10/26/05 Larry Pratt Remarks To Patriots To Restore Checks And Balances

Statement of Larry Pratt, Executive Director, Gun Owners of America At the News Conference Organized by Patriots To Restore Checks and Balances

October 26, 2005

The FBI and the Justice Department act as if the Fourth Amendment is an unnecessary impediment to efficient law enforcement. Any glitches in dotting “i’s” and crossing “t’s” are, we are assured, the exception and do not warrant closer scrutiny.

King George III had a similar view with his Writs of Assistance which were used to invade the privacy of American colonists in the 18th Century. It seems that the spirit of George III lives on long after we got rid of the tyrant himself.

Gun Owners of America is not convinced that the FBI does not need to be watched. No one has ever gone to jail for the deaths that resulted from the lawless behavior of FBI agents in Ruby Ridge and in Waco.

GOA does not think it is too much to insist that the FBI not be able to invade an American’s home without a search warrant. That is why we oppose the so called “sneak and peek” powers of the Patriot Act. There is, after all, the troublesome issue of the Fourth Amendment which requires probable cause and a search warrant for the government to snoop on us.

The Senate version of the Patriot Act is but a small step in the right direction to restoring government as the servant of the people rather than as a Big Brother.

GOA strongly opposes efforts to insert language in the reauthorization for administrative subpoena powers for the FBI. This would target business records, and gun stores could then be forced to surrender their gun records for building a national gun registry.

Those pushing for more power for the FBI reflect a common view of those in government that the people are all suspects, and thus must be watched.

The problem of government forgetting that it exists to serve the people who created it is not new. The Roman philosopher Juvenal asked the question some 500 years before Christ: “Who will guard the guards themselves?”