Archive for the 'BATFE' Category



The Low-Tech Way Guns Get Traced

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 9 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, 10 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, 11 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
2 years 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.

The ATF Doesn’t Know Who Has Guns

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

Standard-Examiner:

In the fictional world of television police dramas, a few quick clicks on a computer lead investigators to the owner of a gun recovered at a bloody crime scene. Before the first commercial, the TV detectives are on the trail of the suspect.

Reality is a world away. There is no national database of guns. Not of who owns them, how many are sold annually or even how many exist.

[ … ]

When police want to trace a gun, it’s a decidedly low-tech process.

“It’s not CSI and it’s not a sophisticated computer system,” said Charles J. Houser, who runs the ATF’s National Tracing Center in Martinsburg, W. Va.

When police trace a gun, the search starts by sending all the information they have about the gun – including the manufacturer and model – to an office worker in a low-slung brick building just off the Appalachian Trial in rural West Virginia, about 90 miles northwest of Washington.

ATF officials first call the manufacturer, who reveals which wholesaler the company used. That may lead to a call to a second distributor before investigators can pinpoint the retail gun dealer who first sold the weapon. Gun dealers are required to keep a copy of federal forms that detail who buys what gun and a log for guns sold. They are required to share that information with the ATF if a gun turns up at a crime scene and authorities want it traced. Often, gun shops fax the paperwork to the ATF.

That’s where the paper trail ends.

In about 30 percent of cases, one or all of those folks have gone out of business and ATF tracers are left to sort through potentially thousands of out-of-business records forwarded to the ATF and stored at the office building that more closely resembles a remote call center than a law enforcement operation.

The records are stored as digital pictures that can only be searched one image at a time. Two shifts of contractors spend their days taking staples out of papers, sorting through thousands of pages and scanning or taking pictures of the records.

“Those records come in all different shapes and forms. We have to digitally image them, we literally take a picture of it,” Houser said. “We have had rolls of toilet paper or paper towels … because they (dealers) did not like the requirement to keep records.”

The tracing center receives about a million out-of-business records every month and Houser runs the center’s sorting and imaging operations from 6 a.m. to midnight, five days a week. The images are stored on old-school microfilm reels or as digital images. But there’s no way to search the records, other than to scroll through one picture of a page at a time.

“We are … prohibited from amassing the records of active dealers,” Houser said. “It means that if a dealer is in business he maintains his records.”

Good.  This is the way I want it kept.  Any further collating, storing, amassing, categorizing or any other kind of analysis means that the federal government would have a national gun registry.  And that would be unconstitutional … and immoral.

The Bible does contain a few direct references to weapons control. There were many times throughout Israel’s history that it rebelled against God (in fact, it happened all the time). To mock His people back into submission to His Law, the Lord would often use wicked neighbors to punish Israel’s rebellion. Most notable were the Philistines and the Babylonians. 1 Samuel 13:19-22 relates the story: “Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles sharpened…So on the day of battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in this hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.” Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon also removed all of the craftsmen from Israel during the Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 24:14). Both of these administrations were considered exceedingly wicked including their acts of weapons control.

As I said.  Gun control is the action of wicked governments.  A national gun registry grants the government too much power, too much information, and too much control.

What To Expect On Gun Control In The Coming Months

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 1 month ago

We’ve discussed it many times, this proposed extended and expanded assault weapons ban proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein.  The new legislation may fail, but the White House has it’s own front in this war on firearms.  But their own propaganda betrays a serious weakness in their approach.

The White House is also developing strategies to navigate the rocky and emotionally fraught terrain of gun politics once final policy decisions are made. The administration is quietly talking with a diverse array of interest groups, including religious leaders, mental-health professionals and hunters, to build as broad a coalition as possible, those involved in the discussions said.

The president is expected to face fierce opposition from the NRA and its allies in Congress, including most Republicans and some Democrats.

But Biden signaled to those involved in the policy discussions that the White House is not afraid of taking on the NRA, the nation’s largest gun rights group. At the Dec. 20 meeting, according to Stanek, when one law enforcement leader suggested focusing on only the most popular proposals, Biden responded: “Look, what I’m asking you for is your candid opinion and ideas about extreme gun violence. Leave the politics to the president. That’s our job with Congress.”

