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Another Patriot Silenced

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by Minuteman, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    The following is a long read, but very much worth the time to do so. It is a very concise and well thought out statement affirming the rights of “We The People”.
    I have heard it said that “extremists” are doomsayers and always ranting about loss of “rights” without ever offering anything positive to do about it.
    Well the members of this organization have taken a stand, and have done something about it. And to what cost? Some will say that they are foolish to provoke the Feds.
    It isn’t wise to poke a stick at a sleeping tiger. But what if the leaders of the American Revolution had played it safe, and refused to poke the tiger?
    This reminds me of the bumper sticker " It is dangerous to be right, when the Government is wrong."

    Think what you may of this guy and his group, naïve fool, or courageous Patriot. But you can’t say that he didn’t do anything but talk. He put his convictions into action, and he paid the price for it. He walked the walk and put “his money where his mouth is”.
    And like many before him, he paid the price for being too vocal. For daring to be heard.

    And his story would, as it is intnded to, fade away with little fanfare or comment. Only a few brief articles in some obscure local newspapers. And the many "Facts" of the case ominously lacking in those.

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    <FONT size=3><FONT face="Times New Roman">Even in the following articles there is no mention of the fact that the ADL provided the “mole” for this sting operation. That they are the ones behind the “alert” to authorities. It wasn’t any of this mans neighbors. They had no beef with him. There is no mention of the fact that bail was denied initially. Only after public outrage by the folks that the ATFE were supposedly protecting, was an exorbitant bail set. And with completely unconstitutional restrictions. He had to post the deed to his property and is not allowed to return to his home, he must wear an ankle bracelet to monitor his whereabouts, cannot associate with his friends, and his relatives in whose custody he is placed are liable to the court if he violates any of these preposterous conditions.
    <FONT size=3><FONT face="Times New Roman">
    <FONT size=3><FONT face="Times New Roman">And only a passing mention of the fact that he and his group were opposing and leading a very vocal movement protesting a very shady land grab scheme by the local authorities.
    <FONT size=3><FONT face="Times New Roman">And he was arrested just 2 days before a hearing on it that he had stated he would attend and stand to oppose the local officials. Hmmmm…
    <FONT size=3><FONT face="Times New Roman">
    <FONT size=3><FONT face="Times New Roman">Coincidence or conspiracy? You be the judge.
    <FONT size=3><FONT face="Times New Roman">
    <FONT size=3><FONT face="Times New Roman">I would urge you to read the “Silver Bullet” article through before going on to the newspaper clippings. It is a very good response to a very bad law.

    <FONT face="Times New Roman">
    <FONT face="Times New Roman">

    Attached Files:

  2. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    The price of being heard

