Archive for the 'BATFE' Category



Court Rules On Rifle Purchases In Border States

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

KRQE.com:

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A federal appeals court has ruled that gun dealers in New Mexico and southwestern border states must tell authorities if someone buys more than two semi-automatic rifles in five days.

The decision comes after Ron Peterson Firearms of Albuquerque and two other gun shops filed a lawsuit in 2011, challenging a demand letter from the ATF to certain gun shops in New Mexico, Arizona, California and Texas.

The letter was issued as part of an ATF effort to crack down on weapons trafficking to Mexico and specifically targeted the southwest.

The courts affirmed a demand letter that has no basis in law, thus affirming that the ATF can do pretty much anything it wants to do.

Notice too that the stated reason is to target weapons trafficking, an argument I’m sure government lawyers made with a straight face in open court – and the judges let them.

Laughable, it is.  And a shame, that the federal government, being the chief weapons trafficker, bullies someone else for its crimes.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

David Codrea:

The same whistleblower source contacted this correspondent yesterday evening to express the opinion that questions raised in this column’s May 9 report have influenced this latest congressional inquiry. What remains to be seen now is how much stonewalling in response to the letter, which requests a response by June 2, will occur, and how much information Jones will withhold under a claim of “Privacy Act” provisions against disclosing personnel matters.

It’s always nice to see that David is making a difference with highly placed readers.  I have no indication at all that I’ve had such an effect.

David at JPFO:

“[C]ivilians are not allowed to possess machine-guns, military rifles and handguns … private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons [and] private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited,” the site advises. Add to that licensing, background checks and registration for what they are allowed to own, a prohibition on concealed carry and stiff criminal penalties for gun law violations, and Nigeria is one of those places where the “law-abiding” are at extreme disadvantage.

Boko Haram, which doesn’t let such details slow them down a beat, finds such conditions enabling.

Recall also that we discussed Nigeria and gun control just a few days ago.  David prefaces his remarks by pointing out other problems associated with assistance to Niger.  I had also noted over the weekend that Nigeria is corrupt, with Army generals under investigation for providing weapons to Boko Haram.

Kurt Hofmann:

… the Bureau seems to have painted itself into something of an awkward corner when someone applies for a new machine gun on behalf of a trust.

I’ve seen that among other agencies and bureaus too when the combination of the law, regulation (which isn’t law no matter what you’ve been led to believe), interpretations of regulation, and filed federal register notices and discussions create such a confused entanglement and web of requirements that they are bound to be self contradictory somewhere.  The sad part is that this has never stopped any federal regulator from doing exactly what he wanted to do, in my experience.

Mike Vanderboegh has an interesting discussion on Wayned Hage and his battle with the BLM.  As the situation evolved between the BLM and Mr. Bundy, I also couldn’t help but think of Wayne Hage.

ATF Rulemaking On Adjudication As Mentally Defective

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

Perhaps someone else I regularly read alerted me to this, but if so, I certainly overlooked it.  This one slid under the wire with me.  Comments close at midnight on April 7th, so these comments will have to suffice.  Prince Law Offices filed an objection to the rulemaking, and their filing is worth reading.  They observe that “few in the Firearms Industry wanted to take a stand against this new notice of proposed rulemaking.”  Perhaps so, but I’m not in the “industry.”  And I do indeed take a strong stand against this rulemaking.  Herein are my comments to the ATF.

The ATF is not the appropriate bureau of the executive to make decisions on adjudication on metal health of any sort.  Furthermore, even qualified individuals disagree with the notion that this will ameliorate crime or other nefarious uses of firearms.  Witness the following list of experts.

Dr. J. Michael Bostwick, Mayo Clinic: “We physicians generally do not know enough about firearms to have an informed conversation with our patients, let alone counsel them about gun safety.”  He continues by arguing:

  • Even if every mentally ill person in the country were registered, the system isn’t prepared to handle them — and only about half of the states require registration.
  • Only about 10 percent of mentally ill people are registered — and these are people who have been committed, they’ve come to attention in a way that requires court intervention.
  • Literature says the vast majority of people who do these kinds of shootings are not mentally ill — or it is recognized after the fact.
  • The majority of mentally ill people aren’t dangerous.

Dr. Richard Friedman: ” … there is overwhelming epidemiological evidence that the vast majority of people with psychiatric disorders do not commit violent acts. Only about 4 percent of violence in the United States can be attributed to people with mental illness.

Dr. Barry Rosenfeld: “”We’re not likely to catch very many potentially violent people” with laws like the one in New York.”