They want to turn hunters against the NRA and modern sporting rifles.  Fat chance.  That didn’t work out so well for David Petzal or Jerry Tsai.  Their plans to divide and conquer the NRA will meet with disastrous results.  Every minute spent on such a tactic is wasted, and thus we have to hope that they expend a lot of energy on it.

But the later part of the strategy, i.e., politics, is far more fearsome and they have proven very adept at that approach.  Gun Owners of American (h/t Mike Vanderboegh) gives us an inside baseball look at the current tactics.  In summary, John McCain is working against gun owners by pressing (along with the Democrats) for a rule change that would essentially be a work-around of the filibuster rule.  Lindsey Graham has vowed to vote against new gun control measures, but since he is McCain’s lap dog, he may be looking for cover as he works silently behind the scenes to assist in Feinstein’s plans.  Joe Manchin has backed off of his public calls for new gun control measures, but he may be playing the same game as McCain and Graham.

Currently in the Senate, Rand Paul is the only immovable champion of second amendment rights.  If new laws pass the Senate, they must also pass the House before going to the President’s desk.  It isn’t clear what the House will do.  If history is any indication, they are in a weakened state, and lack any backbone anyway.

However, the Republicans stand warned.  If – controlling the House of Representatives – they allow new gun control measures to pass to the President’s desk, the GOP will cease to exists as a viable political party.  Voters are having difficulty finding differences between them and the Democrats anyway.  Caving on gun control would seal the fate of the GOP as a historical relic rather than a future possibility.

If new gun control measures don’t pass the Senate and House, the game is far from over.  The Obama administration is investigating the possibility of executive orders reclassifying semi-automatic firearms as title 2 weapons, thus doing by fiat what the legislative branch rejected.  The fight will continue, just in a different locale than the Senate and House.

Finally, if new gun control measures pass to the President’s desk (in which case he will surely sign the measures into law), it means more than just new background checks.  All semi-automatic firearms will be taxed, required to be submitted to the ATF for approval, controlled from crossing state lines, and prohibited from being bequeathed to your children or grandchildren in your wills.  Violation of any of these rules will turn you into an instant felon.  Of course, this would mean a resistance for which America isn’t prepared.

Karl Denninger writes:

It is time for We The People to take a stand, as did John Hancock, Richard Stockton, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Penn, Arthur Middleton and others.

Your right to life is not bestowed by government. Your right to liberty is not bestowed by government. Government never possessed those rights and you cannot bestow what you do not first lawfully possess.

You right to life and liberty were bestowed by your creator. Those rights inure to each and every one of us by virtue of being human. And here’s the point which many of you wish not to discuss:

A right without the ability and willingness to defend it is no right at all.”

Bob Owens writes:

“The Second Amendment of the United States was never written to protect hunting or target shooting. It was written by men who had just fought a successful armed revolution against the most advanced military of their day, and who wanted to ensure that future generations would be armed with weapons of contemporary military utility in order to stand against the day that once more, tyrants would attempt to consolidate power and lord over the people as their betters.

“Any attempt to take the contemporary arms of military utility our Founders wanted us to have, which includes the standard magazines and clips used in these firearms, is an act of tyranny that the Founders would recognize as an event justifying the use of force to retain our freedoms.”

“Tread carefully.”

Brandon Smith writes:

“There is no ambiguous or muddled separation between the citizenry and the government anymore. The separation is absolute. It is undeniable. It is vast. It is only a matter of time and momentum, and eventually there will be unbridled oppression, dissent, and conflict. All that is required is a trigger, and I believe that trigger has arrived…”

Mike Hendrix writes:

“This is a society preparing for war,” writes Bob Owens.

“Reluctantly, almost unwillingly, it should be noted. But the sad truth is, war is already being made upon it, and has been for a long time now. Said society has been more than patient, more than tolerant. But eventually, enough is enough. Everyone has their limit; freedom-loving Americans’ has very nearly been reached. A few more steps over the line, and the kettle is going to boil over.”

“Any liberal-fascists who think we’re all going to go gently into that good night really, really need to reconsider. We all have to hope they do. But we all have to be prepared for the possibility, the likelihood, that they mightn’t. “This far, no further” is more than just an empty slogan.”

