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Old July 1, 2009, 06:11 PM   #1
Mello2u
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Federal agents hunt for guns, one house at a time

Federal agents hunt for guns, one house at a time is the title of an article which caught my attention

Fortunately, it was not what I feared. It is about federal agents seeking gunrunners.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6505651.html
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Old July 1, 2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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Let's move this one to L&CR.
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Old July 2, 2009, 08:30 AM   #3
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Houston Gun Trafficking War

I haven't seen this posted on here and it's been awhile since I've been here so I figure it was time for a post.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6505651.html

The linked article is short on details but it says enough to have me concerned as a Texas resident and should have everyone else concerned.

Apparently the BATF is collecting or scouring through FFL sales and who is buying what and how many. Now I've understood it that in Texas the FFL just provides limited info. Whether the gun is long or short, your SS number, in order for the background check. No specific model numbers or serial numbers are provided and that info stays with the FFL until they retire or if there is an audit.

So I'm thinking the BATF is skirting the law a bit. Of course if there is an investigation on someone then they can go to FFL's and get gun information. But it almost seems like they are going through any FFL data looking for suspicious activity. Of course it could be good police work but then law abiding citizens gun data is turned over to the Feds and you could be a suspect just because you bought 2 AR's or whatever.

Anybody know anymore about what's going on down there and how the Feds are skirting, what I thought was law by getting access to all this FFL data if in fact that is what they are doing.
later.
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Old July 2, 2009, 08:38 AM   #4
Bartholomew Roberts
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Duplicate of this post: http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=365460
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Old July 2, 2009, 09:09 AM   #5
Doc Intrepid
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Not really as alarming as you're perceiving...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Another User Name
"Of course if there is an investigation on someone then they can go to FFL's and get gun information. But it almost seems like they are going through any FFL data looking for suspicious activity. Of course it could be good police work but then law abiding citizens gun data is turned over to the Feds and you could be a suspect just because you bought 2 AR's or whatever."
From your linked article --

"All told, Mexican officials in 2008 asked federal agents to trace the origins of more than 7,500 firearms recovered at crime scenes in Mexico. Most of them were traced back to Texas, California and Arizona."

They're looking for the origins of specific firearms recovered at crime scenes in Mexico.

They're not randomly sorting through receipts from all gun dealers.

I find myself conflicted about reports such as these --

On the one hand I'm reasonably far to the right in terms of perspectives regarding federal intrusion on firearms purchases and ownership. The government is not to be trusted to look out for my second amendment rights.

On the other hand, when you have this nickel-rocket dumbassery going on where morons purchase firearms for narco's in Mexico, that sort of bozonity causes trouble for every law-abiding gun owner and concealed-carry weapons permit holder in the U.S.

It raises the level of federal scrutiny, increases government involvement in the gun trade, and potentially initiates all sorts of future restrictions on my ability to do what I want with my guns.

It's an age-old argument, where someone else's right to be a moron conflicts with my right to not be impacted by their dumbassery. In this particular case, no good can come from strawman purchases of weapons on behalf of narcotics traffickers - no matter who does it or why. While I'm the last guy who wants to see more BATF feds intruding into the gun trade, gun-runners who make strawman purchases for narcos need to be stopped. They're going to bring down the heat on everyone else, and they're upsetting the equilibrium that keeps the majority of stakeholders reasonably satisfied.

Just MHO...

YMMV.
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Old July 2, 2009, 10:41 AM   #6
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I have no problem whatsoever with BATF tracing the origin and distribution path of firearms that have used in the commission of a crime - whether here or in Mexico (or anywhere else). I do have a problem, however, with them performing any other sort of trace. In the other thread cited, an article within clearly proves they are doing just that:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6505651.html

From the article:
Quote:
Another tip took agents on a 30-minute drive from the shack to a sprawling home with a pool in the back and an American flag out front.

It turned out two handguns, of a type drug gangsters prefer, were bought by a pastor for target practice.
Since these guns were not used in a crime, they shoudn't have been traced, and no one from BATF should have been at that pastor's door step.
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Old July 2, 2009, 12:11 PM   #7
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Since these guns were not used in a crime, they shoudn't have been traced, and no one from BATF should have been at that pastor's door step.
Really? What precludes the BATF from doing what they did?

