From US News: The Justice Department on Tuesday issued its final rule to ban bump stocks, making them illegal to own or sell.
The reform, the first major gun-control action in recent years and the first of the Trump administration, comes after several recent mass shootings – including one in Las Vegas at a country music festival carried out by a shooter using bump stocks.
A senior Justice Department official said that anyone who currently has bump stocks, a firearm accessory that allows guns to fire as quickly as automatic machine guns, has 90 days to turn them into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or destroy them, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to the official, tens of thousands of bump stocks are in America, but it is difficult to know an exact number.
According to the Journal, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker signed and submitted a regulation banning the devices on Tuesday, and it is expected to be published this week.
The ATF in 2010 has approved the accessory, saying it was not like machine guns, which are banned under federal law. However, following a spate of deadly shootings, an increase in gun-control activism and calls for stricter gun laws, President Donald Trump called on the Justice Department to prohibit their use.
Justice Department officials on Tuesday reclassified bump stocks as illegal machine guns, because they “convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machine gun” by allowing “the trigger to reset and continue firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter,” the Journal reported.
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Apparently not all of Chiraq’s illegal guns come from Indiana.
From MyFoxChicago: Most of the roughly 400 guns that were stolen from a United Parcel Service facility in Tennessee have been recovered in the Chicago area, federal authorities said Tuesday.
Authorities seized about 365 Ruger .22-caliber and .380-caliber firearms after police officers responded to a call about suspicious activity in the southern Chicago suburb of Midlothian on Sunday afternoon – about 12 hours after the guns were taken from a UPS facility in Memphis, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent said in court documents.
ATF had said the guns being shipped from a Ruger factory in North Carolina were taken by two men in a U-Haul truck. ATF spokesman Michael Knight said the truck was recovered along with the guns.
Court documents said officers found the truck at a store parking lot in Midlothian and questioned 24-year-old Roland Jackson of Chicago and 18-year-old Taveyan Turnbo before they both ran away.
Turnbo was arrested hours later and faces federal charges of possessing stolen firearms. He was scheduled for an initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon in Chicago. Court documents said he denied taking part in the theft at the UPS facility.
Jackson faces federal charges of being a convicted felon illegally possessing firearms. The ATF said he remained at large Tuesday.
The estimate of 400 stolen firearms makes it one of the largest single gun thefts the ATF has investigated, Knight said.
Turnbo told investigators he and Jackson had sold at least three of the guns for a total of $400, according to court documents.
UPS said it is cooperating with law enforcement.
ATF had asked the public to send social media posts, photos or any other information related to the theft. A $5,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
If you have any information on Jackson’s whereabouts, call 1-800-ATF-GUNS.
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On June 13, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) signed six bills aimed at eliminating gun violence infringing upon our Second Amendment rights. Those bills included: expand gun background checks, tighten the handgun carrying permit process, reduce the legal capacity of ammunition magazines and establish a so-called “red flag” law.
Even before these bills, New Jersey had some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation.
A shooting occurred over the weekend that injured over 20 people. Guess the governor needs to sign off on MORE gun control laws…
From Fox News: Nearly two dozen people were injured after gunfire broke out early Sunday during a fight at an all-night art event in New Jersey’s capital city, leaving one suspect dead which authorities said appeared to be caused by “neighborhood beef.” (The dead suspect had just been released from prison.)
Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said at a news conference that a total of 22 people were injured in the shooting, 17 of whom were treated for gunshot wounds at nearby hospitals. A second suspect is in custody.
“It’s a massive crime scene,” Onofri said.
Two suspects opened fire shortly before 2:45 a.m. at the 24-hour Art All Night show in the Roebling Market section of the city, according to Onofri, who told The Associated Press a “neighborhood beef” was behind the shooting.
The event began Saturday afternoon and was scheduled to continue until Sunday afternoon and typically draws thousands of people. The festival showcases local art, music and food.
“This is truly a tragedy for Trenton,” Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson said. Four people are listed as in critical condition, including a 13-year-old boy who is in “extremely critical condition,” according to Onofri.
Police have identified at least two suspects in the shooting. One, a 33-year-old man, was pronounced dead while the other was taken into police custody. Onofri said authorities “believe” the suspect who died was shot and killed by police. Trenton police at the scene told NJ.com that officers engaged with at least one gunman.
