See latest update on this story posted May 22, 2012:
Shotgun executive terror report dismissed as ‘hoax’ as Fox stands by story
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Perazzi has released the following statement on its website, translated using Google Translate:
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE by Perazzi SPA
With regard to reports in the American press, in relation to an alleged arrest for “terrorism” by Daniele Perazzi (founder of Perazzi Armi SpA), we point out that the news is completely devoid of any foundation. Daniele Perazzi is however, unfortunately, failed to live for about a year. Even his son, Mauro, was last Saturday in the USA. As reported in the press is absolutely false. The company Perazzi, however, contrary to what is written, is familiar with the American legislation on weapons because of his extensive and well-known activities of marketing its products in the USA. Since it is difficult to think of simple error, it is believed that someone who has interests contrary to those of the Perazzi SpA, may have spread false and misleading information purposes only defamatory. The company has already instructed his lawyers to take the most appropriate actions, civil and criminal, in order to protect the brand represented and its activity, carried on the American market. Perazzi Armi SpA
PRESS RELEASE From Perazzi SpA With reference to press reports Concerning Daniele Perazzi’s alleged unlawful arrest for terrorism last Saturday in Denver (Colorado), That we were the incident is devoid of any foundation and the news is completely fabricated. Daniele Perazzi (founder of Perazzi SpA) died last year, and his son Mauro was not in the United States last Saturday. The Perazzis are not involved in. any wrongdoing in any way, shape or form and, to our best knowledge, are not under investigation or scrutiny nor are targets of criminal proceedings. The Perazzi Company, contrarily to what Has Been Reported, is very familiar with the U.S. legislation on two weapons to its extensive presence in the American market. Perazzi is considering to take legal action to protect the brand and the Company’s reputation in the USA. Perazzi SpA
Since this story has started to gain wider attention, my role in this, why I posted this and the standards I used before publishing merit scrutiny.
I was sent an email from a very well-known Second Amendment attorney titled “major urgent story.” As I protect my sources, I will be immediately sending him an email asking if I may disclose his name.
He set down the story, essentially as presented in my Examiner column, and gave me as contacts NRA Director Schreiner and another attorney, one whose CV includes Oxford and Harvard–she requested I not use her name for attribution and I honored that for my story.
I called both and had extensive conversations that include contemporaneous notes of our conversations, and they both independently confirmed the contents of the email and each others’ accounts.
To further source the story, I linked to a Fox News Channel 31 Denver report.
I also called the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and left a voice mail with the Public Information Officer. As it was Sunday, no one answered and no call has been returned.
Before publishing the story, I sent it to the Colorado attorney who confirmed the story for an accuracy check, and she replied back that it was “well written” and “approved.” She is also the one who told me that the Daniele Perazzi in the story was the grandson of the founder. I have the emails to document this.
After publishing, I sent the story link to Schreiner, to the attorney who tipped me to the story, and to the attorney who acted as a source.
This afternoon, a colleague sent me the link to the Perazzi press release. I immediately called Schreiner who maintains he was at the Collectors Show and has first-hand knowledge of some of the information stated as fact, and was directly told about the rest from show management. I also left a call for the source attorney and left a voice mail telling her of these developments and asking her to call me.
The bottom line is, I went through an extraordinary level of verification on this story before publishing it. If it turns out that it is, as the press release states, “completely devoid of any foundation,” that means someone went to extraordinary lengths to create and perpetuate a hoax story, and to draw me and others into it, and to smooth entry by using credible people.
As something like this can destroy a reputation, I too, am absolutely invested in getting to the truth of this matter, horrified by this development, and committed to identifying anyone who would do such a thing.
I am going to leave the original story intact below and will be writing a follow-up article when more information becomes known.
Daniele Perazzi, president of the Italian Perazzi Shotguns firm, was taken into custody yesterday by Adams County Deputies [see update, below] along with several prototype shotguns. The executive was picked up in the parking lot of the Denver Merchandise Mart, hosting the high-end Colorado Gun Collectors show this weekend, after a taxi driver, likely reacting to a suspicious activity reporting outreach program conducted by law enforcement, told authorities he thought he could be transporting an armed “foreign speaking” terror suspect.
“He loaded prototype shotguns into the cab on the way to the Merchandise Mart,” gun rights activist and newly-elected National Rifle Association Director Steve Schreiner, who is attending the event this weekend, told Gun Rights Examiner this morning. “The cab driver notified law enforcement he suspected he had a terrorist in his cab, and they were waiting to intercept him, evidently oblivious to the fact that he was arriving at a highly-publicized area gun show.
“He has two lawyers, Schreiner continued, “one of whom went to the police station, and convinced the police that the owner of one of the most expensive shotgun companies in the world was not a terrorist.
Perazzi was released a short time later and his prototype shotguns were returned to him, but reports have emerged that he was ordered by law enforcement to leave the state by nightfall, and sources tell Gun Rights Examiner he has gone one step further and left the country. He is expected to be returning soon with an eye toward filing legal action.
Gun Rights Examiner also spoke this morning with one of the two attorneys involved with helping Perazzi straighten matters out to obtain his release. That attorney essentially confirmed the account provided by Schreiner, albeit she characterized the authorities’ position on Perazzi leaving the state more as advice than an ultimatum by the sheriff to get out of town by sundown — something that would have no readily apparent legal basis. A call has been put in to the Adams County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer for comment and clarification on this and other details, but a response has not been received at this writing.
Schreiner attributes the cab driver’s reaction to training authorities have provided taxi companies, where they are encouraged to call law enforcement and report suspicious activities and people based on subjective criteria and limited training.
Further confirmation of the incident and its details has been provided in a report on Fox 31 Denver, which also states “Just this past week, some Denver taxi drivers were honored for reporting incidents while on duty. A program called Taxis on Patrol (TOPS) encourages cabbies to report suspicious activity while they’re on the clock.”
Gun Rights Examiner has reported several times on the dangers of law enforcement “terror” profiling to create suspicion for things as innocuous as shaving a beard, being a “prepper” and supporting the Constitution. That Perazzi was able to obtain his safe release in a timely manner is the one positive outcome of a situation that nonetheless left a foreign national admittedly “scared during the incident because he’s not familiar with U.S. gun laws and thought he’d done something wrong.”
How much more scared a person would be who is not a corporate president and who can’t summon two lawyers on a Saturday is a fair consideration to question, as is the physical danger an innocent person and bystanders could be placed in when untrained persons are encouraged and rewarded for putting the finger on others based on poorly-defined tripwires, stereotypes and official hysteria.
Those dangers may get some major media attention soon, since Gun Rights Examiner just received word that Good Morning America has noticed this story and will be investigating and reporting on it in the coming days.
UPDATE: While gathering statements for this story, there was confusion on whether or not the officers taking Perazzi and his guns into custody were with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department or from the Denver Police Department. Steve Schreiner just called to say he spoke with Joe Leiper, a gun show official, who told him that the Adams County deputies were in his office at the time of the incident and knew nothing about it, meaning if this bears out, it was Denver PD — whether this could also result in jurisdictional issues is not known at this time.
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