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Talkin' to America
Interview with Richard Celata of KT Ordnance

INTRODUCTION

Aaron: This is Talkin’ to America. I’m your host, Aaron Zelman. Our guest today is Richard Celata. He is the owner of KT Ordnance. They are famous, perhaps infamous now at this point for making firearm parts, chunks of metal, that people can buy to make their own gun, and the government doesn’t like that, so Richard is going to talk to us today about what happened to him because the government decided to act in a criminal manner.

Richard, how are you?

Richard: I am fine Aaron. Thank you for having me on.

Aaron: Richard, why don’t you start with the basics and tell us what happened on June 6th?

Richard: On June 6th we were raided by the ATF, the FBI, and the Canadian ATF. The search warrant said that they were looking for firearms and other items pertaining to the manufacturer of sale and receipt of such items. They also claimed that we were manufacturing without a license, which obviously isn’t true because we don’t make anything that requires a license. All our products are nonlicensable.

Aaron: Can you describe the raid and what was said to you and how they reacted and things they did?

Richard: At the beginning of the raid, I was called in by the sheriff on false pretences to speak about some political issues that I wanted to talk to the sheriff about and assuming that is what the meeting was about, I brought my literature, which was 10 or 15 items, one being “Innocents Betrayed” and several other JPFO DVDs and also two constitutional study courses and pocket constitutions, which were all deemed subversive and seditious by the FBI.

Aaron: Now do you have any speculations as to why they thought that “Innocents Betrayed”, which is our documentary film showing the connection between gun registration, confiscation, governments going bad and then governments murdering people, would be considered subversive by the FBI.

Richard: I am not sure. Probably because that is exactly what it tells them and exposes them for what they really are.

Aaron: Did the ATF also think that “Innocents Betrayed” was also subversive?

Richard: Yes, they had mentioned it. They asked why I watched such information and did I believe it. In return, I asked them if they believe everything that the government told them and the responded with a yes.

Aaron: Everything?

Richard: Well, I used the word everything and they said yes to it, so I assumed everything.

Aaron: Well, I guess applesauce is shoe polish then, okay? What do you think they were trying to accomplish by claiming that people who were exercising their first amendment rights to read or watch something were somehow engaged in subversive activity?

Richard: I think it would have to do with Dr. Edwin Vieira’s articles that I have been passing around locally, which is to reconstitute the state militias, which the constitution requires both federally and the state of Montana, so I think they were worried about that. The FBI questioned me extensively on my knowledge of am I part of a militia, do I know militia leaders, am I trying to start a militia and so on.

Aaron: Did they at one time suggest that JPFO was a militia?

Richard: Well, they asked about you, JPFO, and you specifically, and if you were subversive and were you anti-government and were you trying to start a militia or were you part of a militia, and they asked the same questions also of Devvy Kidde and Edwin Vieira, and other people that are no so well-known.

Aaron: I think it might be helpful for you to tell people about Dr. Vieira’s background as to what he does and what kind of law he practices?

Richard: He is the constitutional attorney who practices in the federal courts. He has a Ph.D. and a J.D. and he writes for News with Views on the corrupt money system, the corrupt judicial system, and also on the militias. He is writing legislation now to be put into all fifty states to have lawful money again and also to reinstate the militias, which would be the true homeland security and just to note that that National Guard is not the militia contrary to popular belief.

Aaron: That’s part of the army.

Your lawyer, Quentin Roads, has suggested that he thinks this whole raid was really a fishing expedition. Can you comment on that?

Richard: We believe that at the time because of items that they took and things that they didn’t take, questioning me more about militias and that activity, and just the records that they were after, the types of records, my client list and sales receipts to things I purchased and resold to someone else, so we think it was geared on that.

Aaron: So, they wanted to know who your customer base was?

Richard: Right.

Aaron: I really want to know who is exercising their right to build their own firearms as outlined at the BATF website, telling people the guidelines to follow to legally build your own guns and they didn’t like this. Do I understand this?