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Old July 2, 2009, 12:30 PM   #8
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They're looking for the origins of specific firearms recovered at crime scenes in Mexico.
The article makes clear that a good portion of these searches are based on nothing more than going to the stores, looking through the 4473s and then going to talk with the purchasers. There's nothing illegal about it. It can become problematic (if not illegal) if 1) the "talks" become so prevalent as to constitute harassment or they have a chilling effect on a protected activity, 2) they take on a racist overtone (as happened in Virginia when they stopped black purchasers leaving a gun show) or 3) they ask neighbors about your purchases (again, as happened in Virginia).

Now, if you want to talk illegal searches of 4473, that's another deal altogether. I've had the "pleasure" of watching a Nashville detective force a store owner to hand over 4473s so the detective could see who had bought what over the last few months. That was a great day and really built up my confidence in the force. :barf:
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Old July 2, 2009, 12:47 PM   #9
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I sent an email to the reporter and replied back to me quickly.

He said from the way he understands it that the BATF can access FFL records anytime, but they can't create a database with the records they are scouring through.

So the fact that they ended up on a pastor's doorstep means they were going through all FFL records and looking for specific purchases and possibly the number of purchases. So this wasn't a serial number trace back, this was searching FFL records for specific types of purchases and types of guns and then making those people suspects essentially.

This isn't right. For one thing do any of us believe the BATF isn't compiling a database with the data they are getting from the FFL's. I'm very wary of what is happening. It seems this is a way around the law to where they can create a database of gun owners, for at least a region.
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Old July 2, 2009, 01:43 PM   #10
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Really? What precludes the BATF from doing what they did?
I guess you don't distinguish between the words "shouldn't" and "can't." I chose "shouldn't" carefully, because it's my opinion. The BATF has, unfortunately, very wide-ranging investigative authority, and my belief is that their investigative activities should be confined to actual crimes, not to imaginary ones such as the one I cited. What they did is no different in a substantive sense from the cop who pulls over a black driver for driving a flashy car through the "wrong" neighborhood.
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Old July 2, 2009, 02:16 PM   #11
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I'll take on your question WildAlaska, as I think what the ATF is doing here is completely illegal for a number of reasons.

ATF 2010 Budget - Hit CTRL-F and use "trace" as your search term.

ATF Firearm Trace Reports - State by state reports on firearms trace information.

ATF Trace Request Form

Those links should provide sufficient proof that the ATF does in fact do data mining on firearms, and traces them from manufacturer, to dealer, to original purchaser using trace data.

The Misuse of BATF Firearms Tracing Data - For those still confused on what an ATF Trace is, or how it works, here is an excellent and very well sourced article explaining what, how, and why it is. The topic addressed by that article is different than what I am addressing here, but it still explains what firearm trace data is, very well.

Now, all of the above seems perfectly above board, business as usual, and doesn't seem to be against any law. In order to trace a firearm using the above process, the ATF has to have a firearm (used in a crime) in hand in order to use its serial number to conduct the trace. This isn't the problem though, nor is it why people are up in arms. People are hopping mad because of the fact that the ATF has started using a trace process similar to the above, but in a different way, and in violation of law in order to trace firearms, without actually having a physical firearm in hand to begin the trace. Instead of tracing guns that have been recovered from crimes, the ATF has launched an effort to witch hunt individuals that have bought guns that the ATF has deemed "gangster friendly" or "Mexico Desired." That is their focus through "Project Gunrunner" and it is something they did many years back in a program called "Operation Forward Trace" under the Clinton Administration. I believe they are going about this in a highly suspect, and I believe; completely illegal manner. First, let me point out 3 things that the ATF is doing that I believe are illegal.

1) Violating the FOPA by recording private buyer information from form 4473 from FFL holders.

2) Violating the Tiahrt Amendment by using the illegally obtained data to conduct baseless investigations into private citizens who legally purchased the guns they've decided to target in their witch hunt.

3) Are threatening FFL holders who refuse to assist them in breaking the law with legal action, and threatening to revoke their license.

Let's talk about the "Tiahrt Amendment" for a minute, so I can lay out why what the ATF is doing is illegal. President Obama singled out this piece of law in his campaign, and its still on the White House Website as a goal to get repealed. He wants it gone, as do other gun control proponents, specifically because it limits what the ATF and other agencies can do with firearm trace data. Specifically, the "Tiahrt Amendment" does the following:

1) Prohibits the ATF from using trace data or releasing it to federal, state, and local agencies, unless in connection with and for use in a bona fide criminal investigation or prosecution.

