Auto Key Card

Protecting Your Rights from Government Intrusion – The Fight for Free Speech!

The Auto Key Card

Recently the government has prosecuted those who sold, advertised or promoted the Auto Key Card.  An Auto Key Card is a flat piece of metal about the size of a credit card, which the government claims could be used to convert a semi-automatic rifle into a machine gun.  One of the people caught in the government’s sights was Matthew Hoover who was prosecuted for and convicted of conspiracy to transfer unregistered machine gun conversion kits.  However, after the conviction, the prosecutor went a step too far.

Government Attempts to silence Pro-2A Journalist in Auto Key Card case

When the government infringes on the constitutional rights of people, Katz & Phillips, P.A. is here to fight back. Although our practice focuses around the Second Amendment, we recently had the privilege of protecting a well-known Second Amendment journalist and Youtuber’s First Amendment rights. Many in the 2A community are familiar with the federal prosecution of Matthew Hoover, who ran a Youtube channel named CRS Firearms. Hoover along, Kristopher Ervin, was convicted by a federal jury for conspiracy to transfer unregistered machinegun conversion kits referred to as “Auto Key Cards.” The entire case against Hoover and Ervin was shrouded in controversy, with many feeling that they were unjustly prosecuted and convicted.  Journalists and Youtubers across the nation closely followed the case against Hoover and Ervin.  One such journalist and Youtuber was John Crump. Mr. Crump followed the prosecution of the Auto Key Card case very closely and provided the public updates surrounding the case. Mr. Crump’s media coverage of the case caught the attention of Assistant United States Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor who was the lead prosecutor on the case.  Ms. Taylor listened to all the telephone calls between Hoover and Crump and watched Crump’s Youtube coverage of the case. As a result, Ms. Taylor became aware that Mr. Hoover sent his wife the Presentence Investigation Report that had been produced by the U.S. Probation Office to assist the judge in determining a sentence for Mr. Hoover.

Silencing 2nd Amendment Supporters – Auto Key Card case

On August 7, 2023, Ms. Taylor (the prosecutor in the Auto Key Card case) filed a motion in the case seeking a “gag” order against Mr. Crump, Mrs. Hoover (Matthew Hoover’s wife), and another Youtuber in attempt to keep them from disclosing the information in the Presentence Investigation Report (click here to view the Government’s motion). Ms. Taylor did not bother giving notice to Mr. Crump or the other two individuals named in the motion that she was seeking a gag order, however, Mr. Crump found out about the motion the day it was filed.  Concerned over his First Amendment rights being violated, Mr. Crump contacted Gun Owners of America, who immediately agreed to represent Mr. Crump in protecting his rights.  Because the case was out of the Jacksonville Division of the United States Middle District of Florida, Gun Owners of America reached out to Attorney James Phillips of Katz & Phillips, P.A to assist. We gladly accepted the invitation to join Gun Owners of America in the fight to protect Mr. Crump’s constitutional rights.  Two days after the government filed their motion, Attorney Phillips along with two other attorneys from Gun Owners of America filed a motion to intervene in the case for the limited purpose of responding to the Government’s motion on behalf of Mr. Crump (click here to watch Crump’s Youtube video and here to view the motion). The court set the government’s motion for a hearing on August 10, 2023.  At the hearing the government decided to withdraw their motion. This was a victory for the First Amendment!

To read about another Katz & Phillips, P.A. case victory involving a professional MMA Fighter, click here!


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