    Washington County : Militia leader arrested
    Posted on Friday, November 10, 2006
    URL: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/172534/
    FAYETTEVILLE — Phone lines at KOFC-AM, 1250 buzzed Thursday with calls about a local militia leader’s arrest by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
    Hollis Wayne Fincher, 60, of the Militia of Washington County was arrested Wednesday in an ATF raid related to possession, manufacture and transfer of machine guns.
    Fincher, lieutenant commander of the group with headquarters south of Fayetteville, was in the Sebastian County jail Thursday without bond. A detention hearing is set for 1: 30 p. m. Monday in U. S. District Court in Fort Smith.
    Radio host Johnny Tittle said talk of Fincher’s arrest dominated his KOFC morning show Thursday, with callers questioning the timing and rationale.
    Tittle said Fincher went on KOFC in 2000 and announced he and other militia members were in possession of several automatic weapons. It wasn’t until Fincher was photographed in a local newspaper holding a semiautomatic machine gun that he was arrested, Tittle said.
    The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas pictured Fincher in a March 18 article about the militia. The ATF said in a news release Wednesday that the investigation of Fincher and others began in March.
    "For some time now, Mr. Fincher has discussed openly that the Arkansas Constitution has a provision for citizens to outfit themselves in a military fashion in whatever armaments are in common use," Tittle said. "It’s been no secret that he and the group are armed. A lot of what [radio ] callers were questioning today was why he was arrested almost eight months to the day after he showed up on the front page of the newspaper."
    Washington County Judge Jerry Hunton said he heard there was talk Thursday on Don Bright’s KOFC radio show blaming him for Fincher’s arrest. Bright didn’t immediately return a call.
    Hunton said Fincher has been to Quorum Court meetings opposing an ordinance that would implement different degrees of zoning in unincorporated parts of the county. The proposed ordinance was set for its first reading at Thursday night’s Quorum Court meeting.
    "I understand there was talk that I didn’t want him at tonight’s meeting, but that is not true and I want to set the record straight," Hunton said. "I think I know what caused Wayne’s arrest, and it’s a simple as this: The picture of him on the front of the newspaper cradling a machine gun."
    The ATF said it seized illegal guns Wednesday at Fincher’s home, 16085 E. Black Oak Road, about a quarter-mile from the militia headquarters — a small block building at 15566 E. Black Oak Road. Calls to the militia and Fincher’s home weren’t answered Thursday.
    The ATF news release said 14 search warrants were executed Wednesday in the Fayetteville and Fort Smith area. Fincher was the only person arrested.
    Tittle said callers Thursday questioned whether Fincher legally possessed machine guns.
    ATF Senior Special Agent Austin R. Banks said a person can legally possess a machine gun if it’s licensed in accordance with the National Firearms Act.
    "And it’s illegal to manufacture [machine guns ], too, unless you have a manufacturer’s license," Banks said.
    Banks declined to comment specifically about the case involving Fincher, beyond the news release he issued Wednesday.
    The militia’s Web site says it is a nonviolent group dedicated to the preservation of the U. S. and Arkansas constitutions, specifically the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.
    In 2002, the militia filed a public declaration at the Washington County circuit clerk’s office that says the Arkansas Constitution allows citizens the right to bear arms.
    The document, signed by Fincher, said the militia takes issue with those "who scoff at we the people and consider themselves immune to our state laws and boundaries."
    It said the militia is bringing attention to the "possibility of conflict with predatory agencies," such as the ATF.
    The ATF news release said Fincher was arrested as part of the federal Project Safe Neighborhoods program, which works to prevent gun violence.
    The militia’s Web site mocks the federal program, showing a Project Safe Neighborhoods billboard and adding the caption, "Your tax dollars at work."

