An Open Letter to Brian
Benczkowski, ATF Chief of Staff



From Aaron Zelman – Founder and Director of
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO).

Copyright JPFO November 2006


November 13, 2006

Dear Mr. Benczkowski,

We’d like to congratulate you on your new position as Chief of Staff for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. As you know, the BATFE has experienced several embarrassments recently, such as the discovery that agents were improperly talking to the neighbors and relatives of people who were buying firearms at Virginia gun shows. This incident, as well as several related ones, prompted the recent BATFE hearings in Congress.

There are also problems with your Firearms Technology Branch, which arbitrarily designates certain firearms or accessories as "legal" or "illegal". We say arbitrarily because we have seen multiple instances of items that are categorized as "legal" suddenly recategorized as "illegal" months and even years later. Worse, owners of these items are seldom notified that their once-legal property is suddenly illegal. These law-abiding citizens become "criminals" overnight, and are completely unaware of it!

The Firearms Technology Branch has also been known to incompetently "test" firearms. In at least one case, the testing agent declared a rifle to be an illegally modified machine gun because he was able to force it to rapid-fire. It was only after a third party disassembled the rifle that it was found to have a malfunctioning part. To think that a man’s life, freedom, and livelihood rested on the findings of the Firearms Technology Branch ...and the BATFE didn’t even bother to inspect the rifle. It’s not entirely surprising, of course, considering that the BATFE has no written, standardized procedures for performing these tests.

We know such improprieties will not knowingly be permitted to take place on your watch. Additionally, we hope that you will seriously examine the cases of the hundreds or more firearms owners who may have been falsely imprisoned as a result of these poorly-executed tests.

We would like to offer you a complimentary copy of our book _"Gun Control": Gateway to Tyranny_, which illustrates the connections between the 1968 Gun Control Act and the 1938 Nazi gun control laws. The two are eerily similar. _Gateway_ also reproduces a letter from Louis Coffin at the Library of Congress to Senator Thomas Dodd, who had a copy of the original Nazi laws and wished for a translation. Senator Dodd, it should be noted, was a primary author of the 1968 GCA. Would you or the Justice Department be willing to open an investigation into the use of Nazi laws as a model for American gun laws that infringe on the rights of Americans?

As evidenced above, the BATFE has been riddled with greed, arrogance, dishonesty, and incompetence from its inception. Despite numerous attempts at "reform", these problems still exist, and as a result, we’ve come to believe that the best "reform" would be total abolishment of this agency.

Although you may not initially agree with this proposal, we ask that you seriously examine it. If nothing else, coming from Congress, you might want to consider that the party that ultimately abolishes the BATFE would be assured of political power for decades -- 60 million gun owners would respond favorably.

You may be aware that our organization is currently in production on a new documentary entitled _The Gang: Using the Law to Destroy Your Freedom and Security_. This film is admittedly highly critical of the BATFE for many of the reasons listed above. As we are still in production, we’d like to offer you the opportunity to appear on camera for the film. This would provide you with the freedom to express your opinion and any disagreements you may have with our view of the BATFE.

In closing, we ask that you please take the time to address our concerns and let us know if you will pursue justice.


Aaron Zelman
Executive Director
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership


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