“Gird your loins.”

Alan Halbert writes:

“We are in far more danger from these actions of our own government than from another Sandy Hook atrocity by a crazed killer.”

“The Second Amendment’s purpose is to provide for the citizens’ defense from all who would deny their natural God- given right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” against a criminal, a foreign or domestic enemy, or our own government. We will witness the end of the Republic if this proposed legislation is passed, since all of our rights flow from the citizen’s ability to defend them.”

“As for this citizen, I will never disarm or surrender my Second Amendment rights, much less willingly comply with such a traitorous act of Congress if enacted… it is actions like these that light revolutionary fervor in a nation and its citizens. It did so in 1776 and it will do so again.”

John Jay writes:

“…when it is done, and the regime defeated, no one will talk about what he did in the war. It shall have been terrible, and brutal. Executions, murders, assassinations and the inevitable collateral damage shall be the issue of the day. This is the price that those who attempt to impose a totalitarian regime in the America’s shall face. Many of us will die, and some shall become iconic photos hanging from lamp posts, stripped naked and hoisted by their ankles, as final witness and testimony to their arrogance.”

“Those who seek to take our weapons trifle with history, heritage and firmly held belief. It should be remembered, those of us who believe this way are god fearing, and shall invoke and beseech our God for support. We have a religious underpinning and faith that shall carry us through this, as opposed to those who seek to suppress us. They have nothing but naked ambition to sustain them.”

“Do Obama, Pelosi, and Feinstein have the stomach for this sort of conflict? Are they willing to initiate, in order to try and gain the rule they aspire to? We shall find out.”

Western Rifle Shooter’s Association writes:

“Understand that once the ball opens, there will be no stopping the righteous fury of viciously-indignant Americans, especially once the 2013 versions of Waco and Ruby Ridge are re-enacted by Regime loyalists across the nation.”

“No one associated with the Federal government or its mutant-twin ruling parties will be safe.”

“Especially once the guys with the scoped hunting rifles come in.”

Mike Vanderboegh writes that there would be a revolution if the government confiscates weapons, and Herschel Smith warns that there will be resistance and writes that the resistance won’t be “the peaceful kind.”  If it goes to the point of forcible implementation of the proposed legislation, it will be awful, bloody, violent and extreme.  Right now we don’t know for certain what will happen in Washington.  But depending upon that outcome, what will happen all across America has been written.  1.6 billion rounds of handgun ammunition won’t be nearly enough for the government.

You’ve been warned.

UPDATE: “Class II” has been changed to “Title II.”  I appreciate Glenn’s attention to this article.  Also, David Codrea gives a link.

UPDATE #2: Thanks to John Richardson for the attention.

UPDATE #3: Thanks to Mike Vanderboegh for the attention.

More On ATF Ruling On Sporting Purposes For Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

Following up on ATF Ruling On Sporting Purposes Exemption To Armor Piercing Ammunition, Cam Edwards talks to John Frazer, NRA-ILA’s Director of Research and Information, in a very informative video.  It’s worth watching.

ATF Ruling On Sporting Purposes Exemption To Armor Piercing Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

Courtesy of Say Uncle, the NRA has caught indication of what could be a very important ATF ruling, if not for what it does, certainly for the precedent it sets.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is taking public comments on its website until December 31, with regard to how it should determine what types of projectiles meet the “sporting purposes” exception to the federal “armor piercing ammunition” law. At this time, the question centers primarily around rifle-caliber projectiles made of metals harder than lead, such as the Barnes Bullets solid brass hunting bullets.

Under the law, adopted in 1986, “armor piercing ammunition” is defined as “a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium.” A second definition, added in the 1990s, includes “a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.”

Because handguns have been made in certain rifle calibers, many bullets that were designed originally for rifles also “may be used in a handgun.” If such projectiles are made of the metals listed in the law, they are restricted as “armor piercing ammunition” unless they meet one of the law’s exemptions. Being considered at this time is the exemption for “a projectile which the Attorney General finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.”

Last week, BATFE met separately with gun control activist groups, firearm industry groups, and groups representing hunters and other gun owners. The latter meeting included the NRA; Safari Club International; representatives of state wildlife agencies; and firearm and ammunition importers.

