On his radio show, G. Gordon Liddy advised listeners not to register their firearms, saying: "The first thing you do is, no matter what law they pass, do not -- repeat, not -- ever register any of your firearms."
On the November 13 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, G. Gordon Liddy repeatedly advised people not to register their firearms, saying: "The first thing you do is, no matter what law they pass, do not -- repeat, not -- ever register any of your firearms." Liddy added: "Because that's where they get the list of where to go first to confiscate. So, you don't ever register a firearm, anywhere." Liddy's statements came in response to a caller who said: "And I'm also very concerned about the firearm owners in this country. I think we need a bit of general advice from you as to what we can do as a group with our firearms. Do we need to buy up all the Cosmoline in the country and bury our weapons? And I'm -- I'm curious as to -- as to what advice you have for us. I mean, we know what's gonna happen. We know that they can't get their fingers on the brass ring until they've disarmed us."
Liddy later said: "[W]hat's gonna happen is, if you register your firearms, you're handing them a list of where to go to confiscate the firearms. So don't do it." Liddy also stated: "[D]epending upon the intensity of the repression by the government, the way they're, you know, seeking firearms and so forth, then I would say, yes, with respect to Cosmoline and, you know, proper wrapping and storage, and then putting them where they will not be findable by metal detectors and things of that sort. I'll leave that up to your imagination, and because it differs from location to location, but that would be the thing to do."
As Media Matters for America has noted, during the 1990s, Liddy repeatedly advised listeners on how to shoot Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents. According to an April 26, 1995, CBS News transcript (retrieved from Nexis), Liddy said on his August 26, 1994, radio show:
LIDDY: Well, if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests.
Reporting on Liddy's October 19, 1994, radio show, The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reported in an October 24, 1994, article:
Ursula from Millerton, Pa., tells Liddy she's afraid the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is coming after her gun-owning friend. Liddy calls the bureau "bottom-dwelling slugs ... a pack of nitwits out to make war on those Americans who take seriously the Second Amendment." Liddy allows that calls to "hunt down and kill" such agents is "going too far." But, he says, "shooting back is reasonable... . I have counseled shooting them in the head."
According to Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, on September 15, 1994, Liddy stated:
If the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms insists upon a firefight, give them a firefight. Just remember, they're wearing flak jackets and you're better off shooting for the head.
According to FAIR, Liddy said to a caller later in the show:
When the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms thugs come to kill your wife and children, to try to disarm you and they open fire on you. When they come at the point of a gun, force and violence, when you're going to defend yourself, use that Gerand [sic] [M-1 rifle]. That thing is 30-06, and it'll take 'em right out.
According to an April 25, 1995, Associated Press article:
Talk show host G. Gordon Liddy said Tuesday he gave listeners bad advice when he told them to shoot for the head if attacked by federal agents. Instead, he said, go twice for the body and then the groin.
Last August, Liddy counseled "head shots" to respond to an encounter with agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, because, "They've got a vest underneath."
On Tuesday, he told a news conference held as part of his WJFK program that people should cooperate if authorities come to their homes with search warrants. But they should shoot back if agents shoot their way in, he said.
He said experts have told him shooting for the head was a bad idea because heads are hard to hit.
"So you shoot twice to the body, center of mass, and if that does not work, then shoot to the groin area," he said.
"They cannot move their hips fast enough and you'll probably get a femoral artery and you'll knock them down at any rate."
Asked about his ATF comments by right-wing blogger John Hawkins in December 2003, Liddy said they had been misinterpreted:
LIDDY: [A]s usual, people remember part of what I said, but not all of what I said. What I did was restate the law. I was talking about a situation in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes smashing into a house, doesn't say who they are, and their guns are out, they're shooting, and they're in the wrong place. This has happened time and time again. The ATF has gone in and gotten the wrong guy in the wrong place. The law is that if somebody is shooting at you, using deadly force, the mere fact that they are a law enforcement officer, if they are in the wrong, does not mean you are obliged to allow yourself to be killed so your kinfolk can have a wrongful death action. You are legally entitled to defend yourself and I was speaking of exactly those kind of situations. If you're going to do that, you should know that they're wearing body armor so you should use a head shot. Now all I'm doing is stating the law, but all the nuances in there got left out when the story got repeated.
In addition, according to the April 25, 1995, edition of NPR's All Things Considered (retrieved from Nexis), during a press conference, Liddy admitted that he named shooting targets after then-President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton. From the press conference, as aired by NPR:
LIDDY: I did relate that on the 4th of July of last year, when I and my family and some friends were out firing away at a properly-constructed rifle range and we ran out of targets, and so we -- I drew some stick figure targets and I thought we ought to give them names. So I named them Bill and Hillary, thought it might improve my aim. It didn't. My aim is good anyway. Now, having said that, I accept no responsibility for somebody shooting up the White House.
