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Tag: ATF

Gun Production More Than Doubles Under President Obama’s Presidency

gun rugerBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of guns manufactured in the U.S. more than doubled under President Barack Obama, according to a new ATF report. 

In the past four years beginning with 2010, gun production increase from 5.4 million to 10.8 million, AL.com reports. 

Guns manufactured in the U.S. grew 18% under George W. Bush and declined 9% under Bill Clinton.

The National Association of Gun Rights attributes the rise in gun ownership over fears that Obama wants to take away guns.

“President Obama has made it very clear he wants to strip away our gun rights, so people are going out and purchasing more firearms and ammunition,” said Joe Neville, director of political affairs at the National Association for Gun Rights.

Other Stories of Interest

2 Suspects Shot in ATF-Chicago Police Operation Involving Illegal Weapons

ATF LogoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two suspects were shot Monday night when the ATF and Chicago police were conducting an operation involving illegal firearms.

The weapons raid occurred around 5 p.m. in Chicago Heights, CBS reports. 

Authorities said at least one law enforcement agent opened fire after a suspect pointed a gun at the investigators.

Officials don’t believe the injuries were life-threatening.

No law enforcement officials were injured.

A third suspect was arrested, and the trio is expected to be criminally charged in federal court.

Stories of Other Interest

ATF Official Under Scrutiny for Allegations of Data Breach

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

atf badge

Senior ATF official Scott Sweetow is coming under scrutiny.

The Hill reports that the Justice Department is investigating allegations he may have accessed the personal data of other agency employees and sent the info to his personal email account. The Hill cites CNN as the reporting the matter.

“It appears somebody is actively seeking to damage my reputation,” Sweetow said in a statement to CNN.

“While I respect your desire to look into items which may cross your desk, other than to confirm I am a SES [senior executive service] agent assigned to our National HQ and what limited details I place in social media, I am very guarded about my personal life, and any work products in which I may be working. Because of this, I would direct you to our office of Public and Government Affairs in our National HQ,” he added.

FBI, ATF Join Investigation of Spate of Suspicious Fires at Black Churches

AME Church in Charleston, S.C.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and ATF are helping local authorities investigate a string of recent suspicious fires at black churches in the south.

The church fires broke out in four states, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Three of the four were determined to be arsons, and the other is under investigation, Buzzfeed.com reports.

“They’re being investigated to determine who is responsible and what motives are behind them,” said FBI spokesperson Paul Bresson. “I’m not sure there is any reason to link them together at this point.

Officials were investigating a fifth fire in Elyria, Ohio.

The fires follow the deadly, racially-motivated shooting by Dylann Roof at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Former Congressman: Merging ATF with FBI Would Be Ugly Mistake

By Former Rep. Jim Ross Lightfoot 
For The Hill

The idea of merging the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) into the FBI has reared its ugly head once again. This idea is wrong in so many ways. As a former chairman of the old Treasury, Postal Service and General Government Subcommittee in the Appropriations Committee, which had jurisdiction over the ATF, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Customs Service, and other federal law enforcement, and as a former police officer, I am speaking from experience.

My father used to tell me, “Son, you can’t fix anything until you figure out why it broke.” If Congress had been doing its job, the situation within ATF and other federal agencies would not be a problem today.
It’s all about accountability. Or, I should say, lack of accountability.

For example, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) held extensive hearings into the so-called Fast and Furious fiasco. The people responsible for the operation were identified.

And then the deafening sound of silence. Nothing happened. No one got fired. No one indicted for what was identified as criminal action. No oversight hearings into the operation of the ATF. No questioning of ATF management. No one held accountable for anything.

The only result of these hearings was retribution by ATF management against the agents that came forward and identified the people within ATF behind Fast and Furious.

Ladies and gentlemen of the U.S. Congress, one of your sworn, top duties is accountability from all federal agencies to the American people. You have failed us miserably! The ATF is not the only agency with huge internal problems. You would do the country a huge favor if you would put away the entire headline, photo-op grabbing issues for one whole two-year session of Congress and spend your time doing extensive oversight into all agencies and then taking the appropriate actions to correct the issues you uncover. You all would get reelected.

Senator Joins Critics Calling for ATF to Be Rolled into Another Agency

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

At least one U.S. senator says the time has come to end the ATF and absorb it into other law enforcement agencies.

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming, wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, calling for the ATF to be disbanded if it can’t be adequately reformed.

“As you know, the ATF is one of several federal law enforcement components and has been subject to several recent controversies…Given the ATF’s serious challenges, I believe the Senate should examine these proposals and take action to correct the failures of the ATF,” Enzi wrote.

