There are few things in this world more powerful then the immutable force of an individual dedicated to a singular proposition. Walls, battlements, even a army amassed from the depths from hell itself cannot hold back the warrior who with single minded aggression of action repeatedly asserts himself upon his goal.
Except of course when dealing with government bureaucracy.
If that is what stands between you and what you need, you are hosed.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a case that the Law Offices of Lieberman and Taormina was working on.
Just to refresh: Back in the year 2000, our client’s father passed away, leaving him some firearms. Nothing too fancy, but they clearly had sentimental value. He moved his mother to Las Vegas to get on with her life. Upon relocating, she told our client that she was afraid being alone in her new home without the companionship of her late husband. This was entirely foreseeable and understandable. To make her feel more comfortable, our client asked if she would like to have one of his revolvers to keep by her bed.
That did the trick.
Mom felt secure and was ready to get on with her life.
A year later, she turned to dating again. Unfortunately, her choice in male partnership was still in the development phase, and she chose to get involved with a criminal. The dirtbag stole her gun and used it to purchase a go-cart.
When our client found out, (mom had booted the deadbeat), he contacted the Las Vegas police and reported the gun stolen.
Then it was out of site, out of mind.
Until the summer of 2011, when Brian Stowe, a Giant’s baseball fan decided to come to Los Angeles to a Dodger / Giant’s game and made the supreme mistake of wearing a Giant’s jersey while in enemy territory.
Brian Stowe was beaten in the parking lot, and almost died from his injuries. Fortunately, his assailants were caught a couple of weeks later. Unfortunately, one of the two knuckleheads had a revolver in his possession. Guess who’s revolver it turned out to be?
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LAPD did a serial number search and found the weapon was registered to our client. LVPD had not bothered to inform anyone about the report of the weapon being stolen ten years earlier. They executed a search warrant of our client’s home and seized ALL of his firearms.
This frankly was reasonable since they had no way of knowing if our client was a gun runner or not. All LAPD knew was that somehow, a gun was found in the possession of a bad guy and it was registered to our client with no reports to their knowledge of it being stolen.
So his guns were taken and he was given a property receipt and a copy of the search warrant.
Unfortunately, LAPD did not bother to fill out the warrant properly, nor did they give the applicable cross reference material necessary on the property receipt to find any records about the weapons in the future.
After numerous attempts on his own to retrieve his property, and even using the services of another lawyer, he had all but given up on ever seeing them again.
Then… he hired us.
Cosmo and I went to work and after some back channel detective work, we found the guns in the LAPD gun unit and attempted to secure a court order to get them released. Cosmo fought with the court to get a case number. Literally, having to get past the clerk and physically digging through the search warrant records from back in 2011. He then had to fight against a seriously misguided DA who didn’t want to return weapons back to a law abiding citizen. That same DA also could not understand the clear and unambiguous statements of a detective at the gun unit who said that he was more than prepared to hand the guns back.
Finally, that same DA accused me in open court of potentially fabricating the email chain that we produced between us and said LAPD detective.
That little interlude came dangerously close to one of us, me or the DA winding up being held in contempt of court.
Finally, we had our order signed by the judge and the waiting game came with LAPD to arrange a time for me under the auspices of my FFL to go to the detention center and pick up the guns.
Thursday of last week, I had the appointment.
Standing in the waiting area of the detention center, I got to hob nob with about thirty of LA’s more colorful citizenry. Often times, low level offenders are given the opportunity to “self book”. Meaning that rather then get arrested at an inconvenient time, they can go to the detention center, get themselves booked, and then are immediately released on their own recognizance while they await trail.
These were the upstanding members of the community that I got to hang out with while I waited for our client’s guns.
(As an aside, I had the opportunity to be on the receiving end of a conversation with a gentleman who claimed to be the Messiah. Apparently, the whole “cleanliness is next to Godliness” message was lost upon him post resurrection.)
Cosmo had once told me, that the best way to understand the bureaucracy of the judicial system is to accept the paradigm that there are thousands of employees that have a singular job… to say “no”.
Were they to say “yes” that would require them to potentially risk their continual employment, and possibly… potentially… necessitate them actually “doing something”. Both, are anathema to a bureaucrat.
To ensure that “yes” never becomes an option they created a byzantine set of rules, rules that have no rational basis in need or fact to wear as armor against the potential of being called to act.
I saw this manifest that day.
Our FFL is a federal license. The copy of the FFL is totally sufficient to show my status as a Federal Firearms Dealer. When asked to produce my FFL, by the woman in charge of property I pulled out a color copy of our license. I instantly saw her face light up.
“I’m sorry, I cannot accept that. I need to have the original FFL. You will have to make another appointment.”
“You do? Why? There is nothing that states that this copy is not sufficient.”
“I’m sorry, but that is the rule. When would you like to come back?”
“No worries, and I won’t need to make another appointment. I brought the original too… here you go.”
(It was spectacular watching her face turn ashen as I handed our original FFL over…. as an aside I would like to take this moment to thank my wonderful wife for teaching the value in “over preparation.)
She went back into her dungeon and one hour and twenty five minutes later, she returned with the firearms that had languished in solitary confinement for the last six years.
Back at Artemis, they were recorded into our inventory and our client was informed that justice had FINALLY been served. He could now come in and have his property returned to him.
This was not a case of national importance. It will not make or destroy the Republic. It was however important to our client. It was also important for both Cosmo and me. It was important, not because the guns should never have been taken in the first place. It was important, because the bureaucracy of the state had been marshaled against this man and was effectively denying him justice.
Tyranny must be fought whenever it is discovered. Little victories like this one add up. As George Washington was fond of saying “Many a muckle makes a mickle.”
©️ Copyright 2017, This article was written by Steven Lieberman, Co-Owner of the Artemis Defense Institute and Partner of The Law Offices of Lieberman and Taormina. Please share this blog to every 2A supporter!