In other words, you cannot use the trace data unless it is part of a legitimate criminal investigation into a crime that you already know has occurred. It does not allow using the data for a witch hunt to try and create an investigation.

2) Requires the FBI to destroy any record of a NICS background check within 24 hours of the check being conducted, and prohibits retention of any of this information in any kind of a government database.

The US Government has been sued by the NRA for failure to destroy this information in accordance with law before, but clearly it still remains a problem as the ATF has found a new way to get around it.

3) Prohibits the ATF from releasing "firearm trace data" on the basis that it serves no useful purpose. The Congressional Research Service has repeatedly said "firearm trace data may be biased" and "cannot be used to test for statistical significance between firearm traces in general and the wider population of firearms available to criminals or the wider American public."(Congressional Research Service, Gun Control: Statutory Disclosure Limitations on ATF Firearms Trace Data and Multiple Handgun Sales Reports 3 (June 30, 2006).) These limitations exist because the "tracing system is an operational system designed to help law enforcement agencies identify the ownership path of individual firearms. It was not designed to collect statistics."(Congressional Research Service, Assault Weapons@: Military-Style Semiautomatic Firearms Facts and Issues (May 13, 1992).)

Regardless of that prohibition, the ATF is farming this data out to the GAO, elected reps, and the media to use as a statistical reference in pushing the garbage about US guns in Mexico. The same body that said the data was statistically useless (Congress) has been gleefully using it for statistics to drum up support for new gun regulations. Here's some glaring proof of that in an ATF Testimony before Congress by numerous ATF Agents. These agents used the "firearm trace data" as statistical proof of the guns from the US to Mexico "problem." Nevermind, Congress has already told the ATF such as use is illegal and that the data is effectively useless for this purpose.

Now let's talk about how the ATF is violating FOPA. The ATF is in violation of the FOPA (Firearm Owner Protection Act) by conducting audits of gun dealers Form 4473 (Firearm Transfer Form) and collecting the names of the buyers off of those forms.

THE FIREARMS OWNERS' PROTECTION ACT:
A HISTORICAL AND LEGAL PERSPECTIVE
- This is a incredibly comprehensive study of the FOPA and it demonstrates the following abuses by the ATF:

1) Gathering the names of buyers off of Form 4473.

The FOPA states the following in regard to inspection of licensee information:
Quote:
1. 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 recordkeeping requirements; or (3) tracing a firearm in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation. While (p.655)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 (p.656)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."
In other words, keep your hands off of the private data records from legal firearms transactions, unless you have a legal, protected, legitimate reason to obtain it in the course of an investigation into a known crime.

The ATF is violating this prohibition by searching through the records of border state FFL holders, and pulling the names and addresses of buyers of certain types of guns, in order to go investigate them and ask them why they bought the guns, what they did with them, and to physically inspect them. Granted, since they don't have a warrant, they are only asking, but they got to this point by illegally obtaining privately protected information. They should never legally have had access to this information in the first place, PERIOD! Because most people are intimidated by questioning from a Federal Agent, and because they typically don't know their own rights, they are volunteering information to the ATF that the ATF has no legal justification for knowing, much less even asking about at all. It is a witch hunt clearly intended to find evidence of possible crimes.

Evidence of such investigations occurring:


100 Agents sent to Texas
- These agents will be solely devoted to "Project Gunrunner" and developing leads to try and find people who may be selling guns to Mexican gun smugglers.

Federal agents hunt for guns, one house at a time - This article has a few references that indicate the ATF is getting their information through dealer records, and not because they have any crime guns in hand. It specifically states that because "the government can’t compile databases on gun owners under federal law, Agents instead review firearms dealers’ records in person."

HOUSTONIAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR LYING TO BUY GUNS - In this link, the ATF itself admits it began an investigation into Hernandez after a routine regulatory inspection of a local firearms dealer’s records showed the cash purchases of a large number of military-style firearms. Now granted, this guy was a scumbag, and he was breaking the law, but the ATF broke the law in order to find that information out. They used privately protected information to begin an investigation into someone, solely on the basis of information they obtained by violating the Firearm Owner Protection Act. And they didn't discover in the inspection of the forms that these purchases were cash, they would have needed the FFL to disclose that as it isn't something that is recorded on the firearm transfer form. Thus they were collecting private transaction data as well, without cause or a warrant. That's also illegal and is privately protected financial information. The ATF would have caught up with this guy legally, as some of the guns he bought were eventually recovered in Mexico. Upon that legitimate criminal use being discovered, the legitimate use of trace data would have led them to Hernandez.

