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BATFE To Issue “Demand Letter” To Dealers This Week

July 26, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BATFE To Issue “Demand Letter” To Dealers This Week

Multiple Rifle Sales Reports to Begin on August 14

Prior Belief That Executive Order Would “Enact” This Was In Error

FBI May Be Implicated in BATFE Gun Smuggling Program

NICS System Allowed Prohibited Sales

PHOENIX — July 25, 2011
by Alan Korwin
The Uninvited Ombudsman
Full contact info at end

According to four BATFE agents familiar with the planned Fast and Furious gun-smuggling “fix,” the bureau plans to release a “demand letter” by the end of this week, insisting that gun dealers in the four Mexico-border states begin reporting multiple rifle sales to the bureau.

All multiple rifle sales made to the same buyer within a five-day period will have to be reported beginning on August 14, on a form to be announced, according to the agents. The order will exclude rifles in .22 caliber, and rifles without detachable magazines. The agents acknowledged that congressional action, lawsuits, an injunction or other court orders might forestall the implementation of the hastily concocted scheme. Such preventive measures are already underway.

The rumored executive order to require gun dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to begin reporting multiple rifle sales to BATFE will not be issued. A previous Page Nine report that referred to the expected EO now appears incorrect. It is possible that the uproar over the program caused the administration to change its approach, and put all the heat on BATFE to “enact” law without Congress. The EO was widely reported and anticipated.

An exhaustive examination of statutory authority under which BATFE is required to operate revealed no legitimate power to demand these records, though the agents claimed they do have authority (two younger ones said they have no control over the process, and were simply following along). When questioned if they would consider resigning if asked to implement an illegally introduced rule, the agents all either declined to answer or said no, they would not resign.

Because a buyer will have to be identified to show that the sales reflect purchase by one person, the record collections will be a gun registry tied to gun ownership, which is strictly forbidden under federal law. No requirement to destroy these records exists, since no authority to collect the records exists. The BATFE agents said they would not be keeping the records, because they “lack authority,” but could not identify a time frame in which the registry information would be destroyed, or any audit trail.

When pressed, the senior official identified a statute that supposedly conveyed authority for the daring plan. The citation is to 18 USC §923(g)(5)(A) which states:

“Each licensee shall, when required by letter issued by the Attorney General, and until notified to the contrary in writing by the Attorney General, submit on a form specified by the Attorney General, for periods and at the times specified in such letter, all record information required to be kept by this chapter or such lesser record information as the Attorney General in such letter may specify.”

This does not confer the needed authority, because “all record information required to be kept by this chapter” does not include multiple sales of long guns to the same person in a five-day period. The agent disagreed. In fact, Congress specifically excluded such information when it enacted, by due process, a statute requiring similar information for handguns in the same law, in 18 USC §923(g)(3)(A):

“Each licensee shall prepare a report of multiple sales or other dispositions whenever the licensee sells or otherwise disposes of, at one time or during any five consecutive business days, two or more pistols, or revolvers, or any combination of pistols and revolvers totaling two or more, to an unlicensed person.”

In addition to the creation of this illegal reporting requirement, illegal gun-owner registry, with unknown details and no public control over the rule-making process, it amounts to record keeping specifically banned under the Firearm Owners Protection Act, 18 USC §926(a)(2):

“No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act [5/19/86] may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, 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 disposition be established.”

Like so many laws the federal government writes, this one declares that these acts cannot legally be done, but provides no specific punishment for perpetrators, such as those running this scheme inside BATFE. Laws could be written with teeth, to control bureaucrats. Instead of saying, “No one may collect this information,” the law could say, “Anyone who collects this information shall go to prison and pay a fine.” Given the common abuses now prevalent in government, such laws have been needed for a long time, on a state and local level as well as federally, some legislators say. Any legislator unwilling to draft laws that way, allowing “officials” to do whatever they please without consequence, deserves to be removed from office, according to leading experts.

FBI Implicated in Gun-Smuggling Operation

In other news, an insider source investigating BATFE’s gun smuggling to vicious Mexican drug cartels, reveals that several of the so-called “straw purchasers” were prohibited possessors, or had suspended drivers’ licenses and other problems that should have prevented them from passing the NICS background check.

Three of the straw purchasers, now indicted, had criminal histories, including a pending class 3 felony charge for burglary, an order of protection, a domestic-violence conviction, and a felony for resisting
arrest, later reduced (and criminal damage charge dropped). Any of these should have prevented, or at least delayed purchases when they hit the FBI NICS computer. One defendant even had a CCW permit, under circumstances that seem suspicious but remain unclear.