Authorities are now combing through the warehouse where the shooting took place as part of the investigation. Onofri said that “multiple weapons” were recovered at the scene. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Twitter the agency is “actively assisting” Trenton and New Jersey State Police with the shooting. Onofri said that authorities are also investigating an attempted carjacking that took place in the area after the shooting. Three people were in a vehicle when a man came up and pointed a gun at them, the prosecutor said. Their vehicle sustained “some damage” during the confrontation, he added, without releasing further details.
A witness told The Trentonian he witnessed a fight break out before gunshots rang out, with several punches being thrown. “I saw two punches and then heard several gunshots,” Franco Roberts said. Roberts told the newspaper he thought something bad was going to happen because there were “more people outside than in the warehouse” standing around. “Everybody ran toward the door,” he said. “And the people fighting and shooting got mixed with the crowd that was running and they went out the door shooting.”
Angelo Nicolo told WPVI that he and his brother were at the event when they heard loud popping sounds, and that people started running down the street. “And all of a sudden, my brother goes to me, ‘You hear that gunfire?’ I go, ‘It sounds like fireworks.’ He said, ‘No, that’s gunfire.’ Next thing you know, we turn around and everybody’s running down the street. All hell broke loose,” Nicolo said.
The Trenton resident said he saw one person with a gunshot wound to the leg. “I saw two police officers escort a guy that got shot in the leg; they bandaged him up and whisked him away before the ambulance came here,” he told WPVI. “It was pretty gnarly.”
The event was billed as a showcase for more than 1,500 pieces of art. Authorities said that about 1,000 people were in the area when the shooting started and people stampeded.
“Devastated by last night’s shooting at Art All Night Trenton,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said on Twitter. “We must eradicate the scourge of gun violence from our communities.”
Read the rest of the story here.
Shannon Watts hardest hit.
From USA Today: The FBI was flooded Friday with more than 200,000 background check requests for gun purchases, setting a new single day record, the bureau reported Saturday.
In all, the FBI fielded 203,086 requests on Black Friday, up from the previous single-day highs of 185,713 last year and 185,345 in 2015. The two previous records also were recorded on Black Friday.
Gun checks, required for purchases at federally licensed firearm dealers, are not a measure of actual gun sales. The number of firearms sold Friday is likely higher because multiple firearms can be included in one transaction by a single buyer.
The surging numbers received by the bureau’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), comes just days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a sweeping review of the system, which allowed a court-martialed Air Force veteran to purchase the rifle used earlier this month to kill 25 people inside a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church.
The victims included a pregnant woman whose unborn child also died in the Nov. 5 massacre.
Following the shooting, the Air Force acknowledged it had not provided the FBI with details of the court martial, which likely would have blocked the 2016 sale of the murder weapon to Devin Kelley.
In a memo issued Wednesday, Sessions ordered the FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to review the NICS system.
The breakdown in the Kelley case highlighted longstanding problems within the system, which for more than 20 years has served as the centerpiece of the government’s effort to block criminals from obtaining firearms. Yet it has largely struggled to keep pace with the volume of firearm transactions and still properly maintain the databases of criminal and mental health records necessary to determine whether buyers are eligible to purchase guns.
Last year, the FBI official overseeing NICS was forced to transfer personnel from construction projects and units that oversee the gathering of crime statistics to keep up with the surge of requests for background checks. The office processed a record 27.5 million background checks in 2016.
Stephen Morris, a former assistant FBI director, told USA TODAY after the shooting that the NICS system has long been plagued by incomplete or outdated information.
In many cases, a background check may show a record of arrest, but there is no additional information to indicate whether the case was dismissed or resulted in a felony conviction which would prohibit a gun purchase.
The mere record of arrest is not enough to prohibit a gun sale, so FBI analysts must race to fill such information gaps within the three-day time period allotted for each check. The search sometimes requires inquiries to police departments, courthouses and prisons across the country to match final dispositions to the incomplete records.
Read the rest of the story here.
If a gun grabber showed at least some interest in enforcing current gun laws, I might reevaluate their agenda. But they aren’t so I won’t.
