Tag Archives: rifles

ATF Preparing to Outlaw Shotguns

ATF Preparing to Outlaw Shotguns

The Constitution states that Congress and the federal government shall not infringe upon the right to bear arms. However, we know in the past the federal government has trampled this liberty. Remember the assault weapons ban that banned AR-15s and other rifles?

It appears the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is preparing to pass its own law leaving Congress out of the equation and clearly ignoring the Constitution. This time its shotguns that are under attack.

The Greeley Gazette
notes of the ATF’s coming ban:

The ATF completed a study regarding the importability of certain shotguns. The basis for a possible ban is based on a loosely defined “Sporting Purpose” test. Using the vague definition almost all pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns could be banned as they are all capable of accepting a magazine, box or tube capable of holding more than 5 rounds. Other characteristics determined to be “military” by the ATF can also be used as a basis for a ban.

Ironically, many shotguns with “military” features are currently being used in shooting competitions held by the USPSA, IDPA and IPSC. The rules could also result in obscure regulations where an individual would be unsure if he is violating them or not.
Dudley Brown, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, said if the ATF succeeds with the banning of tactical shotguns it “will be the most dangerous interpretation of the 1968 Gun Control Act ever envisioned and will outlaw thousands of perfectly legitimate home defense shotguns.”

The ATF is currently allowing public comments on the study until the end of the month. Those wishing to express concerns about the study can send an email to [email protected]

SOURCE

Could Your Shotgun Soon be Outlawed? Maybe, If the ATF Has Its Way

by Jonathon M. Seidl Jonathon M. Seidl

What’s the definition of a “shotgun?” According to Dictionary.com it’s “a smoothbore gun for firing small shot to kill birds and small quadrupeds, though often used with buckshot to kill larger animals.” For the gun enthusiasts, that’s only partly true, as there is also the option of using slugs. But what if there’s another addition that will soon be added to the definition? How about, illegal.

Could Your Shotgun Soon be Outlawed? Maybe, If the ATF Has Its Way

In a series of fascinating, and eerie, posts over at the blog Beregond’s Bar (and linked on Redstate.com), author “Tom” pens a four-part series on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and their new campaign to change the definition of the term “shotgun.” A change, based on a recent study,* that could soon make some of them illegal. But as Tom points out, the implications for all guns are chilling.

Could Your Shotgun Soon be Outlawed? Maybe, If the ATF Has Its Way

Below are excerpts from the series. Click on the appropriate link to read more.

Part 1, which focuses on changing the term “sporting use” in order to ban certain shotguns:

The Obama administration is seeking once again to do via regulation what they would never be able to do via legislation. This time shotguns are in the crosshairs, specifically certain popular imported weapons.

[…]

Sporting use is one of the three main thrusts of gun control efforts in America. The other two are racism and those who openly advocate complete bans except for military and police. (The complete ban advocates often hide under cover of sporting use, but that and the racist history of gun control are topics for another day.
Click here to find out more!

Sporting use was how the original distinction was made about what weapons would be subject to a special tax in the National Firearms Act (NFA) in 1934, and again in Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968. The congressional power to tax was used selectively to make ownership of weapons the government didn’t like burdensome and expensive. This was gun control via the back door, as even the ATF admits. As would become the pattern, politicians found that actually dealing with crime and criminals was difficult and expensive. Blaming guns and passing a law to look like they were doing something about it was much simpler.

Part 2, which notes that the administration and the ATF’s definition of “sporting use” includes a list of things that cannot apply to such use. Things that are common in hunting and self-defense:

In this case the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is seeking to master the definition of the term “sporting use” to “traditional” sports, things similar to what might have been found in 1934 when the Treasury Department first began regulating firearms. The ATF “Study on the Importability of Certain Shotguns” (PDF) limits “sporting purpose.”

However, consistent with past court decisions and Congressional intent, the working group recognized hunting and other more generally recognized or formalized competitive events similar to the traditional shooting sports of trap, skeet, and clays.

In order to decide what shotguns fit the “sporting purpose” definition the study comes up with a list of characteristics that aren’t sporting. Nobody has yet taken to bayoneting deer or skeet as far as I know, so I’m not going to raise a big stink about bayonet lugs being on the list of features that aren’t particularly suited for sporting purposes. (Please stop shouting that the Constitution of the United States says nothing about “sporting purpose.” We’ll look at why the “sporting purpose” rule violates the constitution in Part 3.)

