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Tag: ATF

ATF Hamstrung by Weak Gun Laws, Legislative Restrictions

guns-atf agent

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The ATF’s ability to curb gun violence is severely hampered by legislative restrictions and loopholes in federal gun laws, the New York Times reports, citing law enforcement officials.

Making matters worse, the agency has been without a permanent director for six years.

To start, current law bars ATF from creating a federal registry of gun purchases. That often makes it difficult for officials to track down records to match the serial number of a gun to an owner, the New York Times reported.

The Times wrote that about a third of the cases involve shuffling through cardboard boxes for records because Congress has rejected the establishment of a central database of gun transactions.

While the ATF is equipped to reduce gun crime, it is bogged down by politically motivated laws.

“I think that they’ve really been muzzled over the last several years, at least, from doing their job effectively,” Frederick H. Bealefeld III, a former police commissioner in Baltimore, told the Times. “They’ve really kind of been the whipping agency, caught in the political turmoil of Washington on the gun issue.”

Florida Undercover ATF Agent Infiltrates Sophisticated Theft Ring

Gun Lobby Keeps ATF Under-Resourced, Beleaguered As Industry Grows

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Following the mass shooting in a Connecticut elementary school, attention has shifted to the ATF, the federal agency responsible for regulating the gun industry.

A Washington Post investigation found that ATF is inadequately resourced and so beleaguered that it hasn’t had a director in years.

Sources said the gun industry, particularly the NRA, has blocked resources from the ATF, preventing the agency from accessing computerized records of gun sales, for instance.

Despite the growth of the industry, ATF has fewer officers now than it did nearly 40 years ago, the Post found.

Four ATF Leaders Face Termination; Disciplinary Board Recommends Firings

ATF William Newell was a key person in operation.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Four senior ATF managers behind the botched Fast and Furious gun-smuggling investigation face termination after a disciplinary board recommended they be fired, the Washington Times reports.

The ATF Professional Review Board recommended the termination of the four managers, William Newell, former special agent in charge of the ATF’s Phoenix office; George Gillett, the former second in command in the Phoenix office; Mark Chait former assistant director for field operations; and William McMahon, a former deputy assistant director of ATF who oversaw field operations in the West –

Federal officials said they were among a number of managers who mishandled the operation by letting hundreds of weapons reach the hands of Mexican smugglers.

The three may appeal their dismissals or faec a disciplinary review board of senior managers, the Washington Times reported.

Editorial: Reno Dispute Between Justice Department and ATF Must End Now

Reno Gazette-Journal
Editorial

The ongoing dispute between the Reno offices of the U.S. Attorney and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — a dispute that should have been resolved months ago in the interest of effective law enforcement — has gone from the absurd to the downright dangerous.

The rift, more than a year old, already has resulted in the near decimation of the Reno ATF office, with five of six agents transferring to other offices, the Reno Gazette-Journal’s Martha Bellisle has reported, when the U.S. Attorney’s office refused to prosecute cases prepared by the ATF. In at least one case, the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has stepped in to prosecute.

On Sunday, Bellisle reported the ATF is no longer picking up weapons purchased by nearly three dozen people who failed to pass a background check required by federal law. The ATF doesn’t have sufficient personnel to meet its most basic responsibilities, leaving guns in the hands of people who aren’t allowed to have them, most often because they’ve been convicted of felonies.

To read more click here.

Authorities Say Man They Arrested is Prime Suspect in Random I-96 Shootings

Law enforcement searches the home/ from WXYZ video

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mi. — Authorities said today that a 43-year-old man they arrested last night in Wixom, a suburb of Detroit, in connection with the I-96 shootings is a prime suspect and could be charged, possibly tomorrow.

“The arrest was the result of the information received during the investigation over the past few days,” said Donald Dawkins, a spokesman for ATF in Detroit. “The task force members arrested the suspect at this residence and potential evidence has been seized during his arrest and will be evaluated by our crime labs.”

Since mid-October, a task force has been on the hunt for a phantom shooter that has been randomly shot at 24 people, mostly in cars along the I-96 corridor in Oakland, Ingham, Shiawassee and Livingston counties. Only one person has been wounded.

To read more click here.

Take a Tour Inside ATF Lab Where Evidence Is Examined with State-of-the-Art Equipment


Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ABC7 News takes a tour of one of the country’s three ATF labs to show how evidence is examined.

The lab in Walnut Creek, Calif. – the others are in Maryland and Atlanta – has state-of-the-art equipment used to help investigate fires, explosives and weapons.

At the heart of the lab is a forensics examination room where scientists examine the types of liquids or material used cause explosions and fires.

ABC7 News shows how investigations work and the equipment used to investigate.

ATF Whistleblower Vince Cefalu Reinstated While Federal Board Investigates His Case

Vince Cefalu

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The ATF special agent who was fired recently after blowing the whistle on the failed gun-running operation, Fast and Furious returned to his job, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.

Vince Cefalu is back on the payroll for at least 45 days while the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, which oversees federal employment issues, examines the case, the Journal reported.

The request to temporarily reinstate Cefalu came the Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal investigator.

Giving ATF officials five days to comply, the board ordered the agency to “reinstate Mr. Cefalu to his position of Criminal Investigator, with the same duties and responsibilities in effect immediately prior to his removal,” according to the Journal.

The agency maintains Cefalu was fired for “lack of candor.”