Myers's FPSRussia series features him demonstrating machine guns, tanks and drones. It may be watched by over a half of a million people. The raid was not a stunt. So what was the reason for the raid? ATF spokesman Richard Coes told the Banner-Herald: "The claim is that [Myers] was using explosives and getting paid for it via YouTube." Tannerite is allegedly used in his videos. While tannerite is legal in the U.S., but it's apparently illegal to manufacture it without a federal license. So, did Meyers get paid? YouTube's partner program gives amateur video producers an opportunity to earn money if their videos are watched by enough people. If Myers's YouTube channel was truly watched by more than a half a billion views, he may have indeed been compensated. However, herein lies the real issue. With spam and computer programs, how will the prosecutor prove the viewership. Unless it is clear why he recieved compensation from Youtube, it may be harder to prove than the State thinks. (I wonder if the link to the above Video will increase Myers revenue?)
Furthermore, Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas allegedly told WHLR that Tuesday's raids were in connection with a murder investigation involving the death of Myers's former business partner, Keith Ratliff. Ratliff was found dead from a single gunshot to the head in January. The body was found at FPS Industries. Nevertheless, Myers has never been named as a suspect or person of interest. Myers was believed to be compliant with current gun laws. Furthermore it is unclear what if anything was seized.
So is this a case of the Government targeting a vocal progun supporter? Was there true probable cause for the raid or was this a warning shot fired over the bow to warn advocates of second amendment rights to back off? * Perhaps only time will tell.
*The Second Amendment (1791) protects the right to keep and bear arms, a right that dates back to England before the Magna Carta. The English Bill of Rights protected the right of Protestants to own and carry weapons, but denied that right to Catholics. During the colonial era, the Virginia Declaration of Rights asserted that a well-regulated militia is the natural defense of a free state. The Supreme Court has ruled that owning firearms is not an absolute right: it has upheld both federal attempts to regulate certain weapons and states’ power to enact gun control measures. In 2008, the Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protected the individual right to keep suitable firearms at home for self-defense.
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