Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BATFE (we hope you don't) Notice of Seized Property

The ATF recently put out a seized property notice to let you know when and how you could get your stuff back.

They did NOT put it on their website. They did not make it available in electronic form at all. They printed it up in the Wall Street Journal. To respond, you need to write to them. Through the mails. You have 14 days to hear about it and respond. Good luck.

David Codrea spent four hours doing what the BATmen could have done in four minutes, and his Examiner column reminded me of a section of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: (when Arthur Dent's house was about to be demolished to make way for a highway, at the same time as the same thing was going to happen to his planet, unbeknown to him)

Mr. Prosser said, "You were quite entitled to make any suggestions or protests at the appropriate time, you know."

"Appropriate time?" hooted Arthur. "Appropriate time? The first I knew about it was when a workman arrived at my home yesterday. I asked him if he'd come to clean the windows and he said no, he'd come to demolish the house. He didn't tell me straight away of course. Oh no. First he wiped a couple of windows and charged me a fiver. Then he told me."

"But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months."

"Oh yes, well, as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything."

"But the plans were on display..."

"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."

"That's the display department."

"With a flashlight."

"Ah, well, the lights had probably gone."

"So had the stairs."

"But look, you found the notice, didn't you?"

"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display on the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.'"

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