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Here's one of a couple of stories concerning the Naughty '90's, like what might REALLY have happened if the Congress and Klinton had gotten everything they wanted with the assault weapons ban.

A scary incident happened in 1993. First, you have to think back to the spring of 1993. Everyone knows Klinton is the anti-gun president that the liberals have been looking for. Talk already fills the media of what gun legislation is going to be passed. The fires have not even stopped smouldering at Waco...

In my little town I heard a rumor that ATF agents were going around to each gun store, copying the information on everyone's 4473 form, sometimes by hand, sometimes by typing it directly into laptop computers. The story turned out to be true...

ATF agents told the dealers a number of stories: that they were investigating straw purchases, that they were collecting statistics on the number of assault weapons in public hands, that some of the guns at Waco were thought to have come from dealers in this area. So many stories were floating around that no one knew the truth. But tensions were high.

Remember, this is right after the Waco incident. People are fearful that the "balloon is going up" and Klinton has cooked up a way to begin the confiscation immediately. Rumors abound that the ATF is secretly beginning confiscation missions in isolated areas so as not to rouse the general populace.

And it got worse. After collecting the information from the FFL dealers, these same ATF agents began contacting the actual buyers of the firearms. Note that we are not talking about multiple handgun purchases--something which may GUARANTEE a visit from the ATF. We are talking about EVERYONE who bought a firearm from the FFL's in this area. People were being asked, especially if they had purchased an assault weapon, "Why do you need such a gun?" Some people were frightened badly enough that they began openly talking "what if" scenarios. "What if" the confiscation has begun; what will we do? Rumors were that some individuals living out in the boonies asked the agents to leave at gunpoint; others were surprised at their workplace with intimidating and embarassing questions.

Local people began calling the offices of their Congressmen in droves. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!? Congressional aides reportedly gave most people a completely unsatisfying and cryptic answer, "What they are doing is perfectly legal." But no one was ever, to my knowledge, told the real reason for the investigation.

And it got still worse. Some people that the ATF tried to contact could not be located. A local radio station held a Saturday-morning talk show devoted to the incident. At least one, and maybe more, people called in to say that they had been pulled over for minor traffic violations and were arrested. They were told that an arrest warrant had been put out for them by the ATF for giving a false address on their 4473. One person who was arrested apparently responded, "I've moved since I bought that gun." To which he was told by an ATF agent: "you're supposed to inform us when you move."
This is patently not true from what I know.

Over the following weeks and months, people talked more and more about the whole incident. Whether it had anything to do with the ATF incident or not, people began to notice Huey helicopters flying over residential areas more than before. I personally saw one of what would come to be called a "black helicopter" hovering over a group of houses. It was a Cobra chopper (I know my choppers), all black, and it did not make the normal "beating the air" sound that a helicopter makes. I was close enough that I should have heard this sound if it was making it.

In 1993, the internet was not as big as it is now, and shortwave radio had not quite become the home of wannabe militia types, but word of mouth was a powerful force. I personally know of people who at least vocalized their intention to "dig some holes in the ground to hide their guns." Gardening at night was the new hobby among firearms owners.

People were scared.

Gradually, the incident was put on the back burner. I have told this story to people new to guns, and a lot of them do not believe it ever happened. Except for the number of witnesses, I'm not sure I would have believed it either.

I know that it's easy to log on to the internet and type a story into this screen that doesn't have a word of truth to it, but I will go to my grave knowing this incident actually happened. To this day, I don't know how close we came to a REAL order to confiscate, but it chills me to the bone to think that these ATF agents were trying to find everyone so that in the event the Assault Weapons Ban required the confiscation of firearms, they would have been able to locate every owner quickly.

What about you, do you have any true scary Assault Weapons Ban stories?
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