In 1999, Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney Russ Hauge, a Democrat, was prosecuting a legal gun owner for using his gun to defend himself. Hauge was also a guest instructor on gun laws at the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club in Bremerton, Washington. The gun owner was found innocent of all charges and that did not set well with Hauge who took up two class periods lecturing the students about the case.
Hearing what Hauge was saying about the case and gun rights, Marcus Carter, Executive Officer for the gun range, knew that the students did not get the full story. The day after Hauge left, Carter presented the defense’s case to the class and then asked them how many of them would have found the man innocent. Every hand in the class went up.
When news of what Carter had done, Hauge evidently was livid and started a campaign of harassment against Carter, Carter’s wife and the gun range that has lasted 15 years and cost Washington taxpayers millions of dollars.
First he accused Carter of illegally modifying a rifle to make it a fully automatic weapon. Carter defended himself and was found innocent, but Hauge still continues to hold on to the confiscated rifle and says that Carter will never get it back.
Then Hauge tried to shut down the gun range using a variety legal tactics. He has sued Carter and his wife claiming the gun range is too noisy but he lost that battle. He tried to claim that the lead from the bullets is an environmental hazard to the soil, but after the EPA inspected and tested the soil, they said it was totally safe and in compliance. Then Hauge tried to claim that the range was polluting wetlands, but the Army Corps of Engineers couldn’t find anything wrong.
The gun range was grandfathered into the county’s zoning ordinances and Hauge has tried to get the grandfathering status revoked. He then has tried to increase the rent of the property from $3,000 per month to $7,000 per month and is now pushing for $28,000 per month, claiming that is the full use rate.
At one point, Hauge tried to get a case against Carter moved to King County, but after King County prosecutors met with Carter, they refused to hear the case saying that it was not prosecutable. Pierce County commissioners in Tacoma passed a new city ordinance protecting gun ranges from being sued as a nuisance in response to what was happening to Carter and his gun range.
Even some of the government people that have been forced to go out to the gun range for one reason or the other have apologized to Carter for what has been happening to him.
It turns out that not only has Hauge been waging a personal vendetta against Carter and the gun range for Carter telling his class the truth about what happened in the case against the gun owner so many years ago, but the county wants the land to build a 1,000 acre park.
In a rare move, the NRA has stepped in on behalf of Carter and the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club and is filing an amicus curiae, (a non-solicited legal opinion or testimony to the court concerning the issue). Generally the NRA does not get involved cases like this unless they believe that there is a good chance of winning.
The voters of Kitsap County, Washington need to be aware of how many millions of their tax dollars have been used over a 15 year period by the country prosecutor to settle a personal vendetta against Marcus Carter, his wife and their gun range all because Carter told the truth to a class. Hague is guilty of abuse of power, wasting taxpayer dollars and using his office for private matters. The voters need to kick his sorry liberal behind out of office and end the 15 years of harassment that the Carter’s have had to endure.
Finally, I believe that Marcus Carter would be justified in suing the county prosecutor’s office for 15 years of harassment. It seems that he has plenty of evidence to prove his case.