Archive for the 'BATFE' Category



The National Shooting Sports Foundation And American Suppressor Association Endorses Chuck Canterbury For Director Of ATF

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

NSSF:

President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has a record of no-nonsense support for the rule of law that clearly extends to respect for the Second Amendment and the firearms industry.

Chuck Canterbury is the President of the 350,000-strong Fraternal Order of Police who would bring to the Director’s office 26 years of law enforcement experience as well as 16 years’ experience in his current role. Canterbury retired as a major with South Carolina’s Horry County Police Department and was inducted into the South Carolina Law Enforcement Hall of Fame.

And as for the evidence for Canterbury’s support for the second amendment?

Canterbury also stood up to billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg after the anti-gun funder of Everytown and Moms Demand called the Fraternal Order of Police a “fringe group” for opposing the release of firearms “trace” data which is prohibited by the Tiahrt Amendment. Even Bloomberg’s own police commissioner Ray Kelly opposed the release of ATF trace data. ATF says it shouldn’t be released outside of law enforcement either. Bloomberg didn’t care when he misused this information in so-called “sting” operations against firearms retailers – without the knowledge of either ATF or his own police department – interfering with as many as 18 criminal investigations and forcing ATF to pull agents out of the field for their own protection.

There you have it.  He supports cop safety.  That makes him a second amendment supporter according to the NSSF.

Next up, the American Suppressor Association:

“As the regulating body of our industry, ATF has a tremendous amount of control over our ability to operate and create jobs,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of ASA. “Because of their influence over our businesses, the ATF Director is, for us, one of the most important politically appointed positions that President Trump will fill. His nomination of Mr. Canterbury, which does require Senate confirmation, falls directly in line with his campaign promise to work with the firearms industry and protect the Second Amendment. Mr. Canterbury’s resume and reputation highlight that he is the leader that ATF needs in order to become the bureau that they are intended to be.”

What bureau would that be?  What did the American founders intend a bureau like that to do, sirs?

The NSSF has never been a supporter of the second amendment, and with respect to the American Suppressor Association, I suspect that they have no desire to see suppressors unregulated.  If they weren’t regulated by law, they wouldn’t be able to charge $1000 a piece for their tubes with baffles.

Prior:

Further Fisking Of Chuck Canterbury’s Second Amendment Credentials

Fraternal Order Of Police Chief Chuck Canterbury Picked To Head ATF

Further Fisking Of Chuck Canterbury’s Second Amendment Credentials

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

A reader sends the following references today.

First of all, Senators Feinstein, Warner, Schumer and DeWine claimed support from the Fraternal Order of Police when they introduced a renewed “assault weapons” ban in 2006.  This is exactly within Canterbury’s tenure, who has been president since 2003.

But is this accurate?  According to NBC news it is.

National police organizations such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers and the Fraternal Order of Police all support the renewal of the ban. President Bush has said he would sign such a bill if Congress passed it.

To be precise, this report is from two years earlier when Bush was president, but it does show support for a renewed AWB (by the way, did you know that Bush had agreed in principle to renewal of the ban?).

Finally, the Fraternal Order of Police is credited with assisting Vice President Biden in formulating the language of the renewed ban, and FOP representatives were standing on stage during the presentation as a show of support for a renewed ban.

But according to Chuck Canterbury, who also supports universal background checks and complete law enforcement access to medical records, “I take a back seat to no one in my reverence for the Second Amendment.”

So in addition to knowing that he is a gun controller, you now know that he is a shameless liar.

Fraternal Order of Police President Chuck Canterbury Picked To Head ATF

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 6 days ago

National Association for Gun Rights.

Late on Friday afternoon the White House released an official statement that Chuck Canterbury, Jr. was nominated to become the next ATF Director.

Unfortunately, Canterbury has a long history of publicly supporting and endorsing anti-gun policies, anti-gun Supreme Court nominees, and anti-gun high ranking government officials.

In his official capacity as President of the National Fraternal Order of Police, Canterbury has:

*** Supported radical anti-gun Supreme Court Justice    Sonia Sotomayor.

*** Supported former Attorney General Eric Holder – Obama’s head honcho who ran the deadly Fast and Furious gun running program.

