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Archive for October 1st, 2020

ATF Sued in Effort to Reclassify Ghost Guns As Firearms to Make Them Traceable

Homemade gun seized by U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle in February 2020.

By Steve Neavling

California’s attorney general and the fathers of two children who were killed in school shootings have sued the ATF over ghost guns, saying the unfinished frames and do-it-yourself firearm kits are untraceable and ending up in the hands of killers.

The lawsuit aims to force authorities to classify ghost guns, which are often purchased online and assembled by hand, as firearms. They argue the ATF made an arbitrary and capricious decision in 2006 to stop considering the parts as firearms, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Since ghost guns aren’t classified as firearms, they rarely have serial numbers that make them traceable. 

“The only logical intended result of a ghost gun kit is that it will become a firearm,” Attorney General Xavier Becerra told reporters Tuesday.

The ATF declined to comment on pending litigation.  

Some recent high-profile shootings have involved ghost guns, including one at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita that claimed the lives to two students. The parents of those students joined the lawsuit. 

Comey Defends FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation, Takes Aim at Barr

Former FBI James Comey in previous testimony, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday defended the bureau’s investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia, saying it was “essential,” as Republicans dismissed the probe as politically motivated.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the Trump-Russia probe, Comey also took aim at Attorney General William Barr’s assertion that the investigation was unwarranted. 

Asked about Barr’s criticism that the FBI had sufficient evidence to launch an investigation, Comey responded that he had “no idea what on earth” he meant, The Washington Post reports.

“This was an investigation that was appropriately predicated and that had to be opened, and it was in the main, conducted in the right way,” Comey said, pointing out the dozens of people who were charged as a result of the investigation. “The notion that the attorney general believes that was an illegitimate endeavor to investigate mystifies me.”

Comey also suggested Barr was “acting like the personal lawyer for the president.”

“It ought to be a concern for all of us, because we need that institution, and we need that institution to be seen as separate from our tribal warfare,” Comey said.

Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017, setting off the special counsel investigation. 

Comey acknowledged mistakes were made, particularly with the bureau’s controversial surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. 

“I’m not looking to shirk responsibility,” he said. “The director is responsible.”

At the beginning of the hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., criticized the handling of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

“This is not just an abuse of power against Mr. Page and the Trump campaign,” Graham said. “This is a system failure, and you could be next.”

An inspector general’s review of the FISA process found missteps, but concluded there was no political bias.