison for possessing the unregistered firearm. He was legally allowed to own it and never committed a crime in his life. But for the crime of forgetting to file paperwork and not paying the two hundred dol.lar tax, this American hero is now going to prison.
This is what our taxes are going towards. ATF agents arrested a 70-year-old Silver Star recipient, grieving over his dead wife, for buying a rifle 40 years ago and not paying the tax on it.
The law in question -- the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 -- is actually really interesting. It was designed to stop gangsters like Al Capone by requiring all fully automatic weapons be registered with the government. But over the years, the Courts have actually gutted this law... for criminals.
The charges that were filed against Alfred Pick? The Federal government isn't allowed to file them against criminals. Only law-abiding Americans can be charged with failing to register a gun like this. The case Haynes v United States. The Supreme Court ruled that felons cannot be charged with possessing unregistered weapons because the act of registering the gun would be akin to self-incrimination, something that the 5th Amendment protects us against.
Basically, if you're not allowed to own a gun, the Federal government cannot throw you in prison for refusing to admit you own a gun. The law was designed to go after mobsters, but now only law-abiding citizens can be charged with this crime. Which is exactly what we're seeing with Alfred Pick.
There is no doubt that Pick broke the law as it is written. But, in the words of Charles Dickens, the law is an ass.
A 70-year-old Vietnam vet, former-POW, Silver Star recipient, and bona fide war hero was just sentenced to 87 months in Federal prison because he didn't pay a two hundred dol.lar tax back in the 1970s. He was charged under a gun law that the government isn't even allowed to charge criminals with anymore.
And we're all supposed to just sit back and let this happen?
Wait, let me think for a...
Our push today is two-fold and we need your help!
1. We are calling on the President to pardon this American hero. Alfred Pick may have broken the law as it is written, but this war hero and otherwise law-abiding citizen should not be forced to spend his final years in a prison cell.
2. We are ordering Congress to re-open the NFA registry to allow Veterans and their families the chance to register their lawfully acquired heirlooms. This will make sure that this never ever happens to another Veteran.
Our goal today is to hit Congress and the White House with more than one hundred thousand FaxBlasts. Each of these will be signed with your name and printed out into Congressional and White House offices. Emails get deleted, phone calls just get tallied up up by interns, and letters sent through the post take forever to get there. Only our FaxBlasts guarantee immediate, hard-copy delivery to every single Congressional office.
This man served his country. He was a POW during the Vietnam War and even received a Silver Star for heroism. Now, he very well could spend the rest of his life behind bars...
He answered the call to protect us. Now it is our turn to stand up for him!