Regarding the ATF proposed information collection action to register multiple sales of certain rifles with ATF from the 04/29/2011 Federal Register: http://www.gpo.gov/f.../2011-10355.pdf
This information collection is both illegal and unnecessary. ATF justification for collection of the data is based upon lies, false and misleading data.
Analysis of the number of firearms seized shows that Mexico may be primarily supplied with firearms by South American countries, NOT the United States. In fact, a STRATFOR report indicates that fully 90% of the firearms traced in Mexico are NOT coming from the United States, contrary to assertions by ATF and the mainstream media:
Additionally, Wikileaks cables have shown the US Government is at least partially responsible for supplying Mexico from the United States: http://narcosphere.n...repower-mexico. These firearms are NOT from the US commercial market.
1. ATF admitted it (falsely) overstated the "trafficking" problem and deliberately mislead Congress and the American People. Between 2008 and 2010, ATF quoted 90% of guns seized in Mexico came from the United States. In September 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a draft report critical of Project Gunrunner, followed by a final version in November, 2010. The OIG analysis of ATF data shows, of the guns submitted for tracing, a much lower percentage of guns (about 27 percent) traced to the United States. These percentages significantly differ from those in ATF testimony before Congress. See below for additional detail.
Only after being confronted with the OIG analysis, did ATF then admit to the OIG that the 90% figure cited to Congress is misleading. During this 2010 review by the OIG, ATF could not provide updated information on the percentage of traced Mexican crime guns that originated in or imported through the United States.
2. ATF's proposed reporting is overly broad and vague. Rather than "a very narrow group of long guns" as ATF stated, the proposed rule includes a huge number of guns unlikely to be trafficked. Instead of specifying the guns ATF keeps saying are the problem (AK47, AR15, .50 caliber, etc.), they have included a huge number of curio and relic rifles up to 100 years old - of interest mainly to collectors. Many ordinary hunting rifles, and many rifles chambered for obsolete ammunition no longer manufactured are included. This is a strange way to gather information on firearms
3. ATF's proposed reporting violates the Firearm Owners Protection Act:
a. By requiring these records be transferred to the United States Government, and
b. Creating an additional system of registration of firearms and firearm owners.
"No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary's authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation."
4. Once reported to ATF, these proposed registration records never go away, but permanently remain in ATF databases at the National Tracing Center, and if traced, will be reported to corrupt Mexican police.
If a trace links to any of these records, even in error, many innocent American gun owners personal information (including name and address, height, weight, drivers license number, possibly Social Security Number, date of birth, place of birth, and all other guns linked to that last name and date of birth) will be reported with each trace to Mexican police. If your name is Smith or Jones (Garcia or Martinez in the Southwest), there are many people with the same date of birth!
5. ATF is attempting to exceed it’s authority to require reporting of rifles. 18 USC Section 923(g) explicitly gives ATF authority to gather information on multiple handgun sales, but not rifles.
6. ATF has been complicit in supplying Mexican Narco-terrorist forces with firearms. Source documents of the ATF uncovered by US Senator Grassley and US Representative Issa show that ATF has been complicit in supplying Mexican Narco-terrorist forces with firearms:
7. ATF will use violations of the multiple rifle sale reporting requirement to punish dealers. The proposed rule is vague (by not defining “greater than .22, etc.) and deliberately misleading. As a result, many law-abiding dealers will misunderstand and inadvertently fail to report some sales. These unintentional violations will be used by ATF in attempts to revoke
8. ATF is attempting an “end run” around Congress. As expressed in a letter from Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg to the President, implementing ATF’s proposal will subject firearms dealers and their customers to:
a. New, onerous reporting requirements that will inevitably track and register the purchases of innocent law-abiding gun owners.
b. Congress authorized multiple sales reporting for handguns, but have never extended this authority to other types of firearms.
c. Expanding multiple sales reporting for rifles by executive decree would be an end run around Congress.
9. ATF is focusing on the wrong group. ATF seeks to restrict and report actions of law-abiding citizens — lawful gun owners and licensed firearms dealers — while largely leaving actual criminals untouched. It’s hard to keep up with the criminals of this world, but really easy to focus on law-abiding citizens who don’t conceal their activities, have permanent addresses, published phone numbers, keep regular hours, and don’t shoot back. The proposed rule doesn't focus on straw purchasers. Rather, the proposed reporting requirement imposes further restrictions on law-abiding citizens by reporting innocent gun purchases to ATF and imposes further
restrictions on law-abiding gun dealers who will be prosecuted or licenses revoked by ATF if the new reports aren’t filed properly in the ATF approved manner.
