Home & Intro
A Threat to Freedom of Speech in England
Originally appeared in The Libertarian Enterprise
On Friday, February 25th 2005, members of the Luty family were arrested and charged with "Conspiracy to Manufacture Firearms" by British police.
Due to the information shown on thehomegunsmith.com website, police raided and searched three addresses belonging to the Luty family. They were looking, apparently, for "prohibited firearms".
At one address the police seized a computer, numerous copies of "Expedient Homemade Firearms" Volumes I and II, and various CDs containing gun design drawings. Nothing illegal was recovered. Land belonging to the Luty family was also searched. Nothing illegal was recovered.
Edward Luty (my 75 year old father) who is suffering from cancer, was arrested at his home and "dragged" to the police station in handcuffs. His home was ransacked and searched. He was charged with "Conspiracy to manufacture firearms". After a period of two to three hours in a cell, the police realised how ill he was and released him. His home now resembled a bombsite due to the mess created by a heavy handed police search team. He was left with nowhere to sleep.
His crime??... to be related to the author of thehomegunsmith.com website.
John Luty (my brother) was stopped and arrested (at gun point) by around twenty police officers while driving home from work. He was arrested and charged with "conspiracy to manufacture firearms" and his home was also ransacked and searched. Nothing illegal was recovered. His crime??... to be related to the author of thehomegunsmith.com website. [This is his Bail Sheet!, an Adobe Acrobat file (.pdf), 126, 285-bytes in size.]
A great deal of wanton damage was caused to property during these searches, apparently in revenge for failure to locate anything more dangerous than a collection of books and CDs!
This is a direct challenge by the British authorities to our non-negotiable rights of Freedom of Speech and Artistic Licence.
Silencing Free Speech
The voices of many ordinary people are effectively silenced these days by a combination of "political correctness" and anti-freedom of speech laws. Legislation governing how we speak about such subjects as religion or a person's race, being just two examples. Words and phrases that have been used for centuries, without malice, are now insipid in peoples mouths, and said to cause "offense" by those very same "speech police" who, on the other hand, turn a blind eye to the violence, foul language, and sexual references blasted daily through our TV sets. A phenomenon that really does cause offense to many people.
On the subject of firearms ownership, we are witness to television advertising standards "watchdogs" banning or censoring advertisements from our TV screens because it contains a fleeting glimpse of a gun, perhaps used as part of a comic type sketch within the advertisement. Such advertisements are banned because they are said to "offend" a tiny handful of people, yet millions of others like myself see no problem.
We are witness to certain sections of the press who refuse to accept advertisements for legitimately owned firearms (even airguns) because they may "offend" some unsuspecting hapless individual who may stumble across the add, and end up being traumatized by the experience!
We are witness to people who advertise and sell sporting type knives being prohibited from calling their knives a more colourfully descriptive name, because it may cause "offense".
This is just a tiny sample of the endless list of infringements, both small and large, to our freedom of speech. These threats to Freedom of Speech are a worldwide phenomenon. They become more serious by the day due to the failure of ordinary people to recognize them as the "thin end of the wedge".
A "Conspiracy to Manufacture Firearms"?
The word "Conspiracy" comes from the Latin, meaning "To breath together". The word "Together" would imply the co-operation of at least two individuals to make a charge of "Conspiracy" have even the slightest credence. Because I compose all material for thehomegunsmith.com myself, without assistance or guidance from any third party, any charge of "conspiracy" does not stand.
Thehomegunsmith.com does not "conspire" to build firearms with anyone, it is a personal hobby website from which I choose to disseminate my ideas to any interested party. I will continue to do so. This, it would seem, being the whole purpose of the "World Wide Web".
In several locations, both on "The Home Gunsmith" website and within the pages of my books, I make it perfectly clear that all information on the subject of firearms construction is provided for "Academic study purposes only" and that making firearms "In most jurisdictions is illegal". In some countries, it is legal to construct firearms, albeit once the usual "red tape" has been dealt with. In other words, the responsibility for compliance with any law is the sole responsibility of the reader, and not with the author of any given article. An author can be held no more responsible for how the information he chooses to impart to his readers is used, than the gun store proprietor is for the use to which a gun is put, once it leaves his shop.
Whether or not you live in England, the right of Free Speech is a universally treasured right, but sadly, a right that is still denied to millions of people around the world.
We must ask ourselves the question: Would the US Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights been written, had Freedom of Speech in the America of the 1770s been restricted? Free Speech is the foundation from which every other right has been built, and by which every right currently enjoyed can be defended.
The Luty family believes in the individual right of Freedom of Speech. We will not be silenced by pressure from those who would like to control what we say and how we say it, or what we may write in our books and show on our websites!
Fighting any court case is not cheap. Lawyers require money, and lots of it.
If you care about protecting your ancient right of Freedom of Speech, and wish to send a shot across the bows of the "Speech Police", please send a donation: