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Old March 8, 2011, 05:30 PM   #26
Tom Servo
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Seriously, do they expect us dealers to be a part of law enforcement?
Cooperation with law enforcement is in everyone's best interest. I'll be the first to pick up the phone and call them if I think something's amiss, but I will not break the law. Promises and agreements are likely to be quickly and conveniently forgotten when something goes sideways like this.

I'd lay odds that Lone Wolf is going to end up being the scapegoat in this whole thing to some extent.

In other news,

Quote:
The Office of Management and Budget notified the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives last week that its request to require gun stores in four border states to report the multiple sales of certain long guns favored by Mexican cartels did not constitute an emergency under the law.
There are rumors of a $160 million cut coming out of the ATF's budget next session, which will likely shut down Project Gunrunner.

I really don't want to go off bashing the ATF out of hand. The guys in my field division are a good bunch, and they're working hard to do good and preserve credibility. But the guys in the Phoenix division are obviously pretty far off the reservation.
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Old March 8, 2011, 06:33 PM   #27
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I'm not so sure it's the guys in the field office that headed off the reservation. The reads more like they were directed off by what would be called "competent authority".
The "competent" part is what I question.

And as a general rule, I don't bash the BATFE either. But one has to question what going on when ops like this appear.
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Old March 8, 2011, 06:34 PM   #28
Bartholomew Roberts
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But the guys in the Phoenix division are obviously pretty far off the reservation.
Well, to be fair, it was several agents from the Phoenix division who blew the lid off of this, at great personal risk. And it also seems from the Carter Country story that the gunwalking thing isn't confined just to the Phoenix ATF office. Clearly, there are some serious institutional problems at ATF though.
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Old March 8, 2011, 08:27 PM   #29
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If its any indicator, when I renewed my FFL in 08, as part of directive from the Philly ATF, they wanted to do an on premise inspection of any dealer renewing their license.

Some 6 months or so later, operating under a LOC, I was finally inspected, looking at the last years 4473's, for errors, etc.

This past Month, I renewed, had my new license in about two weeks, with no mention, nor hide nor hair of any inspection.

So it appears at least in this area, the budget isn't allowing renewal inspections, etc, of existing licensees.

Cooperating with the ATF is one thing, being part of a 100 plus firearm sales sting, with some bad folks, is not what I would consider simple cooperation, you are an integral part of the entire sting, in fact, probably the MOST important part.

You are acting as an informant basically, and a salesman, and if it was in the drug world, you would be selling the drugs, instead of "Just" a firearm.

Not to mention time spent during the stings, what about time spent in court, if you are needed to testify? There could be a lot of pro bono work on your part just for wanting to be a "Good guy". If I wanted to be part of the criminal justice system, I would have gone to college for it.

Just look at the liability, on the face of it right now, the shop ID'd with providing the guns that killed the agent, MUST be expecting a civil suit from the survivors.

I sure as hell would be.

And lets face it, if this all comes tumbling down, with the agents trying to save their own butts, how much assistance do you think is going to be given to people outside the agency?

Without being rude, having lived through the Clinton years, where I was treated poorly by the ATF, just for being an FFL holder, they wanted all of us shut down, if they could justify it, I hold no great fondness for them now.

Would I help them, of course, but to a degree, and what they asked of these businesses in AZ and Texas goes far beyond what an FFL should ever be asked to do.
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Old March 8, 2011, 09:42 PM   #30
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Frick74:
Quote:
You are acting as an informant basically, and a salesman, and if it was in the drug world, you would be selling the drugs, instead of "Just" a firearm.

Not to mention time spent during the stings, what about time spent in court, if you are needed to testify? There could be a lot of pro bono work on your part just for wanting to be a "Good guy". If I wanted to be part of the criminal justice system, I would have gone to college for it.

Just look at the liability, on the face of it right now, the shop ID'd with providing the guns that killed the agent, MUST be expecting a civil suit from the survivors.
Not to mention the potential to be involved in multiple deaths, including, maybe, innocent people. Guns and drugs can both kill. I wouldn't feel comfortable selling either to known criminals, even if it was under the blessing of the DEA or BATFE. I couldn't sleep at night, wondering what was being done with the merchandize I was selling.
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Old March 8, 2011, 09:54 PM   #31
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It's my understanding that the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs directed its inquiry to the US Dept. of State.

While I really don't want to get into the politics of this, you just have to be thinking if Hillary will jump ship and throw the Obama Administration under the bus, for a sure shot at 2012.

As far as that affidavit I mentioned, yes, I was wrong in reading it the exact way I did.

But you have to wonder why out of the blue, the affidavit mentions that the same traffickers were able to move the same make gun (Draco) that was involved in the Zapata murder. Prior movement?

Why is that information even germane to the affidavit? Why did the ATF allow known traffickers to continue to "walk" the guns?
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Old March 8, 2011, 09:59 PM   #32
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We're all supposed to be law-abiding gun owners and licensees.....no one has any business aiding and abetting some lawless political scheme, immunity or not, that results in trafficking arms to criminals. The parties to the scheme should have to literally steal the arms in order to further their goals, whatever they are. Let 'em get caught doing that, even the jackleg media can't ignore it.
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Old March 8, 2011, 10:05 PM   #33
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CBS ran an update on "Gunwalker" tonite. Looks like ATF may have a problem seeing they've tracked this deal back to 2007 now. The ATF tried to flood the news with positive spin after CBS ran this a couple of weeks ago hoping it would die of neglect but just like Jack in the "Shining".....it's back!
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Old March 8, 2011, 10:06 PM   #34
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kilimanjaro:
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We're all supposed to be law-abiding gun owners and licensees.....no one has any business aiding and abetting some lawless political scheme, immunity or not, that results in trafficking arms to criminals. The parties to the scheme should have to literally steal the arms in order to further their goals, whatever they are. Let 'em get caught doing that, even the jackleg media can't ignore it.
I wonder if this violates any "international laws" since they apparently did NOT have the permission of the Mexican Government to do this.

I'm encouraged to see multiple media outlets, including CBS and the LA Times covering this. When you get the anti-gun/pro-gun-control media beating up a big government agency in charge of gun control, you know the excrement is hitting the rotating air movement device.

I wouldn't mind seeing this go right to Eric Holder and seeing that wimpy little AG taken down, maybe even tossed into the federal pen. He's a big time gun banner. I don't take kindly to people who want to take away my civil rights which he's supposed to protect according the the 2nd A.
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Old March 8, 2011, 10:11 PM   #35
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Mac11:
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CBS ran an update on "Gunwalker" tonite. Looks like ATF may have a problem seeing they've tracked this deal back to 2007 now. The ATF tried to flood the news with positive spin after CBS ran this a couple of weeks ago hoping it would die of neglect but just like Jack in the "Shining".....it's back!
Apparently, they're going to have their hands full with this problem. When the anti gun media from your own side is the pet Yorkie nipping at your heels, you know the pit bull is going to come after you eventually, and it'll go for the throat. I bet some of these BATFE folks involved are shaking in their jackboots (as Wayne Lappierre referred to some of the worst of them a few years back).
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Old March 8, 2011, 10:21 PM   #36
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I know that David Codrea has been wondering how long (and what) it will take to get the MSM to acknowledge this thing. It's now appearing that the media is waking up... Except perhaps the most influential newspaper of them all - The Washington Post. They appear to be dead, in respect to this story.
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Old March 8, 2011, 11:38 PM   #37
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Except perhaps the most influential newspaper of them all - The Washington Post. They appear to be dead, in respect to this story.
I have hope that George Will or Charles Krauthammer will write an editorial about this. Seems to be right up their alley.
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Old March 9, 2011, 02:49 AM   #38
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I have hope that George Will or Charles Krauthammer will write an editorial about this. Seems to be right up their alley.
I agree. However, this is a pretty extraordinary situation. To a journalist (or any skeptic), such strong accusations demand equally strong evidence. I'd want to be sure before I went writing on this in a national news outlet.

Until a couple of weeks ago, the only evidence was hearsay. Heck, I initially wrote it off as wishful alarmism. Now that it's concrete, things will likely accelerate.
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Old March 9, 2011, 08:33 AM   #39
Bartholomew Roberts
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Except perhaps the most influential newspaper of them all - The Washington Post. They appear to be dead, in respect to this story.
The Washington Post Company owns Kaplan, Inc. - the for-profit educational group that brought in $2.3 billion to the Post in 2008 (accounting for 58% of the revenue of the WaPo Co.) and is currently being "scrutinized" by the Department of Education.

I don't know if the WaPo's journalistic integrity has been compromised by this; but I wouldn't be too surprised to learn that the WaPo doesn't want to press too hard on the Administration when the part of its business that brings in 58% of the revenue is on the table.
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Old March 9, 2011, 11:26 AM   #40
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CBS has found that this practice has been going on since at least 2008. Back then, it was called "Wide Receiver."

From another indictment dated 12/08:

Quote:
ATF Special Agents conducted surveillance, recorded firearms transactions, and identified the dates and times that the conspirators herein cross the international border.
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Old March 9, 2011, 03:02 PM   #41
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I wonder how long they would allow full auto Chinese AK's and grenades, bought in Mexico to go wandering around in our country if we had groups of narco traffickers killing US citizens.

Seems to me, that we are allowing Mexican citizens to die, in an effort to charge a few bad guys with as many counts of lying on a 4473 as possible.

Once you get the first SUV load of 30 rifles, all bought by one person, going over the border, seems the case is pretty well made to me.

Also, I love how the least harmful drug, but the most profitable one, seems to be the currency used to fund all these purchases.

Makes a great case to legalize cannabis, once and for all, and take away the main money stream for the cartels.

If you didn't have to watch for the TONS of weed coming in, it would make the search for heroin, cocaine, and meth a hell of alot easier.
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Old March 9, 2011, 08:09 PM   #42
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The topic is ATF gunrunning. Drugs and drug trafficking are peripheral issues. Let's keep them there.

Grassley wants the current DOJ appointed IG to recuse herself and wants an independent IG to investigate. Sends letter to Kevin Perkins, Chairman of the Integrity Committee: http://grassley.senate.gov/about/upl...m-ATF-case.pdf

Foxnews had front page coverage earlier today. Now at: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/09...candal-border/

Grassley questions DHS Sec. Napolitano: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_16...html?tag=stack
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Old March 9, 2011, 09:25 PM   #43
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I just don't get the logic of the whole sting. Let the guns walk in hopes of nabbing someone higher up, but the higher ups are all in Mexico where the ATF has no jurisdiction.

There has to be a more devious explanation because the logic of their sting just doesn't pan out.
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Old March 9, 2011, 10:53 PM   #44
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I don't know if the WaPo's journalistic integrity has been compromised by this
They wrote about it today, although through some fairly dim lenses:

Quote:
Because of weak gun laws and investigative limitations imposed at the urging of the gun lobby, many gunrunning cases end with little more than paperwork violations against buyers who procure guns for others.
The folks who initially brought this matter forward are referred to as, "Anti-ATF bloggers sympathetic to the militia movement." Go figure.

USA Today has also picked up on the story.

I'm not sure if there's a causal relationship, but the ATF's request for emergency funding to track multiple sales of long guns in border states has been denied.
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:10 AM   #45
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A side issue that may never be addressed . . .

The Washington Post article mentioned:
Quote:
The undercover operation's goal, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich said in a letter to Grassley, was "to dismantle the entire trafficking organization, not merely to arrest straw purchasers."

Weich added: "The allegation - that ATF 'sanctioned' or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them into Mexico - is false."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...030901985.html

The latter assertion is now demonstrably false. A side issue is whether AAG Weich was aware of Project Gunrunner when he made this assertion. Some members here will remember that one of the charges against Oliver North was lying to Congress, though not under oath.
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Old March 10, 2011, 02:38 AM   #46
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I wonder about their infatuation with the 5.7 pistols
There has been an ongoing effort by anti-firearms groups to demonize the Five-seveN since its civilian inception. Perhaps that effort goes to this scandal.