*** Supported expanding the federal government’s gun registration schemes.

Even more troubling, Canterbury’s FOP is currently lobbying AGAINST Constitutional Carry, even though the vast majority of law enforcement officers support the right to carry.

I find this release to be short on facts, or at least, references to those facts along with analysis of them.  So let’s do a little digging.

From The Daily Caller.

President Donald Trump announced Friday plans to nominate Fraternal Order of Police President Chuck Canterbury to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Canterbury has been Fraternity Order of Police (FOP) president for 16 years, having previously spent 26 years in the Horry County, South Carolina, Police Department’s patrol, criminal and training divisions, according to the White House statement.

“Chuck is one of the most honorable people I’ve ever worked with and if he is selected, I can’t think of a finer person to take the position,” said Jonathan Thompson, executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association. Thompson made the remarks to POLITICO in Nov. 2018, when Canterbury’s name was first floated for the position.

[ … ]

Canterbury has been vocal in his Second Amendment support, testifying July 2009 before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who had worked closely with police as a Manhattan prosecutor early in her career:

“I want no mistake to be made,” Canterbury testified. “I take a back seat to no one in my reverence for the Second Amendment. In fact, if I thought that Judge Sotomayor’s presence on the court posed a threat to my Second Amendment right, I would not be supporting her here today.”

Dave Kopel explains why support for Sotomayor was problematic.

Perhaps the most startling aspect of the Supreme Court opinions in McDonald v. Chicago was the dissenters’ assault on District of Columbia v. Heller. Not only did Justice Stephen G. Breyer vote against extending the Second Amendment to state and local governments, he also argued forcefully and at length for overturning Heller and, therefore, for turning the Second Amendment into a practical nullity. Ominously, Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined the Breyer dissent – contradicting what she told the U.S. Senate and the American people last summer.

So was support for Sotomayor just a brain seizure or an indication of a deeper problem?  First, Canterbury wants local and state police to know all about NICS denials.  Doubtless such support for this law is couched in terms of learning about felons trying to purchase weapons, but swept into the mix are veterans who didn’t know they were on the denial list for NICS due to reporting conducted by the DoD for things like PTSD.

More troublesome still is this letter from Canterbury to Patrick Leahy.

Dear Mr. Chairman,

I am writing on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police, the oldest and largest law enforcement organization in the United States, to strongly recommend that several measures, all absolutely critical elements of addressing gun violence, be included in any legislation moving forward as a result of your deliberations.
These measures are:

•Expansion of background checks on firearm purchasers;
• Reinvigoration of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATP) to ensure that it has the tools and resources necessary to its mission;
• Improved law enforcement access to mental health records in the context of firearms acquisition;
• Funding to put more State and local law enforcement officers on the street.

[ … ]

We believe the most logical starting point to address gun violence is the expansion of the background check system. Incomplete or absent background checks create a gaping hole in the wall between firearms and criminals. Loopholes in the background check system give criminals unprecedented opportunity to access firearms. This problem must be remedied quickly. An expanded and improved background check system will provide the first level of defense against criminals arming themselves.

[ … ]

Specifically, the confirmation ofB. Todd Jones must occur as quickly as possible. As Acting Director at ATP, Mr. Jones has provided the agency the leadership and vision which has been lacking in recent years. Mr. Jones has the requisite experience pursuing tough firearms and weapons cases and has demonstrated the ability to reset ATP after recent tumultuous investigations.

[ … ]

Along with comprehensive background checks, better access to mental health records is critical to keeping guns out of the wrong hands. Without access to these records, law enforcement, at all levels of government, is handicapped which gives the criminal element the advantage.

So with this single letter, we’ve learned that Canterbury is in favor of [a] universal background checks, [b] the nomination of B. Todd Jones as director of the ATF, and [c] law enforcement access to medical records.

The surest sign of a collectivist and statist is support for universal background checks, which is the denial of free trade, the infringement of the RKBA and in general the suppression of liberty.

