New record: the most checks ever performed in any August since the creation of the National Instant Background Check System.
Stephen Gutowski reports: Gun sales were at an all-time high in June, July, and August, according to one metric.
This August saw 1.7 million background checks performed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives on new gun sales, the most checks ever performed in any August since the creation of the National Instant Background Check System.
“Whenever there is a call for gun control, sales increase. Unfortunately, this is a pattern that repeats itself.”
The agency performed 1.6 million checks in July, the high for that month. They did a further 1.5 million in June, another all-time high. Read the rest of this entry »
It was never meant to be a fireworks show, that’s why the Midland Police Department’s bomb squad set off 20,000 pounds of seized fireworks during the day.
The Midland Police Department posted the video on its Facebook page of one of the “disposals” that took place over three and half days in Glasscock County. Read the rest of this entry »
The Daily Caller‘s Mike Piccione reports: California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is circulating a letter on Capitol Hill calling once again for a ban on semi-automatic rifles and asking for President Barack Obama to keep his State of the Union promise to make 2014 a “year of action.”
Citing the Gun Control Act of 1968, Feinstein states, “In recent years… importers of firearms have taken advantage of ATF’s interpretation of the ‘sporting purposes’ test to evade the import ban.”
The phrase contained in The Gun Control Act of 1968 Feinstein is referencing prohibits the importation of firearms that are not “generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.” She claims that in recent years firearms importers have taken advantage of ATF’s interpretation of “sporting purposes” to circumvent the ban.
Although Feinstein recognizes that the firearms are designed for civilian use and never manufactured or used by any standing army, she maintained that “many semiautomatic firearms on the market today do not have a military origin but are modeled closely after military firearms.”
Rep. Darrell Issa has subpoenaed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for information about what he calls a “dangerously mismanaged” program, which originally was launched to get crime guns off the street.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which Issa chairs, has been looking into complaints about the program for months. Under the operation, ATF agents set up storefronts in multiple cities to try and entice criminals to sell their crime guns, unwittingly, to the government so they could be traced. But their tactics and missteps, including using mentally disabled people, drew criticism.
Federal agents on Saturday executed a search warrant on a gun parts store in California, despite the store owner filing a temporary restraining order against their agency.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had demanded thatDimitri Karras, the CEO of Ares Armor in National City, Calif., turn over the names of nearly 5,000 customers who had purchased an 80 percent lower receiver that reportedly failed to meet ATF specifications.
“Searching is fun! Paper work sucks.”
— ATF Agent
Karras, a former U.S. Marine, agreed to turn over the receivers, but refused to reveal the names of his customers. He then filed the restraining order.
Federal agents responded by obtaining an ex parte order, meaning they did it without Ares being present, giving them permission to execute a “lawful search.”
The ATF “is conducting a lawful criminal investigation of the illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of AR-15 variant lower receivers, which are considered firearms under the Firearms Control Act,” the federal agency said in its ex parte application, dated Friday.
Here’s more amateur video of the search:
It’s worth noting that the ATF application refers to the receivers in question as “firearms,” which would seem to be an incorrect application of the term. Outgoing Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) introduced a bill last August that would define 80 percent lower receivers as “firearms,” but the legislation has not passed.
Brendan Bordelon reports: California Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, accused the Obama administration of waging “a war on guns” after new reports of “rogue” sting operations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) conducted during 2013.Issa spoke to Fox News’ Shannon Bream Sunday about a report by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which claimed that ATF agents operating firearm stings in 6 separate cities “took advantage of the mentally ill, set up stings near churches and schools and made decisions which some claim actually increased crime in their neighborhoods.” Issa and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley sent a letter to ATF Director Todd Jones this week to demand answers on the tactics and how often they’ve been used.
Documents, interviews show agents employed tactics similar to those used in Milwaukee
But the guys running Squid’s Smoke Shop in Portland, Ore., convinced him: It would be a perfect way to promote their store.
They would even pay him and a friend $150 apiece if they agreed to turn their bodies into walking billboards.
