Archive for the 'ATF' Category

July 23, 2017

Akins Accelerator 2

Long time readers may remember the Akins Accelerator. If you don’t, the TLDR version is that it was a bumpfire stock for the Ruger 10/22 (the first I’d seen) except it had a spring to do the bumping. A sample was sent to ATF, who couldn’t get the thing to work, for approval. ATF initially approved the device. Then, they actually saw one of them working and ruled that it was a machine gun. All the people who shelled out $1,200 for it now had to remove the evil spring to comply with ATF’s ruling.

Somehow it escaped my notice that there is now a springless version called the Akins Accelerator 2. Here’s a video of it in action:

Looks to be a simple bumpfire type stock now. Banning that evil spring helped.

July 18, 2017

House to ATF: We want to tie funding to cutting gun regulations

I like it.

July 11, 2017

Most of them?

ATF wants to know what regulations should be modified or repealed. Says the Trace, with much butthurt:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is polling outside interest groups about what gun regulations to eliminate following an edict from the Trump administration to cut government red tape.

In three closed-door meetings held in May and June, top ATF officials separately asked firearms-industry leaders, law enforcement officials, and representatives from gun-violence prevention groups what current regulations could be eliminated without risking public safety, according to attendees who went to one or more of the meetings.

An agenda for a May 22 meeting with gun-industry leaders, obtained by The Trace, asked attendees to consider three questions: what impact current regulations have on gun-violence prevention; what regulations need to be repealed, replaced, or modified, and what regulations are outdated.

We could repeal quite a few without thinking much about it.

June 27, 2017

In Chicago

ATF has rolled out a van that can test guns and shell casings on the spot:

Six months after President Donald Trump threatened to send the feds to Chicago to fix the horrible carnage going on, city officials announced on Monday that theyve been getting some more federal crime-fighting aid in the form of a mobile firearms forensics van thats been roaming the streets for three weeks. The van, which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) first rolled out in May, makes it possible to immediately test guns and shell casings at a crime scene. Its aimed at helping police departments around the country, an ATF spokesperson told Mother Jones.

It’s Chicago. They’ll be busy.

June 08, 2017

Registration leads to . . .

Incompetence, apparently:

NFA database seriously flawed

OIG asked how often there was a discrepancy between the inventory and what the NFRTR said the inventory should be: 46% of inspectors said either “always” or “most of the time.” (Only 5% reported “never”). How often was the discrepancy found in the NFRTR? 44% said always or most of the time, only 6% said “never.” The comments by inspectors were pretty eye-opening:

And these are the guys that enforce stringent reporting requirements on FFLs.

May 18, 2017

ATF memes

Some of these are pretty funny.

May 04, 2017

ATF publishes lost and stolen data

Right here. Mostly handguns. And, apparently, quite a few people lose suppressors.

April 25, 2017

ATF changes mind on stabilizing brace again. Still

It’s said that these people get to decide what can actually land a person in jail. A bit back, they gave stabilizing braces approval. Then, in a really stupid letter, said that if you shouldered one, that made it a SBR. Well, they’ve gone and changed their mind again:

SB Tactical, inventors and manufacturers of the Pistol Stabilizing Brace, is excited to announce that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) has issued SB Tactical a reversal letter containing a sensible clarification of the Bureaus position on the lawful use of SB Tactical braces.

The new clarification of opinion letter states, an NFA firearm has not necessarily been made when the device is not reconfigured for use as a shoulder stock even if the attached firearm happens to be fired from the shoulder. To the extent that the January 2015 Open Letter implied or has been construed to hold that incidental, sporadic, or situational use of an arm-brace (in its original approved configuration) equipped firearm from a firing position at or near the shoulder was sufficient to constitute redesign, such interpretations are incorrect and not consistent with ATFs interpretation of the statute or the manner in which it has historically been enforced.

Tam thinks something is afoot: The extent to which these three factoids are related is an exercise left up to the reader.

April 18, 2017

Time to fix the ATF

An article at NRA on the issue. It highlights some of ATF’s greatest hits.

April 17, 2017

ATF investigates police

San Diego Union Tribune:

A letter from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to law enforcement agencies across Southern California warning about an emerging problem of officers engaging in unlicensed firearms sales came just weeks after a Pasadena police officers home was searched and guns seized.

The March 31 letter from Eric Harden, the ATFs Los Angeles Field Division special agent in charge, said the agency has discovered officers buying and then reselling handguns without a federal firearms license. That violates federal gun laws.

The ATF letter, first reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune, came after a Feb. 16 search of the home of a high-ranking Pasadena police officer. News reports at the time said several large gun cases were removed from the officers Sierra Madre home and loaded into ATF vehicles.

There’s a market for off roster guns (those are guns not OK to buy because the state says so) and the police appear to be filling that market. I don’t think the ATF guy is right about violating federal gun laws. You can re-sell a gun. I suppose he did enough volume that it was a business. Also, it’s California and their laws are wonky.

April 13, 2017

In Fast and Furious News

An arrest has been made for the murder of border agent Brian Terry. He was murdered by a gun that the Obama administration let “walk” into Mexico for some reason.

