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ATF in the hot seat?

Eric Larson over at subguns.com thinks so:

For the past several weeks, ATF has apparently instructed its Inspectors not to review any NFA records during compliance audits—they are to examine Title I records only. I’ve heard enough from sources I deem reliable to post this.

What’s going on?

A number of things. First, I am sure y’all recall the post-Waco phrase: “We don’t want Special Agents going around talking or providing information, because we don’t want to create any evidence that could be subpoenaed.” Second, the timing coincides with the public release and posting of the sworn testimony of ATF Inspector George Semoniak [link added – Ed.] at the Wrenn trial. Specifically, as the summary posted with this document states:

In the case United States vs Wrenn (Cr. No. 1:04-045), District of South Carolina, Aiken Division, ATF Inspector George Semonick testified under oath that “there was a discrepancy” between firearms records maintained by defendant Wrenn and those maintained in the NFRTR by ATF. Inspector Semonick also confirmed “that the records, the records kept by ATF, were deficient.” Defendant Wrenn was not charged with any record-keeping violations.

Third, I’ve also heard chatter that ATF suspending record-keeping checks of Class III dealer records on Title II firearms/devices, is a prelude to ATF swooping down and seizing/forfeiting a bunch of NFA firearms/devices. I strongly believe ATF is NOT going to seize/forfeit any NFA firearms/devices under the present conditions because, among other reasons, the NFRTR is under a Congressional microscope at the moment. For ATF to seize/forfeit any NFA firearms/devices at this time would likely invite further destruction of ATF as an institution.

Note that I said “further destruction.” The reason is that ATF is currently doing what the military calls a “damage-limiting operation.” ATF is seriously damaged right now, and ATF’s top executives are trying to limit that damage.

There are things going on regarding ATF’s administration of the NFA that go far beyond and are apart from anything I’ve posted here regarding the NFRTR. Those things are in progress right now, and I’ll leave it to others who are directly involved in them to comment publicly on them in their own way(s) and time(s).

Finally, as always, I’d like to urge any of you who are concerned about the foregoing or anything else pertaining to the NFRTR, to consider contacting your Congressional representatives. Be sure and request your Congressional representatives to contact Sen. Arlen Specter, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which is currently involved in matters involving oversight of ATF. Apparently, a sealed subpoena has been served by the Committee on ATF. I am endeavoring to find out more details, but think some others who are following this may scoop me, which is OK. There’s plenty of information to go around.

At the Wrenn trial, an agent testified the the NFRTR (the registry of NFA weapons) was not accurate. The NFA community has alerted congress and, as such, the ATF folks may be in damage control mode. We’ll see.

11 Responses to “ATF in the hot seat?”

  1. _Jon Says:

    Thanks for explaining what NFRTR is. Perhaps you could move that element above the quote.

    And, considering I don’t like how the ATF does it’s job, I’m secretly wishing someone or something will force the ATF to screw up publicly right now so their entire house collapses.

    That may be a mean thing to wish on someone, but I’m a “tough love” kinda guy.

  2. Kristopher Says:

    Another amnesty?

    Maybe I should buy an MG-42 parts kit and an unfinished receiver…..

  3. Gregory Markle Says:

    The branch of the ATF which handles Class II issues has become amazingly friendly and efficient as of late. A good friend of mine had some six transfers which had been elayed for one reason or another (one was nearing TWO YEARS) and all of a sudden two months ago the ATF called HIM, apologized and they had all of them cleared up in less than a month. VERY odd.

    As for another amnesty, it’s always possible. The amnesty period outlined in the 1968 GCA was never completed and there are, if I recall correctly, still 120 days of amnesty that have to be given. Damn would that be the coolest!

  4. Resistance is futile! Says:

    Carnival of Cordite #44

    44! What a great number! I’m really pressed for time (ain’t law school hell?), so let’s dive right in: Here’s some cool techie stuff on shock-waves, thanks to Wadcutter. And watch out–there’s falling bullets! Just remember, no matter what your

  5. SayUncle » ATF Trouble Says:

    […] Only this time, it’s budget stuff and not a corrupt registry of NFA weapons or kitten stomping. The WaPo: The new headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the District is at least $19 million over budget at a time when the agency is considering sharp cuts in the number of new cars, bulletproof vests and other basics it provides agents. […]

  6. SayUncle » More on the ATF in the hot seat Says:

    […] Not a good year for the ATF. An agent testified in court that the NFRTR (registry of NFA weapons) was deficient; they are currently experiencing significant budget troubles, attributable to bad management; now, they’re about to be investigated for breaking the law at Richmond, VA gun shows: On February 15, at 4:00 p.m., the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security will hold an oversight hearing to investigate apparent wrongdoing by BATFE at a Richmond, VA gun show last August. […]

  7. SayUncle » More ATF woes Says:

    […] An agent testified in court that the NFRTR (registry of NFA weapons) was deficient […]

  8. SayUncle » The ATF continues its bad year Says:

    […] An agent testified under oath that the NFRTR (the NFA weapons database) was corrupt; […]

  9. SayUncle » More stellar performance from the ATF Says:

    […] An agent testified under oath that the NFRTR (the NFA weapons database) was corrupt; […]

  10. SayUncle » So, what next? Says:

    […] An agent testified under oath that the NFRTR (the NFA weapons database) was corrupt; […]

  11. SayUncle » Abrams to go to trial Says:

    […] We’ll see. He was a dealer so it is possible that the NFRTR database was in error. It has happened before. A […]