We all know the record that B. Todd Jones left at the ATF, and while it’s easy to place this last one in the category of “Fix-NICS,” it isn’t exactly that.  Remember, Canterbury wrote this while president of the fraternal order of police.  He’s arguing for access to medical records by all local and state police, all justified and codified at the federal level.  You can jettison the medical privacy laws, according to Canterbury.  He wants to see your records.

But just to make it clear, Canterbury says, “I take a back seat to no one in my reverence for the Second Amendment.”  His record proves otherwise.  It would be far too simple merely to speak out against Canterbury.  I would expect nothing less from the president of the fraternal order of police.

The deeper problem is with Trump himself for nominating Canterbury.  First Trump gave us the bump stock ban.  Then he gave us support for red flag laws, I’m certain lending credibility to and giving cover for Lindsey Graham’s efforts to nationalize funding for so-called “extreme risk protection orders.”

Now he is giving us a gun controller for head of the ATF.  Don’t be surprised.  From the very beginning Trump was and always will be a Northeastern progressive.  He will never be anything other than what he is.  He will not change.  He cannot change.

He wouldn’t even understand why anyone would object to Canterbury’s nomination, in fact.  His distance from the common man wouldn’t even allow him to understand the very language of proponents of the RKBA.  We were brought up in a different cultural milieu, we have a different world and life view, we speak different languages.  It isn’t even possible to translate or interpret the languages or bridge the gap between us, we are so different.  If I were to speak to Trump about this, I may as well be speaking Mandarin.

I do not think it would be possible for Trump to understand why we would object to Canterbury, but mind you, we will likely see him sitting in front of Congress as an “expert” testifying about why America needs universal background checks and access to all medical records.  He’s done it as president of the fraternal order of police, and there is no reason to think he’s changed.  Trump has merely given him more power.

FOIA Information Releases On Bump Stock Ban

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Len Savage sends the following pages released as part of his FOIA request on the bump stock ban.

Now, let’s pose some questions for readers to consider.  First, why are these pages marked SECRET/NOFORN (No Foreign Nationals)?  Second, if you were Paddock, why would you voluntarily choose to shoot an AR-15 with a bump stock in a crime you intended to perpetrate when you could shoot a fully automatic weapon?  Third (and I’ll keep asking this until I get an answer), why did the FBI refuse to allow the ATF to examine the crime scene weapons?

Apparently, the most important requirement for government “service” is that you are willing to hide things from the public and release only information you see as beneficial to your cause (whatever that might be).  In other circles, that’s called lying.

In the absence of any further information, I’ll continue to believe my own son’s analysis after listening to the consistency of the rate of fire over video: “He was using a fully automatic weapon.”  And my son has plenty of time under his belt shooting fully automatic weapons.  Bottom line – I’ll believe my son over the FedGov.

Fast And Furious: An Ignominious End

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

David Codrea:

“Hours after House Judiciary Committee Democrats voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for withholding parts of the Mueller report, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the House Oversight Committee settled the 2012 contempt case against the DOJ,” The Daily Caller observed. “The case, related to the ‘Fast and Furious’ document subpoena demanded of Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder when Republicans held the majority, is now considered settled, since Democrats became the majority in the lower chamber and Elijah Cummings became Oversight Committee Chairman.”

[ … ]

Simply put: Guns recovered next to bodies at Mexican crime scenes could be traced to U.S. gun stores and that could be exploited to “justify” further domestic citizen disarmament efforts … Fast and Furious was mine-salting.

There was never any interest in justice.  The rule of law is dead in America.  The machinations of the FedGov are loathsome to the progressives when they aren’t in power, but simultaneously their servant and their god when in power, like Baal who was expected to bless the pagans with things if only they sacrificed their children.

Don’t expect the Department of Justice ever to come clean on this of their own accord.

FOIA On Bumpstocks Used In Crimes

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

In FOIA Response From The ATF: No Bumpstocks Used In Any Crime To Date, I conveyed an ATF response to a FOIA request.  This request was made on behalf of Len Savage, and Len sends me this initial letter making the request.