BATFE has expressed two opinions about the law and exemption that warrant particular scrutiny.

First, BATFE suggested that it believes that the “armor piercing ammunition” law was intended to affect all ammunition capable of penetrating soft body armor worn by law enforcement officers. NRA reminded BATFE that the law was intended to protect law enforcement officers against the potential threat posed a very narrowly-defined category of projectiles: those, such as KTW and Arcane, which by virtue of their hard metal construction were designed and intended to be used by law enforcement officers to shoot through hard objects, such as automobile glass and doors, when fired at the velocities typical of handgun-caliber ammunition fired from handguns. Neither before nor since the law’s enactment, has an officer been killed due to such a bullet penetrating soft body armor.

NRA further pointed out that the legislative history of the law clearly shows that members of Congress, including the sponsor of the law in the House, Rep. Mario Biaggi (D-N.Y.), a decorated former NYPD police officer, expressly did not want the law to restrict rifle-caliber bullets that happen to also be useable in handguns chambered to use rifle cartridges.

Second, BATFE says it considers projectiles to not be exempt under the “sporting purposes” test if they “pose a threat to public safety and law enforcement.” BATFE also expressed concern that since the law was adopted, various new rifle-caliber handguns have been invented. On that point, NRA made clear that the sporting purposes exemption is straightforward: it applies to all projectiles that are “primarily intended for sporting purposes”–nothing more, and nothing less. Under the law, a projectile would be exempt if it is primarily intended for sporting purposes, even if it is secondarily intended for self-defense or some other legitimate purpose. Furthermore, the law does not condition its restrictive language or its “sporting purposes” exemption on the design of a particular handgun; the law is concerned only with specific projectiles that can be used in handguns. NRA cautioned the BATFE against interpreting the law in a manner more restrictive than Congress intended.

I think that the NRA comments are, in the main, on target.  It’s easy to conflate purposes for laws that were crafted so long ago.

Also see the comments at Say Uncle.  I agree that this will end up in an effort to control long gun ammunition, and have recommended before the complete abolition of the ATF as an unwarranted, unconstitutional and wasteful intrusion on the rights of citizens of the U.S.

Take careful note, too, what they say concerns them: “BATFE also expressed concern that since the law was adopted, various new rifle-caliber handguns have been invented.”

I wonder how many Department of Justice employees are equally concerned when SWAT teams raids the homes of unsuspecting and incorrect targets, such as Mr. Eurie Stamps, or Ms. Zaelit, or Mr. Tuppeny, or Ms. Lloyd, or Thomas and Rosalie Avina, or Mr. Kenneth Wright?  Statists will be statists.  Can a leopard change its spots?

Finally, this issue of the sporting purposes test is laughable.  The ATF didn’t listen when I pointed this out before, and they aren’t likely to start now.  It isn’t that the test is difficult, or convoluted, or hard to apply, but necessary nonetheless because it’s the law.  The issue is that it is self referentially incoherent.  It cannot be logically applied because it presupposes the consequent.

The ATF must decide what is the “sporting purposes” category by populating the list with examples, and then make the claim that such-and-such an example is deemed to be or not to be a “sporting purpose” because it is or isn’t on the list.  It reasons in a circle.

Not that the ATF will care.  And not that they will care what we have to say about ammunition either.

UPDATE: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention!

UPDATE #2: See also David Codrea, Mike Vanderboegh and Kurt Hofmann.

BATFE Tags: ,

OIG Report On Fast And Furious: Failure

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 5 months ago

David Codrea has been at the forefront of Fast and Furious, along with Mike Vanderboegh, and one recent article on the Office of Inspector General’s report on Fast and Furious supplies ample evidence of his accuracy.

Spending a considerable portion of its analysis on the Operation Wide Receiver Bush-era firearms trafficking surveillance program, the Office of Inspector General’s massive report on Fast and Furious gunwalking released Wednesday corroborates much information presented to Gun Rights Examiner readers almost a full year ago.

