12/03/96 Pratt Denounces BATF For Disarming Cops


Gun Owners of America Executive Director Larry Pratt has blasted BATF Director John W. Magaw for a nationwide memo demanding that police forces hunt out, disarm, and dismiss police officers who have had domestic difficulties in their personal lives.

The memo, dated November 26, 1996, and addressed to “Request for Nationwide Broadcast,” acknowledges that the gun ban contained in the recently passed Lautenberg amendment “applies to law enforcement officers.”

Said Magaw: “… [l]aw enforcement officers and other government officials who have been convicted of a qualifying misdemeanor will not be able to lawfully possess or receive firearms or ammunition . . . .” Magaw goes on to advise police departments to “encourage” that officers “relinquish all firearms and ammunition in their possession immediately . . . .” He also points out that the act is applicable to minor crimes committed long before the act’s effective date.

GOA head Larry Pratt blasted Magaw and Lautenberg for attempting to disarm the nation’s law enforcement officers. Said Pratt: “America’s brave law enforcement officers have enough to worry about without the additional problem of BATF’s jack-booted thugs interfering with their private lives and taking away their firearms and their jobs.”

Pratt noted that the Lautenberg amendment would impose a lifetime gun ban on minor offenses not even requiring a jury trial — offenses which include “threats,” even if the threats are joking or incapable of being carried cut.

Pratt went on to note that, understandably, Lautenberg had concealed the anti-police aspects of his gun ban at the time it was being considered in Congress. “Only Gun Owners of America was active in sounding the alarm against this anti-cop aspect of Congress’s most recent gun ban,” said Pratt. “You can bet that GOA will also take the lead in demanding the repeal of this legislative abomination.”