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Old October 6, 2023, 01:53 PM   #26
JohnKSa
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What do you think the penalty is for a BATF agent or federal prosecutor if they initiate a prosecution against someone for dealing without a license but the case does not result in a conviction? My guess is no penalty at all.

What do you think defending against a federal prosecution (even successfully) would cost in terms of time, money and stress? What are the chances that you would lose your job in the process, if employed?

I'll bet that the vast majority of people standing on their doorstep holding a cease and desist letter from a federal law enforcement agency would have absolutely zero problem filling in the 'or' even if it were not explicitly stated.
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Old October 6, 2023, 05:06 PM   #27
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I'll bet that the vast majority of people standing on their doorstep holding a cease and desist letter from a federal law enforcement agency would have absolutely zero problem filling in the 'or' even if it were not explicitly stated.
Sure, and that's why they do it, it almost always works.
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Old October 7, 2023, 11:24 PM   #28
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Mexico

Interestingly, the fella I overheard running his mouth referenced "guns turning up in Mexico" as being mentioned by the ATF agents with which he was speaking. I left this out for the sake of brevity in my initial post.
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Old October 8, 2023, 02:30 AM   #29
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Let's not forget that a LOT of guns from the U.S. have ended up in Mexico because the BATFE sent them there as part of Operation Fast and Furious.

Maybe the administration should focus on closing the BATFE loophole.
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Old October 8, 2023, 04:03 AM   #30
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Let's not forget that a LOT of guns from the U.S. have ended up in Mexico because the BATFE sent them there as part of Operation Fast and Furious.
Still don't know why no one ever went to prison over that mess, somehow leaving Fed service to become Mayor of Chicago doesn't seem like appropriate punishment for the tragic failure the operation was.

I don't think its entirely accurate to say Fast & Furious sent guns to Mexico, but a number of them did go south and not only did the ATF allow it, it is on record that they forbid FFLs to prevent it. It was claimed that the Feds could trace the guns and somehow get "evidence" against the cartels, but how does one trace anything in any foreign country if you don't even tell the foreign govt you are going to try and do that???

The US govt absolutely did send quite a few M16s and other weapons to the Mexican govt as military aid. Trouble with that was, that quite often when Mexican soldiers left the army for better paying jobs with the cartels, they often took those select fire M16s with them.

I do agree, the "loophole" that needs to be plugged is the ATF, but it would take some radical changes to do it. Unlikely even under a pro gun administration, and virtually impossible under one that isn't.
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Old October 8, 2023, 08:01 AM   #31
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We lock our doors to keep honest people out of our homes. Sometimes the biggest difference between recognized government and organized crime is networking and what uniform they're wearing that day. I agree I never understood why fast and the furious got buried like old forgotten garbage.
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Old October 8, 2023, 12:05 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP
I don't think its entirely accurate to say Fast & Furious sent guns to Mexico, but a number of them did go south and not only did the ATF allow it, it is on record that they forbid FFLs to prevent it.
The BATFE did more than just "allow" it. The caper was their idea, and the individuals who bought the guns in the U.S. and transported them into Mexico, while not being actual BATFE agents, undertook the operation at the behest of the BATFE. I don't think it's a stretch to say that the BATFE sent guns to Mexico.
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Old October 8, 2023, 01:18 PM   #33
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The caper was their idea, and the individuals who bought the guns in the U.S. and transported them into Mexico, while not being actual BATFE agents, undertook the operation at the behest of the BATFE.
Ok, I was unaware of that part. To be clear, you're saying that the ATF asked people who were not ATF agents to buy guns in the US and illegally transport them across the border?

Not just a "hands off" of the people who were already doing that??
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Old October 8, 2023, 01:39 PM   #34
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At that time Obama was President. Thats just a fact that stands in its own for context. Please do not accuse me of political conspiracy.

My memory has gone fuzzy a bit, but at that time ,wasn't there some focus on developing an International Arms Treaty that would potentially take global precedence over the 2A Individual RTKBA?

Remember, this was before Heller and Bruen.

The "Never Let A Crisis Go to Waste" Doctrine was in full force, its author was in DC.

The Political Clout to sign such a treaty into effect needed emotion. Outrage.
International Outrage.

Might wholesale cartel slaughter of Good People in Mexico, sons,daughters,mothers fathers ......bodies in the streets killed with guns traceable to USA gun shops on the border be "Politically Useful" to get such a treaty signed?
"If you want to make an omelet,some eggs must be broken" "The Ends Justify the Means" "Its for the Greater Good"
The FFL Dealers were calling the BATF reporting "This shady character wants to by quantity AK-47s cash" And the BATF said "Sell them! We got this!!"

