U.S. Gov’t Seeks to Gag Pro-2A Reporter Covering Controversial ATF Case
U.S. Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor’s proposed gag order against AmmoLand News journalist John Crump stems from a case in which two men convicted of conspiring to transfer illegal “machine-gun conversion devices.”
As Crump has explained, the so-called devices were, in fact, metal cards with an image inspired by a lightning link etched into them. The ATF claimed that the lightning link could be cut out of the key cards and installed in AR-15-style rifles, which would convert them into fully automatic weapons.
Throughout the criminal proceedings of the two defendants—Justin Ervin and Matthew Hoover—Crump pointed out various dubious aspects of government’s case.
According to Crump, four of the witnesses stated that they bought the Autokey Card after seeing it on the CRS Firearms YouTube channel, but they never intended to cut it out. Another witness “nervously testified” that he bought the item to make a machinegun and accused CRS firearms of encouraging his viewers to break the law, Crump said.
“The ATF also admitted that the Bureau assigned twelve agents to collect Autokey Cards from the public before being told to stop by their higher-ups, who thought it was a waste of money,” Crump wrote in April.
“The ATF employees also admitted to taking classes on convincing a jury of their testimony.”
However, a jury still found Ervin and Hoover guilty in April.