“Operation Wide Receiver illustrated the failure of management in ATF’s Phoenix Field Division to alert ATF Headquarters to the use of these tactics,” the report documents, validating a claim made by Mike Detty, the confidential informant at the heart of the case, that “It had nothing to do with Bush or even DOJ.” This is significant, because House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Democrats and sympathetic media allies have made great hay conflating Wide Receiver with Fast and Furious and spreading a blame-transferring “Bush did it too” meme, with no less than Attorney General Eric Holder making a (since withdrawn with minimal fanfare) claim that a predecessor AG, Michael B. Mukasey, knew about the program and kept things quiet. Also of significance, Holder’s boss and executive privilege benefactor, President Obama, is still publicly conflating the operations, falsely telling Univision that Fast and Furious had “begun under the previous administration.”

Other Detty claims, published in this column in October, 2011, are also corroborated by the OIG report, including his account of the US Attorney telling him he refused to prosecute the case because of ATF lies. Another report filed later that month told of failed cooperation attempts with the Mexican government, also referred to by the IG. Other stories filed by Gun Rights Examiner, including one in November, 2011, relayed Detty’s account for phase known as Wide Receiver I and Wide Receiver II, also subjects of the OIG report, as well as attempts to smuggle receivers to Tijuana through San Diego.

The point being, these are but a few examples of innumerable reports filed in this column and at citizen journalist Mike Vanderboegh’s Sipsey Street Irregulars blog that have since been proven through “official” sources, albeit, there is often a significant lag time between sourced claims and validation. It’s important to keep that in mind, particularly when reading claims from media sources that have done practically no original reporting on Fast and Furious except to weigh in on occasion with administration talking points, and absurd, wholly unjustified claims that the OIG report vindicates or exonerates anyone with the admission it has found no evidence.

Read the rest of Codrea’s report and his update.  I want to focus on something a little more pedestrian concerning this report.  I have not read the IG’s report and do not intend to.  David can be relied upon for the “inside baseball” of this scandal.

But there are two things that keep floating their way to the top for me like so much flotsam and jetsam from the shipwreck of what we now know as Fast and Furious.  We continually hear about the “failed” operation, the “flawed” program, and the lack of oversight when the main stream media report on the scandal.

I’m not convinced that anything was flawed or that the operation failed.  I still believe that it accomplished the precise goal for which it was intended.  They just got caught.  Unlike previous operations such as “Wide Receiver,” there was never any plan to interdict weapons.  More importantly, there couldn’t have been.  Once they crossed the border there was no means to track them, no power to confiscate them, and not even a sure means to trace them back to point of origin (although publication of the point of origin was the intended purpose if I am right about the program).

I have previously discussed Project Gunrunner (yes, I understand that this isn’t precisely the same thing as Fast and Furious, predates it, and Fast and Furious is still a subset of Gunrunner if I’m correct), where the U.S. government allegedly provided the means and training for the electronic tracing of firearms for Mexican authorities.

Not enough of them were trained.  There weren’t enough assets to accomplish the mission.  There was no way to pull it off, and this wasn’t even on the front end of firearms usage – it was on the back end after they had already been used in crimes.

What I’m saying is that the assertion that Fast and Furious is simply a “botched” operation doesn’t comport with the facts on the ground.  There was never any possibility that it would yield any fruit, and its handlers knew this if they have only slightly higher ability to perform syllogistic reasoning than, say, my dog.

Second, and just as important, is to observe what’s happening as part of the political cycle.  Note that Codrea links an article by Jake Tapper where Jake explains that Obama made false assertions about Fast and Furious beginning under previous administrations.

Of course this is false, and the IG’s report is a failure in that it spent even one second discussion Wide Receiver (for me, that it discusses Wide Receiver is more evidence that it would be a waste of time to read it, and it only further exonerates my view that I can ignore it).  Let’s rehearse for a moment what we learned in November of 2011.

It was left to Republican Senators Charles Grassley and John Cornyn to lay bare some crucial distinctions between to two ATF operations. Wide Receiver actually involved not gun-walking but controlled delivery. Unlike gun-walking, which seems (for good reason) to have been unheard of until Fast & Furious, controlled delivery is a very common law enforcement tactic. Basically, the agents know the bad guys have negotiated a deal to acquire some commodity that is either illegal itself (e.g., heroin, child porn) or illegal for them to have/use (e.g., guns, corporate secrets). The agents allow the transfer to happen under circumstances where they are in control — i.e., they are on the scene conducting surveillance of the transfer, and sometimes even participating undercover in the transfer. As soon as the transfer takes place, they can descend on the suspects, make arrests, and seize the commodity in question — all of which makes for powerful evidence of guilt.

