Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2021
S M T W T F S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: ATF

FBI, ATF Investigate ‘Suspicious’ Fires at 3 Historic Black Churches in Louisiana

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI, ATF and Louisiana state officials are investigating a series of “suspicious” blazes at historic black Baptist churches in Louisiana.

The three fires have a lot in common: They broke out at historic African American church buildings in Louisiana Landry Parish at night, were located in rural areas and occurred when no one was inside, ABC News reports.

The first fire broke out on March 26 and burned St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre to the ground. The second fire occurred Tuesday at the Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas, and the third fire broke out Thursday at the 100-year-old Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas.

Authorities said they’re on high alert and consider all three fires to be suspicious.

Authorities Search for ‘Substantial’ Number of Firearms Stolen From ATF Facility in West Virginia

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are searching for a “substantial” number of firearms and gun parts stolen from a government disposal facility in Martinsburg, W.Va., USA Today reports.

Christopher Yates, a security contractor assigned to the ATF  repository in West Virginia, has been charged in connection with the missing weapons and parts.

Yates has allegedly acknowledged transferring at least some of the stolen property to an unidentified person Maryland.

 

Head of ATF on Proposed Budget and Trimming Fat: ‘Now We’re Trimming into Bone’

Acting head of ATF Thomas Brandon.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

One way to cut back on enforcement of the nation’s gun laws is to reduce funding to the top agency tasked with that job.

On Wednesday, Thomas Brandon, head of ATF, broke with the White House on the administration’s 2020 budget proposal that calls for ATF cuts, saying it would further damage the agency, which is already straining for resources, the Washington Times writes.

Brandon told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the proposed budget would results in ATF losing 377 positions to attrition.

“You hear people say, ‘trim the fat.’ Then we trimmed into muscle and now we’re trimming into bone,”  Brandon testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee. “ATF won’t be able to do what it can do today.”

Brandon also said discussed benefits of a bill the White House opposes that extends the amount of time the FBI can get to perform gun-purchase background checks, the Times reports.

 

Head of D.C. ATF Field Office Talks About Fighting Spike in Homicides in The City

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict started his career dealing with street violence in D.C. He eventually rose through the ranks and headed up the New York field office in 2016.

But with the spike in homicides in the District, he’s back to head up the D.C. Field Office to help battle a spike in homicides.

WUSA9 spoke to him about his latest challenge.

ATF Trying to Catch Up With Backlog of Gun Licenses Due to Government Shutdown

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history has left its mark — and not in a good way.

ATF, which is responsible for approving Federal Firearms Licenses for gun dealers, finds itself with a huge backlog to process, station KERA reports.

ATF spokeswoman April Langwell tells the station it’s hard to pin down how many pending licenses would have been resolved during the 35-day shutdown, but in a typical month, ATF receives roughly 1,000 new dealer license applications and roughly 30,000 National Firearms Act licenses.

Government Shutdown Is Stymying Investigations by Federal Agents And Lowering Morale

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, DEA, ATF and Customs and Border Protection are finding that the government shutdown is stymying ongoing investigations.

Many law enforcement officials are being denied travel and money to pay informants involving investigations because there is a lack of available cash, The Washington Post reports.

“The lack of funding is impacting agents’ ability to travel to forward their cases,” said Thomas O’Connor, president of the FBI Agents Association. “As we go forward, those funds are not going to be available and in some cases are not available now.”

Low morale also is a factor. Federal law enforcement employees are considered essential and must work without a paycheck. The stress of financial problems at home can affect their work performance, law enforcement officials said.

“My biggest concern is there’s going to be an agent who is not going to be focused on his job,” Nathan Catura, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said. “He’s going to be out on the street doing some enforcement of something, and he’s going to get hurt. Heaven forbid there’s an agent who gets killed because his mind isn’t on the job.”

Catura added: “Other law enforcement people I continue to speak to, they share the same concerns. The longer this drags out, the more I’m concerned that something’s going to happen.”

Secret Service Agents Who Sacrifice Their Lives to Protect the President Are Working without Pay

Photo via Secret Service.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The men and women who have sworn to sacrifice their own lives to protect the president are not receiving paychecks under the government shutdown.

The 7,000 Secret Service employees, including those on protective details and uniformed officers, missed their first paycheck of the new year.

“These are the people who are closest to him and clearly put their lives on the line for him every single day,” Rick Tyler, a Republican political consultant, told Huffington Post. “He has demonstrated no empathy for them over this situation.” 

Trump has been virtually mum on the tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officials who have been forced to work without pay. They include TSA screeners and FBI, DEA, ATF and Border Patrol agents who are considered “essential” employees.

Thousands of TSA screeners have been calling in sick in protest, causing snarls and security concerns at airports.

The irony is that the shutdown over border protection could make the country more unsafe.

Shutdown Irony: Country Less Safe As Federal Law Enforcement Works with No Pay

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The irony of President Trump shutting down the federal government in the name of public safety is nothing short of incredible.

Trump is refusing to budge on his demands for a border wall as the government shutdown is now in its second week.

But the agencies that protect Americans’ safety – the FBI, DEA, ATF, Coast Guard, TSA and yes, the Border Patrol –  are affected by the shutdown.

Since the federal law enforcement employees are considered “essential,” they are still on the job, but they are not getting a paycheck. And that is lowering morale and prompting some to resign.

Tens of thousands of TSA employees, many of whom make less than $40,000 a year, are protecting airports without a paycheck.

Nearly 13,000 special FBI agents also are working without pay, prompting the FBI Agents Association to urge politicians to quickly find a solution.

“As the country celebrates the New Year, the American public can be assured that the FBIAA’s membership—which includes nearly 13,000 Special Agents of the FBI  are on the job 24-hours a day, seven days a week to protect our country from criminal and terrorist threats,”  FBIAA President Tom O’Connor wrote in a statement. “These men and women are doing so while facing a confluence of policies and gridlock that are causing financial hardship for Agents and their families.”

The American Federation of Government Employees union filed a lawsuit Monday, arguing that “essential” employees should be paid for their work.

So far, Trump has shown no willingness to budge on his call for billions of dollars for a wall that even many Republicans say appears to be a waste of money.