ATF: Phoenix Gun Dealer Supplied Mexican Drug Cartels - In this article, the ATF again used information obtained from Form 4473, in violation of FOPA, to begin an investigation as a result of "pattern buying that looked suspicious." According to federal and local officials, the investigation began after an ATF review of X Caliber's records showed "an obvious pattern of firearms purchases consistent with firearms trafficking." Again, the ATF busted a scumbag, but they did so using illegally obtained information.

In an effort to ramp up arrests, anecdotal evidence is springing up around the Internet from people who are saying the ATF is showing up at their door to ask them about weapons they purchased legally. These people consistently say they have never sold weapons to anyone, that the weapons are still in their possession, and that the ATF is demanding to see the physical firearm for inspection. Granted, these are anecdotal, but they have been happening consistent with the news stories above, and the description of events in each case is virtually identical in nature. The NRA has actually received enough member complaints of these activities that they have set up a number to call to report the actions, and they are looking into the complaints.

Some links to people currently alleging these events:

Air Force Soldier contacted by ATF about guns bought in Texas. Note, the only way the ATF could know about these guns is by obtaining info on the buyer from the Form 4473, a violation of FOPA & the Tiahrt Amendment.

Contacted by BATFE today!! *Update* - This one is a guy who knew his rights and told the ATF no, he wanted to talk to his lawyer. Upon advice from the lawyer, he told the ATF they'd need a warrant. He alleges the ATF got nasty upon that revelation. He also states he hasn't sold so the only way the ATF could get his info, again, is by violating FOPA and Tiahrt Amendment by stealing it off of a Form 4473.

I'm in SE Texas ( the center of the gravity of Project Gunner- see atf.gov) and had a check last week. - This guy is a dealer and he alleges that the ATF reviewed his records, specifically looking for buyers with unusual numbers purchased of certain models. He states that the only guy the agent was interested in was one that met the "gangster preferred" gun model criteria, and happened to be his cousin. This information was obtained in violation of FOPA & the Tiahrt Amendment. The next post, a dealer from Ft Worth alleges he had an agent in specifically racially profiling for hispanics.

ATF Agents had copies of the Form 4473 - This guy states 2 ATF agents showed up asking about guns he'd bought, and they actually had copies of the Form 4473 he filled out. That is a major no-no and a HUGE violation of multiple sections of the FOPA. To me, it is additional evidence that the ATF is illegally reverse tracing firearms to try and drum up leads to create criminal investigations.

NRA - This article is an alert to NRA members that a substantial number of their members have been approached by ATF Agents regarding legally owned weapons. It also gives info on how to report these events to the NRA, and how to seek legal counsel to protect your privacy. It also states "some of the agents have used heavy-handed tactics. One reportedly demanded that a gun owner return home early from a business trip, while another threatened to "report" an NRA member as "refusing to cooperate."

This is probably insufficient evidence for most of the skeptics here, but for most people, this is understood as business as usual for one of, if not the most corrupt agencies in the United States. This is an agency that has consistently and routinely been known to violate the law and to outright fabricate "evidence" to harrass and intimidate gun owners.

I believe the events I'm relaying are on the front end of this new push, but as the agents settle into a routine, I have a feeling these stories are going to start exploding in frequency.

What the ATF is doing is illegal, and if you care enough about it, you need to raise hell to your congresscritter!

-SS
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Last edited by SkySlash; July 2, 2009 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Removed Profanity
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Old July 2, 2009, 02:35 PM   #12
Wildalaska
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a reasonable inquiry in the course of a criminal investigation of a person other than the licensee;
Thank you.

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PS show me the law that states that the Feds cant use info from a 4473 in a criminal investigation
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Old July 2, 2009, 02:42 PM   #13
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Good post. Good info. To bad most on TFL won't either believe it or take it serious.
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Old July 2, 2009, 02:46 PM   #14
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You're completely missing the point Wild. The law states that the ATF needs to have a reason to suspect a crime has taken place, BEFORE they can do anything other than audit the paperwork for administrative purposes. It specifically denies them the ability to use information they find on the paperwork unless it is obtained in the course of a "bonafide criminal investigation." Since we have a tendency to lean towards the innocent until proven guilty framework, there is no "bonafide criminal investigation" until someone has actually committed a crime. The ATF cannot investigate the paperwork on the presumption that every gun buyer has committed a crime, that would be ludicrous beyond belief, by any standard of reasonableness.