If course, that must be dismissed as "Conspiracy Theory" with the admonition "There is no evidence"

Hmmm. The Attorney General at the time (as I recall) Eric Holder. stonewalled the Congressional Investigation.

We had a lively long running thread on the topic here at TFL.

A person who,IMO, is a true credible Journalist is Sherryl Atkisson. (I hope I spelled it right!)

She covered Fast and Furious in depth. She has a website anyone can find using her name. You can get to an archive of her coverage there.

FWIW, for years Sherryl has been engaged in a lawsuit against the Feds. It seems she caught them up to mischief manipulating her computer files.

I'll say again, its my Constitutionally Protected Opinion the motive behind Fast and Furious was tragedy,bloodshed,terror and grief (At the expense of Mexican Citizens) to provide the International Outrage to create a Treaty to finally defeat the US Constitution. Pesky USA Gun Shops!

Liberty? Individual Rights Granted by the Creator? How quaint! Bah! Humbug! Its time for a Global New ......

Well, BS,

Last edited by HiBC; October 8, 2023 at 01:48 PM.
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Old October 8, 2023, 03:35 PM   #35
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...ATF asked people who were not ATF agents to buy guns in the US and illegally transport them across the border?
No.

Someone at the BATF got the bright idea that they would tell certain FFLs to ignore straw purchases (let them proceed) so they could sell guns with trackers installed to people who might, in turn, sell them to high-level Mexican drug traffickers. That would allow the BATF to arrest them and prosecute them.

The trackers didn't work very well. Supposedly about 2000 guns were involved, of which about 700 were recovered. There were some arrests/indictments, but it doesn't appear that there was much of an impact on the high-level traffickers.
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...wasn't there some focus on developing an International Arms Treaty that would potentially take global precedence over the 2A Individual RTKBA?
Maybe, but that really didn't have anything to do with it. It was just a poorly conceived and ineptly executed attempt at a sting operation.
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Old October 9, 2023, 05:53 AM   #36
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BATF got the bright idea that they would tell certain FFLs to ignore straw purchases
Oh, no. It was worse than that. They openly PRESSURED FFLs to sell guns to suspected traffickers. I know because I was one of them. The Fulton County DA had me (and several other Atlanta area dealers) file an affidavit to that effect.

The reason the story broke was because they had done it to a guy named Andre Howard, proprietor of Lone Wolf Gun Supply in Glendale. A potential customer asked him to order over a dozen WASR-10s. The conversation led him to believe the customer would be trafficking the guns.

Howard called the ATF. They showed up and told him they wanted him to go through with the transaction. Promises were made that the guns would be tracked and that he'd be helping with an investigation. They even put cameras in his shop.

Howard was smart enough to record his conversations with them.

Problem is, the guns walked because nobody from the ATF bothered to follow up. Then one of them was recovered from the scene when Brian Terry was killed. The ATF "leaked" the trace data to the press, and Howard was branded a criminal. It nearly destroyed his business and reputation.

The media hounded him but wouldn't listen when he swore he was cooperating with the ATF. He even offered the recordings. Nobody listened.

Finally, Sharyl Attkison at CBS agreed to talk to him. He pointed out the cameras and played her the recordings. In one of those recordings, he's openly anxious about whether or not the guns are being tracked, and he's reluctant to cooperate. An ASAC named Hope McAllister tells him, "you want to be on our good side. You don't want to know what happens when you're on our bad side."

Howard's story was not at all unique. This happened all over the place. It was the foundation of Fast & Furious. Even when the information went public, it still took months for Congress to investigate.

It's worth noting that our current President was making phone calls to pressure Representatives to drop the investigation. There was a ton of obstruction, including from the US Attorney General. He'd later be held in contempt of Congress TWICE for withholding and/or destroying evidence of the operation.

Holder served out the rest of his term without punishment of any sort. In fact, not a single person involved has ever been charged or so much as demoted. Many of the agents involved on the ground were simply transferred to other offices to get out from under scrutiny.

We had a huge running thread on this at the time with a great deal of information.