From HuffPo: The gun control group led by former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) is suing the Trump administration for failing to turn over documents that could show the National Rifle Association’s influence over President Donald Trump’s gun policies. The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed a lawsuit against the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Tuesday in the the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The gun safety group is accusing ATF of refusing to respond to multiple Freedom of Information Act requests for documents relating to communications between administration officials and the NRA.
Specifically, Giffords’ group filed FOIA requests seeking any records relating to Trump administration policies on concealed carry reciprocity, gun silencers, bump stocks and assault weapon exports; evidence that Donald Trump Jr. improperly lobbied on behalf of gun manufacturing companies; communications between gun lobbying groups and senior administration officials following last month’s mass shooting in Las Vegas; and attempts by the NRA to review bump stock regulations in coordination with ATF.
HuffPost reached out to ATF for comment late Thursday afternoon. The person who answered the phone said nobody was available via email or phone to give a comment until Friday morning.
Trump’s firearms agenda is certainly proceeding along lines favored by the gun lobby.
In February, a leaked ATF document revealed a top official at the bureau urging a series of proposals that the NRA has long advocated. Last spring, the NRA sunk $1 million into helping Trump get Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch confirmed.
Last week, NBC obtained White House talking points being distributed to Trump allies on how to talk about the Las Vegas massacre. They sound a lot like the NRA’s talking points after mass shootings. “The Trump administration appears willing to let the National Rifle Association dictate its federal gun safety policy, which includes remaining silent on how to stem our nation’s gun violence epidemic,” said Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Giffords Law Center. “Protecting the safety of Americans should be the top priority of any president. Unfortunately, gun lobby profits seem to be more important to President Trump.”
There have been 307 mass shootings in 2017, according to a New York Times tracker. Neither Congress nor Trump has taken any real action in response.
In August 2015, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to establish a tax on gun and ammunition sales in the city, and to require gun owners to report lost and stolen firearms to police. At the time, council president Tim Burgess said this: “Gun violence is a public-health crisis in our city and our nation. City government can and must pursue innovative gun-safety measures that save lives and save money.”
It’s been two years since that gun tax was adopted. And it’s working about as well as you would expect…
From MyNorthwest.com: In his 4 ½ years as King County sheriff, John Urquhart cannot recall a time or an issue that brought together nearly every high-ranking law enforcement official in the Puget Sound region. Until Wednesday, when the region’s recent rise in gun violence put local and federal law enforcement in one room. Most recently, there were six shootings in two days in the Seattle region. The issue is so severe that Urquhart was blunt while speaking with KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don.
“Young people with guns, that’s exactly what it is … my message to parents is if you think your kids are out there with guns – and I think most parents know – you better put a stop to it, even if you have to call us,” Urquhart said. “Because if you don’t, they are going to get killed. Either we are going to kill them – which is what happened in Seattle two weeks ago – or other people out there, other kids with guns are going to kill them. That’s how serious this is. We don’t want to kill them, we don’t want your kid to get killed. Do something about it.”
The meeting on Wednesday brought together the Washington State Patrol, Seattle Police Department, ATF, DEA, FBI, the DOC, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Marshal’s Office — each discussing how they have noticed the rise in gun violence. “There has been an uptick in some gang activity,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole told KIRO 7. “…We had the death of an innocent 16-year-old girl here, just around the corner. We had an elderly couple in the middle of the night that were subject to gunfire. It has to stop. The community is not going to tolerate it, and the police department is not going to tolerate it.”
Urquhart wouldn’t say exactly what tactics are going to be used moving forward, but he did provide some insight. “They are real simple: Boots on the ground,” he said. “We’re are going to go out there and if you have got guns, if you are shooting people, if you are doing drive-bys, we are going to find you and we are going to arrest you, and we are going to work together to find out who is doing this.” King County gun violence
In just the first four months of 2017, the King County Sheriff’s Office has already logged a considerable number of firearm-related incidents in unincorporated parts of the county. The sheriff did not have the numbers from previous years on hand, but did say that they are “way up.”
40 shootings (people struck by gunfire, but survived)
100 drive-by shootings
A total of 120 shots fired were reported to 911 in cities that the sheriff covers (Des Moines, Kent, etc.)