Richard: They actually told me that the website was wrong when I commented that even on their own website on their frequently asked questions, also states the corresponding legislation that actually enacts that piece of wording that they have, you can build your own firearms for your own personal use as long as you do not sell them.

Aaron: So they claim that what is on their site is wrong?

Richard: That is what one of the ATF ladies said.

Aaron: Did she tell you when they are going to change the site?

Richard: No they didn’t.

Aaron: Did they tell you when the law is going to change?

Richard: No they didn’t.

Aaron: Curious. What was it like while you were being raided? Tell us how they treated you and your family.

Richard: The sheriff was the key pivot point in that. He called me in so that I would not be on the premises and cause a problem when they came in to clear the house. The sheriff also against the ATF’s recommendations allowed me to call my wife to let my wife and my two small children leave. As we all know, they shoot first and ask questions later, and my little 3-year-old son runs around with a toy rifle most of the time and I could just see them breaking in the door and him carrying a rifle and shooting him, so I didn’t want that to happen, so the sheriff did allow me to call against the ATF’s recommendations and they were able to leave prior to them coming in. I also had my wife leave the doors open, not just unlocked, but open so they didn’t have any cause to blow them off the hinges or batter them down. After she left, I guess they sent in their team to clear the house. Then the sheriff escorted me back to my house where I sat in my kitchen and I let them go through all my stuff as I watched. A funny thing is that there are two bathrooms in my place, one in the house and one in the shop, but they chose to use the back of my building as the bathroom instead of using the facilities inside.

Aaron: Did they comment on why they chose to act in such a manner?

Richard: I have no idea why. My neighbor watched them intently from across the road, binoculars in one hand and rifle in the other. He actually witnessed them going to the bathroom on the back of my building. I wish he had had a camera, which would have been a nice photograph.

Aaron: That would be fascinating. This whole raid really boils down to your manufacturing a partially finished chunk of metal and then people have to take this and hopefully they have the skill to complete it, so they can use it on the firearm that they are building for their own personal use. What kind of a chunk of metal is this and how useful is this chunk of metal unless it is properly machined by somebody else because they said you were making an illegal firearm, so what constitutes a firearm based on their latest interpretation?

Richard: Well that is what it comes down to is their interpretation. We have known from previous determination letters that they really don’t mean much even after they issue one. They have issued several letters claiming that the AR15 in such a configuration is not a firearm along with also the 1911s, yet it is arbitrary. You can send in two 80% frames to the ATF at two different times and get two different answers. One time one person will look at it and say it is a firearm and another time another person will look at it and say, no it is not, so there is not much determination on that of what constitutes that, but the general rule of thumb that they go by is that if it cannot be assembled in any manner and fire a single round, it is not a firearm. It would take a considerable amount of time, depending on your skill level; of course, my skill level is above most average people who buy these, so it would take me less time than someone else who would not have my skill level, but still the AR15 style rifle, you can’t assemble it, you can’t put a hammer trigger, you can’t put the buffer tube in, you need to drill and tap. I think it is pretty much about 18 or 20 holes in it before it will work properly and if you don’t do the hammer and trigger hole properly, it will never work. The sear will not engage. So it is not like you just buy something and assemble it and 10 minutes later, you have a working firearm. Most people take an average of between 20 hours to finish one to bring it to 100% receiver.

Aaron: Well, alright, I guess they have a problem with people again doing what is legal based on what is on their website, which they now claim is wrong, but they can’t tell you what is wrong or what is right? I guess this is close enough for government work. Do you think that would be a good way to describe it?

Richard: Yes, that would be.

Aaron: Your attorney is Quentin Roads in Montana. I was very curious to see if this will ever go to court.

Richard: I hope it doesn’t in one way, but you know, in other ways it may be a good thing. I don’t know.

Aaron: If it was a good thing, why would it be good?

