Since the invention of firearms, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, it has been commonplace to tinker, modify, or even build one's own guns. The very idea of gun control only came from political groups seeking to disarm other political groups. These "laws" and civil disarmament never apply to the political group or class passing the laws. It was commonplace to seek to arm allies and disarm opponents or potential opponents. In the United States, for example, during the times of slavery the very first gun laws were laws seeking to ensure that slaves and blacks remained disarmed, as they were seen a threat by the southern democrat slave owners and political class.
It has always been a tradition to be able to repair, modify, upgrade, enhance, and perfect firearms oneself. The very idea that certain firearms should be "off limits" to civilians is a very new idea, and unsupported by all historical texts of the founders of this nation and the proponents of liberty. Predating the 2nd Amendment even, Europeans enjoyed protections under law to ensure they had the right to keep and bear arms. These were, as always, infringed regularly. But it remained understood that the difference between a free person and a slave or servant was the ability to own and carry weapons. Only in the last century has this idea been craftily under attack by a ruling political class with its own armed security and exceptions to the laws, under the guise of crime prevention.
California, already having some of the most confusing, complex, and restrictive laws in the nation, frequently features grandstanding politicians blaming firearms instead of society and culture. They let criminals out of jail and prison, and then go after law-abiding citizens simply for keeping and bearing arms. Time after time California laws are struck down by the courts, but in the meantime countless victims of draconian laws have been created. Captain Derik Oakes from the Sacramento Fire Department is one of them. Captain Oakes enjoyed the hobby of tinkering and building guns in his home. The old hobby and tradition spans the country, enjoyed by millions if not 10s of millions of gun owners.
These facts didn't stop federal and state/local actors from deciding to "bust" this fire captain. They raided his house, confiscated his collection and hobby, and charged him with crimes. All of this in violation of his right to keep and bear arms, a right under constant assault in California. This gun is too big, this one too small, this too scary looking, this too "military" looking, this too cheap, this holding too many rounds. It's virtually impossible to keep track of the laws or the reason behind them, as they change all the time. There is no consideration or respect for the 2nd Amendment and the idea that prior restraint shouldn't be put on a right so basic. Captain Oakes isn't a criminal, had no criminal intent, and wasn't up to "no good."
Now a man's name has been dragged through the mud with arrest and charges and accusations of scary-sounding crimes that use the word "assault," despite this man never having threatened or assaulted anyone at all! For these reasons we stand with Captain Derik Oakes of Sacramento, and seek to support him in restoring his life as best as possible. None of his firearms should have been taken, there never should have been a warrant, and he should simply have been left alone to exercise a most basic and vital right, and enjoy a pastime and hobby that is as old as humankind's first use of objects for self-protection and hunting. Working on one's own carriable defensive weapons is a right - a right that can't be licensed or permitted or restricted, a right that "shall not be infringed."
Captain Oakes has said he doesn't want fundraising on his behalf. He wants people to support groups like Gun Owners of America and the Firearms Policy Coalition. He says this is an "everyone" problem, referring to every gun owner - not just a problem for him. What is legal today can be "illegal" tomorrow, and have the ATF at your door? Hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your dog - or stand up to this today by helping gun owners. Join GODA in helping gun owners across the nation, one-by-one.