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Tag: Guns

Ganja or Guns? Sessions’ Crusade Against Marijuana Imperils Firearm Ownership

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ zealous opposition to marijuana has placed the gun-loving Trump administration in the crosshairs of many firearm supporters. 

When Sessions gave federal prosecutors the green light two weeks ago to crack down on marijuana in states that have legalized it for medicinal or recreation use, he placed gun owners in a serious bind: Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms to anyone suspected of using cannabis or any other other controlled substance.

Although marijuana is illegal on the federal level, 29 states have legalized cannabis in some form.

Under President Obama, U.S. attorneys acted in accordance with each state’s marijuana laws, largely disregarding the federal ban.

But Sessions, who has compared marijuana to heroin, blamed pot for spikes in violence and declared that “good people don’t smoke it,” has opened the door for federal law enforcement to bar marijuana users from buying guns.

“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by state law,” ATF spokeswoman Cherie R. Duvall-Jones told the Philadelphia Inquirer

That means many pot smokers may have to choose between ganja or guns.

In Pennsylvania, which plans to roll out its medicinal marijuana program early this year, health officials announced Friday they will no longer provide the names of medical marijuana patients to law enforcement agencies.

The state also called for the federal government to reclassify marijuana so it’s legal on the national level. 

“Pennsylvania, and the other 28 states where medical marijuana is legal, need the federal government to recognize what voters and bipartisan legislatures across the nation have overwhelmingly called for, and that is that medical marijuana must be rescheduled as a Schedule II medication,” the Health Department statement read.

FBI Knew Las Vegas Shooter Had Big Cache of Guns, Ammunition, Explosives

Stephen Paddock

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents investigating the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. knew the gunman left behind a large cache of guns, ammunition and explosives when they requested search warrants for his properties and online accounts.

Newly unsealed court documents revealed new information about  Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old high-stakes gambler who killed 58 people and injured hundreds more before killing himself, the Associated Press reports

An Oct. 2 search of Paddock’s three-bedroom house in a retirement community in Mesquite uncovered 19 guns and several pounds of potentially explosive materials, according to unsealed court documents obtained by  AP.

While searching Paddock’s car outside the hotel suite where he unloaded his weapons on an unsuspecting crowd turned up several pounds of ammonium nitrate.

The investigation revealed that Paddock methodically plotted the attacks, which included modified assault-style rifles to shoot rapidly.

The FBI still doesn’t know what motivated Paddock, who appears to have acted alone.

Loaded Guns, Inert Grenades, Throw Star Among Top Confiscated Items at Airports in 2017

Sculpture made with an inert grenade, via TSA

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Festively wrapped narcotics, loaded guns, inert grenades and “Satan’s” pizza cutter are among the top 10 items confiscated at U.S. airport in 2017.

In a YouTube video, the TSA’s “Blogger Bob” Burns lists the most unusual forbidden items confiscated at airports.

Other eye-popping confiscated items include a menacing-looking “face-tenderizer,” a sculpture with inert grades, a pointed fidget spinner, a throwing star, a scythe, a bone knife and an umbrella that resembled a knife.

“Some people travel with weird stuff because they are collectors: it’s an heirloom, they have ADHD [attention deficit hyperactive disorder] and it’s their fidget, or they want to use the item as a training aid in a seminar,” Jeff Price, an aviation security expert and professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, told CNBC

Still, “a lot of people who don’t travel frequently just don’t understand that some of these items can be used as weapons,” he said.

TSA Failures Undermine Passenger Safety on Airplanes

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

From missing weapons carried onto commercial aircraft by travelers to poor vetting and training of airport screeners, the TSA is failing in its mission “in many ways” to keep flyers safe, argues The Hill opinion contributor Martin Schwartz.

For one, the Homeland Security Inspector General found that TSA missed 95% of weapons carried onto airplanes by undercover investigators.

Since the agency is failing to prevent many travelers from carrying forbidden items onto airplanes, the TSA announced it plans to increase highly intrusive personal frisks of passengers.

