Category Archives: ATF

Calif. concealed weapon law tossed by fed appeals court

Fox

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.

It’s time to end the war on drugs

WashingtonTimes

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.

The Buck Stops Anywhere But Here…

WashingtonTimes

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.

Sacrebleu! ATF threatens French-style firing squad for agents who leak secrets

WashingtonTimes

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.

Clueless, as always…

Self-Publish On Amazon, Mr. Dodson…

ATF tries to block Fast and Furious whistle-blower from publishing book

The ATF agent who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious has been denied permission to write a book on the botched anti-gun trafficking sting “because it would have a negative impact on morale,” according to the very agency responsible for the scandal.

Dodson’s book, titled “The Unarmed Truth,” provides the first inside account of how the federal government permitted and helped sell some 2,000 guns to Mexican drug cartels, despite evidence the guns killed innocent people.

Dodson, who is working with publisher Simon & Schuster, submitted his manuscript to the department for review, per federal rules. However, it was denied.

Greg Serres, an ATF ethics official, told Dodson that any of his supervisors at any level could disapprove outside employment “for any reason.”

Serres letter said: “This would have a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix Field Division and would have a detremental effect [sic] on our relationships with DEA and FBI.”

Well, boo hoo on the morale…

Did They Look Out Behind the Barn?

DOJ Report: There Are 2 Million Cartons Of Missing Cigarettes The ATF Can’t Account For

There are apparently millions of dollars worth of cigarettes out there that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was supposed to have in its possession, says an audit released yesterday by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General. The report says there are 2 million cartons of cigarettes just out there somewhere, worth about $127 million.

The audit says the ATF can’t account for smokes gone missing during cigarette-selling stings, and that the group misused proceeds from such efforts as well, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

As an example: One sting was reportedly done without approval of ATF supervisors and involved an informant who ended up with almost all of the $5 million in profit, which was chalked up to expenses and commissions. The ATF didn’t have any paperwork on the informant’s expenses, says the audit.

From there, the money was deposited into the account of an entirely separate ATF sting in another state, which is against the rules. The report doesn’t say if ATF agents are under investigation for that particular effort or for the millions worth in missing cigarettes.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s auditors found there was “a serious lack of oversight” on behalf of the ATF when it would do these “churning investigations,” so-called because they bring in money that the agency then spends on other operations.

There are the folks who brought you “Fast and Furious”….Duh…

Actually, It’s Way Past Time…

Is it time to get rid of the DEA?

According to a Reuters investigation, the DEA has been gathering information from other agencies, as well as foreign governments, for years. The DEA has also been collecting its own arsenal of data; constructing a massive database with about 1 billion records.

This information is shared in secret. By hiding the origins of its data from defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges, the agency and its partners effectively are undermining the right of the people it targets to a fair trial.

According to The New York Times the DEA even has unlimited access to an AT&T database of all calls passing through its phones and switches. Under the Hemisphere Project, the U.S. government pays AT&T to place its employees inside the DEA, so that the DEA can use these experts to gain access to decades of detailed records of U.S. citizens’ phone calls.

Then there’s the DEA’s disregard for science. It obstructed a formal request to reschedule marijuana for 16 years. After being forced by the courts to make a decision, the agency declared marijuana to have no medical value, despite massive evidence to the contrary.

The agency’s own administrative law judge held two years of hearings and concluded marijuana in its natural form is “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man” and should be made available for medical use. Similar hearings on MDMA, aka ecstasy, concluded it has important medical uses, but the DEA again overruled its administrative law judge.

There is a robust supply of other DEA debacles. The Department of Justice’s “Fast and Furious” scandal exposed DEA agents who smuggled or laundered millions of dollars in profits for illegal drug organizations as part of an ongoing sting operation.

When the Study Doesn’t Fit the Narrative…

TheNewAmerican

In January, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, President Obama issued a “Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence,” along with 22 other “initiatives.” That study, subcontracted out to the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, was completed in June and contained some surprises for the president.

Obama had announced at the beginning of the year his push for three major gun control initiatives — universal background checks, a ban on “assault weapons,” and a ban on “high-capacity” magazines — to prevent future mass shootings, no doubt hoping that the CDC study would oblige him by providing evidence that additional gun control measures were justified to reduce gun violence. On the contrary, that study refuted nearly all the standard anti-gun narrative and instead supported many of the positions taken by gun ownership supporters.

For example, the majority of gun-related deaths between 2000 and 2010 were due to suicide and not criminal violence:

Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.

In addition, defensive use of guns “is a common occurrence,” according to the study:

Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.

Accidental deaths due to firearms has continued to fall as well, with “the number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents account[ing] for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.”

Furthermore, the key finding the president was no doubt seeking — that more laws would result in less crime — was missing. The study said that “interventions,” such as background checks and restrictions on firearms and increased penalties for illegal gun use, showed “mixed” results, while “turn-in” programs “are ineffective” in reducing crime. The study noted that most criminals obtained their guns in the underground economy — from friends, family members, or gang members — well outside any influence from gun controls on legitimate gun owners.

The War On Marijuana has Failed. Legalize and Tax It Instead.

Guardian

Instead of spending millions on low-level drug prosecutions that disproportionally affect communities of color, why not regulate the city’s $1.65bn marijuana market – and use the tax revenues to cut City University tuition in half? Instead of sending kids to the courthouse, let’s send them to college.

A new report by my office (pdf) [of city comptroller] found that regulating marijuana sales would raise $400m annually, plus save another $31m by reallocating resources spent on marijuana-related arrests. Regulating marijuana would also offer relief to those suffering from a wide range of painful medical conditions, and make our streets safer by sapping the dangerous underground market that targets our children.

To be clear: under my proposal, only adults age 21 and over would be allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana – which would be grown, processed, and sold by government-licensed businesses for recreational or medicinal purposes. There would be strict prohibitions on driving under the influence and marijuana use in public.

The way it stands now, an arrest for the possession of even a small amount of pot can have serious consequences. Those convicted of a marijuana offense cannot receive federal student loans and may have trouble getting a job or housing. Low-level marijuana arrests have skyrocketed during Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure and are directly related to New York City’s discriminatory stop-and-frisk police tactic, which unfairly targets blacks and Hispanics and has been ruled unconstitutional.

Since Mayor Bloomberg took office in 2002, there have been almost 460,000 misdemeanor marijuana arrests. And while blacks and Hispanics make up 45% of pot smokers in New York City, they account for 86% of possession arrests. The bottom line is that if you’re white and smoke marijuana, you’re far less likely to be stopped and arrested for it than if you’re a person of color.

More Stupid Pet Police Tricks

DailyProgress

When a half-dozen men and a woman in street clothes closed in on University of Virginia student Elizabeth Daly, 20, she and two roommates panicked.

That led to Daly spending a night and an afternoon in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. Her initial offense? Walking to her car with bottled water, cookie dough and ice cream just purchased from the Harris Teeter in the Barracks Road Shopping Center for a sorority benefit fundraiser.

A group of state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents clad in plainclothes approached her, suspecting the blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water to be a 12-pack of beer. Police say one of the agents jumped on the hood of her car. She says one drew a gun. Unsure of who they were, Daly tried to flee the darkened parking lot.

“They were showing unidentifiable badges after they approached us, but we became frightened, as they were not in anything close to a uniform,” she recalled Thursday in a written account of the April 11 incident.

“I couldn’t put my windows down unless I started my car, and when I started my car they began yelling to not move the car, not to start the car. They began trying to break the windows. My roommates and I were … terrified,” Daly stated.

Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman read Daly’s account and said it was factually consistent.

Prosecutors say she apologized profusely when she realized who the agents were. But that wasn’t good enough for ABC agents, who charged her with three felonies. Prosecutors withdrew those charges Thursday in Charlottesville General District Court, but Daly still can’t understand why she sat in jail.

“This has been an extremely trying experience,” she wrote. “It is something to this day I cannot understand or believe has come to this point.”

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