|Use online petition to FAX your U.S. Representative
Track the Status:
Share the link: bit.ly/FTC-ARMS
Ask Your U.S. Representative to Co-Sponsor HR 4934
The recent solicitation by USDA for submachine guns raised concern among farmers and local food consumers. Why would an agency tasked with regulating agriculture in our country need such weapons?
Answer: It shouldn’t. Help stop this by urging your Congressman to support the Regulatory Agency Demilitarization Act, HR 4934.
Disarm the Bureaucrats
Disturbingly, the arming of regulatory agencies has become more and more widespread in our federal government. While the actual number of armed raids has been low, the fear and distrust that they have created in the local foods community has been widespread and damaging. For example, the 2010 armed raid on a local food co-op in southern California, in which the FDA participated, is still reverberating through the raw milk community. The Rawesome Food was raided again in 2011 with armed police on site while the club’s food was seized and hauled away.
If agency officials face a situation in which armed backup is truly called for, they can go through the proper procedures to have support from the Department of Justice. Having in-house SWAT teams and armed personnel makes it too easy to turn a non-hazardous situation into an armed raid that abuses the rights of our citizens. Bureaucrats aren’t hired or properly trained for dangerous law enforcement situations. Moreover, it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars to provide weapons to each individual agency.
To stop this trend, Congressman Chris Stewart of Utah has introduced the Regulatory Agency Demilitarization Act (HR 4934).
HR 4934 Aims to Do Three Things:
1. Repeal the arrest and firearm authority granted to Offices of Inspectors General by the 2002 Homeland Security Act.
2. Prohibit federal agencies, other than those traditionally tasked with enforcing federal law–such as the FBI and U.S. Marshals–from purchasing machine guns, grenades, and other weaponry regulated under the National Firearms Act.
3. Require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to write a complete report detailing all federal agencies with specialized units that receive special tactical or military-style training and that respond to high-risk situations that fall outside the capabilities of regular law enforcement officers.
The bill already has 28 co-sponsors, but it needs a lot more to help move it forward! Will you help?
ACTION #1 – SIGN PETITION
Use the online petition to FAX your message to your U.S. Representative:
I urge you to co-sponsor HR 4934 to demilitarize regulatory agencies like USDA and FDA; if necessary, such agencies can get armed back-up from properly-trained enforcement personnel like the FBI, U.S. marshals and local police.
Call your U.S. Representative and urge him/her to co-sponsor HR 4934.
If you don’t know who represents you, you can find out at www.house.gov or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to reach your Representative’s DC office.
If you have just a couple of minutes, you can make the call and leave this message with whoever answers the phone:
- “My name is ___ and I am a constituent. I urge Representative ____ to co-sponsor HR 4934, the Regulatory Agency Demilitarization Act.”
If you have a little more time and want to make an even greater impact, here are some tips:
- 1) Ask to speak to the staffer who handles government oversight issues.
2) Introduce yourself and ask if they’ve heard about the bill. Many will not have heard anything yet.
3) Briefly explain the reasons you are concerned about regulatory agencies having in-house firearms, instead of going through the proper channels for law enforcement.
4) Most likely, the staffer will say that they need to review the bill and talk to the Representative. Ask them to please follow up with you after they have done that, and give them your number or email to do so.
5) Be sure to get their name and email address so you can follow-up. Building an ongoing relationship is important!
Rawesome FDA Raid 2 (Aug 3, 2011) posted by Real Food Rights
FDA, FBI & LAPD agents accompanied by police raid Rawesome private food club in Venice, CA for the second time for providing raw milk and other foods to members. Three people were arrested and jailed for ‘conspiracy to sell raw milk’. Club members watch as agents load up raw dairy & meat for ‘testing’ that was left for 5 hour in the sun. Gallons of raw milk were poured down the drain on site.
First Raid on Rawesome 2010 – commentary by Jarel Winterhawk posted by Real Food Rights
This video includes the surveillance camera capturing police entering with guns drawn.
With no warning one weekday morning, investigators entered an organic grocery with a search warrant and ordered the hemp-clad workers to put down their buckets of mashed coconut cream and to step away from the nuts.
Then, guns drawn, four officers fanned out across Rawesome Foods in Venice. Skirting past the arugula and peering under crates of zucchini, they found the raid’s target inside a walk-in refrigerator: unmarked jugs of raw milk. [Read full article]
In both raids, it is clear that armed enforcement was not necessary. Warrants were issued and those on site complied with agency officials.
Services provided by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) go beyond providing legal representation for members in court cases. Educational and Political Action Services provide an avenue for FTCLDF to build grassroots activism to create the most favorable regulatory climate possible.
For example, in addition to advising on bill language, FTCLDF supports favorable legislation via action alerts, social media outreach, and the online petition service.
You can help FTCLDF by becoming a member or donating today.
Anyone wanting to make a contribution to support the work of the Fund can make a donation online or send a check to:
- 8116 Arlington Blvd, # 263
- Falls Church, VA 22042
Prefer to make a tax-deductible donation? Click here for details
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund defends the rights and broadens the freedoms of family farms and artisan food producers while protecting consumer access to raw milk and nutrient-dense foods. Those concerned can support the FTCLDF, a U.S. based 501(c)(4) nonprofit, by joining or donating online at farmtoconsumer.org or by calling 703-208-FARM (3276).