    Friends defend militia leader arrested by feds
    BY KATE WARD Northwest Arkansas Times
    Posted on Friday, November 10, 2006
    URL: http://www.nwanews.com/nwat/News/46955/
    Friends of a Washington County Militia leader accused of possessing illegal firearms are rallying to show their support for him.
    Hollis " Wayne" Fincher, 60, of 16085 E. Black Oak Road in Fayetteville was released from the Washington County Jail on Thursday and is being held for federal authorities at an undisclosed location. He is scheduled to appear at a 1: 30 p. m. hearing Monday in U. S. District Court in Fort Smith.
    Fincher was arrested Wednesday after an eightmonth investigation related to the unlawful manufacture, possession and transfer of fully automatic guns.
    The arrest became fodder for local talk radio and boiled over Thursday evening at the Washington County Quorum Court meeting when Washington County Judge Jerry Hunton spoke prior to the meeting, defending himself against charges made on local radio earlier in the date that Hunton was involved in Fincher’s arrest. Hunton denied any involvement.
    Don Bright, a local resident known as a regular contributor to talk radio shows, stood up and said Hunton was referring to his comments earlier in the day. He called Hunton " a liar. " As a yelling match ensued, Bright was escorted from the meeting by Sheriff Tim Helder and a deputy, but was not arrested. Bright, contacted by phone later, said he had no comment.
    " I heard that Don Bright was on the radio this morning saying that [I ] caused this whole investigation, " Hunton said in an interview earlier Thursday. " That’s completely untrue. There was a whole story on Wayne in the newspaper with a picture of him cradling a machine gun. I think that picture probably got the attention of authorities and that’s probably how this thing got started. "
    Teams of special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other agencies executed 14 search warrants in an early-morning operation Wednesday throughout the Fort Smith and Fayetteville area. The warrants are under seal at the direction of the U. S. Attorney’s Office. The evidence seized will be submitted to the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the preparation of indictments.
    Jay Cole, a local pastor known for his television commercials encouraging viewers to follow God, said Fincher is not a violent man.
    " I don’t believe Wayne would do that, " Cole said. " He’s given me paper work and he’s published things in the paper about what his group does. He’s not hiding anything — he’s interested in protecting the rights of the citizens. If there’s anyone who’s not violent, it’s Wayne Fincher. "
    Hunton, interviewed Thursday before the flareup with Bright, said Fincher hasn’t been any trouble as far as he knows.
    " The only dealings I’ve had with Wayne is when he’s come to Quorum Court to express his opinion on different issues, " he said. " Wayne obviously has a strong opinion about property rights, but I’ve always found him to be fairly cordial. He was a little out of line at one meeting, but the more I’ve gotten to know him, he’s become pretty courteous. "
    The Washington County Militia is headquartered down the road from Fincher’s residence at 15566 E. Black Oak Road —about 5. 5 miles south of Huntsville Road. According to its Web site, http: // www. arkansasmilitia. com, the group has been active since 1994 and is committed to " defending liberty and serving Washington County. " The organization holds a weekly muster every Friday evening at 7 p. m. that is open to the public.
    " Wayne and his wife used to go to our church and they used to have their meetings down the road at Ozark Electric until they built their new headquarters, " Cole said. I’ve known Wayne for a long time and he wouldn’t hurt a fly. "
    Cole’s son, Jay Cole Jr., said he too, is a close friend of Fincher’s.
    " Wayne’s primarily an educator on constitutional issues, " he said. " He’s not planning to shoot anyone —he’s planning to tell people about their needs. Their God-given rights are being violated and someone needs to do something about it. "
    Johnny Tittle, host of a local radio talk show, said his Thursday morning talk show centered on Fincher’s arrest.
    " We went the whole two hours talking about it because that’s what my callers wanted to talk about, " he said. " I’ve known Wayne for a long time and there are some things that are puzzling about this whole thing. The group that arrested him have known about those particular elements for six years. [Fincher ] notified the ATF, FBI, state Attorney General, governor and local police about what he was doing. They haven’t done anything wrong that they’re trying to hide. "
    Tittle said Fincher is a regular caller on his radio show.
    " There’s not a more peaceful, law-abiding man —he’s never broken the law, " Tittle said.
    Despite local support, authorities say Fincher violated federal laws and should face the consequences.
    " Sometimes these operations may seem innocent to the general public, but these people haven’t taken responsibility to have such weapons okayed, " said ATF Special Agent Austin Banks. " It presents a threat to the community.... I believe [the investigation ] got very dangerous weapons out of the community and out of the hands of people who were not legally supposed to have them. "

    Washington County militia leader pleads innocent
    Posted on Tuesday, November 21, 2006
    URL: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/173656/
    A Washington County militia leader denied gun possession charges Monday in U. S. District Court in Fort Smith.
    Hollis Wayne Fincher pleaded innocent to possessing an unregistered machine gun and possessing a sawedoff shotgun.
    Magistrate Beverly Stites Jones set trial for Jan. 8 in Fayetteville.
    Fincher, 60, is lieutenant commander of the Militia of Washington County, a group with headquarters south of Fayetteville.
    He was arrested Nov. 9 when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided his home on East Black Oak Road in Washington County.
    Jones on Nov. 13 set bond at $ 250, 000 with the conditions that Fincher be put on electronic home monitoring, surrender any guns and have no contact with the militia until after trial.
    He must live with relatives and place as bond collateral the deed to his 120-acre property.
    Fincher remained in the Sebastian County jail Monday evening.
  3. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Notice how when every time one of the 'loonies' gets arrested, there is a stockpile of 'machine guns' and a 'sawed off shotgun'? Don't the feds buy any other weapons to frame someone with? It's always a 'danger to the community' having someone able to defend themselves, that's why the alphabet groups have to take pre-emptive action. And besides, they could open a nice local office on that 120 acre place of his.

    This just reeks of alphabets getting out of hand yet again. Jack boots are everywhere now. If you speak out against this treatment, don't be surprised if you don't suddenly own a 'machine gun' and a 'sawed off' in the near future.
  4. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Just a thought, but why don't we get off our ass and help defend these guys? Letters, contributions, media attention...this is the best opportunity to get this stupid issue before the Supreme Court that we will have.
  5. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    If you read their challenge to the 1934 Us vs Miller case contained in their "Silver Bullet" letter then you can see that they have a very good argument. This has the possibility, with the right lawyers, and handled correctly, to go all the way to the supreme court.