From the November 13 broadcast of Radio America's The G. Gordon Liddy Show:
CALLER: Good morning, sir.
LIDDY: Good morning, Jim.
CALLER: I'm honored. I -- I didn't hear the music, but I did note some dead air. Now, that's not a host problem, but an engineer's responsibility, is it not?
LIDDY: Well --
CALLER: Anyway, knowing how important your time is, I apologize. And also knowing the evils of Marxism, liberalism, fill in the blank, I am really concerned about the newest version of the brownshirts. And I'm concerned that, you know, almost immediately, that -- that new little group will be formed. And I'm also very concerned about the firearm owners in this country. I think we need a bit of general advice from you as to what we can do as a group with our firearms.
Do we need to buy up all the Cosmoline in the country and bury our weapons? And I'm -- I'm curious as to -- as to what advice you have for us. I mean, we know what's gonna happen. We know that they can't get their fingers on the brass ring until they've disarmed us. I don't know -- you know, health care is a concern, but it's not my primary concern, and I think that --
LIDDY: Well, health care, as I warned before, and as [former House Majority Leader] Dick Armey [R-TX] -- who's also, you know, a Dallas, Texas, guy --
CALLER: He's a good man.
LIDDY: Yes, a brilliant man. He said, look, it's coming in the guise of health care, but that's not really what it's all about.
LIDDY: What it's all about is acquiring dominion over the individual.
LIDDY: Well --
CALLER: How do they -- how do they obtain any kind of dominion over an armed populace? I mean, it has to be their number one concern.
LIDDY: Yeah, I would think so. And Barack Obama, by his voting record, has demonstrated that he is, you know, totally anti-gun.
CALLER: Oh, certainly.
LIDDY: Now you say what to do. Well, the first thing people are doing -- the stories were in the news yesterday, and there's more stories today, about how the gun stores are being stripped by everybody going in and buying firearms.
LIDDY: And they're -- they're particularly buying handguns and semiautomatic shoulder weapons that look like --
CALLER: Yes, like the M1A, and --
LIDDY: Yeah. They -- they look like --
CALLER: Oh yeah, the black gun.
LIDDY: Yes, assault weapons, but they're not. An assault -- an assault weapon, by definition, is capable of fully automatic fire. These are not.
CALLER: Yes, sir.
LIDDY: But -- but people are buying them. Some because they've always wanted one and think that the Obama administration will try to outlaw them again, the way the Clinton administration did. Others figure, "OK, I'll buy as many as I can get my hands on, and I'll be grandfathered in. And then when they're banned, I will be able to sell them at a very nice profit." So, that's going on. But the main thing is, you know, get them into private hands as quickly as possible. Now, what do you do? The first thing you do is, no matter what law they pass, do not -- repeat, not -- ever register any of your firearms.
CALLER: Yes, sir.
LIDDY: Because that's where they get the list of where to go first to confiscate. So, you don't ever register a firearm, anywhere.
CALLER: Well, on the same hand, you know, if we're -- if we're apprehended with a nonregistered firearm, we're -- you know, we're under the jailhouse there, too.
LIDDY: Well, that's -- that's true, but what -- what's gonna happen is, if you register your firearms, you're handing them a list --
LIDDY: -- of where to go to confiscate the firearms. So don't do it.
CALLER: I think that's why we fear them.
LIDDY: That's right.
CALLER: Because we have so many registered firearms. Out of, probably a dozen or more firearms that I have, I believe I have one 1911 that's not registered, that I procured at, you know, at a gun show many, many years ago. I have an M1A that was purchased for me, much like you, by my lovely spouse. And I'm considering another M1A purchase, only the -- the new SOCOM, the -- the carbine version. Now, where am I gonna find one of those, and -- and have the ability to purchase without registering it, you know?
LIDDY: Well, the -- the purchase data will certainly show that you have it. But what I'm speaking of is any firearms you may have that they pass some law saying, you know, bring in your firearms and register them.
CALLER: Oh, certainly, yes. I understand now.
LIDDY: That's what I'm referring to.
LIDDY: That's what I'm referring to. And then -- and then, as to --
CALLER: I'm sure -- I'm sure you made that clear. It just went right over my head.
LIDDY: OK. Well, at any rate, then, depending upon the intensity of the repression by the government, the way they're, you know, seeking firearms and so forth, then I would say, yes, with respect to Cosmoline and, you know, proper wrapping and storage, and then putting them where they will not be findable by metal detectors and things of that sort. I'll leave that up to your imagination, and because it differs from location to location, but that would be the thing to do.