Time to fix the ATF
An article at NRA on the issue. It highlights some of ATF’s greatest hits.
An article at NRA on the issue. It highlights some of ATF’s greatest hits.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
This is just a train wreck on the part of the ATF agent:
Well, the youtube time comment made it worse.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.
Uncle Pays the Bills