One major problem (aside from the constitution) is that many of the features the ATF study group settled on make a shotgun particularly useful for self defense, especially home defense. Here are the characteristics that the study has decided are unsuitable for sporting use:

(1) Folding, telescoping, or collapsible stocks;

(2) bayonet lugs;

(3) flash suppressors;

(4) magazines over 5 rounds, or a drum magazine;

(5) grenade-launcher mounts;

(6) integrated rail systems (other than on top of the receiver or barrel);

(7) light enhancing devices;

(8) excessive weight (greater than 10 pounds for 12 gauge or smaller);

(9) excessive bulk (greater than 3 inches in width and/or greater than 4 inches in depth);

(10) forward pistol grips or other protruding parts designed or used for gripping the shotgun with the shooter’s extended hand.

Some of these features, such as folding stocks and larger capacity magazines clearly are useful in sports if you include practical shooting sports.

Part 3, which looks at how “sporting use” stacks up to the Constitution and how it came into use:

But there is a far more basic objection that must be raised to this new attempt at regulatory gun ban- Nowhere in the constitution of the United States is there anything about a “sporting purpose.” The second amendment says:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Like all rights of Americans, the rights exist because you are a person. The Constitution is a contract we have with the central government to protect those rights against all enemies, foreign and domestic. One of the enumerated rights is the right to keep and bear arms. Nary a “sporting purpose” in sight in the entire document. So where did it come from?

And finally, Part 4, which shows that the ATF’s “sporting use” definition puts all guns, not just certain shotguns, at risk of being outlawed:

One factor that jumps out from the current ATF study is that it differs from the Clinton gun ban in a critical way. The Clinton ban looked at guns and said if it could accept a high capacity magazine and had any 2 other characteristics then it was banned. Thus you could have a magazine and a pistol grip, or a magazine and night sights, and still be legal. Few people missed having a bayonet lug, and grenade launchers and grenades had essentially been banned from civilian hands since the NFA became law in 1934. The current study says that any ONE item on a list, including a magazine that holds more than five rounds or a place to attach a flashlight so you can see the burglar in your home, and the gun is banned.

So the problem doesn’t end with shotguns. The current study refers to the conclusions drawn in prior ATF studies of rifles in 1989 and 1998, and handguns in 1968. It also draws on the NFA and the GCA (Gun Control Act of 1968) to justify the “sporting purpose” test, and the narrow interpretation that the ATF places on the test. The justifications are all linked together, like a knitted sweater. Pull on the piece of yarn called “imported shotguns” and you find when it’s unraveled enough that you’re tugging on the “domestic shotguns” yarn. Only now the “imported rifle” bit of yarn is hanging loose, just begging for someone to tug on it. Unravel that a bit and you reach “domestic rifles.” A similar bit of unraveling is likely to happen with the piece of yarn labelled “handgun.”

Each piece is well worth the time it takes to read it. Meanwhile, the ATF is taking comments on its study. Tom lets you know how here.

But here’s the catch: in order to let the ATF know what you think, you have to give it your mailing address.

Interesting.

*According to Tom, the study “spends a lot of time showing that hunting, trap and skeet, and target shooting are sports, but plinking and practical shooting sports are not REALLY sports, and therefore guns that are particularly suitable for, or readily adaptable to those sports shouldn’t be allowed into the country.

UPDATE:

Jack Minor of the Greeley Gazette covered the ATF’s study, too. He puts in terms of “military”-style shotguns vs. others. But, he notes, according to the specifications used, “military” could apply to so many shotguns:

The ATF completed a study regarding the importability of certain shotguns. The basis for a possible ban is based on a loosely defined “Sporting Purpose” test. Using the vague definition almost all pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns could be banned as they are all capable of accepting a magazine, box or tube capable of holding more than 5 rounds. Other characteristics determined to be “military” by the ATF can also be used as a basis for a ban.

Ironically, many shotguns with “military” features are currently being used in shooting competitions held by the USPSA, IDPA and IPSC. The rules could also result in obscure regulations where an individual would be unsure if he is violating them or not.

