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Cryo Chamber

Gun rights activist gets hit with pink slip

Discharge of senior cyber security scientist puts national security at risk; sends chilling message

to gun rights supporters across nation

For Immediate Release, July 25, 2005, Richland, WA:

Today a report was released, exposing crucial information behind the recent firing of Joe Huffman, a former senior cyber security scientist with high level clearance at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a government research facility.

“My gun rights activism got me a pink slip, and the truth is in the web logs,” says Joe Huffman, who was fired from his Senior Scientist position at PNNL on June 3, 2005, with no substantial explanation from his former employer.

Read more…Web logs — files that detail site visitor traffic to/from websites — expose in-depth activity from PNNL’s investigation team, revealing that, prior to firing Huffman, representatives from the company spent dozens of hours scouring Huffman’s personal websites, including sites run by his children and their friends. PNNL was particularly fixated upon Huffman’s site postings pertaining to firearms rights, as revealed by the company’s intense web activity on those pages from May 4 through June 3, the day he was fired.

“PNNL repeatedly refused to give me specific allegations of wrongdoing,” says Huffman, recounting the investigation that led to his firing. “They did, however, start the investigation asking me about my personal blog activities.”

Discrimination against supporters of gun rights sends a chilling message to activists and supporters of free speech.

“I thought PNNL’s mission was to support the Constitution – not destroy the lives of those who exercise the rights it guarantees,” says gun rights activist Lyle Keeney, from Huffman’s hometown in Moscow, ID.

”You can get canned for practicing free speech in support of one’s right to self-defense,” says Stephanie Sailor, New Jersey gun rights activist. “What’s next? Get canned for blogging about the war? Gay marriage? Religious freedom?”

PNNL’s firing seriously affects national security, for Huffman was the principal investigator on projects that he was virtually the only person able to do the work.

“What other projects will come to a screeching halt because critical personnel are dismissed for engaging in constitutionally protected activities?” asks Huffman, who has filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to get access to his work so he can continue completion of ground breaking computer security research.

Questioning the validity of PNNL’s investigation behind Huffman’s firing, an anonymous gun owning co-worker who fears retribution says, “I can’t believe they didn’t talk to any of us, not much of an ‘investigation.’”

“This whole thing has me spooked. I’m looking for another job,” says another anonymous co-worker/gun owner.

Huffman requested access to his personnel file and PNNL policy and procedures but was denied most of the material. The company failed to give him copies of his performance reviews and completely denied access to the policy and procedures. Huffman has filed a Privacy Act request for the information, and has retained a lawyer.

”FOIA and Privacy Act requests will shed light on the dark side of their actions to show what they’re hiding,” says Huffman.

Joe Huffman has appeared in local and national media as a spokesperson for gun rights. He is a certified firearms instructor and Director of Boomershoot, an annual recreational firearms event that has attracted hundreds of attendees and spectators from across North America.

The report, which includes a listing of PNNL investigator names and other pertinent details, is available at: For more information, contact Joe Huffman, ###

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