Quote:
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 recordkeeping requirements; or (3) tracing a firearm in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation. While (p.655)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.
When an ATF agent scans a Form 4473, looking for a particular gun model, he is violating the Firearm Owner Protection Act, as noted above, unless it is during the course of an existing criminal investigation. Further, if an ATF agent is in possession of copies of Form 4473 that he obtained during the course of an FFL audit of a currently operating FFL, he is in violation of FOPA because he is not legally allowed to be in material possession of that form.
Quote:
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 (p.656)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 ATF is ignoring these provisions of law and is using the information they are finding on Form 4473 to create leads for field agents to interview people on the basis of the type of gun they purchased. Because this is legally protected information, not legally accessible without a warrant, I also believe the ATF to be in violation of the 4th Amendment because they are illegally searching records, and seizing the private information contained therein. They then use this information in an effort to witch hunt additional leads in the field.

That's illegal.

-SS
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Last edited by SkySlash; July 2, 2009 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Bad phrasing
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Old July 2, 2009, 03:06 PM   #15
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You're completely missing the point.
Nope. Give us the statutes to work with please, not just someones view of them.

But here I'll make it easy for you.

In the course of a criminal investigation, The BATF may inspect 4473s. Please show us, chapter and verse, where they cannot. Please show us, chapter and verse, where they are prohibited from taking notes of what they find on a 4473. Please show us where they are prohibited from following up on the info found in a 4473.

None of the rhetoric you are tossing out is in accord with the law. In addition, you are misinterpreting the statues and regs.

There is a significant problem with straw man purchases and weapons smuggling in border areas. Are you alleging that law enforcement activities under project Gunrunner are not bonafide criminal investigations? Are you alleging that Federal Agents have no power to review material records in the course of an investigation or follow up on leads derived therefrom? Are you familiar with how law enforcement conducts investigations? Are you privy to any guidelines that the BATF has laid down to ensure complaince with regs and statutes in the condiuct of these investigations? Are you privy to why certain people have been spoken to other than whats reported in the press of by interest groups (that must be truth of course)? Do you know whether information leading to complained upon conduct has been obtained by Grand Jury action? If not, regardless, would you agree that Grand Jury action is outside the protections imposed by the FOPA?

You want to run a rant based on some news stories and whining from some folks, go ahead. But be fair to the posters here and give us an accurate and/or complete view of the problem, the law, and the legal ramifications.

If you need a cite for the applicable statues i can give them to you...I'm a bit jammed now but can help

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Old July 2, 2009, 04:06 PM   #16
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I've already posted what I believe to be correct information. I think I'd prefer to stand by what I've already posted and have you show me the statutes you believe disprove my points.

-SS
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Old July 2, 2009, 04:20 PM   #17
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You havent posted statutes or law, you have posted polemics from an unknown source.

Therefore: I have read the statutes and the regs. You are wrong. Disprove that if you care to. And I notice how you avoid my questions.

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Old July 2, 2009, 04:29 PM   #18
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I'm headed out the door for a 4-day vacation, but as soon as I return on Tuesday, I'll answer each and every point you questioned.

I've also read the statutes and regs, and I have a differing conclusion.

To be continued...

-SS
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Old July 2, 2009, 04:53 PM   #19
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They showed up at my door today... in the rural panhandle of florida...
I tossed a few very excruciating expletives their way and told them "FROM MY COLD DEAD FINGERS" and slammed the door in their faces.. one guy got a toe crushed but I let off pressure and they fled. No more sign of them buggers!
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Old July 2, 2009, 05:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildalaska
You havent posted statutes or law, you have posted polemics from an unknown source.
The source for the quoted material in SkySlash's was a paper by 2A attorney, David Hardy: http://www.guncite.com/journals/hardfopa.html Copyright © 1986 Cumberland Law Review. Originally published as 17 Cumb. L. Rev. 585-682 (1986). Use permitted by Cumberland and Hardy.