Whistleblower BATFE agent John Dodson apparently indicated that the NICS system had these buyers flagged for special treatment, and that when a sale request came through, it was routed to a special FBI office that approved the purchases, according to William La Jeunesse at FOX News. Dodson’s prior statements are absolutely incriminating, and riveting: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/03/eveningnews/main20039031.shtml

This implies that the FBI may have been complicit in the scheme, allowing BATFE’s mules to get possession of guns when they should have been blocked. How people with disqualifying criminal records or a suspended driver’s license could have repeatedly gotten through the tightly run NICS system is difficult to otherwise explain.

Some of the buyers were young adults living at home with parents, and with no visible means of support. How they got the tens of thousands of dollars in cash they repeatedly spent has not yet been investigated, but is sure to come out. The tax and IRS angles are also missing from all reports, so far.

IRS is often vigorous on tracking down unreported income and huge cash transactions, but is not involved as far as published reports go. BATFE installed video cameras at some of the gun shops and have the straw-purchase smugglers’ transactions recorded.

No information is available on how the data BATFE hopes to collect will be used to prevent gun smuggling. Since the information will be gathered by the very bureau responsible for smuggling guns into Mexico, confidence in the scheme is very low. BATFE claims the scheme will generate 18,000 records per year, but how they could possibly know that is unclear, since this is illegal and has never been done before.

Congressional hearings on the BATFE gun-smuggling program continue tomorrow, Tuesday, July 26, 2011, 10 a.m. East coast time, 7 a.m. here in Arizona. The effect on the gun reporting and registration scheme, if any, is impossible to determine ahead of time.

Tangential but important —

According to Wikipedia, BATFE has digitized out-of-business records from gun dealers, with several hundred million records in its hands:

4. Out of Business Records. Data is manually collected from paper Out-of-Business records (or input from computer records) and entered into the trace system by ATF. These are registration records which include name and address, make, model, serial and caliber of the firearm(s), as well as data from the 4473 form — in digital or image format. In March, 2010, ATF reported receiving several hundred million records since 1968. [9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearm_Owners_Protection_Act

::::

One final note —

BATFE began circulating a flier at the Crossroads of the West gun show in Phoenix this past weekend, the state’s biggest gun show, threatening gun owners with arrest if they bear arms within 1,000 feet of a school.

Virtually all populated areas are within 1,000 feet of a school.

The gun-free-school-zones act, a feel-good do-nothing law passed by President Clinton, has languished basically unused for two decades, but essentially criminalizes almost all gun owners, creating tens of millions of unenforceable felonies daily. If Mr. Obama wants an under-the-radar gun ban, here it is on a platter, already on the books. This law MUST be dealt with by our legislators, and right quick.

The Crossroads gun show takes place within 1,000 feet of a school zone.

See the maps, and the simple amendment that would correct this travesty. http://www.gunlaws.com/Gun_Free_School_Zones.htm

This is a special report from The Uninvited Ombudsman, Alan Korwin, author of the Page Nine news media watchblog. http://www.gunlaws.com/PageNineIndex.htm

Sign up for direct email reports yourself http://www.gunlaws.com

Permission to circulate this report granted.

Alan Korwin
Bloomfield Press
“We publish the gun laws.”
4848 E. Cactus, #505-440
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
602-996-4020 Phone
602-494-0679 Fax
1-800-707-4020 Orders
http://www.gunlaws.com
alan@gunlaws.com
Call, write, fax or click for free full-color catalog
(This is our address and info as of Jan. 1, 2007)

“Don’t be a spectator in the struggle to preserve freedom.”

“No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could do only a little.”
–Edmund Burke

Public sentiment is everything.
With public sentiment, nothing can fail.
Without it, nothing can succeed. –Abraham Lincoln

Obama Executive Order Cannot Legally Enact Rifle-Reporting Law

July 14, 2011

Effort to Bypass Congress Is Illegitimate, Experts Say

Similar Laws Have Required Bills, Open Debate, Recorded Votes

News Media Asleep at the Wheel, Reporting Without Questioning

Firearm Owners Protection Act Bans Such Proposals Altogether

Congress Already Rejected Reporting for Long Guns

If this stands up, limits on power fall apart — Is that the true goal of Project Gunrunner?

The effort by the Obama administration to establish new gun law by executive order is not a legal method for enacting law in the United States, according to Alan Korwin, a national expert on gun law and author of nine books on the subject. Other experts agree that such a measure requires an act of Congress, and cannot legitimately be implemented by executive order, as Mr. Obama is attempting to do.