The TSA also has failed to fully deploy the nearly foolproof full-body scanners.

The agency’s high-level supervisors also have been fired for poor performance, which trickles down to the rank and file.

This comes at a time when a record number of travelers are caught with weapons, especially firearms.

“For an agency that must deal with the public every day at transit facilities, and that has existed for well over a decade, this is an inexcusable record of failure,” Schwartz wrote. “It strongly suggests that the TSA should be abolished, with its duties turned over to well-trained airline, ship or railroad personnel working under the direct supervision of specialized law enforcement professionals, namely officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”

Another Record Year for Number of Firearms Confiscated at U.S. Airports

Guns seized by the TSA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More firearms were confiscated at U.S. airports than any previous year, exceeding a record set last year.

Security officers discovered 3,888 firearms as of Christmas eve and may reach 4,000 by the end of the year, the Los Angeles Times reports

That’s compared to the previous record of 3,391 in 2016.

The number of confiscated firearms has risen every year since at least 2011, when about 1,200 guns were found.

The airports with the most firearms seized are Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

A majority of the seized guns were found on carry-on bags, while others were found in potted plants and stuffed animals.

Travelers caught trying to bring a gun onto a plane face a civil fine ranging from $330 to $13,000 and could be turned over to local police in the event that gun laws are violated.

Gun laws vary by state.

Dallas Morning News: Why We Can’t Trust the FBI to Protect Us from Criminals

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Editorial Board
Dallas Morning News

Will the nation have to suffer through another criminal tragedy before agencies get on the ball and start reporting  information to the FBI in a timely manner? The latest snafu occurred right here in Texas when Gregory McQueen received approval to be a foster parent for abused and neglected children. While he initially appeared to be a good candidate, it turns out he had no business caring for children in the foster community.

McQueen, who served in the Army, pleaded guilty to more than a dozen military charges for attempting to run a prostitution ring in Fort Hood. His actions resulted in a demotion, two years in prison and naturally, a dishonorable discharge.

The state says the record should have kept him out of the foster-care program, according to reporting by The Dallas Morning News’ Terri Langford.

Why was McQueen not flagged? Because the Army never submitted the information to the FBI so it could update the database states rely on for criminal background checks.

If this sound familiar, it should.

 To read more click here.

Air Force Failed to Report Dozens of Service Members to FBI Gun Database

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Air Force acknowledged Tuesday that its failure to report the criminal history of a former airman who went on to kill 26 people at a Texas church in early November was “not an isolated incident.”

The Air Force indicated the failure was part of a pattern of “reporting deficiencies” that resulted in dozens of its service members never being reported to the federal gun background database, despite being charged or convicted of serious crimes.  

Dozens of Air Force service members charged with or convicted of serious crimes were never reported to the federal gun background-check database as required,

The revelation follows the disclosure that the Air Force failed to report the domestic violence conviction of the Texas church gunman, Devin Kelley, who should have been prevented from buying a gun that was used in the attack, the New York Times reports.

In a statement on the progress of its internal investigation, the Air Force pledged to change how it reviews and registers offenses with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

“The error in the Kelley case was not an isolated incident and similar reporting lapses occurred at other locations,” the Air Force said in a statement. “Although policies and procedures requiring reporting were in place, training and compliance measures were lacking.”

The case of Kelley prompted Attorney General Jeff Sessions to order a federal review of the background-check database used by the FBI and ATF to ensure all military cases are properly reported.

FBI: Background Checks for Guns Surge to Record High on Black Friday

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Black Friday continues to break records for the number of requests for background checks for gun purchases.

The bureau received 203,086 requests for background checks Friday, breaking the record of 185,713 in 2016 and 185,345 in 2015.

Anyone who wants to purchase a gun at a federally licensed dealer is required to undergo background checks.

The numbers come from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a government database used for background checks on gun buyers.

The number of background checks have increased every year since the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut.