Archive for the ‘ATF’ Category
Technological innovation and circumventing gun control legislation leaves only one path toward control guns: ammunition control. The New York SAFE Act has already begun to move in that direction. By restricting ammunition sales, registering it, requiring a license, or raising prices, states might effectively enact gun control by controlling ammunition. After all, what good is a firearm without the bullets?
Restriction of ammunition supply is already happening. Ammunition prices have already spiked in recent years, as have gun sales, leading to dramatic shortages every gun owner notices when browsing at the store. Ammo stockpiling from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other agencies like the U.S. Post Office is not reducing the demand, either. The AFT has already moved in this direction by banning some surplus ammunition imports from Russia.
By definition, polymers, or even metal, cannot be 3D printed into gun powder. The components of gun powder are easily subject to regulations, and 3D printers don’t produce granulated powder. In other words, home production of ammunition would require workarounds and technological innovations which do not yet exist.
People should oppose gun control restrictions and registration requirements, but we shouldn’t let these turn our eyes from the existential threat of ammunition control. If ammunition printing ever becomes as cheap and effective as printing firearms parts currently is, then we can all rest assured that the right to keep and bear arms will never again be as infringed as it is today. Until that day comes, ammunition controls may be the most effective form of gun control.
Two federal judges have ruled that widely used sting operations designed to ensnare suspects with the promise of a huge payday for robbing an imaginary drug stash house are so “outrageous” that they are also unconstitutional. One judge said the charges were so unfair that he threw them out after three suspects already pleaded guilty.
Each of the men admitted to charges that would put them in prison for seven years or more. But instead of sending them there, U.S. District Court Judge Manuel Real declared that federal agents had “created the fictitious crime from whole cloth” and that their conduct was unconstitutional. Then he dismissed the charges and ordered that all three be set free.
Real’s unusual decision this month is the latest and most pointed indication yet of a growing backlash against undercover operations that have become a central part of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ efforts to target violent crime. Until now, federal courts have largely signed off on the practice, if not always enthusiastically. As the stings proliferate across the United States, an increasing number of judges are offering new resistance to the government’s tactics.
A 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities details what critics say is a troubling policy that envisions the Obama administration’s potential use of military force against Americans.
The directive contains noncontroversial provisions on support to civilian fire and emergency services, special events and the domestic use of the Army Corps of Engineers.
If we were living in normal times, the following scandals and failures — without going into foreign policy — would have ruined a presidency to the point of reducing it to Nixon, Bush, or Truman poll ratings.
Think of the following: the Fast and Furious scandal, the VA mess, the tapping of the communications of the Associated Press reporters, the NSA monitoring, Benghazi in all of its manifestations, the serial lies about Obamacare, the failed stimuli, the chronic zero interest/print money policies, the serial high unemployment, the borrowing of $7 trillion to no stimulatory effect, the spiraling national debt, the customary violations of the Hatch Act by Obama cabinet officials, the alter ego/fake identity of EPA head Lisa Jackson, the sudden departure of Hilda Solis after receiving union freebies, the mendacity of Kathleen Sebelius, the strange atmospherics surrounding the Petraeus resignation, the customary presidential neglect of enforcing the laws from immigration statutes to his own health care rules, the presidential divisiveness (“punish our enemies,” “you didn’t build that,” Trayvon as the son that Obama never had, etc.), and on and on.
So why is there not much public reaction or media investigatory outrage?
In one sense there is: an iconic, landmark president was ushered into office with a supermajority in the Senate and a solidly Democratic House, at a time the public felt angry over the Iraq war and the 2008 financial meltdown. Six years later, Obama’s poll ratings bottomed out at about 43%. He lost the House in 2010, and he probably will see the Senate gone in 2014. But that said, amid such failure Obama will never descend to 30% approval ratings, and that again bring to mind the question: why?
Because everyone has this fear of being labeled racist due to the fact that the first Black president has failed so brilliantly. And I am appalled that no one, on either side of the Congressional aisle has the guts to raise the spectre of impeachment. Or are we just too afraid of having Joltin’ Joe Biden as our interim president. I’m tired of our representatives sitting square on their thumbs while my country goes to pot.
The Justice Department is updating a report on how many guns the federal government has.
It will be the first time Justice has addressed the topic in six years, and it comes as conservative and libertarian complaints about an excessively gun-happy government have intensified.
The issue was central to the recent controversy generated by a stand-off between right-wing rancher Cliven Bundy and agents from the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada.
Bundy and his supporters argued an armed federal government threatened too much force in a dispute over grazing and public lands. But critics of Bundy worry that the decision by federal and local officials to back off in response to armed resistance by Bundy and his supporters could embolden self-styled militia groups.
The Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) will undertake this year’s report. It will begin surveying federal agencies about how many of their agents carry guns and have the authority to make arrests in July, according to the author of the 2008 version Brian Reaves.
It is not clear when the data will be finalized, though the final release could take until early 2015.
A divided federal appeals court has struck down California’s concealed weapons rules, saying they violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday that California is wrong to require applicants to show good cause to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The court ruled that all law-abiding citizens are entitled to carry concealed weapons outside the home for self-defense purposes.
Since then, like an out of control tumor, the war on drugs has expanded.
Today it consumes billions of dollars. It has created a law enforcement profit industry, where law enforcement can take money and property away from innocent people. These people, who are frequently not even charged with a crime, are forced to go to court, if they can afford a lawyer, and they are forced to prove their property is lawfully theirs.
The war on drugs has incarcerated tens of thousands of people whose only crime was a drug offense. It has created Mexican drug cartels that terrorize not only Mexico but are now reaching into the United States. These cartels reap huge profits from illegal drugs. [Although] Legalizing drugs so people can just get high is a really bad idea.
Just because something is legalized does not mean it is something that should be encouraged.
[Many] often say we should legalize drugs, regulate and tax them. They are right about that, but it is the users who also must be regulated.
Instead of the massive and failed war on drugs, American needs to prohibit the possession and use of drugs by people who have not obtain a permit for drug use from the government. In fact, the penalties for possession of drugs by an unregistered user should be draconian.
The government should allow possession and use of drug use by those who register for a drug use permit. Registration is not simply an open license to use drugs. As with everything there are consequences and there should be.
If you want to be a registered drug user, that should be public information. It also should be a bar to certain types of employment. If you are a registered drug user, you aren’t going to be a heart surgeon. Nor are you going to be flying a jumbo jet nor will you be driving a large truck. And you won’t be on public assistance either.The drug war has been a total disaster on every front. If it were a real war we would be asking the other side what their terms of surrender are.
Critics see a familiar pattern in the president’s “plausible deniability” of the website’s problems, along with the Internal Revenue Service’s suspected targeting of conservative groups, the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal in the Justice Department, and the unanswered questions about his handling of the lethal terrorist attack at the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012. Whatever the scandal, the administration’s explanation is that Mr. Obama was out of the loop, deliberately or otherwise.
Skeptics also said the idea that Mr. Obama failed to keep tabs on the rollout of what is considered his signature legislative achievement also is implausible.
After months of anguished debate over mass shootings, gun control and Second Amendment rights, the Justice Department finds itself on the defensive after a training manual surfaced that suggests federal agents could face a firing squad for leaking government secrets.
The online manual for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — complete with a photo of a turn-of-the-century firing squad — was obtained by The Washington Times from a concerned federal law enforcement official, and it immediately drew protests from watchdogs who said it showed a lack of sensitivity to gun violence and the continuing hostile environment toward whistleblowers.
Stephen Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblower Center, said the DOJ has forgotten about the protections of the First Amendment, which covers leaks to the media, and that the photo could scare its employees into self-censorship.
The photo “would have a chilling affect on legitimate speech. And some of the rhetoric used against whistleblowers could be construed as inciting to violence because they’ve turned up the rhetoric,” Mr. Kohn said.
Justice Department officials said the photo was included as a joke and that they were unaware it was viewed as offensive by agents. They plan to remove the entry, but not until the government shutdown is ended and federal officials return to work, said Richard Marianos, the special agent in charge of the Washington division of ATF.