It Looks Like Private FFL's Are a Thing Again

December 29th, 2016

Once upon a time, you could order a gun through the Sears catalog and have it mailed to your door.  Contrary to much of the political rhetoric you may have heard, that's no longer the case.  In fact, it hasn't been since 1968, when the Gun Control Act mandated the requirement for a Federal Firearms License (FFL) to transfer firearms.  Essentially, one had to acquire the license to "deal" in firearms, and the licensee would act as a gatekeeper between manufacturers and the general public.

Many collectors acquired the license and used it to transfer firearms to friends and other collectors. …

B. Todd Jones Resigns

March 20th, 2015

B. Todd Jones has announced his resignation as director of the ATF, with only 11 days' notice.  I don't know if it has anything to do with the backlash from his plan to reclassify M855 ammunition as "armor piercing," but the coincidence is hard to miss.  When he spoke to the Senate Appropriations committee last week, he had the look of a man who'd found himself dumped in the deep end of the pool.

To be honest, you couldn't pay me to do his job.  Anyone taking the position inherits a plethora of troubles from an agency dogged by scandal.

Sensenbrenner Wants to Shut Down the ATF

September 18th, 2014

So, we've got a proposal on the table [pdf] to break up the ATF and fold its responsibilities into other law-enforcement agencies. The idea is to give the FBI authority to enforce firearms regulations while giving the alcohol/tobacco stuff over to the DEA.

I'd love to see it happen. Homer Cummings' little post-Prohibition revenue collection agency has grown into the arbiter of our firearms laws, and it would be a gross understatement to say they've done a horrendous job of it.

This is the agency that funneled guns across the border to Mexico in the Fast & Furious …

ATF Pushing Ahead with 41P

September 15th, 2014

A year ago, the President advanced a number of regulatory proposals on gun control. One of the more esoteric ones involved changing the way trusts are handled in regards to NFA firearms.

The original action date was to have been last June, but the BATFE was deluged with comments. While action appeared to have been pushed back to 2015, the Bureau has recently published a draft form [pdf].

Essentially, any "responsible party" of a trust or corporation must now file this form and seek approval from local law enforcement. That approval is impossible to obtain in many areas.

The …

Fast & Furious: Unexpected Progress

July 31st, 2014

Two years ago, Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress. At issue was his refusal to turn over documents crucial to the investigation of the ATF's disastrous Fast & Furious operation. The President invoked executive privilege and refused to turn over the information.

Shortly after, the website Judicial Watch made an Freedom of Information Act request for those documents. Nothing came of it, so they filed a lawsuit in September of 2012. That lawsuit was decided earlier this month by U.S. District Court Judge John Bates, who ruled that the Department of Justice must provide

10th Circuit Upholds Multiple Long Gun Reporting

July 28th, 2014

In 2011, the ATF began requiring dealers in Southwestern border states to report sales of multiple semiautomatic rifles to individual purchasers. The ATF doesn't have the authority to do this.* As such, the requirement has been challenged in the DC and 5th Circuit courts, but it was upheld in both instances.

Today, the 10th Circuit issued a ruling [pdf] affirming them.

Among the lovely chestnuts of wisdom was this:

A review of Project Gunrunner conducted by the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) indicates that tracing guns seized in Mexico can provide “crucial” information in gun-trafficking investigations

Proper Spelling

January 16th, 2014

So, this week is SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The ATF maintains a booth there, and someone thought it would be witty to do this:

ATF Sign Defaced

Of course, when one considers the fact that our tax dollars paid for that sign, the joke's on us. I'm sure this brave and clear act of civil disobedience inspired a road to Damascus moment among the agents present. I wouldn't be surprised if it made the entire agency consider a change in mission and philosophy, and…

Yeah. Um, no.

While we're at it, the correct spelling is "Molon …

41P on Hold for Now

January 15th, 2014

The American Silencer Association met with the ATF yesterday, and this is what we know about the proposed rule change:

There were 9500 comments, 1000 of which were rejected for "vulgarity, anonymity, or non-applicability." (Thanks for the Obama Kenya Nazi thing, Joe Bob)
The ATF has to respond to every comment in writing. This means, even if they decide to go ahead with the rule change, it will be at least six months to a year before it takes effect.
We don't know if Forms 1 and 4 already in process will be affected. Based on history, the ASA …

Fast & Furious: Censorship

October 8th, 2013

Special Agent John Dodson was on the ground during the initial stages of the ATF's botched Fast & Furious operation. When he came forward as a whistleblower, Arizona US Attorney Dennis Burke leaked an internal memo to the media in an attempt to discredit Dodson's testimony to Congress on the operation.

He has authored a book covering his experiences, but the Bureau is attempting to block publication. Their rationale is that it "would have a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix [Field Division] and would have a detrimental effect on our relationships with DEA and FBI."

Right. …

Proposed Changes to NFA Rules

September 8th, 2013

One of the "executive actions" the President proposed last month has been submitted to the Federal Register as a rules change proposal. It involves changing the way NFA items are registered to trusts.

When paying the tax and registering an NFA weapon, one can register it to himself as an individual. However, if he wants to grant possession to someone else, it has to be transferred again, thus incurring another round of paperwork, delay, and remuneration to the ATF. He also has to secure approval from his local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO), usually a sheriff or police chief. Such approval is at the discretion of the officer, and many choose not to grant it.

The alternative is to register the weapon to a trust. In that case, local law enforcement need not be involved, and other parties may be granted access to the weapon by simply adding them as trustees. Recently, we've been expected to believe that this is an easy and surefire method for felons to gain access to such weapons.

This makes little sense. By the administration's logic, felons are inclined and motivated to,

seek out an attorney and pay hundreds of dollars to establish a trust,
pay significant premiums for heavily regulated weapons,
submit the proper paperwork for approval,
pay a $200 tax, and
wait 6-8 months for processing.

If this ever happens, I submit that those who propose making things harder prove it. I don't expect a response.

On to the specifics. The actual petition is here. I'll warn that it's not an easy read.

Executive "Actions" on Guns

August 29th, 2013

Todd Jones will be sworn in as new Director for the BATFE today. This marks the first time the position has been filled since Carl Truscott left in 2006.

The administration is using this as an opportunity to announce two new executive actions regarding guns. I know what an executive order is, but executive action is a new one for me. Apparently, I'm not the only one confused by this.

The White House has a "fact sheet" here. The first measure is a moratorium on the importation of military surplus guns for the civilian market. Apparently, this "will help keep military-grade …

Todd Jones Confirmed

July 31st, 2013

Former Minnesota US Attorney Todd Jones has been confirmed by the Senate to be permanent director of the BATFE. Despite concerns over Jones' record as US Attorney, the Senate voted 53-42 for confirmation. Among the "ayes" were Mark Kirk (R-IL.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Susan Collins (R-ME.), Lindsay Graham (R-SC.), John McCain (R-AZ.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

The Bureau has been without a permanent director since Carl Truscott left under a shadow of ethics and budget violations in 2006. Despite the Bureau having to skimp on things like routine vehicle maintenance, he felt it necessary to spend $300,000 redecorating his office. …

Next Page »