— Ask them to intervene on behalf of a US pastor in a Russian jail for
having one box of ammo
Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
Thursday, April 24, 2008
GOA has learned that the Russian Republic has sentenced an American pastor
to 3 years in prison because he had 20 rounds of hunting ammunition in his
The pastor — Phillip Miles of Conway, South Carolina — hadn’t realized
that carrying the twenty rounds in his luggage was in violation of Russian
customs regulations. And the cartridge regulation was nowhere mentioned in
the pamphlet handed American visitors at the Russian airport.
Pastor Miles declared the ammunition in Myrtle Beach. But at the Moscow
airport there are no signs in English to indicate that a separate
declaration must be made to customs officials. Airport authorities
confiscated the box of .300 caliber ammunition and sent him on his way.
Pastor Miles was later arrested when he returned to the airport on February
3, and he has been in jail ever since. GOA has heard from a member of
Pastor Miles’ church that the Pastor has some health issues making it even
more important to get him out of jail as quickly as possible.
The three-year sentence is currently on appeal. But outraged American
hunters and gun owners are asking why the Russians have imposed such a
severe sentence for an innocent mistake — particularly since there is no
question that Miles had intended to give the box of ammo to a friend (a
fellow pastor and hunting enthusiast) for his own personal use.
“There’s no way that the judge in this case would have sentenced
to three years in prison without first checking with high ranking officials
in the Russian government,” said GOA Founder and Chairman, Sen.
Richardson (ret.). “This is a different country that we’re dealing
their judges are nothing more than puppets.
“But you can be sure of this,” Richardson continued, “if
Ronald Reagan were
still President over here, there’s no way the Russians would have dared to
do this to an American citizen.”
The State Department is quietly trying to negotiate his release, as are both
of the South Carolina senators: Republicans Lindsay Graham and Jim DeMint.
ACTION: Even though some of our elected officials already seem to be
negotiating clemency for Pastor Phillip Miles, it’s important that they know
the American people are behind them. So please contact President Bush, the
State Department and your congressmen. Ask them to do everything in their
power to get Pastor Miles released from prison.
You can e-mail a pre-written letter to all of the above contacts at the same
time by visiting the GOA Legislative Action Center at
http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm (where phone and fax numbers are also
—– SAMPLE COMMUNICATION —–
The Russian Republic has sentenced American pastor Phillip Miles to 3 years
in prison because he had a single box of hunting ammunition in his luggage.
Miles — of Conway, South Carolina — hadn’t realized that carrying the
twenty rounds in his luggage was in violation of Russian customs
regulations. And the cartridge regulation — which required an additional
customs declaration — was nowhere mentioned in the pamphlet handed American
visitors at the Russian airport.
The three-year sentence is currently on appeal. But it certainly appears
that the Russians have gone way overboard in imposing such a severe sentence
for an innocent mistake.
This is particularly true because there is no question that Miles had
intended to give the ammunition to a fellow pastor for hunting purposes.
I would ask you to do whatever possible to use your good offices to protest
what is at the least a grave injustice against an American citizen traveling
Thank you for whatever you can do on Miles’ behalf.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING OUT WITH NICKELODEON!
As you may remember, we told you that Nick News was looking for some
well-spoken teenagers to discuss the Second Amendment issue. No doubt, they
will be featuring teenagers from the “other side,” but you
ensured they will have access to excellent pro-gun representation.
In fact, Nickelodeon’s producer was very excited (and impressed) with the
number of candidates GOA provided. So some of you should expect to be
hearing from Nick News soon, if you haven’t already.
We are very thankful that you are doing your part to instruct your children
and grandchildren in the freedoms protected in the Bill of Rights. But we
are also grateful that you would make them available to help educate their
peers. Thanks again.