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MD - Homemade Guns Seized In Highlandtown Rowhouse

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Mark Tyson, Jul 3, 2003.

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  1. Mark Tyson

    Mark Tyson Member

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    From WBAL TV 11

    http://www.thewbalchannel.com/news/2307067/detail.html

    Homemade Guns Seized In Highlandtown Rowhouse
    Police Question Man's Motives

    POSTED: 7:27 a.m. EDT July 2, 2003
    UPDATED: 7:50 p.m. EDT July 2, 2003

    BALTIMORE -- A late Wednesday afternoon raid in a south Baltimore neighborhood turned up dozens of guns and enough equipment to manufacture more weapons.

    Lovell Arthur Wheeler, 60, was arrested and charged on numerous firearms charges Wednesday. Baltimore City police detective Donny Moses said Wheeler was charged with reckless endangerment and numerous firearms and explosives violations. He said additional charges are pending after further analysis of items seized from the house.

    WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Jeff Pegues said Tuesday night that police want to know why the man was making so many guns, but one neighbor said Wheeler has ties to Aryan Nation groups and had bragged about starting a race war.

    WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team reporter David Collins reported Wednesday that police filled a dump truck with weapons in various stages of assembly. Police seized 14 rifles, eight handguns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, Collins said. Authorities said it is not illegal to make weapons in Maryland.

    But investigators are most concerned about 80 pounds of gunpowder they found improperly stored in the man's rowhouse. According to charging documents, the gunpowder was found in bleach bottles, paint thinner cans and antifreeze containers. The documents also stated that if that much gunpowder were to explode, it could possibly destroy the home, neighbors' houses and would cause many casualties.

    "One of the officers made a statement saying if there was a war he knows whose house he was coming to for protection," neighbor Carroll Zielinski said.

    Wheeler was arrested Tuesday at a plastics products plant where he now works, Collins reported. Detectives said they found six high-velocity rounds in his pocket, matching more than 1,000 others found at his home. Neighbors who live near the home said the man in custody was not shy about talking about his hatred for minorities. But another neighbor says the woman who lives in the home was more concerned about another terrorist attack.

    "There was going to be a revolution ... and he was well prepared for it, against anybody that's not white," Zielinski said.

    He "talked about complex economic ideas of how the government was messing up and that the economy will crumble and the system will collapse, but it never matched up with a lot of weapons in there," neighbor Erik Sanderson said.

    Wheeler is being held on $2 million bond.

    =============================================

    How hard is it to build your own guns assuming that you have access to proper machine tools?
     
  2. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Sounds like a real piece of work. :scrutiny:

    Of course, it shouldn't be illegal to be an obnoxious bigoted jerk. Seems the guy was mostly guilty of thinking that the First and Second Amendments allowed him to speak freely and keep and bear arms. Silly Nazi, not any more they don't!


    (...though I did like the bit about the "high-velocity rounds" found in his pocket. How do you know, Mr. Reporter? Did you chrono 'em?)
     
  3. Jmurman

    Jmurman Member

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    seems to me the emphasis is on the "racist" viewpoint. The main charge for what I can tell is the "endangerment" for improper storage of powder.

    I have trying to find the regs on powder storage in MD but with no luck...anybody know any links for this?
     
  4. Ham Hock

    Ham Hock Member

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    I agree with Tamara that the guy is a real piece of work. But the news said that they seized his computers, took all his white supremacy literature (seizing books?), cut off their phone service and set his bail at 2 million!

    Come on, nobody in Baltimore gets a 2 million dollar bond.

    I am very far from any kind of white supremist, but it does not seem like he is being treated fairly. From the T.V. interview, they seemed a bit mentally unbalanced.
     
  5. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Well, that and manufacturing guns without making proper obeisances to the BATF and obtaining their official blessing. That's a big time no-no, as in "Federal" and would explain the rather high bond.
     
  6. blackhawk2000

    blackhawk2000 member

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    First they go after the more extreme and vocal gun owners. After they get all them, they start coming for the more normal ones like us.
     
  7. greyhound

    greyhound Member

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    Yep, looks like he was arrested for having views unpopular to the authorities. There could be more to it of course (threats, etc.) but if this racist idiot had kept his mouth shut he wouldn't be in the iron bar hotel. If it helps with the story, the Highlandtown area of Baltimore is mostly working class white folks.
     