Dr. Steven Hoge: “One reason even experienced psychiatrists are often wrong is that there are only a few clear signs that a person with a mental illness is likely to act violently.”

And National Journal notes the following.

Perhaps most important, although people with serious mental illness have committed a large percentage of high-profile crimes, the mentally ill represent a very small percentage of the perpetrators of violent crime overall. Researchers estimate that if mental illness could be eliminated as a factor in violent crime, the overall rate would be reduced by only 4 percent. That means 96 percent of violent crimes—defined by the FBI as murders, robberies, rapes, and aggravated assaults—are committed by people without any mental-health problems at all. Solutions that focus on reducing crimes by the mentally ill will make only a small dent in the nation’s rate of gun-related murders, ranging from mass killings to shootings that claim a single victim.  It’s not just that the mentally ill represent a minority of the country’s population; it’s also that the overlap between mental illness and violent behavior is poor.

Attempts to restrict firearms ownership for the rightful and God-granted purposes of self defense suffer from lack of legitimacy (since ATF isn’t the right place for such rules to be born) and outrageous prejudice and bigotry, evil features of mankind’s sinful nature that have no place whatsoever in American society.

Since propensity to violence isn’t in any way able to be correlated to mental health issues, and since the mentally ill do not in large measure commit acts of violence at a higher rate than those who are supposedly mentally sound, this rulemaking is unjust and no more than an abortion.  Violence is a function of evil rather than mental soundness, something that an ATF questionnaire or doctor’s examination cannot quantify or repair.

ATF On NFA Firearms In Estates

BY Herschel Smith
9 months, 2 weeks ago

I am reproducing this entire post brought to you by AmmoLand because if I am not mistaken it is a release by the ATF and not unique to AmmoLand.

ATF has found that Federal firearms licensees are often involved in the disposition of National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms in estates of decedents.

As a result, ATF receives questions from licensees about the procedures involved to comply with the law.

Information regarding registered firearms is protected tax information and the release of the information by ATF is restricted. In general, the release can only be made to the executor (administrator, personal representative, or whatever term is used for the person appointed and tasked with disposing of any property in an estate).

ATF can respond to general procedural questions by the licensees, but, for specific questions, the response can only be to the person noted above.

Prior to the release of any registration information, the person requesting the information must provide documentation of their status to the NFA Branch.

The firearms must remain in the possession of the executor, until a transfer application has been submitted and approved. A transfer would include the disposition of an NFA firearm to a licensee for consignment or safekeeping.

Any unregistered NFA firearm(s) in an estate are contraband and there is no means by which these firearms can be registered. The executor should contact the local ATF office to arrange for the disposition of these firearms. The disposition of an NFA firearm to a beneficiary of an estate is on a tax-exempt basis (using ATF Form 5 to update the registry). However, in the case of multiple beneficiaries, ATF will request a release from any beneficiary who is not receiving the firearm. The laws of the State in which the decedent resided determine who is a beneficiary. The application for transfer to the beneficiary must include the beneficiary’s fingerprints and photographs.

The disposition of a serviceable NFA firearm to a person who is not a beneficiary is on a tax paid basis (using ATF Form 4). The disposition of an unserviceable NFA firearm to a person who is not a beneficiary is on a tax-exempt basis (using ATF Form 5). As noted above, the requirements of the NFA apply for these dispositions.

If the disposition is to a person in another State and the person is not a Federal firearms licensee or a beneficiary, then the firearm must be transferred to a Federal firearm licensee in the recipient’s State. After approval of the transfer and receipt by the licensee, the licensee would then apply to transfer the firearm to the purchaser.

Good grief.  None of this would be an issue if the Congress had not passed the NFA (and you know my position, i.e., that the Second Amendment frames in the federal government and restricts their actions, making all gun laws passed at the federal level unconstitutional).  Furthermore, none of this would be a problem were it not for the ATF, which in my opinion is an illegitimate arm of the federal government given the way I see the Second Amendment.

But here we are, with armies of lawyers trying to figure out ways to comply with the regulations, with armies of lawyers inside the beltway trying to figure out ways to make it hard to comply with the regulations.  This is what happens when the federal government is too big and powerful, which is exactly what our wise founders tried to avoid.

Does De Facto Gun Registration Exist In The U.S.?

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 3 weeks ago

These observations by Andrew Tuohy have been floating across the gun web for a couple of days.  I have to quote at length, although the entire post is worth reading, as are the comments.