Dudley Brown, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, said if the ATF succeeds with the banning of tactical shotguns it “will be the most dangerous interpretation of the 1968 Gun Control Act ever envisioned and will outlaw thousands of perfectly legitimate home defense shotguns.”

Breaking: confrontation between Alaska gun store and ATF

Breaking: confrontation between Alaska gun store and ATF

Anthony Martin

Breaking information sent to this reporter moments ago via email from a contact in Anchorage, Alaska indicates that a local gun store has refused to comply with an order from the ATF to turn over to the agency the official ‘Bound Book’ that firearms retailers are required to keep on site on customers and their purchases, photo I.D.s, and background checks.

The store’s refusal has provoked a confrontation with the ATF, which claims that the Bound Book is ‘their property.’

An initial report was published here yesterday concerning this new illegal activity on the part of the ATF.

According to a memo from the Anchorage Second Amendment Task Force, the Great Northern Guns store in Anchorage was asked to give their Bound Book to the ATF so it could be copied in its totality. The store refused, citing their legal rights and the fact that to do so would be a violation of the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986.
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The Task Force began to make inquiries about the ATF’s request and was told by a local agency official that the Bound Book is the property of the ATF and can be picked up anytime they choose.

But the law appears to say something entirely different.

While it is true that the ATF can gain access to the book, there are specific stipulations concerning the circumstances that would warrant such a request. The law prevents any government agency, including ATF, from taking possession of the entire record of purchases. The agency can, however, gain access to certain specific records under the following three stipulations–there is an ongoing criminal investigation of a customer, there is an annual on site inspection of the store’s records, or there is a need to trace a specific firearm in the midst of an ongoing investigation.

From the Anchorage Second Amendment Task Force Newsletter:

Provisions Of The Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986:
Inspection and Acquisition of Licensee Records

The Gun Control Act required licensees to maintain records of firearm acquisitions, dispositions, and inventories. Furthermore, it permitted warrantless inspection of these “at all reasonable times,” and broadly authorized the Secretary to require submission of reports on the records’ content.

FOPA establishes significant restrictions on the two latter powers. In general, administrative inspections of licensee records now require a magistrate’s warrant, based on a showing of reasonable cause to believe evidence of a violation may be found.

Three exceptions, however, nearly swallow this rule. Neither warrant nor reasonable cause is needed for (1) a reasonable inquiry in the course of a criminal investigation of a person other than the licensee; (2) an annual inspection for ensuring compliance with record keeping requirements; or (3) tracing a firearm in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation. While these sizably reduce application of the warrant and cause requirement, it remains effective for its primary purpose in any event: to prevent inspections undertaken without immediate law enforcement need, or abused for the purpose of harassment.

FOPA also institutes some measures designed to minimize the harassment potential of an otherwise authorized inspection or search. Only records material to a violation of law may be seized and even as to these, copies must be furnished the licensee within a reasonable time. The unusual appearance of the last protection vanishes upon reflection; because a licensee is legally bound to buy and sell only upon recordation, removal of his records is more than an inconvenience.
The power of the Secretary to acquire licensee records is likewise limited by FOPA.
Requirements to (1) submit records upon going out of business, (2) submit a report upon sale of more than one handgun to the same person during the same week and (3) submit reports of sales when ordered to do so by the Secretary, are enacted into law.

Conversely, the Secretary is forbidden to require submission of reports “except as expressly required by this section.” Paralleling this prohibition is the proviso that no future regulation may require that any records required by the Act “be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any state or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions be established.”

The problem with the ATF’s request is that it has not specified any of these stipulations justifying its demand for the entire Bound Book.

This led the Second Amendment Task Force to question the agency’s motives, even to the point of suspecting that the action is some sort of de facto registration scheme being conducted by the Obama Administration. An agent who was contacted by the Task Force would not provide any information on the request other than to say the directive came ‘from on high.’

The Task Force interpreted that to mean the Seattle Field Division. The Task Force has also initiated inquiries into firearms dealers in other states to ascertain if the ATF directive is broad based or confined to Alaska.

More information will be provided on this breaking story as it becomes available.

Notice! My latest entry in what is turning into a regular, ongoing series of musings after midnight at my blog, The Liberty Sphere, is now posted. I present more in depth personal reflections delineating the acute danger America faces at this hour. It is a dire warning to the serious reader who loves freedom and the principles handed down to us by the Framers. Don’t miss it.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Breaking: confrontation between Alaska gun store and ATF – National Conservative | Examiner.com SOURCE

22 “Fast and Furious” facts: What did the Obama White House know and when did they know it?