The numbers do not reflect Seattle’s statistics. Seattle shots fired in a 12-month period starting in April:
2013: 73 reports
2014: 76 reports
2015: 113 reports
2016: 103 reports
2017: 119 reports
“The only common denominator is all the guns,” Urquhart said. “Individuals, groups of people, some gangs involved, but not 100 percent. It would be a mistake to say that this is a gang problem, because that is not exactly what this is in every situation.”
“This could be as simple as somebody disrespecting somebody else’s mother or somebody else’s girlfriend … There’s no one situation that applies to all this violence except that everybody has guns and they are shooting people,” he said. “They are shooting innocent people and they are shooting up houses.”
Once again, anomalies are emerging about Sunday’s massacre-by-shooting of 49 patrons of a “gay” nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by 29-year-old Omar Mateen.
Whatever the Orlando shooting turns out to be, which Fellowship of the Minds will tackle as we did with the Sandy Hook false-flag, one thing should be said about Orlando that no one in the MSM seems to have noted:
The Orlando gay-club shooting of June 12, 2016, reveals the utter failure of government on every level.
Among the many charges of government, the most important is to protect and ensure the safety and security of citizens.
But in the Orlando mass shooting incident, the present government of the United States of America has been an abject failure in discharging that responsibility — from the federal government of the Obama Administration down to the local government of the city of Orlando. Below are the failed government agencies:
1. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Mateen was on the FBI’s radar for several years. An FBI spokesperson said that the FBI twice interviewed Matten in 2013 after he had made threats to a coworker, and once in 2014 after he was linked to an American suicide bomber. In both instances, the FBI found no sufficient evidence to continue with their investigations. As a result,Mateen was not under investigation or surveillance when he committed the massacre.
2. Bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives (ATF)
Omar Mateen had two licenses to carry firearms in Florida: a Class D license, given to security guards; and a Class G license, which is a general concealed carry license. An ATF spokesperson confirmed that Mateen was able to legally purchase guns, and bought both of the weapons used in the attack within the last week. (Gawker)
4. Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Orlando Police Department
According to a timeline of the shooting incident on June 12, 2016:
At 2:02 a.m., shooting erupts at the Pulse nightclub when the club’s uniformed security guard and two nearby officers open fire on the shooter, presumably Mateen, and “a gun battle ensues”.
The shooter then goes into the club, where he would shoot dead 49, wound another 53, and take the remainder hostage.
By 2:09 a.m., some 100 officers from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Orlando Police Department had arrived.
At 2:22 a.m., shooter calls 911 to pledge allegiance to ISIS.
By 3:58 a.m., the phalanx of armed police assembled outside already knew the perp was shooting people inside the club because a post on Orlando Police Department’s official Twitter account says: “Shooting at Pulse Nightclub on S Orange. Multiple injuries. Stay away from area.”
At around 5:00 a.m., heavily armed SWAT team members use an armored vehicle to smash down a door at the club, clearing the way for some 30 people inside to flee to safety. SWAT officers confront the suspect in the doorway, shoot and kill him.
Police say they had to wait three hours to access the situation, get armored vehicles on the scene and make sure they had enough personnel.
In other words, for three whole hours, knowing full well that the armed perp was shooting people inside the club, the armed police did nothing, leaving the dying and wounded to fester. How many of the 49 who died would have lived if the police had broken into the club earlier?
Having failed to secure citizens’ lives and safety, our government — in the person of President Barack Obama — proposes that the solution is more gun control. In effect, this criminal regime not only does not and will not protect us, they want to take away the means for us to protect ourselves.
Just how, exactly, will this technology quell gun violence? It allows police to respond to gun shots, not prevent them. That’s liberal logic for ‘ya.
Ed Murray (center) along one of the rainbow sidewalks installed in Seattle to prevent crime.
From Seattle Times: Concerned by a recent spate of shootings, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Thursday the city is launching a one-year pilot project to test a gunshot-locator system in Rainier Valley and the Central District.
The acoustic gunshot-locator technology uses microphones, sensors and cameras mounted overhead in neighborhoods to identify shots and triangulate the location of gunfire. Murray said the technology allows police to respond to reports of shots fired even before 911 is called. Seattle officials hope the system can help quell the recent spate of gun violence.
Since the start of the year, according to city officials, there have been 144 reports of gunshots fired, leading to five deaths and 24 people wounded. Murray noted the majority of victims are young African Americans.