Richard: Then there would be an actual set of rules that we would all know and we could just look up and read and say well at this point a chunk of metal now becomes a firearm. Then we could all manufacture our 80% up to that defined point and then there would be no discrepancy on what we are doing.

Aaron: Do you think that the ATF really wants something that well defined?

Richard: Judging from the way they handle things, no, I don’t think that they would want that.

Aaron: In fact, I would remind people that they don’t have standardized testing procedures as we have documented on our website at JPFO.org in the Len Savage case and the John Glover case, and that the government really does not like to be put into a situation where they have to clearly explain their activities and justify them.

Richard: Tyranny always likes to work in the dark. They don’t like to be in the spotlight.

Aaron: How is your family doing after all this?

Richard: Well, we are doing quite well as far as that because again, the children were not traumatized by men in suits coming in and pointing guns at them, so they just thought that some bad people came to the house, so they are pretty good, but again we are a little more cautious. We used to leave our doors wide open and I had no problem leaving my garage door open and then going into town for an hour and worrying about anything, so that has definitely changed.

Aaron: How is your wife holding up?

Richard: She is holding up well. She is either putting on a very good façade or she really is doing well.

Aaron: Okay. Let’s go back to the court situation. What do you suppose the court will be asked to decide? In other words, what questions do you suppose the jury should hear so there would be some honesty at the ATF once and for all?

Richard: I would think that they would want to know the exact procedure and when the line is crossed between a piece of metal and a firearm. You know I buy a bar of stock 12-feet long to make stuff, at one point does that bar of stock now become a firearm? That would be the key question on that and do they have such a standard, and if not, why? Why don’t they have one? How can you prosecute somebody for making something that nobody knows what it is? So I think to get an honest answer, they would first have to come up with some kind of standard. Again, the ATF doesn’t recreate law, it is congress that creates law, so I would assume that congress would have to go into session and create a law that says you know, at this point, this is considered a firearm, and then the ATF could enforce that.

Aaron: Assuming they are still in business, which I think the American people have to realize this is a rogue agency that should not exist, unless they can prove otherwise. These are the Waco folks who like to murder people in operation show time. Tell me, you have heard from people around the country now and what kind of response are you getting or what kind of support are you getting from people who were outraged by the criminal activity of the BATF folks.

Richard: Everybody seems to be very supportive of this. They are all starting to realize, you know, until this happened, I was pretty much a nobody, and if they can go after me, they can go after anybody, and I think they are trying to start to go after the manufacturers and take them out of the process. That way there is nothing for the retailers to sell, so people are starting to support. Many of the message boards and blog sites are running stuff. Several people have put up items for auction to help support the legal costs and that. JPFO has donated stuff and I thank you for that and Claire Wolfe has put up some stuff on her site. Also, Gun Owners of America stepped up the day it happened during the raid. I was talking to Larry Pratt on the phone while we were being raided and they pledged their support. Then just the general population. The other thing we have to realize is that there are 80 million gun owners. If every one of them put up a dollar for this defense fund, you can imagine the kind of financial backing we would have to fight this, and just imagine what would happen if they all put up $10, and I am sure that every one of those 80 million gun owners could afford $10 to fight this because once they take us down, you know everybody else is going to go with it. You know, this is not just a hunting issue. You know they don’t take my clay pigeons away from me then it doesn’t affect me, but it will because they will come for your shotguns and your clay pigeons and your target rifles and hunting rifles. We will start with the most obvious stuff, you know that looks like military weapons and we will just work our way down.

Aaron: There is a new wrinkle that the ATF is following. As you know, in the Len Savage case he submitted an accessory and they wrote him a letter stating that this is a nonfirearm. Nine months later they came back and said well we have decided to reclassify this as a firearm and make it a machine gun as a matter of fact based on characteristics and features. There were no definitions of what characteristics and features were. It was all very vague, so if they can take a nonfirearm, reclassify it based on what they call characteristics and features, then they can certainly take every existing firearm which would have characteristics and features of a firearm and declare them to be illegal. What I have seen from our congress, they would probably go along with that. I don’t think we gun owners have any friends in congress. It would be nice to be proven wrong on that point.

