Just some Mexican guys out for a walk in the desert.
When a jury gathers next week for the trial of two men charged with the murder of a U.S. federal agent, it will not hear any details of how two guns found at the murder scene were part of a U.S. government-sanctioned weapon program, a federal judge has ruled.
Friday morning, U.S. District Court Judge David Bury agreed with U.S. prosecutors to keep the details of Operation Fast and Furious out of the upcoming trial for the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Terry was killed in a firefight with a crew of armed Mexican men who were scouting the desert in search of drug smugglers to rob. Two AK-47 variants were found at the crime scene. Those rifles were purchased in a gun-tracking operation overseen by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Operation Fast and Furious. ATF officials had hoped weapons purchased at a Glendale gun store would eventually turn up in the hands of high-level Mexican drug traffickers. Instead, ATF lost track of more than 1,400 guns. The two found at Terry’s death were part of the operation, congressional investigators later found.
Ivan Soto Barraza and Jesus Leonel Sanchez Meza were apprehended in Mexico, two years later.
The U.S. asked the judge this summer to keep the details of Fast and Furious out of the murder trial, stating it was irrelevant.
Bury agreed. “I agree with one exception. I can’t find any relevance expect if the government should open the door,” he said.
If the government brings up the origins of the guns found, Bury ruled that defendants can then bring up Fast and Furious.
Bury ordered the defendants “not to refer to … or elicit any testimony regarding Operation Fast and Furious. Understood?”
via Free Republic
The National Instant Check System (NICS) performs a check when people buy firearms from federally licensed dealers in the United States. It is also used to perform background checks on people applying for firearm carry permits in those states where such permits are required or offered by law. As there are now over 15 million carry permits in the United States, and firearm sales numbers are in the 10 to 20 million range per year, you can see that the number of NICS checks is not a perfect fit for the number of firearms sold.
Doug Ross @ Journal
Since the day President Obama was elected, gun owners have been on an unprecedented buying spree, purchasing everything from .22 ammunition to every kind of semi-automatic firearm available.
Their fears are not unwarranted — especially because, for a while, the federal government seemed to be racing private owners to buy the ammo first.
Closer examination shows that some fears of federal activity on this front are overblown. Others, though, are deeply rooted in legitimate concerns.
While Obama claims to support “common-sense” gun laws, he has made high-profile public announcements telegraphing his anti-gun intentions and engaged in behind-the-scenes gun control — tweaking government regulations to deny gun rights to veterans, seeking the same for Social Security recipients, and using the ATF to ban certain types of popular ammo. Calling guns more dangerous than terrorism, Obama recently indicated he’ll devote the rest of his time as president to gun control.
Calling guns more dangerous than terrorism, Obama says he’ll devote the rest of his time as president to gun control.
But one event in particular fed fears of back-door government gun control: the unprecedented purchase of ammunition by the feds.
Barack Obama is going to ban on 5.56 mm ammo.
The ammo is the most-used AR bullets in America.
Many call this Obama’s back-door gun ban.
The Washington Examiner reported:
As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56 mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela’s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.
Wednesday night, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stepped in with a critical letter to the bureau demanding it explain the surprise and abrupt bullet ban. The letter is shown below.
The National Rifle Association, which is working with Goodlatte to gather co-signers, told Secrets that 30 House members have already co-signed the letter and Goodlatte and the NRA are hoping to get a total of 100 fast.
“The Obama administration was unable to ban America’s most popular sporting rifle through the legislative process, so now it’s trying to ban commonly owned and used ammunition through regulation,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, the group’s policy and lobby shop. “The NRA and our tens of millions of supporters across the country will fight to stop President Obama’s latest attack on our Second Amendment freedoms.”
Remember this campaign ad from 2008?
Yeah, that was a lie, too.
If you can’t ban the gun, try to ban the ammo.
Via Daily Caller:
In a move clearly intended by the Obama Administration to suppress the acquisition, ownership and use of AR-15s and other .223 caliber general purpose rifles, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unexpectedly announced today that it intends to ban commonplace M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The decision continues Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress.
It isn’t even the third week of February, and the BATFE has already taken three major executive actions on gun control. First, it was a major change to what activities constitute regulated “manufacturing” of firearms. Next, BATFE reversed a less than year old position on firing a shouldered “pistol.” Now, BATFE has released a “Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c)”, which would eliminate M855’s exemption to the armor piercing ammunition prohibition and make future exemptions nearly impossible.
Tracking the movements of future domestic terrorists. Update to a previous story.
According to emails obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, federal authorities planned to monitor gun show parking lots with automatic license plate readers.
The insight comes from a damning report released by the ACLU this week on a secretive program by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to build a massive database of license plates images collected by automated license plate reader devices. As part of this investigation, emails released through the Freedom of Information Act detailed a planned cooperation between the DEA’s National License Plate Recognition initiative and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to scan and record the plates and vehicle images of gun show attendees.
“DEA Phoenix Division Office is working closely with ATF on attacking the guns going to [redacted] and the gun shows, to include programs/operation with LPRs at the gun shows,” reads an April 2009 email.
The time and place mentioned in the email coincides with known information on the Justice Department’s Fast and Furious operation, a controversial “gunwalking” scandal that possibly transferred as many as 2,000 guns to drug traffickers in Mexico. That program was run out of the Phoenix ATF Field Division office, just two miles from the DEA office.
However, DOJ officials were quick to issue denials this week following the release of the story, advising that the ATF did not in fact engage in tracking gun show attendees.