Key, who is mentally disabled, was swayed.
He and his friend, Marquis Glover, liked Squid’s. It was their hangout. The 19-year-olds spent many afternoons there playing Xbox and chatting with the owner, “Squid,” and the store clerks.
So they took the money and got the ink etched on their necks, tentacles creeping down to their collarbones.
It would be months before the young men learned the whole thing was a setup. The guys running Squid’s were actually undercover ATF agents conducting a sting to get guns away from criminals and drugs off the street.
The tattoos had been sponsored by the U.S. government; advertisements for a fake storefront.
The teens found out as they were arrested and booked into jail.
Earlier this year when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel exposed a botched ATF sting in Milwaukee — that included agents hiring a brain-damaged man to promote an undercover storefront and then arresting him forhis work — ATF officials told Congress the failed Milwaukee operation was an isolated case of inadequate supervision.
Reason TV’s latest “Don’t Cops Have Better Things To Do”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, (and Explosives!) has been fighting cigarette smuggling by smuggling cigarettes. Agents buy smokes in low-tax states like Virginia and sell them in high-tax states like New York. The sting operations are supposed to help build cases against smugglers, but ATF is cashing in too.
By law ATF may keep booty to cover “operational expenses.” As if the line between law breakers and law enforcers wasn’t blurry enough already, a recent inspector general report highlights a “serious lack of oversight” at the agency. Seems that confidential informants have been allowed pocket, not expenses, but profits amounting to millions of dollars. ATF agents have “misused” $162 million in sting operation profits and “lost track” of $420 million cigarettes. (Yes, this is the same ATF that lost more than a thousand weapons during the infamous Fast and Furious fiasco.) And if you’re having trouble distinguishing the “good” guys from the “bad” guys, just remember: The “good” guys are the ones who get taxpayer-funded salaries and pensions.
But hey, don’t federal agents have better things to do! Well, ATF’s own most-wanted list features men suspected of crimes like murder, so yeah, agents could focus more time busting violent criminals. Then again, cigarette smuggling is much more lucrative.
The timing of this couldn’t be worse for the ATF, either.
ALICIA A. CALDWELL reports: The Obama administration is blocking a federal law enforcement agent from publishing a book about the failed “Fast and Furious” gun-smuggling sting operation because of concerns that the book would negatively affect morale, the American Civil Liberties Union said Monday.
The ACLU charged that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is worried that the book proposed by an ATF agent would hurt relationships with other U.S. law enforcement agencies.
In a six-page letter to ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon, the ACLU said the bureau’s decision to block the book proposed by Special Agent John Dodson was a violation of his First Amendment rights. The ACLU described Dodson as a whistle-blower.
According to the letter, the ATF denied Dodson’s request to try to publish a book about his version of the Fast and Furious scandal because the bureau predicted it would have “a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix (Field Division) and would have a detrimental” impact on ATF relationships with the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The ATF didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON (AP) — Stephen Braun reports: Government agents acting without authorization conducted dozens of undercover investigations of illegal tobacco sales, misused some of $162 million in profits from the stings and lost track of at least 420 million cigarettes, the Justice Department‘s inspector general said Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »
Mainstream Media in a Terrified Tizzy re: Distinction Between Semi-Automatic Rifle and ‘Machine Gun’Posted: September 13, 2013
Gun enthusiasts, however, embrace the technology, are more informed about the law, and well, like to blow stuff up. They point to confirmation by ATF spokesman Christopher Amon: the Bureau stands by its ruling. “I can confirm that ATF did approve the device…the SlideFire is legal,” he said.
Is this news? Not really. Bigshooterist documents this in April 2012. “In this video we examine how to properly use a Bump Fire Stock and test the practical accuracy even with long bursts or mag-dumps. A little history of the 1986 ban on Machine Guns for individual ownership and the reason they are so expensive now compared to their semiautomatic versions. Direct comparisons are made between performance and price and a simple test is conducted to determine if bump fire can be a reasonable alternative to a registered fully automatic firearm for your personal collection…” Read the rest of this entry »