  8. ajacobs

    ajacobs Member

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    If you are not making them for sale, you need no official blessing.
     
  9. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Yes, these people are obviously guilty of anti-Soviet, anti-social behavior. We can make them well! Our psychiatrists are the best in the world! Prepare the rubber room.
     
  10. Greg L

    Greg L Member

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    They needed a dump truck for 14 rifles, 8 handguns and 1000 rounds of ammo? I could almost carry that by myself (I couldn't move at all but I should be able to hold it :D ).

    One thing that the "get rid of all guns" crowd never mentions is that the genie is out of the bottle. There are too many people out there who understand the basic workings of a firearm and could if they had no alternative build one fairly easily. This guy, while quite probably a racist jerk, sounds like one of those who could make a fairly well functioning firearm. Is banning knowledge next? (Of course the way that the schools are heading that might not be too far off the mark.)

    Greg
     
  11. Kharn

    Kharn Member

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    Tamara: You dont need federal approval to manufacture guns (when talking about non-NFA ones; you need the FFL if you intend to sell the guns you make), I wrote the ATF on the topic and they replied with this letter:
    Page 1 Page 2 Page 3

    Mark Tyson:
    Given a milling machine (and an operator that has a slight idea of how to use it), its a matter of probably 8-12 hours to make an AR15 lower given a $20 forged lower from DSA (as it comes out of the forge, with no holes drilled), an AK reciever can be done in about the same amount of time with the addition of a welding set (making the reciever from 1/8" thick pieces of steel rather than a bent 1mm thick piece of sheetmetal). Sig 228s, 1911s, Ruger 10/22-clones and 1919s have all been made. I've made ARs, an AK and a 1911, dont have the time or money for the Sig or 1919 and dont have the need for a 10/22 or I would make my own.

    Kharn
     
  12. musher

    musher Member

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    Looking at the variety of (powder manufacturer's) containers that I've got powder stored in looks to me like they could be described as being similar to bleach bottles, antifreeze bottles, and paint thinner cans. Also got some stored in "cardboard boxes"
     
  13. willyjixx

    willyjixx Member

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    2 mill bond for storing powder improperly huh?

    he didnt break the law by making the weapons either? now you cant sell them otherwise that would be illegal with what i read here but what about a gift?

    doesnt it seem like the trend nowadays for a raid is to sweep the whole place to find a bunch of little infractions in case you cant make the main one stick. remember capone was a tax evader. thats all this is there busting him on a technicality cuz they cant get him for the grand scheme of it all
     
  14. Cal4D4

    Cal4D4 Member

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    Wonder what he was making that was so scary? Maybe a Krupp style field piece to shell the minority neighborhoods?

    "...if that much gunpowder were to explode, it could possibly destroy the home, neighbors' houses and would cause many casualties."

    If it was smokeless powder, you gotta try pretty hard to get an explosion. Could this embellishment been added in the "charging documents" to flesh things out a bit and alarm the judge into the high bail?

    "...one neighbor said Wheeler has ties to Aryan Nation groups and had bragged about starting a race war."

    I question any comments made to a reporter by a neighbor. I would like to hear followup.
     
  15. ajacobs

    ajacobs Member

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    In baltimore, I believe, You need a special liscence just to have firearms or atleast certain types. That may be the grounds for additional charges.
     
  16. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

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    I'm glad they don't come to my house! I've got a few more than 1000 rounds! Hell, I've maybe got 1000 45 ACP empties! I shudder to think what they might say about me on the news! Cop #1: I've never seen this much ammo in one place! Cop #2 "Look here, he's got some them cop killer bullets too!" Cop #1 Some of this **** must be illegal! What the hell is that some kind a still?

    I'd be arrested for sure, and they would find something to charge me with (improper disposal of hazardous waste etc.) and I would have to get a lawyer to get my guns back. My luck they'd scratch them all up throwing them in the back of a truck.

    That's how our rights work, guilty until proven otherwise.

    David
     
  17. pax

    pax Member

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    Yes, it is.

    There's a recent piece of legislation which allows the feds to examine your library records and to sieze purchase accounts from your local bookstore, with a secret warrant -- a warrant that does not have to be shown to the person whose records are being searched. It is an incredibly short step from there, to banning certain books and outlawing certain knowledge.

