The spoils of fast and furious
Judicial Watch: Obama DOJ Failed to Stop Mexican Cartel Murder of ICE Agent with Smuggled Guns
Judicial Watch: Obama DOJ Failed to Stop Mexican Cartel Murder of ICE Agent with Smuggled Guns
Working from an office suite behind a Burger King in southern Virginia, operatives used a web of shadowy cigarette sales to funnel tens of millions of dollars into a secret bank account. They werent known smugglers, but rather agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The operation, not authorized under Justice Department rules, gave agents an off-the-books way to finance undercover investigations and pay informants without the usual cumbersome paperwork and close oversight, according to court records and people close to the operation.
The secret account is at the heart of a federal racketeering lawsuit brought by a collective of tobacco farmers who say they were swindled out of $24 million. A pair of A.T.F. informants received at least $1 million each from that sum, records show.
Good to see they don’t just screw over gun owners.
ATF says there are 1.3 million and they are rarely used in crime.
A jury acquitted a man on a possession of a silencer charge. It looks like he had one of the MPX style brakes:
Sees defense was he possessed muzzle breaks (sic) that reduce gun recoil, not silencers that muffle the sound of gunfire, Betras said.
A U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives expert testified that only a tube had to be placed over the devices to create silencers, but a defense expert witness contradicted that, Betras said.
You can read it right here. The associate deputy director and chief operating officer suggests a few things. And the list is pretty good for gun owners. A few things:
ATF would appear to be on board with removing suppressors from NFA. With the recent popularity of suppressors, there is a huge backlog at ATF. And, ATF notes, they’re becoming pretty common now, even with people having to jump through tax stamp hoops.
ATF also is OK with importation and resale of surplus firearms:
There is no clear public safety reason why taxpayer-funded US-origin C&R defense articles should be denied re-importation to the American public, while many non-U.S.- origin C&R items are approved. Additionally, these items do not represent any discernable (sic) public safety concern, as demand lies with collectors of vintage military firearms. Importation and sale through licensed dealers would effectively regulate the lawful transfer of these firearms through a licensee and a background check.
ATF calls itself out over the stabilizing brace silliness.
ATF says AR-15s are popular should be re-evaluated for sporting purposes because they are used often for sporting purpose.
Allowing dealers to sell at out of state gun shows.
At the end, a list of regulations that should probably be amended or removed.
My, my. What has happened at the ATF to make them advocate something reasonable?
I certainly hope so. The Hill:
During the Michigan presidential Republican primary in March of 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump promised both Kent Terry and Michelle Terry-Balogh, siblings of Brian Terry, if elected he would get the truth and answers regarding both Fast and Furious and the murder of Brian. He also gave his word to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said during the committees Tuesday meeting that President Trump instructed him and the committee to pursue every government investigation they deem appropriate.
A while back, ATF confiscated 6,000 80% lowers. Then, after some legal wrangling, had to give them back. ATF still maintains that the lowers are firearms.
Some more information from WeaponsMan. In the past, such markings were ruled OK. But the ATF has a history of making things up on a case by case basis. The agency really needs some consistency.
If you make a product that is called a solvent trap and sold with a wink wink nudge nudge, don’t be surprised if the ATF takes an interest. And if you bought one, I’d suggest a boating accident.
The gun was cosmetically altered to look like a full auto but the hole for the pin can’t be used. I guess they can ban any receiver that has “auto” engraved on it too?
ETA: I suppose the logic in such a ban is that the hole is there and can be drilled making it readily convertible. I don’t know that is the case. But we’ll see.
Odds of passing are slim but there is a bill to eliminate the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The agency has had its share of scandal and incompetence. And they fail ridiculously at one of their jobs which is to run your name through the NICS and process your $200 tax for NFA items.
Wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see them go.
John Ross is asking President Elect Trump to be the ATF director. I support this for the laughs alone.
One is a firearm, one is an NFA item, and one is an AOW. And, no, I don’t know which.