Senator Schumer’s drawing of an equivalence between “tracing” in a controlled-delivery situation and “tracing” in Fast & Furious is laughable. In a controlled delivery firearms case, guns are traced in the sense that agents closely and physically follow them — they don’t just note the serial numbers or other identifying markers. The agents are thus able to trace the precise path of the guns from, say, American dealers to straw purchasers to Mexican buyers.
To the contrary, Fast & Furious involved uncontrolled deliveries — of thousands of weapons. It was an utterly heedless program in which the feds allowed these guns to be sold to straw purchasers — often leaning on reluctant gun dealers to make the sales. The straw purchasers were not followed by close physical surveillance; they were freely permitted to bulk transfer the guns to, among others, Mexican drug gangs and other violent criminals — with no agents on hand to swoop in, make arrests, and grab the firearms. The inevitable result of this was that the guns have been used (and will continue to be used) in many crimes, including the murder of Brian Terry, a U.S. border patrol agent.

In sum, the Fast & Furious idea of “trace” is that, after violent crimes occur in Mexico, we can trace any guns the Mexican police are lucky enough to seize back to the sales to U.S. straw purchasers … who should never have been allowed to transfer them (or even buy them) in the first place. That is not law enforcement; that is abetting a criminal rampage.

As Sen. Cornyn pointed out, there is another major distinction between Wide Receiver and Fast & Furious. The former was actually a coordinated effort between American and Mexican authorities. Law enforcement agents in both countries kept each other apprised about suspected transactions and tried to work together to apprehend law-breakers. To the contrary, Fast & Furious was a unilateral, half-baked scheme cooked up by an agency of the Obama Justice Department — an agency that was coordinating with the Justice Department on the operation and that turned to Main Justice in order to get wiretapping authority.

By the time Cornyn was done drawing this stark contrast between Wide Receiver and Fast & Furious, Holder was reduced to conceding, “I’m not trying to equate the two.”

But Obama trotted this out as if most people have not heard of Wide Receiver, and if they have, they don’t know anything about the differences between it and Fast and Furious.

In fact, I fear that most people in America are watching sitcoms at night before bed.  Obama may be right, and he may pull off yet another misdirect on the American people, at least, the ones who don’t care.

Name Change For The ATF

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 5 months ago

From WSJ.

As Evan Perez reported in the WSJ last month, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been thinking about turning its unwieldy seven-word name into something a little snappier. At the time, he wrote that Violent Crime Bureau was a candidate.

Now, quietly, the name change has happened—at least a little bit. For a few days now, the bureau has featured the new name at the top of its home page (atf.gov), just below the old name. The site’s top banner reads, “Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives / The Violent Crime Bureau.”

The new name doesn’t have any legal status yet. Asked about changing names Wednesday, ATF acting director B. Todd Jones said, “That’s a concept that we batted around.” He added that the agency was focused on returning to its fundamental mission and said, “How it’s labeled is less important than what it does.”

The Violent Crime Bureau moniker reflects the agency’s ambition to take the lead in tackling violent-crime outbreaks in big cities such as Philadelphia that have seen an increase in murders and drug-related shootings. The agency’s current name is something of an anachronism because it brings fewer than a hundred alcohol and tobacco cases a year. And its reputation as a firearms regulator took a hit because of the Fast and Furious scandal …

So a name change has been “batted around” within the DOJ/ATF in order to save their battered reputation?  That’s how the new head is spending his time and energy?  My idea is somewhat different.  Leave firearms regulation entirely to the states, and hand ATF employess their pink slips.  All of them.  It would save money, and my bet is that it wouldn’t cause one iota of difference in crimes.

It would more closely comport with the doctrine of federalism so important to our founders, it would help to protect our constitutional rights, it would decrease federal meddling in the lives of U.S. citizens, and it would sweep yet another bloated and wasteful federal bureaucracy out of the way as we press towards streamlining of the system.  What’s not to like about it?


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