    My thought is where the hell is the NRA on this one? They always say that they will provide legal help to those who are facing firearm related charges. But, I suppose not if your one of "those extremist" types.

    I know some folks in Ark. who are closely following this. If they intend to fight this in court, then it may well be that financial help will be needed.

    The fight starts with spreading the word. Not allowing the Feds to keep it under wraps in a few local papers.

    I don't have a direct addy to contact Mr. Fincher, but the Washington County Militia website is;

  6. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    What we need, in my opinion, is a group that is nation wide that will go to bat for any and all that are trampled by the alphabets. I think there is a good plan, though who can you trust.

    It could go something like this....

    You have a group of lawyers, good ones, that can practice law anywhere in the US. We need some dedicated media members as well to provide constant coverage so that everytime something like this happens, it will stay in mainstream media for all to see. Then we could have a fund that is set up for the defense of those who are wrongly arrested because of reasons such as this. This fund could be fed like all those 'save the children', 'food worldwide' and such funds. People just send what they wish to keep the account strong for when cases such as this come about.

    Like I said, it's a nice plan, though who can you trust to pull it off and will they go to the wire for everyone? The NRA is supposed to do this wherever someone's rights are being infringed upon. Oh wait, you have to be a member and also you cannot be labeled 'extremist' or 'gun nut'. I guess when they come to our houses, we are SOL.

    Who do we need to write to? I'm game for some correspondence, just need some addresses and names.
  7. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    The real reason behind the arrest?

    Badges amid the fray
    Mike Masterson
    Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2006
    URL: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Editorial/172995/
    Washington County Judge Jerry
    Hunton sicced Sheriff Tim
    Helder’s deputies on former radio station owner Don Bright during the heated Quorum Court meeting last week in Fayetteville. Hmm. What if I had the power to command government officers to remove everyone who disagreed with my words and opinions ? Oh, wait, you must be a tax-supported, elected public servant to wield such authority. Summoning the badges to silence the argumentative Bright was over the top, especially for a well-known conservative radio personality and citizen like this man. The exchange that triggered Bright’s escorted exit followed his agitation at the microphone about the arrest of long-time Washington County militia leader Hollis Wayne Fincher. Fincher had been arrested a day before the meeting by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He’s accused of possessing illegal firearms, primarily automatic weapons.
    Fincher is one of those colorful characters who has long championed the freedoms ensured by the U. S. Constitution since his years as a regular on Bright’s former Fayetteville station and now Johnny Tittle’s conservative morning talk show on KOFC-AM 1250. Fact is, Fincher already was an outspoken voice for conservative and constitutional values in Northwest Arkansas when I returned as editor of Fayetteville’s Northwest Arkansas Times 11 years ago. He’s never tried to hide that he had automatic weapons in his collection or that he was a leader in the local militia. Heck, the man was proud of it. I’d never classify him as someone who’d wrongly use any type of weapon. In fact, he’s been written about in newspaper feature stories (with photos of him and a machine gun ) that describe his weapons collection. The issue for ATF appears to be whether Fincher’s automatic weapons were properly registered and whether he may have constructed one.
    The exchange last week between Republican Bright and Democrat Hunton wasn’t anything new. News accounts said Hunton began the verbal sparring by saying he’d heard there had been some non-factual banter about him on a KOFC talk show co-hosted by Bright. The questionable comments said Hunton had been behind Fincher’s arrest and that Hunton hadn’t wanted Fincher at the Quorum Court session.
    Bright reportedly rose from the packed audience to forcefully contend that Hunton was telling a lie about that. Hunton, who already had warned Bright about his behavior, ordered him to remove him. Bright was escorted outside, where three understanding deputies tried to elicit some personal information.
    Asserting his legal rights, Bright said he wasn’t giving it. As their conversation continued, he repeatedly asked to be cuffed and arrested. The deputies said they didn’t care to do that. After more amicable wrangling, Bright was handed a warning ticket.
    "There wasn’t a harsh word spoken between us," Bright later said, praising Helder and his deputies. He didn’t have much to allow about Hunton.
    Meanwhile, back inside, the Quorum Court was busy rushing through a deeply controversial zoning ordinance that, in the best interest of many county citizens, deserved far more examination and discussion than it got. There certainly was no emergency, as the ordinance had been characterized.
    One development did seem to me to be representative of the troublesome method and tenor behind this legislation. It surfaced when Tittle rose from the audience to say that Justice of the Peace David Daniel had told him that he (Daniel ) had heard from some "important people" who wanted this ordinance passed without delay. Rather than attempt to table the issue, Daniel voted with the majority in ramming it through.
    In light of Tittle’s public contention about Daniel’s comment, I’m wondering how an elected official in Washington County determines just who among all us citizens out here is deemed "important" and who isn’t. Is importance in the eyes of our elected determined by the heft of a person’s bankroll or the depth of his public commitment, character and integrity ?
    Such a comment would not be a wise one for such an important elected official. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if every member of county government heard from these same "important people," who must be more influential with some public servants than citizens of lesser importance. Unbeeeelievable. Fincher’s arrest and the zoning ordinance seem related because each confronts constitutional issues such as a citizen’s right to own and control his own property and the right to bear arms, however that is defined. And what the heck, might as well toss in Don Bright’s interrupted right to free speech in public, even if it was less than civil and genteel.
    —–––––•–––––—Staff columnist Mike Masterson is the former editor of three Arkansas daily newspapers.