The senator is among a growing chorus of critics calling for the ATF to be transferred to another agency.

To read the letter, click here. 

Other Stories of Interest


Column: ATF Doesn’t Need to Be Dissolved; It Needs to be Properly Funded, Managed

Dan Thomasson
Las Vegas Sun

Here we go again. Rather than fund the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, let’s tear it up and hand it over to the FBI. The cost of that, of course, would be four to six times what just giving the maligned agency the kind of support it needs to carry out its statutory authority would amount to.

That’s the latest attack on the chief federal bulwark against gun violence. What makes this unusual is that it doesn’t come from conservative sources like the Republican right, but from one on the liberal side normally aligned with the Obama administration. The Fund for American Progress, a think tank, has issued a lengthy report that seems to be based more on interviews with ATF’s regulatory officers than those charged with enforcing the law.

Over the decades, ATF agents have faced increasing difficulties in carrying out their mission because of underfunding, lack of direction at the top, harassment from a Congress that would rather have no interference with Second Amendment rights, a policy that has seen the proliferation of firearms from Saturday night specials to the battlefield variety, and a steady increase in the number of Americans who lose their lives each day to firearms.

Examples of that kind of horrific violence have played out in schools, shopping centers, movie theaters and college campuses and on the nation’s streets. Among supposed civilized nations, America has become the chief model of mindless and deadly social disruption supported by constitutional fiat that has no relevance in today’s world. The latest blood bath recently took place in a Texas restaurant jam-packed with motorcycle thugs who reportedly had gone there for recruiting purposes. Before the Waco police, Texas Rangers and state police could get it settled, nine were dead, a number wounded and 170 or so arrested.

The only visible federal law enforcement presence was represented by those with the big ATF acronym on the backs of their jackets. Only a few days earlier, these men and women had been called to the scene of a mysterious fire in an upscale neighborhood where the bodies of four people were found — three adults and a 10-year-old. It took only a short time for ATF’s arson experts to determine the fire was deliberately set obviously in a botched attempt to hide the slayings. This kind of expertise has been developed over years of dedicated hard work.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest


 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloomberg: Time to Put ATF Out of Its Misery, Consider Folding into FBI

By Bloomberg 
Editorial Board

Many members of Congress seem to view the U.S.’s most deadly criminals — those who carry guns — as a protected class. For decades, they’ve tried everything imaginable to cripple the agency charged with enforcing federal laws against illegal gun buying, trafficking and possession. Meanwhile, advocates of stricter gun-law enforcement have fought a losing battle to strengthen the agency’s hand. Now, it may be time to admit defeat and change the strategy.

The ATF, as it’s known, is charged with overseeing federally licensed firearms dealers, most of which are responsible and law-abiding — but not all. Criminals know the difference, but even when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has figured it out, it has lacked the resources and leadership to crack down.

A new report by the Center for American Progress recommends that the ATF be merged into the FBI. It’s worth considering. It would be hard to do worse than the status quo.

The ATF has long been a political punching bag, maligned by gun-rights advocates as an unnecessary intrusion on the Second Amendment. Just last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would stop the ATF from requiring licensed gun dealers in four border states — where Mexican gun-running is a problem — to report when someone buys multiple semi-automatic rifles. Merging the ATF into the FBI wouldn’t stop this sort of meddling, but the FBI director would be in a stronger position to rebuff it.

The ATF has been a target for Republicans — and many Democrats, too — ever since 1980, when presidential candidate Ronald Reagan promised to abolish it. They’ve had plenty to shoot at: The agency has a record of poor management, although Congress is partly to blame for making the agency go years without an executive director. During President Barack Obama’s first term, when the ATF badly botched an investigation into gun trafficking across the Mexican border, criticism reached a fever pitch, and has barely abated since.

Merging into the FBI might push the ATF out of the congressional crosshairs. The FBI, for all its troubles, is generally well-regarded by both parties, and its reputation could give the enforcement of gun laws greater credibility.

True, a merger would carry risks. Layering a poorly run organization onto one that works reasonably well could lower morale and harm performance. It could also distract the FBI from its most important work, including counterterrorism. There’s no doubt it would be a mammoth management challenge, but the two agencies have missions that are largely compatible, and a merger would streamline their overlapping responsibilities. The FBI and ATF both target violent street gangs. They both oversee forensic training programs for explosives, and operate forensic labs to process evidence from violent crimes. They both have response teams trained to handle hostage and explosives-related investigations. And while the FBI operates the National Instant Criminal Background Check System used for guns sales by dealers, the ATF licenses the dealers.