Murray, along with Council President Bruce Harrell, Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Tim Burgess, Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole and community leaders, gathered at Rainier Beach Community Center on Thursday to discuss the technology aimed at enhancing public safety and increasing police response times. “This is the very best way to keep a very safe city safer,” Murray said.
He noted the announcement of the pilot project comes two years after the deadly shooting at Seattle Pacific University as well as the shooting deaths of Dwone Anderson-Young, 23, and Ahmed Said, 27, in Seattle. The young men’s alleged killer, Ali Muhammad Brown, is also facing murder charges in New Jersey.
Last year, the Seattle office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms received federal money to install and operate a gunshot-locator system across one square mile, according to a memo to Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess from Seattle police Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey. The memo notes that the highest concentrations of shots-fired reports in Seattle are in the Central District and Rainier Valley. “
If the privacy concerns can be addressed and property ameliorated … deployment of (a locator system) could provide a valuable resource to officers investigating shots-fired incidents,” the SPD memo says, calling a joint effort with the ATF a cost-effective way to test the technology. Murray said Thursday the city would ensure the city’s commitment to privacy is maintained before launching the new program.
The idea for a gunshot-locator system isn’t new and has been debated by city officials since at least 2012. That year, Harrell had vendor ShotSpotter, of Mountain View, Calif., make a presentation to the council’s public-safety committee. Then-Mayor Mike McGinn allocated $1 million for a system, but the council later cut the item. DCG
And the State Run Media is doing their best to protect Obama and Holder. According to Newsbusters, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Univision censored El Chapo weapon being linked to Fast and Furious during their Wednesday night broadcasts. Shocker, not.
Via NY Post: One of the guns that Mexican officials say was found at the hideout of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera has been found to be associated with Fast and Furious, a failed “gun-walking” operation, according to the Justice Department.
The department said in a letter to members of Congress that a .50-caliber rifle that Mexican officials sent for tracing after Guzman’s arrest in January has been connected to Fast and Furious.
Officials say the weapon was one of 19 firearms that Mexican authorities said were recovered from the hideout and was the only one determined to be associated with the botched sting operation, in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed gun runners to buy weapons in hopes of tracking them and disrupting gun smuggling rungs.
The rifle was bought in July 2010 in a straw purchase by someone not known to ATF at the time. The buyer was later identified and came under investigation but was never indicted. The weapon is not known to be associated with any other crime, the Justice Department says.
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry
As of January, the ATF said it had recovered 885 firearms purchased by targets of Operation Fast and Furious. Several of those have been linked to violent crimes, including a 2010 firefight near the Mexican border during which Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed. “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 to congressional leaders.
After escaping from a Mexican prison last year, Guzman was recaptured in January in the western state of Sinaloa after fleeing a safe house through a storm sewer. Mexican officials initially submitted eight rifles for tracing that they said were recovered from the home in Sinaloa where Guzman was captured. None of those weapons was found to be linked to Fast and Furious, the Justice Department said.
Later, Mexican officials requested a trace on an additional 11 rifles they said had also been seized from the home, but unlike the others, had been sent to Mexico City prior to submission for tracing.
Washington Times: The Obama administration quietly has been forcing new gun buyers to declare their race and ethnicity, a policy change that critics say provides little law enforcement value while creating the risk of privacy intrusions and racial profiling.
With little fanfare, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2012 amended its Form 4473 — the transactional record the government requires gun purchasers and sellers to fill out when buying a firearm — to identify buyers as either Hispanic, Latino or not. Then a buyer must check his or her race: Indian, Asian, black, Pacific Islander or white. The amendment is causing a headache for gun retailers, as each box needs to be checked off or else it’s an ATF violation — severe enough for the government to shut a business down. Many times people skip over the Hispanic/Latino box and only check their race, or vice versa — both of which are federal errors that can be held against the dealer. Requiring the race and ethnic information of gun buyers is not required by federal law and provides little law enforcement value, legal experts say. And gun industry officials worry about how the information is being used and whether it constitutes an unnecessary intrusion on privacy. “This issue concerns me deeply because, first, it’s offensive, and, secondly, there’s no need for it,” said Evan Nappen, a private practice firearms lawyer in New Jersey. “If there’s no need for an amendment, then there’s usually a political reason for the change. What this indicates is it was done for political reasons, not law enforcement reasons.”