A gun shop submits his paper work for a Glock 18, complete with sheriff’s letter. ATF processes the paperwork. Then ATF notices the sheriff’s letter was out of date. So, they want to seize the gun from the shop.
ATF can’t get paperwork right. No big deal for them. If you get the paperwork wrong, it’s a big deal for you.
And reading through the article, it seems the dealer and sheriff just wanted to be able to get some cool toys.
Or as I like to call it, the one yes followed by a bunch of nos.
Right here. Looks like they’re putting language in there regarding marijuana usage because some states have legalized it.
House Democrats are calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to update a report it last published nearly two decades ago about gun violence to help inform public policy on the issue.
The request, in the form of a letter to ATF Director Thomas Brandon, comes after Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor this summer to bring attention to what they see as congressional inaction in response to mass shootings.
The ATF last published a report titled Following the Gun, which reviewed how criminals obtain firearms, in 2000. The lawmakers said that a new report with more recent statistics would provide the public with more understanding of how gun violence occurs in America.
They cite the reason is the bill that bans using federal money to promote gun control. I rather thought that bill was aimed at the CDC because of their sketchy gun control studies that always ended with “we need more money for more research”.
A combination of FBI incompetence, ATF incompetence and state level incompetence lead to people getting guns who should be denied based on background checks:
Shortcomings at federal and state agencies allow sales of firearms to people prohibited from buying them, a Justice Department inspector general probe found.
The issue became the subject of investigation after the FBI said the alleged shooter charged in the 2015 mass shooting at a South Carolina church should not have been able to buy a firearm. The FBI failed to complete the background check in the three days required by law, allowing the alleged shooter to buy the gun.
While the FBI runs background checks, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives is responsible for retrieving guns from buyers who werent legally permitted to purchase them.
But for the past 15 years, the FBI and ATF have disagreed over what is a fugitive from justice, which would disqualify a prospective buyer from legally obtaining a firearm, the inspector general report said. There were nearly 50,000 such purchases between 1999 and 2015 that the FBI sought to deny, but that the ATF didnt agree required the agency to try to retrieve the gun.
So, ATF isn’t going to get guns that the FBI says they should. And then I read this line:
Despite the Obama administrations push to more tightly enforce crimes associated with illegal gun sales, the federal prosecutors are doing fewer prosecutions of people who obtain firearms as a result of lapses in the gun background check system, the inspector general report said.
So, they’re just not doing their job. And more gun laws will help? Give them more background check violations to not investigate?
Mother Jones laments that the poor, put upon ATF lacks personnel and is underfunded. From the piece:
“We always crack up when they’re like, ‘You’re coming to take our guns,'” says Corey Ray with an eye roll. “Look, we don’t have the people.” Ray, an ATF spokesman, reels off some facts: More than 10 million guns are made in the United States every year, and another 5 million are imported. That’s on top of the estimated 350 million already in Americans’ hands. Then consider that there are only 2,600 ATF special agents, and it’s not hard to see why gun grabbing isn’t just a political fantasy, but a mathematical impossibility. “Even if we were like, ‘Yeah, we’re coming to take your guns,'” Ray says, “30 years from now you might get a knock on your door.”
The ATF has a hard enough time doing the job it’s actually set up to do. By design, it’s an analog agency in a digital world. The bureau currently gets 2 million new records a month, documents that line the hallways and are stacked head-high in offices throughout the tracing center. The overflow extends to the parking lot, where on the day I visited there were 13 shipping containers crammed with paperwork. Much of it comes from gun dealers that have gone out of business and are required to send their sales records to the ATF. They come in on microfilm, on DVDs, in encrypted files. Some arrive burned, soaked, or on tracing paper. “It makes you wonder if this was done on purpose,” says Ray, pointing to a pile of partly shredded documents
Well, good. They seem to think they won’t be able to disarm people. Cut their funding even more.
Not just for the FBI
ATF gets in on it too except they botched it as the ATF is prone to do:
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) set up shop as a sting operation to attract illegal gun and drug dealers. It worked: 144 firearms were bought and confiscated, as were narcotics during 68 transactions. Thirty-one people were arrested.
