The president of a counterterrorism consulting firm has been charged with possessing 2,352 unregistered small military missiles.
August 18, 2002 1:23 PM   Subscribe

The president of a counterterrorism consulting firm has been charged with possessing 2,352 unregistered small military missiles. Investigators also found 4,000 pounds of explosives at High Energy Access Tools (HEAT), an anti-terrorism and police training company that was conducting classes for students from the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. More....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood (12 comments total)
The US Attorney's office claims that this has nothing to do with Terrorism, and that the president of the company, David Hudak, a Canadian illegally in the US, was arrested only for not having a license for the missiles.

This bring me to two questions?

Why are people UAE and Yemen being trained here with so many irregularities?

And... You can have small military missiles, if you just have a license for them?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:29 PM on August 18, 2002

You can have small military missiles, if you just have a license for them?
why sure! only canadian illegals, actually, but it's right there in the constitution, i think. 39th amendment or something. hell, look it up, this is the internet.
posted by quonsar at 1:45 PM on August 18, 2002

Canadians are everywhere these days.
posted by ashbury at 2:03 PM on August 18, 2002

IIRC, it's a pain in the ass to own BATF-regulated 'destructive devices', but in at least 34 states fully legal. Examples would be sound suppressors (silencers), machine guns, and similar weapons (automatic shotguns). You need to find a Class 3 Dealer in your state, perform slightly less paperwork than is needed to buy a much more commonly fatal car (holy cow the system makes sense for once!), provide a recent picture and officer-validated fingerprints to the local police. The Chief Law Enforcement Officer of your area (BATF-defined, but usually chief of police, attorney general, or district attorney) must then sign off on the completed forms. AFAIK they can refuse for any reason, and cannot sign off on the forms if you have ever committed a felony or been treated for mental illness. You also essentially forfeit your right to freedom from arbitrary search and seizure.

Corporations, of course, have far looser requirements in obtaining weapons of this nature.

Finally, in the 16 states that ban such weapons, you can skirt the ban by becoming an actual legitimate Class 3 dealer/manufacturer of such weapons.

States where such destructive devices would be completely illegal: DE, DC, HI, NY, WA . For silencers the list is DE, DC, HI, IL, MS, MT, NY, NJ, RI .

Please note there is a $200 tax on such items. In the case of 5.7x28mm ammunition (armor piercing but fragments wonderfully fatally 2" post-impact, fits in a nice 50-round SMG and has 2/3s the recoil of your average significantly less dangerous 9x19mm round) and the like, that's (by my understanding) PER ROUND.
posted by Ryvar at 2:08 PM on August 18, 2002

it's like a movie :) risky business!
posted by kliuless at 2:17 PM on August 18, 2002

I find it amusing that the HEAT website brags about its SSL security, but doesn't, apparently, know how to create a public page that discards it.

The director of HEAT, apparently, helped the Saudis set up their National Guard (which protects the royal family). Just recently the local paper profiled the place, opening with these words:

No rockets. No bombs. No nuclear missiles. No tanks. No flame throwers. No grandiose explosions cumulating with mushroom clouds. No James Bond covert spy training behind closed doors.

The HEAT Tactical Training Center is just a training facility, nothing more, according to Francis Wells Fish II, director of security at HEAT.

The company is spinning the license problem, at least back home, as "we thought it had been filed".
posted by dhartung at 3:58 PM on August 18, 2002

Damn. This is a setback. Men, delay the invasion plans!

Oops. Did I say that out loud?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:52 PM on August 18, 2002

The below comments are localized to the United States - please keep in mind that the UK (which has no weapons) is the crime capital of all the Western nations -

You are completely wrong in your car vs 'most weapons' statement. Rather it is the reverse. One 2m-casualty producing explosive device (or a directed-energy warhead which is most fatal in one limited casualty cone/arc) properly used vs a properly used Ford Explorer crashing into an open-air waiting line or the crowd in Times Square on New Years?