SOURCE

Quote:
In early 2005, the pistol was subject to intense controversy after the Brady Campaign stated that commercially available 5.7x28mm SS192 ammunition penetrated a Level IIA Kevlar vest in testing.[18][44] The National Rifle Association shortly countered the Brady Campaign's claim by pointing out that the gun control group may not have adhered to standard testing procedures, and that FN only offers armor-piercing varieties of the 5.7x28mm cartridge to military and law enforcement customers.[44][45] Varieties offered to civilians are classified by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as not armor-piercing, and it was claimed that the SS192 and SS196 cartridge variations were unable to penetrate various types of Kevlar vests in tests conducted by FNH USA.[46]

[MORE]
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Old March 10, 2011, 10:01 AM   #47
Bartholomew Roberts
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They wrote about it today, although through some fairly dim lenses:
True, although there is some interesting information in there if you supplement your reading with other sources - did you catch the part where ATF had initiated a criminal investigation against Carter's Country for doing what ATF told them to do? Apparently now that the cat is out of the bag, they dropped the criminal investigation; but how scary is that if you are an FFL? I wonder if Carter's Country tried to stop cooperating and ATF leaned on them?

And as usualy, WaPo carries water for the ATF: "many gunrunning cases end with little more than paperwork violations against buyers who procure guns for others. Such so-called straw purchaser cases rarely amount to more than charges of lying on federal documents."

Last time I looked, that was a crime that could land you up to TEN YEARS in a federal prison. That isn't exactly a walk in the park. If 10 years in a federal prison isn't deterrent enough, then what is? And all you have to prove is that the guy lied on the paperwork. Way to unconditionally whitewash the story WaPo.

Plus as KyJim notes, Weich's statement is clearly false. They have video of the ATF watching these guys buy the weapons and drive off. They have logs showing the date and time the weapons crossed into Mexico. If ATF didn't allow the sales of weapons to a straw purchaser who took them into Mexico, then how did that happen?
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:26 PM   #48
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According to a letter [pdf] sent to Attorney General Holder from 13 members of the Judiciary committee:

Quote:
We find it ironic that the government allowed guns to be trafficked into Mexico as part of a program designed to stop guns from being trafficked into Mexico.
The letter quotes from a DOJ review [pdf] from 11/2010, in which the ATF was found to be "not responsive" to their recommendations.
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Old March 10, 2011, 02:16 PM   #49
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The letter quotes from a DOJ review [pdf] from 11/2010, in which the ATF was found to be "not responsive" to their recommendations.
I had not seen this review, nor have I read the entire contents. I did look at the Executive Summary and the Results portion in the first part of the report. I found the following excerpt from page 9 to be interesting:
Quote:
A June 2009 Government Accountability Office report estimated that trace data was submitted to ATF on less than a quarter of the guns seized in Mexico. Further, most trace requests that are submitted to ATF from Mexico are considered “unsuccessful” because of missing or improperly entered gun data. Although ATF has provided Mexican law enforcement with training in firearms identification, we found the percentage of total trace requests that succeed has declined since the start of Project Gunrunner. Moreover, few of the traces that do succeed generate usable investigative leads because guns submitted for tracing often were seized by Mexican officials years before the trace requests were submitted. In such cases, the time at which a gun was transferred illegally may be outside the statute of limitations and charges cannot be brought against those responsible.

We determined that Mexican law enforcement authorities do not view gun tracing as an important investigative tool for them.
(footnote 5 omitted)

Basically, the review is stating that from Mexico's viewpoint, Project Gunrunner and the trace of firearms seized in Mexico is a waste of time! That certainly shoots a lot of holes into positions taken by the mainstream media and certain segments of our political leadership.
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Old March 11, 2011, 04:31 PM   #50
Bartholomew Roberts
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This should be interesting... apparently at least one Mexican politician is announcing he will ask the United States to extradite the ATF agents responsible for Fast and Furious to Mexico to stand charges:

http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogsp...-declared.html
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