Last year, I was sitting at home when my doorbell rang. Two polite and professional ATF agents informed me that the number of firearms I had purchased from 2007 to 2010 did not match my income. I was disappointed to learn that this fact did not come with some sort of prize or award, but suddenly wondered how they knew what I had purchased. They knew of 5 AR receivers transferred to me on one 4473 (in 2010), for which no background check had been performed. I told them that those receivers, along with most of the firearms I had transferred to me during that time, were provided for free by manufacturers for T&E purposes, and told them about my blog.

When later I asked the FFL about that transaction record, they told me that the ATF had audited their records but didn’t appear to have copied any information – although that is literally the only way they could have known about those five receivers or even the transaction itself. The receivers came from two different manufacturers, and the only time they appeared together was on that 4473, which is supposed to be only retrieved by the ATF if there is a need to trace a specific transaction (and there was no need to trace that transaction). Federal law prohibits their doing so.

A friend was recounting an ATF audit at his gun store, and mentioned that the agents were copying information from 4473s.

I am not the first person to notice this.

I think that ATF Industry Operations agents are using the excuse of auditing the quality of FFL recordkeeping to create a database of firearm owners – or at the very least transferees of certain types of firearms. This is, in essence, a defenestration of the law.

The GAO link states:

Several gun dealers have contacted Gun Owners of America and asked for our advice. Invariably, they say that the ATF is, or has been, at their store — making wholesale copies of their 4473 forms — and they want to know if that’s legal.

We are not going to betray their confidence without permission, but GOA can say that this has occurred enough times to make us believe these are not isolated incidents. (GOA has attached several redacted stories from gun dealers in the Appendix.)

The copying of 4473 forms has happened despite the prohibition in 18 USC 923(g)(1)(D) which specifically prohibits anyone in the Justice Department from “seiz[ing] any records or other documents other than those records or documents constituting material evidence of a violation of law.”

Uncle has the usual quick and insightful summary to offer.  And finally from comments back at Andrew’s blog:

As an FFL who has been through an ATF audit, I can confirm that they are thorough in their investigation, but do NOT scan 4473s (at least not with me). The IOIs, however, are trained to look for patterns of repetition, which IOIs take note of. And, yes, they do appear to be looking for patterns of frequent purchases. Ostensibly, this is to flush out people that are making a business by “flipping” firearms through private sales (which happens, but it’s not rampant).

Now for my assessment.  I have absolutely no problem believing that the ATF has violated the law (and code of federal regulations) at times, and I have no doubt that they will in the future.  I have absolutely no doubt that the ATF wants a comprehensive national gun registry.  Finally, I do not doubt the veracity of any of these anecdotal instances of illegalities.

However, what I do doubt is that the ATF is capable of pulling off a comprehensive national gun registry by audit, and without the assistance of the civilian population.  While they may see form 4473s during audits, and while some ATF employees may make illegal copies of said forms, or write down information that they shouldn’t, I doubt that they could construct a comprehensive database out of said activities that was anything other than laughable and ridiculous.

To be sure, if a national gun registry ever becomes laws, civil war will ensure.  But in the absence of the civil war, the DoJ/ATF would have to rely on FFLs to construct the database for them.

I work with federal employees regularly.  Many of them are stolid and shouldn’t be working in their capacities at all.  Testing should be done before hiring federal employees (assuming that any such position exists after my recommended secession), and any federal applicant who cannot factor a cubic polynomial or solve problems using basic trigonometric functions should be told to hit the road – or go back to school.  Notice that I haven’t raised the bar too high.  I’m not asking them to solve differential equations or Laplace Transforms – just do high school mathematics.

I’m not trying to be insulting, but any database that doesn’t have the input, guidance, formatting and QA to ensure its fidelity from the civilian population doesn’t stand a chance of being anything other than a joke.  That’s why the progressives want it codified into law.  They want the database to be constructed by the very people that it would rule.

In summary, I think Andrew has made a valuable contribution to the state of knowledge of ATF misdeeds, as has the GOA.  I think that the ATF would use any chance to violate the law to press its agenda (Fast and Furious is proof of principle).  I don’t doubt that the ATF has attempted in the past to encroach on the sacred space of form 4473s.  I don’t doubt that they will do it again if given half a chance.  What I do doubt is that the ATF can pull off a national gun registry that has any credibility whatsoever without having us construct it for them.

Judgment Day Cometh For The ATF

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

David Codrea notes on his web site a passing thought that isn’t given in his Examiner article.  For the ATF, “a day of judgment is coming.”  At Examiner:

The case of Jay Anthony Dobyns v. The United States is scheduled to begin Monday by the United States Court of Federal Claims, an entry yesterday on the ATF agent’s blog announced. “The trial will start in Arizona and end in Washington, D.C. in early August,” Dobyns wrote.