Richard: Well, you probably have one.

Aaron: One is not going to be enough.

Richard: True.

Aaron: A hundred won’t be enough either quite frankly.

Richard: Right, we have to have a majority and the gun owners really need to step up to the plate on this. I know, you know, the trap shooters don’t like the target shooters, the target shooters don’t like the black powder people, the black powder people don’t like the military shooters, and the military shooters don’t like the cowboy action shooting, so we are all fragmented and we really all need to ban together because they will take everybody’s firearms if we don’t stop them.

Aaron: It almost sounds like the ATF and the United Nations have a symbiotic relationship when you think about it? You have done some newspaper interviews and how did those go?

Richard: Most of the papers have been quite fair. They have quoted me correctly. They have done some really good articles and we actually got the most information; of course, we haven’t been contacted by the ATF yet or FBI with any details, our local newspaper has printed more information from the ATF and the sheriff’s department than we have been able to get trying to contact them. Now the warrant didn’t have the signed affidavit which is supposed to accompany it. They all claim it exists but nobody has seen it except the supposed ATF agents, and even in the newspaper this week, the July 12th issue of the Dillon Tribune, the sheriff has admitted that he did not see the affidavit but was confident that everything was in order. I don’t know how you do that.

Aaron: This is why the sheriff was not reelected.

Richard: Actually this happened the day after the election, so I can’t say that was it.

Aaron: I stand corrected.

Richard: I know the new sheriff is going to be far worse.

Aaron: Or less helpful, I guess. Well that is interesting. The sheriff is supposed to work for the people and not for the Federal Government and now you have a situation, and of all places, Montana, where they have infiltrated the state to put in their own lackeys, so it appears.

Richard: One of the other things. This is Agent Glenn from the ATF. She quotes “In regard to Celata’s claim that he is not under the constraints of the law due to his interpretation” (Now they can have interpretations but I can’t) of the 80% statement” that is essentially the fact issue that is going to have to be determined by a court. When I read the law and what requires an 80%, that is my interpretation, but when they read it, it is the law and they interpret it differently.

Aaron: Again, there are no standardized testing procedures and there are no standardized details given to people to comply with their interpretation. This is a good example of arbitrary and capricious approach of the ATF in enforcing their regulations, which we all know there is nothing new about that, which is one of the reasons why the agency must be abolished. I might add that this is one of the reasons why we are doing the movie, The Gang, the documentary to help people understand all the problems that you have outlined along with other people who have suffered at the hands of a government gone bad. Why don’t you tell people where they can reach you.

Richard: My website is www.ktordnance.com. The phone numbers is (406) 834-3611.

Aaron: I understand that your lawyer has told you to go back into production?

Richard: He has. We are having our big open house on July 15th and we hope to actually cut metal at the beginning of the following week.

Aaron: Well, tell people to bring along some guns. They can do a little target shooting.

Richard: Actually our Whiskey Day Memorial Machine Shoot, 80% Gun Bill, and Ice Cream Social that we do every year, this year we won’t be building anything because they have stolen all of my inventory, so we will just be doing some shooting. We have two training courses. The Montana Shooting Association is going to be here doing a two day rifle course and a one day hand gun course. We just have a lot of fun. A lot of like-minded people. So if you can make next year’s, visit the website and get details on it.

Aaron: You have a 200 yard range, don’t you?

Richard: 800 yard range. For all your people that have those big 50 BMGs, you can come out and do some real shooting.

Aaron: Yes, we need to get those folks on board.

Richard, I want to thank you very much for being on Talking to America today. Our guest has been Richard Celata with KT Ordnance. My name is Aaron Zelman. I have been your host and I would like all of you to remember, if you won’t defend your rights, don’t complain when you lose them.

Opinions expressed on this program do not necessarily reflect those of JPFO.org or its members. Talkin’ to America is a production of JPFO.org.


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