  8. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    You feeling safer, too?
    Mike Masterson
    Posted on Saturday, November 25, 2006
    URL: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Editorial/173988/
    First, our federal government told
    us of Saddam Hussein’s
    purported weapons of mass destruction in far away Iraq. Now we read chilling accounts of illegal weapons much closer to home. Right here in Northwest Arkansas, government agents have targeted a portly 60-year-old and a small cache of allegedly unregistered weapons as objects warranting prosecution. Hollis Wayne Fincher of Fayetteville has made headlines this month since federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, operating under the auspices of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, raided his home and found illegal firearms in his possession, according to an ATF news release.
    The prosecutorial efforts against ole Wayne, who is known locally for his outspoken views on governmental interference, have been nothing less than massive as evidenced by eight months of reported federal investigation throughout the Fayetteville-Fort Smith area culminating in the issuance of 14 search warrants.
    When the considerable dust from all that costly effort cleared, Fincher wound up being the only person charged with anything.
    Wow. An eight-month investigation, 14 search warrants and the arrest of one aging man for weaponry that he’d openly admitted having over the years. He was even photographed holding one of the allegedly unregistered weapons, a machine gun, in a local newspaper’s feature story about him last year.
    Many around here believe the investigation resulted from that posed photo. I suppose this would have to mean that the eight months of investigation leading up to his arrest were devoted to proving whether he also owned a sawed-off shotgun that ATF alleges was unregistered.
    Don’t know about you, but I’m sure feeling a lot safer now that this familiar radio caller and astute devotee of the state and federal constitutions, especially as they pertain to a citizen’s right to bear arms and hold personal property, is facing prosecution after all these years.
    Fincher reportedly had his firearms stored in a bunker far from Fayetteville. Can you imagine the catastrophic noise they might have made had they been discharged anywhere around a safe neighborhood ?
    Odd that, in all those years as editor of the Northwest Arkansas Times, I never saw Wayne Fincher as anything but an active American with good intentions who seemed obsessed with discussing constitutional issues.
    But hey, he was a free citizen. He had that right. Being a constitutionalist and having the title of lieutenant commander in the Militia of Washington County, composed of those who see themselves as patriots, also seemed to provide this man with both a sense of purpose and a cause that many perceive to be noble and just.
    He never held religious services at the group’s militia building that I knew about. Nope, no burning of any symbols or odd chanting reported from the block building. He didn’t demand that anyone drink Kool-Aid from a paper cup. He was just plain ole crusty Wayne.
    And now he stands accused of criminal acts by the very government he so often criticized. How about that ?
    To me, Fincher, who pleaded innocent to firearms possession charges in U. S. District Court at Fort Smith on Monday, actually resembles a shorter, paunchier, much less Hollywoodized Grizzly Adams. He is, well, like the nice, talkative fella you’d run into at the Madison County feed store on a Saturday morning. His position in the local militia, which calls itself a non-violent group dedicated to the preservation of the U. S. and Arkansas Constitutions, has been ceremonial.
    But there are definite limits to such rights, says our government of laws that are never mocked. The ATF obviously has worked diligently in its pursuit of deadly weapons, particularly to keep Fincher’s rural neighborhood along East Black Oak Road safe from the likes of him and others who believe constitutions mean just what they say.
    Oh, did I mention that it is perfectly legal to possess a machine gun if it is properly licensed under the provisions of the National Firearms Act ? That being the case, does it sound to anyone else like this expensive, time-consuming investigation might have been resolved by one ATF agent visiting Fincher’s home with a citation book and a few registration forms ?
    But then, of course, Fincher would have missed his opportunity to become a militia martyr of sorts.
    Staff columnist Mike Masterson is the former editor of three Arkansas daily newspapers.
  9. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Wayne’s justice