22 “Fast and Furious” facts: What did the Obama White House know and when did they know it?

“Fast and Furious” is not about cars and women but about guns, drugs and murder!

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“What did the President know, and when did he know it?”: Howard Baker, Vice Chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee

What do President Obama and Eric Holder know, when did they know it and will the “Fast and Furious” operation to sell weapons to Mexican drug cartels be the scandal that brings the Obama White House down?

Are there still any truly investigative mainstream media journalists out there along the lines of Woodward and Bernstein of The Washington Post, who actually felt it was their job and duty to break the Watergate story?

There actually may be a few still out there (H/T Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News)!

22 “Fast and Furious” facts that could be extremely problematic for the Obama White House and for the President’s 2012 reelection bid!

#1 During Operation Fast and Furious, ATF agents purposely allowed thousands of guns to be sold to individuals that they believed would get them into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

#2 ATF agents were specifically ordered not to intercept the guns before they crossed the border. The following is a brief excerpt from a CBS News report that detailed the fierce objections that many ATF agents expressed when they were ordered to stand down….

On the phone, one Project Gunrunner source (who didn’t want to be identified) told us just how many guns flooded the black market under ATF’s watchful eye. “The numbers are over 2,500 on that case by the way. That’s how many guns were sold – including some 50-calibers they let walk.”

50-caliber weapons are fearsome. For months, ATF agents followed 50-caliber Barrett rifles and other guns believed headed for the Mexican border, but were ordered to let them go. One distraught agent was often overheard on ATF radios begging and pleading to be allowed to intercept transports. The answer: “Negative. Stand down.”

CBS News has been told at least 11 ATF agents and senior managers voiced fierce opposition to the strategy. “It got ugly…” said one. There was “screaming and yelling” says another. A third warned: “this is crazy, somebody is gonna to get killed.”

#3 Operation Fast and Furious remained a secret until the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December. Two guns that were sold during Operation Fast and Furious were found at the scene of the murder.

#4 ATF Special Agent John Dodson was one of the first to blow the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious. Dodson explained to the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee on June 15, 2011 that many ATF agents were becoming extremely frustrated when they were ordered to cut off surveillance on the weapons that were being sold because they knew “that just days after these purchases, the guns that we saw these individuals buy would begin turning up at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico.”

#5 It appears that Operation Fast and Furious began some time around September 2009. At that time, the ATF began pressuring gun shops near the border with Mexico to participate in a new covert operation that was being set up. The gun storeowners were told to help the ATF get guns into the hands of people that would take them back to the Mexican drug cartels.

The following description of the mechanics of Operation Fast and Furious comes from a recent Los Angeles Times article….

In the fall of 2009, ATF agents installed a secret phone line and hidden cameras in a ceiling panel and wall at Andre Howard’s Lone Wolf gun store. They gave him one basic instruction: Sell guns to every illegal purchaser who walks through the door.

For 15 months, Howard did as he was told. To customers with phony IDs or wads of cash he normally would have turned away, he sold pistols, rifles and semiautomatics. He was assured by the ATF that they would follow the guns, and that the surveillance would lead the agents to the violent Mexican drug cartels on the Southwest border.

When Howard heard nothing about any arrests, he questioned the agents. Keep selling, they told him. So hundreds of thousands of dollars more in weapons, including .50-caliber sniper rifles, walked out of the front door of his store in a Glendale, Ariz., strip mall.

#6 In some gun stores, cameras were set up so that top ATF officials could actually watch these transactions take place. Back in June, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa stated the following….

“Acting Director Melson was able to sit at his desk in Washington and himself watch a live feed of straw buyers entering the gun stores and purchasing dozens of AK-47 variants.”

#7 It has also come out that in some cases ATF agents were actually the ones buying the guns and getting them into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The following is how author Michael A. Walsh recently explained this in an article in the New York Post….

This just might be the smoking gun we’ve been waiting for to break the festering “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal wide open: the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives apparently ordered one of its own agents to purchase firearms with taxpayer money, and sell them directly to a Mexican drug cartel.