A few key bits:
  • there were never any tracking devices installed
  • there were whistleblowers within the ATF. They were intimidated into silence by SAC Gillett in the Tucson office.
  • at one point, SAC David Voth sent out this email to intimidate naysayers within the office
  • in some cases, ATF agents were buying guns themselves and trafficking them. One of them was George Gillett. That gun was used in a mass shooting at a wedding in Mexico.
  • Yes, there had been a similar operation under the Bush administration, but it had been shut down with prejudice when about 3 dozen guns were lost.
  • President Obama was confronted about it in January of 2011 and claimed he was aware of it and was looking into it. AG Holder would later tell Congress he wasn't aware of it until April or May. Yes, this went to the top.

This is a huge scandal and a personal sore point for me.
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Old October 9, 2023, 09:00 AM   #37
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They openly PRESSURED FFLs to sell guns to suspected traffickers.
Isn't that what I said? They told (instructed/commanded/whatever) certain FFLs to ignore purchases that they would have otherwise presumably refused because they thought they were straw purchases to get guns to traffickers in hopes that would allow them to arrest and prosecute them. I don't think anything I said implied that participation was optional on the part of the FFLs involved.
Quote:
there were never any tracking devices installed
Ok, followed up on that. Yes, it does appear that almost none of the guns had tracking devices installed. It looks like they initially intended to do this and made applications to do it but for whatever reason, only a couple of the 2000 or so guns ever had tracking devices installed.
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Old October 9, 2023, 12:21 PM   #38
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While he did not commit a crime, ATF handed him a cease and desist letter telling him that his pattern of buying multiple firearms and that a firearm he once possessed was recovered at a crime scene meant that all future dispositions of firearms would be required to be transferred through a local FFL.
What's the "OR"???? implied criminal prosecution?? Actually stated??
"OR" we consider you as engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without an FFL.



Quote:
There has to be an "or". Cease and Desist, OR X will happen. If the customer telling the story doesn't say what he was threatened with, you certainly can't pass that on, but it leaves me to wonder what the ATF said (if anything) they would do if he didn't comply with their demands.
The cease and desist is a written warning that your conduct may be in violation of federal law and we're giving you this warning so you stop and we won't charge you with dealing in firearms.


Quote:
Prosecute? (and for what, since he "didn't commit a crime"?) It just leaves me wondering what could the ATF actually legally do??
Seriously?
ATF issued the cease and desist letter in the hopes he would curtail his gun selling activities. They don't have to do that.


Quote:
Intimidation by govt agents is not a new thing, it is a long established tactic and generally works because very few people are willing to risk being the "test case" to prove their point.
Absolutely.
But would you rather get a cease and desist letter warning you about your possible violation of federal law or get cuffed and charged immediately?

You might beat the rap, you never beat the ride.
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Old October 9, 2023, 12:33 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP
I don't think its entirely accurate to say Fast & Furious sent guns to Mexico, but a number of them did go south and not only did the ATF allow it, it is on record that they forbid FFLs to prevent it.
The BATFE did more than just "allow" it. The caper was their idea, and the individuals who bought the guns in the U.S. and transported them into Mexico, while not being actual BATFE agents, undertook the operation at the behest of the BATFE. I don't think it's a stretch to say that the BATFE sent guns to Mexico.
You have proof of that?
I ask because I've never read that the straw purchasers were "at the behest" of the ATF or ATF recruiting buyers.

Since the feds charged many of the straw buyers, it would have been entrapment if ATF was the one to send the straw buyer into the gun store.....and that didn't happen.
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Old October 9, 2023, 01:21 PM   #40
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But would you rather get a cease and desist letter warning you about your possible violation of federal law or get cuffed and charged immediately
The letter, no question about it.

And, I agree completely you won't avoid the ride, and worse, even if you beat the rap, you always have to pay for the ride, and most always out of your own pocket.

Personally, I never understood how anyone with two brain cells to rub together could have believed the stated purpose of Fast & Furious could possibly work.

Back to the "Gunshow Loophole"... its a made up BS term meant to imply that people are somehow evading the law when they are in fact, obeying it.

The only thing being evaded is the dreams of the gun banner crowd who are cranky because (so far) they have failed to completely outlaw the buying and selling of firearms by unlicensed citizens.
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Old October 9, 2023, 03:06 PM   #41
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Tom Servo : Thank you for post #36.

I followed this stuff pretty close at the time. Yes, I'm just a guy with pretty much an opinion expressed in post.


Tom Servo mentioned Sheryl Attkisson. Her ethics as a Journalist led her to walk away from her network job to be an independent. She lives on her credibility.

I would urge anyone interested in where Truth lays to go to her website . Its not hard to find. Review her archives on Fast and Furious.

Form your own opinions.
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