    Mike Masterson
    Posted on Thursday, January 4, 2007
    URL: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Editorial/177768/
    Hundreds of "Free Wayne" yard
    signs and bumper stickers are
    appearing across Northwest Arkansas, provided by a group that believes 60-year-old Hollis Wayne Fincher was unjustly arrested and jailed Nov. 8 on charges of possessing an unregistered machine gun and a sawed-off shotgun. There are more than a few who believe that Fincher has the unqualified right under the Arkansas and U. S. Constitutions to bear arms in defense of his property and that the U. S. Constitution overrides any state or federal laws that would undermine or dilute that right. Some contend that Fincher, a militia leader from Fayetteville, was targeted largely because of his history of outspoken anti-governmental bluster. Yet I always understood that our opinions are protected under the First Amendment.
    Frankly, this whole legal firearm thing confuses me. Authorities say a rifle that requires a trigger pull for every bullet it discharges is legal but that a weapon of the same caliber that fires continually with one pull must be registered with the government ? And how is it that the same legal shotgun must be registered when enough inches are trimmed from its barrel ?
    Such governmental requirements do appear almost contradictory to the intent and wording of the Second Amendment. And government is plainly admonished not to even infringe on the right of citizens to bear arms, much less restrict or prohibit that right altogether.
    There’s also a solid argument that the Second Amendment was intended to ensure the right of individual citizens above any protections for a government that exists only to serve citizens.
    While I’ve never belonged to a militia or hung around the weapons lovers who do, I believe these groups serve a historically legitimate role in society. They are comprised largely of deeply patriotic Americans who embrace the guiding document forged by our Founding Fathers. It’s a mistake to dismiss their members as gun nuts because they believe in defending themselves—and the hallowed Constitution—against oppression and tyranny. Militias are fully legitimized by name within our Constitution.
    Fincher, an outspoken lieutenant commander of the Militia of Washington County, is confined under federal custody in the Sebastian County jail. He declined a whopping $ 250, 000 bail, which was to be imposed only if he agreed to collateralize his bond money with the deed to his 120-acre homestead along Black Oak Road in Fayetteville. He said he wasn’t about to trust that offer and risk the Fincher family farm, which has endured across four generations.
    Actually, Fincher’s case should prompt us all to examine how much our nation has deviated from its founding principles. Whether you and I agree that he should be able to legally alter his own rifle to make it fully automatic or shorten his shotgun barrel without becoming a prison-worthy criminal, we likely can concur on the crystal-clear language of the U. S. and Arkansas Constitutions. There is no description in either document that distinguishes legitimate "arms" from illegitimate ones or qualifies how far a citizen or militia can go in arming for self-protection. The Framers worded the Second Amendment specifically to ensure that the individual could defend himself against any hostile force that might threaten life, liberty or pursuit of happiness. That even includes government itself.
    Yet the U. S. attorney, a. k. a. the government, has asked the court to disallow Fincher from even using his Second Amendment rights in his own defense. This explosive case has fueled one more thought in my tiny brain. None of us wants those who would harm us armed with any weapon, whether it be a fully automatic one or a single-shot. But neither can our government begin to protect us from such people. With enough cash, they can acquire all the unregistered weaponry they desire. Such a situation, combined with a reality in which the same government is warning of the certainty of another attack somewhere on our soil by a fanatical enemy we cannot even identify, gives all bad actors a huge advantage. Come next Monday, U. S. District Judge Jimm Hendren, a jurist I’ve long considered honorable, is scheduled to charge 12 good men and women to determine whether Fayetteville’s Wayne Fincher is a smarmy criminal deserving of prison time for having unregistered weapons, about which records show Fincher notified state and federal officials in a 2002 letter, or an American citizen with no criminal past who believes he’s simply been openly exercising his constitutional rights. Let’s stay tuned.
  10. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    The outcome, no surprise here