[ ... ]

“ATF has breached its settlement contract terms … and has continually failed to approach minimal standards of law enforcement safety practices by failing to properly assess, respond to, investigate, process or document any of these threats and occurrences,” the Synopsis of Facts in Dobyn’s complaint states.

Dobyns was a whistle blower, and you can read the rest of the story at Examiner (which keeps me from having to recapitulate it here).  Now, take a slight detour to WRSA, where their reaction to Senator Lautenberg’s death was exactly the same as mine: “Good Riddance.”

Totalitarians will answer for their totalitarianism in eternity if they don’t answer in the here and now.  You can count on it.  But totalitarianism is way down the list of things for which the ATF will be held accountable one awful day.  This leads me to my main point about the ATF and Dobyns.  All of those who work for the ATF and who superintended this ugliness are in great peril.  Take careful note what a testimony it is to one’s character to make an agreement and then break it.

There can never be a time or situation when truth is not the morally right thing to declare. Dr. Charles Hodge, in his Systematic Theology says, “A man who violates truth sins against the very foundation of his moral being. … Truth is at all times sacred, because it is one of the essential attributes of God. Truth is … the very substratum of Deity.” (Vol. III, chapter XIX, section 13)

Lying is a characteristic of Satan and his kingdom. This is openly declared by our Lord when in John 8:44 he said of the Devil, “… he is a liar, and the father of lies.”

I might take some issue with the expansiveness of this edict, witness Rahab’s lie and the fact that the enemy didn’t deserve the truth.  But let the weightiness sink in.  The ATF had contractual terms with Dobyn’s and violated those terms.  Shame.  Eternal shame.

David is right.  There will be judgment on the ATF – now or in eternity, or both.

The Low-Tech Way Guns Get Traced

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

From NPR.  None of this is a surprise to any of my readers, but the main thing to recognize is that when they refer to trace, they mean trace it to a gun dealer.  So a serial number gets traced to a wholesaler, who then can trace it to an FFL, who then (unfortunately) has the form 4473 on file.

What they don’t say, and what they can’t do, is tell whether a gun has been privately sold to another individual.  This happens often, and it’s legal as it should be.

I’m fine with this being low-tech, and I’m fine with the ATF being unable to trace it to the actual owner in a large number of cases.  Being not okay with this means belief in a national gun registry, and that would be anathema to believers in liberty, and a function of a wicked government since all gun control is evil.

Two From Examiner

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 4 months ago

First, Kurt Hofmann.  Kurt gives a good summary history of the issue of gun control in Chicago / Illinois, and details how the communists there would rather prosecute an unlawful set of regulations and rules than follow the constitution.  Their scorched earth policy may backfire, but they have some options, as if an injured criminal hoping to avoid prison.

Second, read David Codrea citing a report by Gary North.

I just spoke to a good entrepreneurial friend. When he read about the ammo shortage he saw a business opportunity. He began researching what is involved in opening and operating ammo manufacturing. He found out that since he is not a felon he just needs a $30 license from the ATF. He contacted that department. He has waited over 2 weeks with no reply. In the meantime he found the manufacturing equipment in China. He contacted them. He heard back through their broker and was informed that just 3 days before, our government made it illegal to export that equipment to US citizens. I’ve not read anything about this in any news source.

I’d like to see this followed up with more reporting.  I don’t like anonymous sources, although I understand the need to prevent divulging names when no permission has been granted.  Read David’s conversation with the ATF at Examiner.

That said, I do know a little something about Gary North.  He is confidant of a large number of very smart people, and knows some wealthy ones as well.  Furthermore, he is an honest man, whether you agree with his analysis or not.  On its face, I trust this to be a truthful report, and thus it is highly disturbing.

Recall what I said about rulemaking?

I work with the federal government on at least a semi-regular basis, and when not, I am doing things that follow federal regulation, even though highly technical (the specific nature of what I do is not the subject and won’t be discussed).

For most people who never work with federal agencies and departments, ignorance is bliss.  But for those who do, they know that the nasty little secret about the federal government has to do with lawmaking by regulation.

Laws are passed by the Senate and Congress.  But after laws pass, thousands of lawyers inside the beltway go to work writing regulations based on those laws, or not, using the law as a pretext for further regulation that Congress didn’t specifically intend.  At times, Congress has even had to pass laws undoing regulations because the regulations don’t meet the intent of the law, and yet the executive branch won’t stop enforcing that regulation (or class of regulations).

