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Tag: ATF

Gun Rights Group Sues ATF Over Bump Stock Ban

Photo: WASR

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You might recall on Oct. 1, 2017, gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd at a concert in Las Vegas, killing 58 and leaving 851 injured, more than 400 by gunfire. You might also recall that he used a bump stock, a device that converts a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic weapon.

Now, the ATF has announced an official ban on bump stocks.

But that isn’t sitting well with a gun right group, the “Gun Owners of America,” which has filed a lawsuit against the ATF, claiming the ban is illegal, reports WILX.

 

ATF Investigating Rash of Fires Targeting Jehovah’s Witness Centers in Washington State

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The ATF is investigating a rash of suspicious fires targeting Jehovah’s Witness worship centers in Washington State.

A predawn fire on Friday was the fifth suspected arson in Thurston County in the past nine months. The fire destroyed the kingdom hall, and the ATF said it was intentionally set.

No arrests have been made. Surveillance video captured one person, who was wearing a hoodie and coveralls, setting fire to the side of a hall.

Authorities aren’t sure if that’s the only culprit, and the motive remains elusive.

“Why is this specific religion being targeted?” Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza told KOMO, the ABC affiliate in Seattle. “Why are these churches being targeted? What are they doing that is so wrong and oppressive?”

National President of Fraternal Order of Police Flips Stance on Sentencing Reform After President Dangles ATF Job

Chuck Canterbury (official photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Any denizen of Washington, or observers of the goings on inside the Beltway can’t be too shocked to see high-profile people flip their stance on important issues in exchange for a high-profile law enforcement job.

Chuck Canterbury, national president of the influential Fraternal Order of Police, had previously made it clear that he opposed a sentencing reform bill.

But that’s all changed now that President Donald Trump, who backs the bill, is considering Canterbury to head up ATF, according to Politico, which reports:

Opponents of bipartisan legislation to overhaul federal sentencing guidelines were surprised to see Chuck Canterbury, the head of the influential Fraternal Order of Police, standing beside Trump on Wednesday at an event celebrating the proposed measure. The police group, which Canterbury has headed for more than a decade, had previously opposed the legislation.

It was an unusual move for the law enforcement veteran, who enthusiastically testified at last year’s Senate confirmation hearing on behalf of Jeff Sessions, Trump’s recently dismissed attorney general and a high-profile opponent of the criminal justice reform legislation. Canterbury’s group said in a statement ahead of the president’s endorsement that the First Step Act would boost safety “in our streets and neighborhoods” and better protect police.

Not so surprising that ambition Trumps people’s convictions or lack of.

Bomb Found at Home of Hillary And Bill Clinton After Soros Also Was Targeted

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Secret Service are investigating the discovery of a bomb sent to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s suburban New York home early Wednesday morning.

A U.S. official told the Associated Press that the suspicious package was a “functional explosive device.” 

Police in New Castle, N.Y., said they are helping federal authorities in “the investigation of a suspicious package.”

The discovery comes two days after an explosive device was found in a mailbox at the home of George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist who often is the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories.

FBI, ATF Investigating Explosive Device Targeting Philanthropist George Soros

George Soros via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI and ATF are investigating an explosive device found Monday in a mailbox at the home of George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist who often is the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories.

Police said “an employee of the residence” found the suspicious package, moved it to a wooded area and notified authorities.

“We are conducting an investigation at and around a residence in Bedford, NY,” the FBI tweeted Monday night. “There is no threat to public safety, and we have no further comment at this time.”

The Times of Israel reported that Soros wasn’t home when the device was found. 

It wasn’t immediately clear if the device was capable of exploding, but bomb squad technicians detonated it.

Soros, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor who became a successful hedge fund manager, has become the subject of wild conspiracy theories whipped up by far-right groups. Soros often donates to left-wing causes.

Emails Disclose Angst, Handwringing at ATF After Vegas Shooting and Bump Stock Controversy

Acting head of ATF Thomas Brandon.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Emails show the controversial rapid-fire bump stock device used in the Las Vegas massacre last year caused a lot of angst and handwringing inside ATF, a report in USA Today shows. It also shows why the devices are still legal in many states.

