Please consider getting involved in this by contacting your senators, and congresspersons.
Friday, March 25, 2011
As the BATFE faces an increasing array of questions about its activities in the “Fast and Furious” and “Project Gunrunner” programs, the scandal has taken its first political casualty and President Obama has finally commented directly on these problems.
On March 20, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, resigned amid increasing criticisms from Mexican government officials. It was reported that the “Gun Runner” scandal was the last straw for President Felipe Calderon, who has said publicly that he does not trust Pascual.
When questioned by the media during his recent tour of South and Central America, President Obama claimed that neither he nor Attorney General Eric Holder had approved the investigations that led to hundreds and possibly thousands of firearms ending up in the hands of Mexican criminal cartels. Obama said, “There may be a situation here which [sic] a serious mistake was made” and went on to promise to find out and to hold those responsible accountable.
Congress is not waiting on the President, however, and there are now plans for investigations and hearings by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), along with other members of the committee, urged Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to conduct hearings, which Issa agreed to do. Chairman Issa has contacted BATFE Deputy Director Kenneth Melson and demanded his agency provide details about both “Fast and Furious” and “Project Gunrunner.” Please click here to read that letter.
In addition, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who has been a leading critic of these BATFE investigations, has again called for more answers, saying his requests for more information have been “stonewalled” by the Obama Administration. Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is now expanding his inquiries to include requests for information from Customs and Border Protection regarding gun trafficking in New Mexico. “No longer can this administration stand idly by and answer every question by saying that the Justice Department Inspector General is investigating,” Grassley wrote. “There is too much at stake.” Please click here to read Sen. Grassley’s release dated March 24th and to find links to his letters to administration officials.
As the BATFE continues to petition for the authority to collect more data on sales of firearms, the growing scandal that has resulted from these two investigative programs raises serious questions about BATFE’s procedures and its ability to effectively carry out its duties. The NRA fully supports the actions of Chairman Issa, Rep. Labrador and members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to fully uncover the extent of the mistakes and the damage caused by BATFE’s mismanagement of these investigations.
On March 9, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox sent letters to key leaders in Congress calling for hearings to examine the firearms trafficking investigations tactics employed by the BATFE.
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted an amendment to H.R. 1 offered by Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and Dan Boren (D-OK) that prohibits the use of federal funds for a new and unauthorized multiple sales reporting scheme proposed by the BATFE. The measure passed the chamber (277-149) with broad bipartisan support.
This week, the NRA-ILA sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner asking Congress to preserve the Boren-Rehberg amendment in the Continuing Resolution relating to federal government funding. Please click here to read the letter.
Copyright 2011, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.
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Contact Us | Privacy & Security Policy
Schumer Bill Includes Steps Toward
Federal Gun Registration
Recently, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) — who in the early 1990s was the House sponsor of the Brady Act and the federal “assault weapons” and “large” magazine ban of 1994-2004, and the ill-fated, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink “Brady II” bill — introduced S. 436, the multi-faceted “Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011.” Its simplistic and misleading title aside, this bill dispels any doubt about the goal gun control supporters have had in mind ever since they began harping about “closing the gun show loophole” more than a decade ago.
Schumer’s “fix” bypasses the question of gun shows altogether. In fact, the term “gun show” appears nowhere in his bill. S. 436 proposes that virtually all private transfers, regardless of location, be subject to National Instant Criminal Background Check System checks. The exceptions would be extremely narrow; in many cases, even lending someone a firearm would be subject to federal regulation.
Wednesday, March 9, 14, 2011
Will Congress Lay the Groundwork for Gun Confiscation?
Within the next 90 days, Congress will vote on whether to reauthorize legislation to specifically allow the government potential access to millions of gun records (4473’s).
Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which must be reauthorized soon, is of particular concern.
This section allows the FBI to seize business records — including the 4473 forms that gun buyers fill out. The only significant caveat is that the FBI must claim that the seizure of records is needed pursuant to “an authorized investigation.”
But since a secret court is required to rubber-stamp the government’s request (unless it fails to make even a specious case), the FBI can easily abuse its authority. The Inspector General found that, between 2003 and 2006, the FBI may have violated the law over 6,000 times with respect to their authority under various provisions of the PATRIOT Act.
So just imagine that it’s your gun records that have been seized. Under such circumstances, the gun dealer is specifically prohibited, under penalty of law, from telling you that the FBI has confiscated the records of your firearms purchases. Under the PATRIOT Act, any limitations on the use of the seized records shall be at the sole discretion of the Department of Justice.
Talk about the fox guarding the hen house!
It is imperative that Congress protect gun owners from rogue government agents who would abuse their authority to register gun owners.
We’ve already seen the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives attempt to register gun owners recently when they tried to require certain gun dealers to report anyone who, within a five day period, tried to purchase two or more semi-automatic rifles (that are .22 caliber or greater and can accept a detachable magazine).
Historically, gun registration has been a prelude to gun confiscation, as documented by the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership almost 20 years ago. They showed how several foreign governments in the Twentieth Century had used gun control — and quite often gun registration — to confiscate firearms. In each case, such confiscation was a prelude to genocide.
ACTION: Contact your two senators and insist that any language to reauthorize Section 215 also contain language to protect 4473’s from the Obama administration’s scrutiny. You can use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send your legislators the pre-written e-mail message below.