April 12, 2017

ATF’s illegal cigarette operation again

This was making the rounds back in February. But it seems to have gotten new life:

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives used a secret, off-the-books bank account to rent a $21,000 suite at a Nascar race, take a trip to Las Vegas and donate money to the school of one of the agents children, according to records and interviews.

Agents also used the account to finance undercover operations around the country, despite laws prohibiting government officials from using private money to supplement their budgets, according to current and former government officials and others familiar with the account.

The revelations highlight the lax oversight at the A.T.F. that allowed agents and informants to spend millions while avoiding the normal accounting process. The Justice Departments inspector general, who is investigating the secret account, criticized the A.T.F. recently for mismanagement and said the agency did not know how many informants it had or how much they were paid.

They really just flaunt their lack of accountability like no one else.

April 11, 2017

Speaking of ATF: Does this mean NFA processing will be quicker and more efficient?

The ATF has reportedly reorganized it’s NFA branch. It now has two branched. One branch to support processing of NFA paperwork. This processing is stupid to begin with. All that should be done is, basically, cashing a check and running a NICS check.

The other branch to support SOTs.

ATF fails to respond to FOIA request

So, Judicial Watch is suing them:

The ATF is reportedly reconsidering its February 2015 proposal to revise the 2014 Regulation Guide regarding the reclassification of certain ammunition. In March 2015, more than 200 members of Congress wrote to former ATF director Todd Jones expressing their serious concern that the proposal might violate the Second Amendment by restricting ammunition that had been primarily used for sporting purposes. The letter asserts the ATFs move does not comport with the letter or spirit of the law and will interfere with Second Amendment rights by disrupting the market for ammunition that law abiding Americans use for sporting and other legitimate purposes.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the agency failed to respond to a March 9, 2015, FOIA request seeking information on the ammo ban effort

April 06, 2017

Chaffetz schools ATF lackey

This is just a train wreck on the part of the ATF agent:

Well, the youtube time comment made it worse.

April 05, 2017

So, what exactly does the ATF do? And what exactly does it think it should be doing?

The ATF had a little love fest for Jeff Sessions saying it was going to do whatever it could to help reduce crime. Aren’t you guys supposed to be, essentially, tax collectors, inspectors and paper pushers*? But in the day where everyone gets a SWAT team, I suppose they feel the need to branch out:

Brandon’s prepared remarks said ATF urged the prosecution of thousands of people last year, and is prepared to do more this year.

“We focus our resources on the worst of the worst violent offenders,” he said. “In fiscal year 2016, ATF recommended more than 14,000 individual subjects for prosecution; on average, those subjects had 8.5 prior arrests and 2.2 prior convictions.”

“Many of ATF’s prosecution referrals involve gangs and other violent criminal organizations, and we work closely with our State, local and Federal partners to disrupt and dismantle these organizations,” he added.

Interesting to me is the use of the words “recommended”, “urged”, and “referrals”. So, are you guys not actually arresting and prosecuting people?

* Given the backlog for NFA transfers, you should probably focus more resources and attention on the paper pushers.

The non-sequitur society

We don’t make sense but we sure like pizza

ATF’s Associate Deputy Director wrote a white paper on removing suppressors from the NFA and other pro-gun reforms. He appeared before congress to answer questions about what he wrote. And this happened:

Do you represent the NRA? asked Representative Gerald Connelly, a Virginia Democrat, his voice rising. Or do you represent the American people at the ATF?

Turk began to answer, but Connelly cut him off.

I represent victims from Virginia Tech, Connelly said, referencing a 2007 mass shooting at the university. We buried 6 young people. And I couldnt explain to them why an ATF representative might think that legalizing silencers might be a good idea.

What does anything in that word salad have to do with anything else in that word salad?

April 03, 2017

Congressional ATF hearing

Last week, I mentioned a report showing that ATF did a poor and dangerous job of tracking its informants. Well, congress noticed and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing on the issue this month.

March 30, 2017

The Latest in ATF Competence

Well, if they can’t keep track of the guns they’re giving to criminals in Mexico, I’m not sure I’m all that surprised to learn that they can’t track or account for their informants.

March 08, 2017

The spoils of fast and furious

Judicial Watch: Obama DOJ Failed to Stop Mexican Cartel Murder of ICE Agent with Smuggled Guns

February 22, 2017

ATF running a cigarette selling operation

The New York Times:

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.

February 20, 2017

How many silencers are there?

ATF says there are 1.3 million and they are rarely used in crime.

February 17, 2017

Constructive possession tossed by jury

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.

February 06, 2017

ATF publishes reasonable white paper

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?

Trump to address Fast and Furious?

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.

January 30, 2017

Man gets AR lowers back from ATF

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.

January 26, 2017

More on ATF saying guns with fake sear holes are machine guns

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.

Speaking of shutting down

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.

January 24, 2017

ATF: Fake holes and markings on an 80% lower receiver = machine gun

In two threads at (here and here), a commenter says the ATF ruled that his 80% lower receiver with a sear pin engraving is a machine gun. And it must be turned in for destruction.

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.

January 16, 2017

One thing about this election is the Republicans are introducing pro gun bills

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.