Let that sink in: After months of pretending that “Fast and Furious” was a botched surveillance operation of illegal gun-running spearheaded by the ATF and the US attorney’s office in Phoenix, it turns out that the government itself was selling guns to the bad guys.

#8 According to the Los Angeles Times, guns that were purchased during Operation Fast and Furious have “turned up at dozens of additional Mexican crime scenes, with an unconfirmed toll of at least 150 people killed or wounded.”

#9 Mexican authorities were never informed that thousands upon thousands of guns were being allowed into Mexico.

#10 Authorities in Mexico have asked the U.S. government over and over to explain what in the world happened during Operation Fast and Furious but they have not been given an adequate answer. In fact, according to the Los Angeles Times, the Obama administration has not even responded to questions from the attorney general of Mexico….

Marisela Morales, Mexico’s attorney general and a longtime favorite of American law enforcement agents in Mexico, told The Times that she first learned about Fast and Furious from news reports. And to this day, she said, U.S. officials have not briefed her on the operation gone awry, nor have they apologized.

#11 U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been withholding key documents about Fast and Furious from Congress and has been consistently stonewalling U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley and other members of Congress that have attempted to look into this matter.

#12 The acting director of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, had been cooperating with the investigation. At the end of August he was suddenly transferred to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy.

#13 Several other key officials that were heavily involved in Operation Fast and Furious actually got promoted.

#14 On May 3rd, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder testified under oath in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Operation Fast and Furious. During that testimony, Holder made the following statement….

“I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”

#15 Since that time, a large amount of evidence has come out that Holder was not telling the truth. For example, a recent Fox News article discussed some of the very revealing memos about Fast and Furious that have been discovered recently….

However, newly discovered memos suggest otherwise. For instance, one memo dated July 2010 shows Michael Walther, director of the National Drug Intelligence Center, told Holder that straw buyers in the Fast and Furious operation “are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to the Mexican drug trafficking cartels.”

Other documents also indicate that Holder began receiving weekly briefings on the program from the National Drug Intelligence Center “beginning, at the latest, on July 5, 2010,”

#16 Holder now claims that he simply misunderstood the question. He now says that he had heard of Operation Fast and Furious previously but that he was not aware of the specific details.

#17 Emails exchanged between two Department of Justice officials last October make it abundantly clear that high-level officials at the DOJ were very aware of what was going on…

Two Justice Department officials mulled it over in an email exchange Oct. 18, 2010. “It’s a tricky case given the number of guns that have walked but is a significant set of prosecutions,” says Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division. Deputy Chief of the National Gang Unit James Trusty replies, “I’m not sure how much grief we get for ‘guns walking.’ It may be more like; “Finally they’re going after people who sent guns down there.”

#18 House Republicans are now asking for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate whether or not U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress during his recent testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Operation Fast and Furious.

#19 U.S. Representative Darrell Issa believes that those involved in the Fast and Furious gun trafficking operation may have violated international arms trafficking agreements and could potentially face very serious criminal charges.

#20 U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley is absolutely convinced that a major cover-up is going on….

“But I can tell you this. They’re doing everything they can, in a fast and furious way, to cover up all the evidence or stonewalling us. But here’s the issue, if he didn’t perjure himself and didn’t know about it, the best way that they can help us, Congressman Issa and me, is to just issue all the documents that we ask for and those documents will prove one way or the other right or wrong.”

#21 Did Barack Obama ever know about Operation Fast and Furious? He says that he did not authorize the program. On March 22, 2011 Obama made the following statement….

“I did not authorize [Fast and Furious]. Eric Holder, the attorney general, did not authorize it. There may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made. If that’s the case, then we’ll find — find out and we’ll hold somebody accountable.”

#22 CBS News investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson claimed on the Laura Ingraham show the other day that officials in the Obama administration were literally screaming and yelling at her for aggressively investigating the Fast and Furious scandal….

Ingraham: So they were literally screaming at you? ?Attkisson: Yes. Well the DOJ woman was just yelling at me. The guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me. [Laura: Who was the person? Who was the person at Justice screaming?] Eric Schultz. Oh, the person screaming was [DOJ spokeswoman] Tracy Schmaler, she was yelling not screaming. And the person who screamed at me was Eric Schultz at the White House.”

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