From the editor's note:
Quote:
Ed. note: this article has been cited as authority in Staples v. United States, 62 USLW 4379, 4387 n.4 (U.S. Sup. Ct. 1994) (Stevens, J., dissenting); U.S. v. Sherbondy, 865 F.2d 996, 1002 (9th Cir. 1988); U.S. v. Cassidy, 899 F.2d 543, 546 n.8 (6th Cir. 1990); United States v. Otiaba, 862 F.Supp. 251, 253 (D.N.D. 1994) (declining to follow circuit decision "as that court did not have available to it Hardy's analysis of the legislative history"); Cisewski v. Dep't of Treasury, 773 F.Supp. 148, 150 (E.D. Wisc. 1991); and In re Two Seized Firearms, 127 N.J. 84, 602 A.2d 728, 731 (1992).
One can hardly call Hardy's article, THE FIREARMS OWNERS' PROTECTION ACT: A HISTORICAL AND LEGAL PERSPECTIVE, polemics.

As far as the actual statutes, or even the CFR's go, they are all given, along with the cites to the congressional records.

While you may criticize SkySlash for not including those footnotes, it is beneath you to say that the article is undocumented. Moving on.

The source for the first article used by SkySlash, was a Copyright © 1998 Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University; David B. Kopel.

Like Kopel or not, even he documents his sources.

The links provided by SkySlash were meant to be used and read by the participants of this discussion. Failure to address the points made by SkySlash, shows a bias against the cites he used.

Such a bias should lead to a recitation of why those sources are nothing more than polemics. Remembering that you are calling what SkySlash wrote, polemics, and not the sources he used, your own rhetoric is suspect.

--> Observations from a bystander.
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Old July 2, 2009, 05:23 PM   #21
WilliamBray
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The BATFE is just looking for people making bulk purchases. I don't think they're targeting people who buy 2-3 guns a month but rather several guns at a time. I also don't trust LE or the BATFE, and think they need to keep their noses out of people's business
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Old July 2, 2009, 07:39 PM   #22
Wildalaska
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Quote:
--> Observations from a bystander.
I stand corrected...... he has posted polemics and an article setting forth an intepretation of the statute

But that doesnt change my point. There is no legal support for his argument. its hyperbole.

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Old July 2, 2009, 08:25 PM   #23
Drake Remoray
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I don't think the ATF is breaking any laws ( wasting money maybe) I also don't think it would be wise to answer their questions "Agent fuzzbutt you are more than welcome to take this up with my attorney, good day"


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Old July 2, 2009, 08:51 PM   #24
Tom Servo
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Quote:
So the fact that they ended up on a pastor's doorstep means they were going through all FFL records and looking for specific purchases and possibly the number of purchases. So this wasn't a serial number trace back, this was searching FFL records for specific types of purchases and types of guns and then making those people suspects essentially.
When the Pastor was mentioned, my first thought was, "oh, multiple handgun report."

If an unlicensed person buys two or more handguns from the same FFL in a five-day period, the FFL has to send in Form 3310.4, which basically lists off the data from the 4473.

This doesn't constitute an audit of dealer records; this is information sent to the ATF.

So, as far as I can tell, the article describes routine law-enforcement operations. Do I want them coming to my house? No, but those laws were made before I was old enough to do anything about them, and they'll be around for quite awhile longer.

No point in shooting (metaphorically) the messenger.
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Old July 3, 2009, 10:42 AM   #25
Doc Intrepid
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I stand corrected.

It would appear that I failed to discern (from reading this one linked article) that federal agents were indeed conducting broad searches of firearms dealers records to search for gunrunners based on number or type of firearms purchased.

I'd like to thank the other participants in this thread for providing citations and additional links that clarified the extent of the problem for me.

While I find BATF actions troubling, I have difficulty believing that they are patently illegal - it would seem counterproductive for the feds to engage in activity that could result in future cases being thrown out of court due to evidence having been illegally obtained. Above all else, careers rest on successful prosecution of cases. The issue of guns crossing the Mexican border is a high-profile case for the Obama Administration, and will be subjected to significant scrutiny. Office directors are unlikely to deliberately engage in criminal activity - it would represent a poor career choice. I work for the U.S. DOE, and am aware that good intentions do not always result in rational (or legal) behavior; but I suspect that someone in DOJ/DHS has reviewed and approved BATF's plan of operations to ensure that it meets (at least) the letter of the law.

Bottom line for me remains the same. I distrust the federal government when it comes to defending my second amendment rights; however, those who are involved in strawman purchases of weapons to supply Mexican narcotics traffickers need to be stopped.

They're a threat to your future rights and mine.

(IMHO. YMMV.)
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