Nick Penzenstadler of USA Today reports:

Within hours of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history a year ago in Las Vegas, the federal agency in charge of regulating guns found itself under pressure to ban a rapid-fire device and penned in by legal boundaries that officials said prevented them from acting quickly, according to newly disclosed emails from inside the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Blame rained down on the ATF after gunfire showered concertgoers from a 32nd-floor room at the Mandalay Bay hotel Oct. 1, leaving 58 dead and more than 800 injured. Critics popped up everywhere – cable news anchors and politicians on both sides of the aisle, the National Rifle Association and Gabrielle Giffords’ anti-gun-violence group, and even from the ATF’s own ranks of current and former agents.

The focus was Slide Fire, a plastic add-on known as a “bump stock” that allowed Stephen Paddock to run through more than 1,100 rounds of ammunition in 10 minutes. Bump stocks were affixed to half of Paddock’s guns. Since 2010, up to 520,000 of the devices have been purchased in the USA, the Department of Justice reported.

Thomas Brandon, the acting head of ATF, writes in on email after the shooting to technology chief Earl Griffith:

“Are these ‘ATF approved’ as advertised?”

Griffith responds by saying they are.

Later, Brandon testified to Congress that in the interest of public safety, a law should ban them.

22 State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies Getting ATF Ballistic Imaging Equipment

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department and ATF  announced Thursday that it will provide ballistic imaging equipment used by ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to 22 state and local law enforcement agencies.

“Under President Donald Trump, the Department of Justice is prosecuting more firearm offenders than ever before,” Attorney General Sessions said in a statement. “Ballistics technology has given law enforcement an unprecedented ability to make connections between cases and track down dangerous criminals. Today this Department of Justice is once again investing in the 85 percent of law enforcement officers who serve at the state and local levels and we are equipping them with cutting edge technology that will lead to smarter, targeted prosecutions of the most dangerous people in their communities. I have no doubt that this equipment will help to reduce crime in America.”

NIBIN compares images of cartridge casings recovered at crime scenes and firearms recovered by law enforcement to connect shooting incidents and identify shooters.

Acting head of ATF Thomas Brandon.

“Crime Gun Intelligence, including the timely use of the NIBIN network, is the cornerstone of ATF’s violent crime reduction strategy,” said ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon in a statement. “By deploying equipment to these 22 law enforcement agencies, investigators will now receive investigative leads within 48 hours. They will have new opportunities to disrupt the shooting cycle and make our communities safer.”

There are 16 agencies receiving NIBIN equipment for the first time:

  • Anchorage, AK PD
    Aurora, IL PD
    Berks County, PA
    Charleston, WV PD
    Cheney, WA State Patrol
    Des Moines, IA PD
    Frederick County, MD Sheriff’s Office
    Ft. Myers, FL PD
    Glendale, AZ PD
    Nassau County, NY Public Safety Center
    Lexington, KY PD
    Miami Gardens, FL PD
    Orange County, NY Intelligence Center
    Pensacola, FL Escambia Co Sheriff
    Richmond, VA PD
    San Bernardino, CA PD
  • Six agencies are receiving additional equipment to enhance their successful crime gun intelligence programs:
  • Baton Rouge, LA State Crime Lab
    Cincinnati, OH PD
    Denver, CO PD
    Detroit, MI PD
    Jacksonville, FL PD
    Philadelphia, PA PD

FBI, ATF Agents Search Baltimore Home After Sunday’s Mass Shooting in Florida

The shooter, David Katz, (right) was 24 years old. Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Heavily armed FBI and ATF agents wearing bulletproof vests searched the Baltimore home Sunday night of the father of the man who opened fire at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., leaving three dead and 11 others injured.

Authorities identified the shooter as 24-year-old Baltimore resident David Katz, who killed himself. According to investigators, Katz was in Jacksonville, participating in a football video game when he opened fire shortly after 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

ATF and FBI agents arrived at the townhouse of Katz’s father around 6 p.m. and searched the home for about four hours, the ATF said at a press conference.

Authorities were tight-lipped about what, if anything, they found at the home on the 1200 block of Harbor Island Walk.