    As it is now, in the course of a criminal investigation, they will examine as much of your reading material as they can, and use that in court against you ("we siezed white supremecist literature from the defendant's home, and the defendant had checked several subversive books out of the local library ... in addition, when we examined the defendant's computer, we found that he had several firearms websites bookmarked...")

    pax
     
  18. Alan Smithiee

    Alan Smithiee Member

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    Pax is dead on there.. my wife works in a library and some of the new laws are down right scarey. when we had the guy who planned 9/11 busted here (well, the govenour said he planned 9/11), his school records vanished within 10 minutes of his arrest. he almost became an unperson as far as the U was conerned. (they still haven't been able to find out what books he had signed out, they were removed by the FBI/INS/CIA/NSA/RCMP/NASA/IRS/SPCA/PETA/SS . thats books that will have to be replaced at tax payer exspense)

    and there are NOT allowed to call you up and say "the FBI were here and were looking at your book records.. just thought you should know" hmmm, I wonder if there interested in the fact that I signed out "Unintended Concequences". I know she wouldn't be allowed to tell me if they had.
     
  19. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    Good reason to get a library card under an assumed name. Very easy to do. :D

    Also Nanaimo Bar(r), got a good recipe? I haven't had a good one since moving from the PNW 5 years ago. I always thought the best were on the BC Ferries.
     
  20. veloce851

    veloce851 Member

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    The article doesn't state anything about what probable cause or reason for a search warrant.
    I find this disturbing.
     
  21. CWL

    CWL Member

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    It is clearly stated in the article that it is not illegal to manufacture your own firearms. -So what kind of "firearms charges" is meant here? Unless Some were auto conversions, or he has some sort of felony record precluding him from legal ownership fo firearms, I don't see anything illegal about this. Hopefully it's not because he actually possesses post-ban hi-cap magazines!

    I wonder if the "gunpowder" talked about is reloading propellant or some more volatile explosive like black powder, then perhaps it might possibly be a explosives manufacture offense. Storing them in cans & such might be seen by zealous prosecutors and feds as 'bombs'.

    Yeah, he was a racist & a jerk (and I'm glad he lives on the other coast from me), but that doesn't take away his rights.
     
  22. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    What's really sad is that the liberal agenda has been achieved. It doesn't matter that this guy is innocent or guilty, but that the new Chief of Police gets the headlines for making a "major gun bust". I suspect that this guy will get off on everything but a misdemeanor or two when it's all said and done, but nobody will ever hear that on primetime news.

    I like Mayor O'Malley, and agree with most of what he's done with Baltimore, but this seems just silly.


    I saw the video, and it looked as if most, if not all of the "illegal firearms" were parts of rifles....mostly bolt action.

    AND, his wife is the confirmed member of several racist groups, not him.


    I >HATE< politics. :mad:
     
  23. Backwoods

    Backwoods Member

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    Sounds kinda like an old fashioned witch hunt to me. They'd freak out if they got an eyeball on the stuff (All legal over the counter stuff) in my basement. I'm certain that many others on this board would qualify also.

    Several people have already commented on the legality of making your own guns and are right on the money. I've seen it argued that selling a homebuilt gun isn't per se illegal, just that you can't make one "for sale". As an example, I have an AR15 type rifle that I built from an 80% receiver I built it for my own use and have no thoughts of selling. Ten years from now I may change my mind and let someone talk me out of it. It would be my property, not made "for sale", but not illegal to sell. Making and then immediately selling a gun would quite properly earn you the possible wrath of the BATFboys if/when they find out about it.

    Don in Ohio
     
  24. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    It would almost certainly earn the wrath of F Troop...but quite properly?


    I do not consider actions performed under unconstitutional laws to be proper.
     
  25. Backwoods

    Backwoods Member

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    Byron,
    I wish it were otherwise, but if you do something you KNOW is gonna cause the BATF*ckers to get thier panties in a twist, that's your fault. Gotta deal with the reality of the situation we have, not what we know it really should be.

    It's like that "walking on hot coals" bit, some people don't get thier feet burned. The ones that do get burned, they knew(or should have) that it was a possibility before they took the first step. Being unconstitutionaly in jail still ain't gonna be fun.

    Don in Ohio

    Yeah, "properly" wasn't such a good term!
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2003
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