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Tag: Guns

FBI, Local Officials Briefly Detain 17 Men of Middle Eastern Descent After 100+ Gunshots Reported

Apple ValleyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Law enforcement briefly detained 17 men of Middle Eastern descent in a remote part of Apple Valley, Calif., after campers said they heard chanting and hundreds of gunshots Sunday morning.

The FBI and San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies responded and interviewed the men, but no charges were filed and the shooters were released.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Mille said there was no evidence the men committed a crime or had outstanding warrants.

“None of the persons interviewed yesterday were identified as terrorists,” she said.

Law enforcement officials found several handguns, a shotgun and rifle.

“A records check of the subjects, their weapons, and their vehicles was completed,” the statement said. “The records check revealed none of the subjects had a criminal history or outstanding warrants, the weapons were registered with the Department of Justice except for the rifle, and the vehicles were also registered.”

Justice Department: Rifle Recovered from ‘El Chapo’ Hideout Tied to Fast & Furious

Joaquin_Guzman-Loera

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The failed gun-walking operation known as Fast and Furious has been linked to a .50-caliber rifle found at the hideout of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

The Justice Department shared the information in a letter to Congress, the Associated Press reports. 

The gun was among 19 firearms that Mexican authorities found at the hideout.

The botched sting operation allowed gun-runners to purchase weapons so that authorities could track them to drug smuggling rings.

The Justice Department said the gun was purchased in July 2010.

Nearly 900 firearms bought during the operation have been recovered.

“ATF and the department deeply regret that firearms associated with Operation Fast and Furious have been used by criminals in the commission of violent crimes, particularly crimes resulting in the deaths of civilians and law enforcement officials,” Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik, head of the Justice Department’s legislative affairs office, wrote in a March 15 letter.

TSA Stops Woman With Bullet-Lined Shoes at Baltimore Airport

Bullet-lined shoes discovered at an airport checkpoint. Photo by TSA.

Bullet-lined shoes discovered at an airport checkpoint. Photo by TSA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A woman trying to board a flight was stopped when security found bullet-lined platform shoes with revolvers for heels.

The incident happened at Baltimore-Washington International Airport on Monday, when an unidentified passenger was stopped by the TSA for having the shoes and a bracelet lined with bullets, Time reports. 

“Shoes and bracelets that are less than ideal to wear or bring to a @TSA checkpoint. These delayed a traveler at BWI,” the agency’s spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein posted on Twitter Monday.

The platform shoes were in the traveler’s carry-on bag.

Instead of abandoning her flight, the woman abandoned the shoe and bracelet.

Farbstein reminded travelers, “Realistic replica firearms and ammunition are not permitted past TSA checkpoints.”

In 2015, the TSA found an average of seven firearms a day at airport checkpoints.

Other Stories of Interest

U.S. House Committee Demands Answers After Homeland Security Lost 165 Firearms in 3 Years

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Congressional leaders are demanding answers from Homeland Security following the discovery that it lost 165 firearms in three years.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, requested Homeland Security inventory records and policies, the Daily Caller reports. 

The discovery of lost firearms, badges and cellphones was made by the news site, Compete Colorado.

The loss of the firearms “shows that the department is consistently unable to safeguard sensitive property,” the congressmen wrote.

“The fact that hundreds of badges and cell phones are missing gives rise to a variety of different security threat possibilities,” the letter said. “It is particularly troubling, however, that the department cannot account for its entire inventory of firearms.”

Between 2006 and 2008, Homeland Security lost 289 firearms, according to the DHS Office of Inspector General.

Report: ATF improves after Fast and Furious, But Other Federal Agencies Did Not

atf-gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Some federal agencies have not taken adequate steps to prevent another botched gun-smuggling investigation like the one known as “Operation Fast and Furious,” according to a report from the Department of Justice’s inspector general.

The New York Times reports  ATF has made “significant progress” to address problems related to the operation.

But that’s not the case for some other federal law enforcement agencies. The FBI and DEA, for example, have failed to adequately minimize risks connected with gun investigations, the report stated.

Under the botched ATF investigation that was exposed five years ago, federal law enforcement tried to build a criminal case against Mexican drug cartels by allowing American gun traffickers with links to the cartels to smuggle the firearms across the southern border.

The inspection general report praised the Justice Department for instituting recommended changes, such as better training and more oversight for ATF.

Other federal agencies have “not taken sufficient steps to institute policies to avoid repetition of the errors we identified in our report,” the inspector general said.

New Boston FBI Chief Pledges Cooperative Approach to Tackling Terrorism, Drugs, Guns

Harold Shaw

Harold Shaw

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Harold Shaw, the new head of the FBI in Boston, pledged to partner with local authorities and other federal agencies to tackle gun crimes, drug dealing and terrorism.

“There’s virtually nothing we can do in the FBI that’s not done in a task-force concept,” Harold H. Shaw said in an interview with the Boston Globe. “The critical element is partnerships.”

Shaw took over the Boston office in October and said his experience in counter-terrorism will help crack down on extremists.

“The tricks of the trade I learned were from the task-force partners who were doing it a lot longer than I was,” he said.

Shaw replaced Vincent Lisi, who retired to join the private sector in August.

Other Stories of Interest

Bold Thief Steals 3 Handguns, Agent’s Badge from FBI Vehicle

fbi badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A bold thief stole three handguns and an FBI agent’s badge and credentials from a locked vehicle in the San Francisco Bay Area in what is the latest theft of stolen firearms from law enforcement vehicles, the Associated Press reports. 

Stolen were two 40-caliber Glocks and one .45-caliber handgun as the vehicle was parked in a residential neighborhood of Benicia, FBI spokeswoman Gina Swankie said.

The FBI declined to release details, including why the weapons and other FBI property were left inside the vehicle overnight. But the spokeswoman said a $5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the stolen property.

“Our primary objective is recovery of the items stolen and identification and arrest of the individuals involved,” Swankie said. “There’s a lot of information that would be premature to offer at this time.”

Airport Security Confiscates Record Number of Guns at Checkpoints

body images airportBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As an unprecedented number of Americans are buying guns, a record number of firearms are being confiscated at airports.

The TSA confiscated 2,653 guns in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints nationwide, Homeland Security Today reports.

That’s a nearly 20% increase over 2014.

The TSA reported that more than 80% of the guns were loaded.

“The transport of firearms by commercial air in carry-on bags represents a threat to the safety and security of air travelers. Through increased training in detection methods, our officers are becoming more adept at intercepting these prohibited items,” said TSA Administrator Peter V. Neffenger. “I am proud of the men and women who serve in the TSA and grateful for their hard work in the past year.”

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport seized the most guns in 2015 – 153.