    FAYETTEVILLE — Hollis Wayne Fincher told a federal judge Thursday that he has a constitutional right to own machine guns and sawed-off shotguns to "protect his family, home and state."
    But jurors who will begin deliberating today in the government’s case against Fincher won’t hear that testimony because U. S. District Judge Jimm L. Hendren ruled it inadmissible.
    There is no evidence that Fincher is part of a well-regulated state militia, the judge said, and being part of a nongovernment militia is not a legal argument for owning weapons banned by the federal government.
    "I have no doubt Mr. Fincher and other members of the Washington County Militia have the best interest of the state and country at heart," Hendren said in making his ruling. "But [that argument ] is not sufficient as a matter of law."
    Fincher testified for more than an hour Thursday outside the presence of the jury so Hendren could determine if information about the Militia of Washington County could be brought in as evidence.
    Fincher, 60, is on trial in U. S. District Court in Fayetteville on charges of possession of a machine gun and possession of a firearm not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. He has been in the Sebastian County jail since his Nov. 9 arrest.
    Closing arguments are scheduled to begin at 9 a. m. today.
    Fincher, lieutenant commander of the militia, said the group wrote letters to state and federal officials identifying themselves as a state militia. When they didn’t hear back from anyone, Fincher said, militia members assumed both the state and federal government recognized the group.
    Fincher and others formed the militia in 1994, he said.
    "I don’t have to stand and wave the flag and wait for the government to call me," Fincher said.
    There are hundreds of militia members across Northwest Arkansas, Fincher said, and the group’s goal is to protect their families, the state and the nation if called upon. Seven to nine people are regulars at militia meetings, and there is no roster of membership, he said.
    Men ages 18 to 45 are bound by state law to be part of a militia if called upon, Fincher said.
    Fincher admitted to assistant U. S. attorney Chris Plumlee during cross-examination that he has built 60 machine guns in recent years for both militia members and nonmembers. He said everyone has a constitutional right to bear arms.
    "The police use them, and the military use them," Fincher said. "It would be derelict to say that [I ] shouldn’t be allowed to own a machine gun. It goes against the common defense of this state."
    The government introduced a letter from former Gov. Mike Huckabee that said the Militia of Washington County is not recognized as a state organization.