ATF said the change came about because it needed to update its forms to comply with an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reporting standard put into effect during the Clinton administration. The ATF declined to comment on why race and ethnicity information are needed in the first place or what they are used for. On its prior 4473 forms, the bureau had been collecting race data.
“OMB’s race and ethnicity standards require agencies to ask both race and ethnicity in a specific manner (as done on [Form 4473]), and agencies may not ask for one without asking for the other,” wrote Elizabeth Gosselin, a spokeswoman for the ATF, in an emailed response to The Washington Times. She did not say why the agency suddenly made the change in response to a rule that was more than a decade old.
For ATF to ask for a purchaser’s race and ethnicity is not specifically authorized under federal statute, and since a government-issued photo ID — like a driver’s license — and a background check are already required by law to purchase a gun, the ethnicity/race boxes aren’t there for identification reasons, Mr. Nappen said.
“There is nothing [in ATF or OMB’s website links addressing the change in policy] that supports the requirement that ATF collect race-based information. The OMB guidance merely describes what categories of race should look like if information is collected,” Laura Murphy, the American Civil Liberties Union director for legislative affairs in Washington, said in an emailed statement.
In addition, Mrs. Murphy notes, the OMB guidance was supposed to be implemented by 2003; there’s no information given why ATF decided to make this change almost a decade later, she said. “If there is a civil rights enforcement reason for the ATF to collect this data, I have not heard that explanation from ATF or any other federal agency,” said Mrs. Murphy.
Both the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza — the nation’s largest national Hispanic civil rights group — declined comment.
The 4473 form is supposed to be kept in a gun retailer’s possession at all times — allowing ATF agents to inspect the form only during the course of a criminal investigation or during a random audit of the dealer. The form is to be kept out of the hands of the government, hence the distinction between “sales/transaction form” and “registration form.” But that isn’t always the case, gun rights advocates say. “We’ve been contacted by several dealers saying ATF is or has been making wholesale copies of their 4473 forms, and it’s just not legal,” said Erich Pratt, spokesman for Gun Owners of America, a gun advocacy group. “If this is what they’re doing somewhat out in the open, what’s going on behind closed doors? Are these names and demographic information getting phoned [in and] punched into a government computer? Do they ever come out?
During the time ATF revised its 4473 form to include Hispanic or Latino as an ethnicity, the Obama administration was building gun control cases by saying U.S. firearms dealers were supplying Mexican gangs with weapons and that violence related to the sales was seeping across the border.
In March 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Mexico City and gave a speech against American gun stores and owners — blaming them for the drug cartels’ violence. Mrs. Clinton subsequently told CBS News that “90 percent” of the “guns that are used by the drug cartels against the police and military” actually “come from America.”
About a week later, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. made the same points at a gun trafficking conference outside of Mexico City. In April, the president himself flew down to Mexico to inform President Felipe Calderon that Mr. Holder was going to review U.S. law enforcement operations, according to a 2011 report by the American Thinker.
This political worldview may have fueled decision-making at ATF, Mr. Nappen suggests. Around the same time that ATF started specifying “Latino/Hispanic” on their U.S. purchasing forms, they also required border firearms dealers in Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico to start reporting multiple rifle sales.
In 2012, when ATF made the Form 4473 modification, they insisted their new reporting requirement for multiple rifle sales in those border states had led to “follow-up investigations involving transactions that might indicate firearms trafficking activities.” “Was it coincidental [that] about the time the form changed the requirements came in that border states had to report multiple rifle sales, and there was a push in the antigun movement to claim American guns were arming Mexican cartels south of the border?” asked Mr. Nappen.
Although gun advocates speculate on the reasoning behind changing the form, on one thing they are clear: Requiring ethnicity and race to purchase a gun is a clear government overstep, violating Second Amendment rights. “It’s an overreach, not authorized by Congress, taken upon [by ATF] unilaterally,” said Mr. Pratt. “The president has said his biggest frustration has been not getting gun control enacted — but we can see he’s been very active with his phone and his pen. And this certainly — either intentionally or unintentionally — feeds that notion.”