Regulation is passed merely by entering them into the federal register, allowing a waiting time for public comments (which are nothing but a chance afforded to the authors of the regulations to ignore them or write sarcastic rebuttals), and then after the waiting period, it takes on the force of law including prosecution, fines and imprisonment for failure to follow them.

This happens every day, all over the nation, and in the DOT, NRC, EPA, DOJ, ATF, DHS, and other departments and agencies that the reader cannot even name and didn’t know existed.  Any law giving the executive branch the authority to further regulate firearms will be an opportunity for abuse, overreach and exploitation.

Take it from someone who has seen it.  Don’t trust the Leviathan.  It is a monster and it has monstrous intentions.

While it’s disturbing, it doesn’t surprise me in the least.  It saddens me to see our nation turning so sharply towards bureaucratic micromanagement, cronyism, political payoffs, and totalitarian control.

God help us all if our federal government doesn’t see that it has far greater things to worry over than whether we import ammunition fabricating equipment from China – things like how much of our national debt is owned by China.

40+ Law Enforcement Officers Raid FPSRussia

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

Online Athens:

Nearly 40 law enforcement officers converged Tuesday on the property of a Franklin County man whose business partner was shot to death in January in a homicide that continues to trouble investigators.

U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents supervised the raid geared at finding explosives used by Kyle Myers, 26, because the ATF believes Myers may be violating a federal law regulating such explosives, according to ATF spokesman Richard Coes.

Federal agents, accompanied by Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents and deputies with the sheriff’s offices in Franklin and Hart counties, raided the Royston residence of Myers. Authorities also raided on Tuesday the 60-acre farm of Lamar Myers, Kyle’s father, in Lavonia.

No arrests were made, nor did Coes know if any explosives were seized.

“The idea at one of the locations was to take firearms, but they did not do that,” Coes said.

But it gets more stupid yet.

“If it ever came to doing something outside of our legal boundaries, we would then work with someone who was legally authorized to do it in an approved location,” she said about handling guns, explosives and equipment.

Under ATF regulations it is illegal to manufacture, sell, distribute, transport or even own explosives without a federal explosives license.  However, in the FPSRussia videos Myers uses Tannerite, an explosive civilians can buy, own and use without a license.

Tannerite is legal because it’s labeled as a binary compound, meaning a pre-packaged product consisting of two separate components.  This does not fit the ATF’s definition of “Explosives.”

When Guns.com talked to the ATF about this incident the ATF spokesman Richard Coes said he didn’t know why ATF agents suspected Myers of wrongdoing.  However, he told local media that “the claim is that he was using explosives and getting paid for it via YouTube.”

Wandel expanded on that concept saying, “It’s difficult for people to understand how [Myers] makes a living off of a monetized Youtube channel.”

Tannerite.  Remember WRSA reaction to tannerite?

Boo!

Tannerite!

Hold me close, Uncle Bob — I’m a-skeered.

Boo!

But sad to say, it gets even more stupid than that (I know, that’s hard to fathom).

Understanding how Youtube channels make money is a mystery to a lot of people, but in a nutshell when a channel is monetized, meaning ads run on it, money comes with popularity (i.e. a lot of views). The more views, the more ads, the more ads, the more money.

Myers is 26 years old and lives a financially comfortable life by making videos where he shoots guns and blows stuff up, or, more to the point, does stuff people want to see. The FPSRussia channel is just shy of 4 million subscribers and half a billion views.

Not only did these imbeciles issue a warrant to search the premises for “possible” violations, not only did these imbeciles use 40+ agents, but these imbeciles don’t understand how YouTube works.

Ads.  Read it, ATF.  Ads.

What a collective group of outright imbeciles.  The ATF is a bunch of worthless, meaningless, do-nothing morons who waste our tax dollars and their time.  Hand them their pink slips – each and every one of them.

I see cost savings!

Zapata Lawsuit Against U.S. Government

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 6 months ago

David Codrea scoops the story (before the MSM) on a lawsuit just filed by the parents on behalf of deceased Immigration And Customs Enforcement Agent Jamie Zapata.  I don’t blame them.  I wouldn’t let this go either.  It’s because of corruption that guns were walked across the border in the failed U.S. attempt to side with drug lords in their war against each other while also giving the state an excuse to enact new gun laws.

The corruption might be exposed by this lawsuit, although whether this brings it about won’t effect long term probabilities.  Long term, I just don’t believe that it’s possible to hide the truth.  The sooner everyone confesses, the better it will be, but everyone’s role will ultimately be made known.  It’s just a matter of time and light.


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