“We already have rapid-reporting requirements for multiple firearm sales, for handguns,” Mr. Korwin notes, “and this required Congress to draft and enact a statute, which became federal law 18 U.S.C. §923(g). It’s not legal to create another similar law for long guns without Congress,” Korwin says.

When that law was changed to allow reporting of multiple handgun sales to local authorities, in addition to federal officials, that also required federal law, which was passed as part of the Brady bill. Congress had an opportunity to include long guns in those reporting requirements, and rejected it. Congress is the only entity with legitimate power to change that, Korwin and other experts say.

According to knowledgeable observers, a firearms bill like this would not make it through Congress, since the House is firmly in pro-gun-rights Republican hands. This may explain Obama’s effort to sidestep Congress and attempt to enact a gun law by decree instead of due process and open
transparent deliberation. “Mr. Obama knows such a bill would have no chance of passage in the current Congress. His attempt to avoid Congress is an affront to all Americans, regardless of where they stand on the gun-rights issue,” said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. “Apparently the president is a fan of former Clinton advisor Paul Begala’s approach to government: “Stroke of the pen, law of the land. Kinda cool!”

A president who attempts to pass laws on his own is dangerous to the nation.

“If the administration can get away with this and enact new law without Congress, there is no practical limit on presidential exercise of power, a truly frightening development,” says Philip Van Cleave, a civil-rights activist and president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. “Even attempting to grab such power is a tyrannical act,” Van Cleave says.

No justification or rationale is known that would allow such action regarding rifle sales, when the essentially same law for handguns required a bill and proper passage. This goes even one step further than Obama’s federal health care law, which then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said we would have to pass to learn what’s in it. That at least used Congress for an appearance of legitimacy, this bypasses Congress completely.

Equal treatment under the law would also be defeated by the move, since the attempt singles out dealers in only four states — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. One gun dealer, who refused to be identified, pointed out that this will force Mexico’s deadly vicious drug cartels to make their illegal straw purchases in the other 46 states.

Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Oklahoma are the next closest states to the Mexican border, and could conceivably see an uptick in the sales Obama claims he is trying to thwart. Those states would be under no obligation to report multiple sales, though licensed dealers are typically vigilant and report sales that seem suspicious, if for no other reason than to protect their licenses to operate.

“The whole scheme is preposterous,” says Kim Grady, a board member and national coordinator for Second Amendment Sisters. “Federal agents were the ones smuggling guns into Mexico in the first place, to bolster the numbers Mr. Obama, Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder were loudly promoting to build support for more gun control — even after their numbers were exposed as false,” Ms. Grady notes. “The ATF-managed straw sales were repeatedly reported to ATF officials, who ignored the information. Now dealers will be required to do what they were already doing, to the rogue agency that ignored them? This has nothing to do with gun control, and everything to do with control.” If a new law is needed, Grady said, it’s one to imprison federal agents who cooperate in gun smuggling, not more paperwork for honest and conscientious licensed business people.

According to ATF, the new edict will generate 18,000 reports in a year. It is unknown where the staff and money to handle such a load will come from, or how the information will be used. FOPA specifically bans collecting this information in any sort of federal facility.

According to Charles Heller, the newly appointed executive director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, “The ultimate aim of all regulations like the one in this executive order, is to make it so difficult for private citizens to own and shoot a gun, that they no longer bother to do so. This is EXACTLY what the Declaration of Independence, whose anniversary we just celebrated, refers to as ‘sending forth agents to eat out our substance.'”

Heller notes that, “In the recent Gunrunner debacle, the Obama administration attempted to pad the statistics of ‘crime guns’ going to Mexico from the U.S. This is a violation of several U.S. laws, committed by law enforcement agents who failed to refuse illegal orders. The solution is simple and straightforward — disarm the agents and decertify the agency as a law enforcement organization. Remove their badges, and give them business cards like any other bureaucrats. Turn them from jack-boots into gumshoes.”

According to published reports, Obama promised action on gun restrictions to long-time anti-rights activist Sarah Brady, saying they would come “under the radar,” after he got things properly positioned. It defies imagination to suggest that Project Gunrunner, and the Fast and Furious smuggling crimes were just fronts that had nothing to do with padding the numbers, gun smuggling, or even building political support for gun control. “If that was just a smokescreen, all arranged so Mr. Obama could begin enacting gun law by decree instead of through Congress, now that would be one slick pre-planned political stratagem,” said author Korwin, adding, “I can’t believe he’s that clever, but it sure looks like he’s getting that result.”

The NRA has promised a lawsuit to fight the administration’s decree, about the only action short of impeachment that can be taken if a president acts outside the law. That case would be heard in federal courts, which operate under Obama’s Justice Dept. and AG Eric Holder, which have in the past mysteriously dismissed cases they did not like. Voter intimidation by a black panther in Philadelphia, for example, disappeared, even though the club-wielding perp was caught on videotape.