Obviously, they had trouble getting anything out of the ATF.  Len also sent some other email exchanges between him and the ATF which I will eventually post.

In the mean time, David Codrea had this to say.

Herschel has some thoughts. [More]

To reiterate, it’s not “us” creating “conspiracy theories”: Mr. Stamboulieh, Mr. Savage and I are simply repeating what the government is saying, and if that results in inferences and conclusions, they are the ones who can clear it all up — and won’t.

I received the Chisolm letter from the principals the other day along with the document that prompted this response. There’s more to say, which I will in a day or so when I finish some other stuff I’m working on first.

The main “spoiler” I’ll give away is that the government attorney is being cute here, and I don’t think the federal judiciary is going to appreciate that.

Stay tuned.

Okay, I’m a bit out of the loop on this and both Len and David know more than I do about what’s going on.  I’ll try to stay in better touch with both of them on this.

I accept David’s observation that the government is trying to be “cute.”  But I’ll throw in that they’re also being very careful.  I’ve worked with FedGov lawyers before, and they don’t like putting documents out containing material false information.  If any licensee of any kind sends information to FedGov that causes them to repeat it in such a manner that the FedGov owns it, e.g., it ends up in the federal register or other archived government documents, they get really pissed and come after you.

They don’t like material false information because for one, it’s illegal to communicate it (either to or on the part of FedGov), and two, it’s unethical.  If it can be demonstrated that the material false information was knowing and intentional, that can mean disbarment (for a lawyer) or even imprisonment.

I’m sure they’re being “cute.”  I am also sure they are being very, very, very careful.

FOIA Response From The ATF: No Bumpstocks Used In Any Crime To Date

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Via reddit/firearms.

The poor guys at reddit are befuddled.  “So the Vegas shooting was a lie? This is confusing me … It confuses the hell out of me, too.”  Others think it was a lazy, cursory search.

Nay.  I say that the DoJ responded this way because, hold your breath and grab your britchesthere have been no bump stocks used in any crime to date.

UPDATE: FOIA On Bumpstocks Used In Crimes

Update On ATF And DoJ Interpretation Of AR Pistol Braces

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 3 weeks ago

We discussed this a bit earlier, and TTAG has an informative update on it.  For a summary, see the picture below, but make sure to read the stupidity at TTAG.

Oh dear.  Am I going to have to teach some ignorant ATF agent and DoJ lawyer, who never studied geometry, the Pythagorean Theorem?  Good Lord.  I guess if you can’t get a job doing anything else, you go to work for the ATF.

Before we get to that, perhaps we ought to teach DoJ lawyers about the second amendment.

Retired ATF Agent Says AR-15 Rifles Should Be Regulated Like Machine Guns

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 4 weeks ago

The Hill:

David Chipman, a retired Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent, on Monday said AR-15 rifles should be regulated like machine guns.

“What I support is treating them just like machine guns,” Chipman, who is now a senior policy adviser at Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, told Hill.TV’s Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball on “Rising.”

“To me, if you want to have a weapon of war, the same gun that was issued to me as a member of [the] ATF SWAT team, it makes sense that you would have to pass a background check, the gun would have to be in your name, and there would be a picture and fingerprints on file,” he continued.

“To me, I don’t mind doing it if I want to buy a gun. These policies just protect the criminal. Like, I don’t think you should be able to anonymously purchase 20 AR-15s at one time, and the government shouldn’t know,” he said. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all that you have to pass a background check to own a weapon of war.”

Hmm … it’s a short hop and a skip from “weapon of war” to the Winchester Model 70 used by Carlos Hathcock, yes?  Or the Benelli shotguns used by the Marines for room clearing operations in Now Zad.  Or the venerable 1911 pistol used by John Basilone in his famous battle.

I suppose that Chapman doesn’t want people to be able to defend themselves from multiple home invaders as did Zach Peters or Stephen Bayezes.  Well, honestly, you can tack on others in that category.

So now you know what kind of people populate the ATF.  But you knew that already, didn’t you?  Instead of regulating AR-15s, I think we should regulate people who think AR-15s should be regulated.  They are a threat to liberty.