    FAYETTEVILLE — Attorneys for a Washington County man facing gun charges can only speak of his militia activities if they can prove the organization is sanctioned by the state of Arkansas, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
    Hollis Wayne Fincher, 60, faces charges of possession of a machine gun and possession of a firearm not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
    Fincher is a member of the Militia of Washington County, a group established in 1994 to "to defend the liberty of the citizens of the state of Arkansas, and these United States, through education, participation, and action," according to the group’s Web site.
    The group is not affiliated with any government agency.
    No case law exists that allows a member of a "nongovernment" militia to possess illegal weapons, U. S. District Judge Jimm L. Hendren said.
    Evidence on any private militia "would mislead the jury," Hendren said. The judge also said he would have to approve all evidence about the militia before it could be introduced to the jury.
    Defense attorney Oscar Stilley objected to the limitations, but declined to say in court what evidence he planned to introduce about the militia as part of his client’s defense. Stilley has said evidence about the militia group was a big part of Fincher’s defense.

    Militia member convicted of weapons charges
    Northwest Arkansas Times
    Posted on Saturday, January 13, 2007
    URL: http://www.nwanews.com/nwat/News/49072/
    A jury found Hollis Wayne Fincher guilty Friday of owning illegal weapons in U. S. District Court in Fayetteville.
    Fincher is the lieutenant commander in the Militia of Washington County.
    The defense planned on arguing that the U. S. Constitution allows Fincher to build and own machine guns and sawed-off shotguns. U. S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren ruled that testimony inadmissible.
    The 60-year-old Washington County man faces 20 years in federal prison, but his attorney said he plans to appeal.
    Oscar Stilley, Fincher’s attorney, said he believed the outcome could have been different if he had been able to present certain information to the jury.
    " If we’d gotten a jury instruction on the 2 nd Amendment, we probably would’ve won, " he said.
    Don Bright, Fincher’s friend and supporter, was also unhappy with the verdict.
    " It goes without saying that we were very disappointed and quite angry at the judge, actually, " Bright said.
    " He reduced the allowable evidence down to where he left Wayne with no defense, " he said, adding that the judge restricted the jury to where it could only do what the judge said they could do.
    Bright said that while the judge did not say it word for word, " What he said, in effect, was that the people of Arkansas are too stupid to be on a jury. "
    He went on to say that it was " quite obvious that the judge wanted the government to win the case. "
    Defense attorney Oscar Stilley said he plans to appeal the case "until we get a not-guilty verdict." He said jurors appeared to have wrestled with the law as they deliberated.
    The jury sent three questions to U. S. District Judge Jimm L. Hendren, including one asking how they could reconcile being unable to make a unanimous decision on the registration charge. They concluded deliberations two hours later.
    "I don’t feel like they were happy about this [decision ]," Stilley said. "There were no smiles on their faces and no laughing."

    Fincher will remain in the Sebastian County jail in Fort Smith until sentencing, which will be within 45 to 60 days.

    Seems the saying is true;
    It's dangerous to be right, when the government is wrong
  11. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    What I don't understand, is why this is down here in the tinfoil hat lounge instead of Freedom and Liberty, where it belongs.:sneaky:
  12. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    This thread was moved here since it was incorrectly located in a different forum.

  13. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Gracias senor Bard!!
    I don't know why I had it in TFHL, must of had one too many the day I first posted it.
  14. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Evidence on any private militia "would mislead the jury," Hendren said. The judge also said he would have to approve all evidence about the militia before it could be introduced to the jury.
    This certainly implies a forgone`conclusion on the part of the judge!! Thely want to control the monopoly board.." They decide what the jury can hear,what interpretation of the law the jury will be be instructed. They might as well just type up a false transcript and toss him in the clink to talk to his grandkids over the prison visitor phone....

    What about the nra??? Surely they spout about protecting gun "rights"...
  15. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    The one thing he could have done to have a differnt outcome, was to challenge the law before breaking it.
    Not too smart, guess he will have time to think about it now.
  16. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    You can't just challenge a law. The only way to have a law overturned or changed is by breaking it and taking your case from the local -> appeal -> local2 -> appeal -> State Supreme Court -> appeal -> federal -> appeal -> Federal2 -> appeal/petition of SCOTUS -> ???
    This is a gross oversimplification of the process.

    The only way to EVER change Miller, would be to be in violation of something similar and lose a bunch of legal battles on appeal and somehow get SCOTUS to want to hear it, which they probably won't want to.

    Need a team of lawyers and a LOT of cash before you got out your drill press. SO, you can't challenge a law before you break it.
  17. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I want to see this case carried all the way and have a number of folks that will chip in to help with some of the legal expenses.
  18. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Any "law" that violates the Constitution is NOT a valid law. The only thing that gives it authority is people ignorantly obeying it. The only way to change it is to have the courage to NOT obey it. This guy has the courage to challenge it and is paying the price for that courage.
    If all of us had that kind of courage we would just say NO. We're not going to obey unconstitutional laws, then what would they do? Lock up a couple of million people?
  19. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Hey Im all for it, Whos gonna step for a 20 year ride?
    There has to be a way of doing this and not going to Bubbas Butt session.
    How many are going to send money to his family because its the only way to do it and the poor dude is going up a creek?
    Its easy to say it needs to be done.
    there just has to be another way, and Unfortunately law isnt my bag of goodies
  20. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    That's the rub isn't it Quig? There isn't enough of us that are willing to risk it. It's easy to talk about what should be done, but when it comes time to line up it gets pretty quiet.
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