When You’re Under a Firearms Investigation

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

I just recently had an experience that I’d rather have avoided. But it taught me some valuable lessons, that I want to take the time to share with you. The experience was that I was under a firearms investigation. Not that I had used a firearm in self-defense, which is what we all expect to have happen to us, but a much more serious allegation; that of illegally manufacturing weapons and trafficking them into Mexico.

I say this was a more serious investigation because I wasn’t just being investigated by the local police, but rather by the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) of the FBI. Yeah, it was that serious. If I had been doing what I had been accused of doing, it would have been a federal crime, a national security investigation and I would have spent some serious hard time in the slam.

Fortunately, I was innocent of the charges and the investigators soon found that out. In fact, by the time they actually interviewed me, they only had one question to ask me: “Do you, or have you ever produced or manufactured any form of weapon or weapon part(s) for the purpose of selling, distributing, or providing to a foreign national/government or foreign national(s)?” That was the exact wording of the question, and once I answered “No” they effectively closed the investigation.

You might be wondering why those allegations were made against me. It was nothing more than spite. A personal dispute turned into a national security investigation, because of the accusations that were made. In all, there were two pages of allegations, but that one was the biggie.

Ok, so what did I learn from this?

Get a Lawyer

There’s a reason why the “Miranda Rights” include your right to having legal counsel. That’s because you and I don’t understand the law. We’re not lawyers and we’re not law enforcement officers; so there’s no way that we can understand everything that’s going on. Best to get some professional advice. Just make sure that you have a lawyer who understands the intricacies of concealed carry law if you carry.

The other big reason to have a lawyer is that your emotions are going to be doing all sorts of crazy things, making it hard for you to keep your head clear and your mouth closed. One of your lawyer’s most important jobs is to make you shut up, when it’s time to shut up. Take my word for it, you need that help.

I have concealed carry legal insurance to cover any use of a firearm for self-defense. Fortunately, they covered my case, even though it didn’t really fall under the guidelines of what they cover. But that saved me several hundred dollars in legal fees. As far as I’m concerned, it paid for my insurance.

Make Sure that You are Clean

If you are doing anything “dirty” you can be sure that they will find it. I’m not just talking about anything having to do with the allegations; I’m talking about anything at all. If you’re having an affair, you can be sure that they’ll find out and it will affect how they look at you and how deep they dig into your life. Fortunately for me, there was nothing to find, so by the time they interviewed my daughter, they were pretty sure that the allegations brought against me were false.

Drag Your Feet

That brings us to the next point that I want to make; drag your feet about talking to them. There is absolutely nothing you can say that will be in your favor. So you’re better off not having to say anything. Let others talk on your behalf, rather than you doing so yourself. In my case, they interviewed my daughter, verifying what they had discovered about me. That, more than anything, showed them that the allegations were false.

The other advantage of dragging your feet is that it will give you time to get emotionally separated from whatever the allegations are about. If you had to use your gun in self-defense, your emotions will be taking you on a roller-coaster ride. That’s ideal for the investigators, who know how to utilize that to get you to talk; but it’s not ideal for you.

They Don’t Have to be Honest with You

Police and other law enforcement officers are under no compulsion to be honest with you in an interview. One standard tactic of theirs is to say that your accomplice had already confessed and blamed everything on you. They do this to get you to spill the beans, blaming everything on them.

This tactic is so well known, that it even appears on cop shows. But it’s real, not an invention of Hollywood. And that’s not the only lie in their toolbox. You can’t assume they are telling you the truth on anything; so don’t base any answers on that assumption.

Don’t Say More Than You Have To

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to say too much, trying to talk themselves out of jail. You can’t. The famous line “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” doesn’t have an opposite. Nothing you can say will make you look any better.

You might be the hero in the situation. If so, let others tell them that. Don’t try to tell them that yourself. If you really are the hero, they’ll find out quick enough, because all those other people will be quick to say so, especially if they see you sitting in the back of a police cruiser, right after you saved their lives. The testimony of those people about your actions carries a whole lot more weight than yours does.

So, there you go. Learn something from my experience. And don’t forget; keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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