And You Thought The ATF Interpretation On Pistol Braces Was Safe, Did You?

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 4 weeks ago

Prince Law:

Although I cannot disclose all of the occasions where ATF has recently reversed its prior determinations or devised a new interpretation of the law or regulation, I can disclose a recent prosecution, of a veteran, where ATF devised a new interpretation out of whole cloth and was successful in convincing the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio to prosecute. The case is U.S. v. Wright, 3:18-CR-162 and it should have the entire Firearms Community alarmed.

Although many of the documents have been sealed by the Court (that should tell you a good bit already), the superseding indictment is publicly available and suggests that Mr. Wright had an unregistered short-barrelled rifle (SBR) that was not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). Regardless of whether you believe the National Firearms Act is constitutional or appropriate, at the time of writing this article, the courts have not yet found it to be unconstitutional and if merely inappropriate, one’s proper recourse is to seek a statutory deletion or revision. Thus, the possession of an unregistered SBR is unlawful. So, why is this case concerning? Unfortunately most of the informative documents have been sealed…that is, except for the Government’s Motion in Limine. (For those who don’t know what a motion in limine is, it is a motion filed by a party which asks the court for an order or ruling limiting or preventing certain evidence from being presented during a trial).

When you review the Motion in Limine, you quickly learn that the Government is seeking to preclude ATF FATD (Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division) determinations from being used in any way during trial. These determinations appear to have been part of a discovery dispute, which is also sealed and is evidenced by the Government’s statement that “[t]he Government produced the letters under the protection of a protective order that the Court authorized on August 1, 2018.”. For the reasons that follow, I find it extremely comical that the Government actually contended that “ATF FATD letters at trial creates a grave risk of confusing the issues and misleading the jury,” but I digress…for now.

We quickly learn from the Government that:

The critical issue in this case will not be possession, registration (or lack thereof), or barrel length. Ultimately, the primary issue in dispute at trial will be whether or not Kelland Wright’s firearm meets the definition of a “rifle,” that is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, see 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a). Part of this issue will center on the implications modifications that Kelland Wright made or had made to the firearm, including the addition of an extension piece to the rear of the firearm.

Hmmm, so now we know that the issue is whether the piece added to his Ar-15 pistol constituted a “stock” or not. The Government further contends:

Wright’s expert, Richard Vasquez, is expected to testify that the extension piece functions as a cheek rest. The Government’s expert, Firearms Enforcement Officer Eve E. Eisenbise, is expected to testify that the extension piece makes the firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder. Officer Eisenbise is an employee of the ATF FATD. Richard Vasquez formerly was employed by the FATD.

The relevant issues at trial relate to the specifics of Wright’s firearm, an AR pistol platform that was modified with an angled foregrip and collapsible stock.

Now, everything starts to come into light. The Government is contending that an extension piece that is designed as a cheek rest is actually a stock or if not, Mr. Wright had a vertical foregrip on his pistol. (We call this roping a heifer, where the Government attempts to contend that no matter how you classify the situation, you have violated some law). Now, some of you are probably saying, hold on, ATF previously issued determinations – such as in relation to the Thorsden determination request letter and ATF’s response – that cheek rests and other devices, which were not designed to be shouldered, are not stocks. (For more discussion on cheek weld determinations, see our blog article Ringing In the New Year ATF Style). And they have issued numerous determinations – such as the one regarding the Magpul Angled Fore-Grip – that angled foregrips are not vertical pistol grips. Yep, but that didn’t stop the ATF and the U.S Attorney’s Office from prosecuting Mr. Wright and seeking to preclude the jurors from seeing or hearing of the determination letters, even though, the Government never once contended that Mr. Wright actually shouldered the cheek weld extension or utilized the angled foregrip.

So the DoJ is revising by practice their determination that the stabilizer braces aren’t an NFA item, or more correctly, the weapons to which they are attached are an SBR.  I’m not certain whether he had an angled foregrip or a vertical one, and it should make no difference.

Fortunately, this was an instance of jury nullification and Mr. Wright was found innocent.  But the cloak has been pulled back and you see the future.  It looks stupid.


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