“Sovereign Citizen” arrested with gun at VA clinic


Hugh Lawrence Machen, 66, was arrested yesterday after allegedly bringing a gun into the VA Optometry Clinic at 5533 SW 64th Street.

According to the arrest report, Machen arrived at the clinic for an appointment and was asked to leave for unknown reasons. He then allegedly went out to the parking lot, retrieved a pistol that he concealed under his jacket, and returned to the clinic. Staff put him in a room at the back and called 911.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and made contact with Machen, who reportedly told them he was armed. He was informed that it’s a federal felony to carry a concealed weapon on federal property, even with a concealed weapons permit, but Machen reportedly said the law didn’t apply to him. Deputies reported that he would not comply with commands to stand up and not reach for his weapon; instead, he allegedly grabbed the handle of the pistol under his jacket.

A deputy instructed Machen to release the pistol, and he reportedly pulled it out of the holster instead, holding it for a second and then placing it on the seat next to him. He reportedly refused to move away from the weapon. A deputy deployed his Taser, which had no effect because of Machen’s leather jacket. The deputy deployed the Taser again, at which point Machen was placed in handcuffs.

A search of Machen reportedly found a holster, an “Environmental Deputy Marshall” badge, handcuffs, and several handmade law enforcement identification cards. He also reportedly had several pieces of paper in his wallet with “ID” on them, which he said were his identification. Machen reportedly does not hold a concealed weapons permit in any state, and when asked, he reportedly said that the laws of Florida and the United States of America do not apply to him because he is a Sovereign Citizen.

Machen has been charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and resisting arrest without violence. He is being held on $12,000 bond.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • […] This report comes from Alachua County in Florida. According to reports, Mr. Hugh Machen allegedly brought a gun into a VA optometry clinic. He arrived for an appointment and was asked to leave. He then allegedly went out to the parking lot, acquired a gun that he put under his jacket and came back in. Somehow, the staff were alerted, put him in a room and called 911. […]

  • This idiot should be thankful he wasn’t shot by the arresting deputy.

  • I know that dude. He’s the sheriff of Springs County.

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