###

BACKGROUNDER

As early as Dec. 17, 2010, the National Shooting Sports Foundation reported that an effort was underway to create rifle-reporting requirements:

“An editorial in today’s Washington Post discussed the recent decision by ATF to require federally licensed firearms retailers along the Southwest border to report multiple sales, or other dispositions, of most semi-automatic rifles. Specifically this would impact semi-automatic rifles that are larger than .22 caliber, capable of accepting a detachable magazine and are purchased by the same individual within five consecutive business days.

“Though the Post supports this ill-advised proposal, it did acknowledge the legitimacy surrounding one of industry’s objections:

“When reports of its plan surfaced, the administration came under immediate attack from the gun rights lobby. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, argued that the administration lacked the legal authority to demand data on rifles and shotguns. It has a point: While Congress authorized the ATF to collect information on handgun sales, it declined to extend the requirement to long guns. A court is likely to be asked to decide whether demand letters may be used to shake loose this information …”
http://www.nssfblog.com/atf-to-require-multiple-sales-reports-for-long-guns/

NSSF continues to oppose multiple sales reporting of semi-automatic rifles. Such reporting requirements will actually make it more difficult for licensed retailers to help law enforcement as traffickers modify their illegal schemes to circumvent the reporting requirement. Traffickers will go further underground, hiring more people to buy their firearms. This will make it much harder for retailers to identify and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement.
http://www.nssfblog.com/more-on-atf-multiple-sales-reporting/

NSSF would also like to remind all members of industry, sportsmen and gun owners to voice their concerns by doing the following:

1. — Call the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulation Affairs, Department of Justice, Desk Officer at (202) 395-6466.

2. — E-mail Barbara A. Terrell, ATF, Firearms Industry Programs Branch at Barbara.Terrell@atf.gov

3. — Call your Senators and Representative: United States Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

The NSSF reports that, “According to ATF, the average age of a firearm recovered in the United States is 11 years old. In Mexico it’s more than 14 years old. This demonstrates that criminals are not using new guns bought from retailers in the states.”

Congress, when it enacted multiple sales reporting for handguns, could have required multiple sales of long guns — it specifically chose not to.

The Washington Post reported on Dec. 17 of last year that, “The plan (to register rifles) by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revives a proposal that has languished at the Justice Department and in the Obama administration for several months, according to people with knowledge of the proposal… The idea of such a requirement is so controversial to many gun owners that administration officials proceeded cautiously for fear of provoking the National Rifle Association, sources said.”

The paper quoted Ted Novin, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, who noted the timing after the election and said, “This is an ill-considered proposal and one that ATF does not have the legal authority to unilaterally impose.”

The Post also quoted NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox, “This administration does not have the guts to build a wall (on the border), but they do have the audacity to blame and register gun owners for Mexico’s problems,” Cox said. “NRA supports legitimate efforts to stop criminal activity, but we will not stand idle while our Second Amendment is sacrificed for politics.”

The original idea, says the Post, was to label the operation as an emergency, and have ATF issue a “demand letter” to 8,500 dealers in the four border states requiring the new reports to a centralized federal facility.

When the NRA got wind of the idea back then, it warned its four million members in a “grassroots alert” that the administration might try to go around Congress to get such a plan enacted as an executive order or rule.

“Emergency approval would last six months, after which the requirement would end unless other action were taken, the draft states,” according to the Post. That time is now up and Obama has seen fit to attempt to continue the operation, in defiance of law and with disregard for Congress.
http://tinyurl.com/6c37t97

From the Firearm Owners Protection Act 18 USC §926 Rules and regulations

“The Attorney General may prescribe only such rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter…

(3)… No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act (1986) may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, 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.”
This is a special report from The Uninvited Ombudsman, Alan Korwin, author of the Page Nine news media watchblog.
http://www.gunlaws.com/PageNineIndex.htm

Sign up for direct email reports yourself
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Alan Korwin
Bloomfield Press
“We publish the gun laws.”
4848 E. Cactus, #505-440
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
602-996-4020 Phone
602-494-0679 Fax
1-800-707-4020 Orders
http://www.gunlaws.com
alan@gunlaws.com
Call, write, fax or click for free full-color catalog
(This is our address and info as of Jan. 1, 2007)

“Don’t be a spectator in the struggle to preserve freedom.”

“No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”
–Edmund Burke

Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed. –Abraham Lincoln
============

Resources from Bloomfield Press:

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http://www.gunlaws.com/PageNineIndex.htm

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