Yet, the agencys Operation Fearless was enough of a mess that the Justice Departments Office of Inspector General (IG) was prompted to take a broad look at ATFs undercover storefront operations. For all the good the Milwaukee sting did, there were enough blunders to make Operation Feckless seem an appropriate label.
In a report issued last week, the IG examined similar stings in Pensacola, Fla.; St. Louis; Wichita; and Boston, in addition to Milwaukee. The conclusion is sharp.
The operations were marked by poor management, insufficient training and guidance to agents in the field, and a lax organizational culture that failed to place sufficient emphasis on risk management in these inherently sensitive operations, the IG office found. It was alerted to the problems following a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation into Operation Fearless.
They have an app so you can report tips anonymously:
To make our communities safer, ATF is launching a new way to collect your tips involving firearms or to provide leads to help us prevent crimes from happening. Using your phone, tablet or computer, you will be able to tell us instantly and anonymously about crimes that may be happening in your communities that involve firearms, explosives, violent crime, or arson.
Where is it ATF’s job to deal with violent crime? Sure, the other stuff falls under their purview. What about alcohol and tobacco crimes?
For years, ATF has demonstrated a shocking lack of responsibility and judgment. We saw this with Operation Fast and Furious and again with Operation Fearless. This inspector general report confirms what weve long suspected: poor management and a loose organizational culture has led to completely avoidable failures in its undercover storefront operations. ATF has been tasked with an important responsibility of keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals. Its time that this organization gets serious about that duty. Our safety and our rights depend on it
So says The Daily Caller. This turns out to be about 1 in 3 gun dealers. Non-compliance with ATF regulations and paperwork is the most common reason a dealer is out of compliance. Checking the wrong box, I suppose.
Also, from that article, looks like ATF inspections are up since Obama took office.
Which could have greater handling requirements, making the manufacture of ammunition a bit more costly or impossible to make. Depending on who you read.
Interesting read on it at AmmoLand.
Mexico wants the US to reinstate the assault weapons ban and asked congress to do so. Did they think about asking congress to pass a law saying the ATF can’t smuggled guns into Mexico?
A man in Ohio was busted for having nearly 200 of them. He claims they were muzzle brakes. I wonder what they looked like?
Update: Thanks to Farm Dad, it likely is this:
Update 2: Ebay listing now gone. But was called See and See or some such.
Update 3: Screen grab:
Well, they also ran guns into Mexico. So, this doesn’t surprise me.
The GAO says the ATF is hoarding gun owners personal information. This is likely illegal:
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the go-to federal oversight agency, conducted an audit of ATF and found it does not remove certain identifiable information, despite the law explicitly mandating it do so. GAO conducted reviews for four data systems, and concluded at least two of ATFs systems violated official protocols.
In his first television interview, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Deputy Director, Head Thomas Brandon tells CBS’ “Sunday Morning” that the agency’s job is not to take away firearms from people, but to regulate weapons that can be misused.
“We’re a small agency with a big job,” Brandon tells correspondent Richard Schlesinger, in an interview to be broadcast Sunday, July 31.
Brandon also says his agency is hampered by not having the necessary technology. Congress has imposed constraints on ATF, such as prohibiting the agency from creating a computerized database of gun purchases.
On to an actual database:
Yet, Brandon says, not having the database hurts. Indeed, after the San Bernardino shootings, it took 12 hours to find out who owned the guns used in the attack. He says a computer database would have helped, and adds that not having one simply doesn’t make sense.
“There’s a lot of things that don’t make sense in this town, you know?” Brandon tells Schlesinger. “And, so, yeah, would it be efficient and effective? Absolutely. Would the taxpayers benefit with public safety? Absolutely. Are we allowed to do it? No.”
Yes, because government lists are such a great idea.
The ATF has some interesting data on NFA weapons:
Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.
Uncle Pays the Bills