Ford wins hands down. Of course, this doesn't apply to all types of Class 3 weapons (I'd put money on a M2 .50cal machinegun inappropriately used on said crowd beating the Ford over the duration of two minutes)

The overwhelming majority of weapon deaths in the United States are the result of shootings with 9mm handguns and similar weapons (shotguns). Weapons that require very little paperwork to acquire. This makes no sense to me. These weapons are perfect for crime and gang warfare and we allow them to flood our streets nearly unchecked.

Meanwhile weapons which COULD be used to kill far more people, but are almost never used for such a purpose (for instance the M141s in this article) because
a) a 28lb .50cal semi-auto sniper rifles are not suitable for easy concealed carry and holdups (or anything like it) or running with, and
b) the current amount of paperwork, background checks, and cost for such devices presents a significant barrier to their acquisition.

When the media put out a scare a year back about how horrible it was that .50cal weapons were available to the general public (and thus gave people a limited ability to overthrow their government should it become corrupt but let's not argue that this time), they failed to mention one interesting fact: .50cal sniper rifles are responsible for all of one confirmed criminal, non-accidental death in the United States.

The point? The really dangerous weapons are almost never used in any crime, ever. Cars are used to intentionally kill quite a few people - much like a gasoline-loaded airplane, a car can make a very powerful destructive device when used properly. 2 tons of steel capable of hitting ~120mph in most cases and allowed everywhere in the US without question - and perfectly capable of carrying an astonishing amount of impossible-to-control-or-legislate homemade dynamite or fuel for a nitrogen bomb. It's impossible to seperate the 'intentional' car deaths from the unintentional ones, but given the almost non-existent portion anything except common handgun calibers accounts for in terms of percentage of gun-related deaths, you can be certain that the former cause is significantly, possibly orders of magnitudes, higher.

Finally, we DO allow people with long, violent criminal records and ongoing cases of severe mental illness to drive all sorts of vehicles. I would ask you to step briefly into the shoes of someone who simply doesn't want to see violent death any longer, and ask you what the first three things you would remove from society would be? Probably:

1. Automobiles in private hands
2. Handguns in private hands
3. Stabbing weapons in private hands

would be the wisest answer. I could go on, but hopefully you've seen where I'm coming from. It's not a question of design intent, it's a question of statistical likelihood of inappropriate use. Because that directly results in the death statistics we experience, my comment about legislation amount seems justified to me.
posted by Ryvar at 7:35 PM on August 18, 2002

Fact is though, the way our countrys (well USA, and Canada) are set up, is that they are designed around cars.

As great as it would be to totally be rid of them, people still need transportation. Thus, the deaths that cars inflict become a little more bearable, because cars serve a practical purpose.

In todays society I don't understand why there is a need to own a gun. so the deaths that guns inflict seem a little, well, pointless.. if that makes any sense at all..
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 8:14 PM on August 18, 2002

I understand where you're coming from Pink Fuzzy Bunny, but today's society is also becoming increasingly corrupt - a citizenry unarmed is a citizenry that is not feared by its own government. Should the government and the citizenry of a democracy suffer a disconnect (how many would argue that ours hasn't? Are YOUR interests represented by our nation's leadership? Your own state's?) weapons become necessary. I don't know too many people who would claim there isn't a fairly significant gulf between the will of the people and the actions of the government. Therefore it is necessary that the government at least fear a revolt from those it is actively failing to represent (it certainly fears economic reprisals from the corporations it is doing a fine job of representing).

Not that a revolution would ever be successful should the military stay loyal to the administration (and they probably would), but individual politicians ought to have a reasonable fear of assassination if they greatly anger the majority of the populace. When every attempt at a true democracy has broken down, an armed populace is the last guarantee of some limited freedom from ultimate corruption.
posted by Ryvar at 8:39 PM on August 18, 2002

Why would the military stay loyal to the administration?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:12 AM on August 19, 2002

They swear an oath to defend the Constitution, not any given bunch of elected (ahem) yokels and their appointees.
posted by alumshubby at 4:16 AM on August 19, 2002

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