10. ”FFL” holders are already required by law to respond to ATF requests for information on firearms distribution pursuant to criminal investigations: Title 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(7).
11. There is a grave potential for this regulation to unduly burden citizens who are collectors or must obtain purchase permits at the local or state level to possess firearms. The proposed regulation does not say what the agency intends to do with the information but ostensibly it would be for criminal investigations. Subjecting law abiding gun owners to this type of investigation under the guise of “information collection” is an overt attempt to prevent them from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights to purchase and own firearms.
ATF has repeatedly lied to Congress and the American People regarding sources of seized Mexican guns;
1. On February 2008, William Hoover, Assistant Director for Field Operations of ATF falsely testified before Congress that over 90% of the firearms that have either been recovered in, or interdicted in transport to Mexico, originated from various sources within the United States.
2. In May, 2008, William Newell, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Phoenix Office falsely reported: "When 90 percent-plus of the firearms recovered from these violent drug cartels are from a U.S. source, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to stem the illegal flow of these firearms to these thugs."
3. President Obama, Hillary Clinton, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, CBS newsman Bob Schieffer and several others falsely and foolishly repeated the same 90% figure in public - to the media.
4. On April 02, 2009, Fox News published "The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come From U.S.".
5. On June 19, 2009, The U.S. Government Accountability Office falsely reported to Congress (based on ATF data), "Over 90 percent of the firearms seized in Mexico and traced over the last 3 years have come from the United
6. On July 16, 2009, William McMahon, Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations, ATF, falsely testified before Congress that about 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico that ATF has traced were initially sold in the United States. (Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism, U.S. House of Representatives, concerning “Combating Border Violence: The Role of Interagency Coordination in Investigations”).
7. In September 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a draft report, followed by the final version in November, 2010, critical of Project Gunrunner. The OIG analysis of ATF data exposed the false statements and shows, of the guns submitted for tracing, a much lower percentage of guns traced to the United States, ranging from 44 percent in FY 2005, falling to 27 percent in FY 2007 and 31 percent in FY 2009. These percentages significantly differ from those in ATF testimony before Congress (see above).
8. Between September and November 2010, ATF admitted their prior statements were false and that “the 90% figure cited to Congress could be misleading because it applied only to the small portion of Mexican crime guns that are traced.” During this 2010 review by the OIG, ATF could not provide updated information on the percentage of traced Mexican crime guns that originated in or imported through the United States.
9. In October 2010, ATF announced they would no longer release estimates of how many guns came from the United States because the numbers have become "too politicized". ATF’s Kenneth Melson stated, "It doesn't matter if 20 percent are coming from the U.S. or 80 percent...". [Many people think it does matter...]
10. On December 14, 2010, despite ATF's announcement they would no longer release estimates, yet, NBC reported "U.S. firearms agents estimate that around 80 percent of the weapons used by Mexican drug traffickers come from the United States...", a percentage previously disavowed by ATF and discredited by the DOJ OIG in November 2010 (see above).
11. On February 10, 2011, Stratfor Global Intelligence published an analysis which concluded "almost 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexico in 2008 were not traced back to the United States."
12. On April 5, 2011, in a formal letter to a constituent, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) [who should know better], repeated the same lie, “According to ATF, 90 percent of the weapons seized in Mexico are from sources within the United States.”
ATF has failed to address significant misleading factors in eTrace statistics of seized Mexican guns; legitimate export sales. These firearms are included in eTrace statistics, which further skews the statistical reports.
ATF fails to separately identify:
1. American origin guns legitimately sold to the Mexican military.
2. American origin guns legitimately and commercially exported to the Mexican gun shop in Mexico City.
3. American origin guns legitimately sold to Mexican police - at the Federal, state or local level.
4. American origin guns legitimately sold to Mexican banks, private security firms, or other companies.
5. American origin guns legitimately sold to other Mexican government entities.
6. American origin guns legitimately sold to police, military, security companies or private parties in other countries, which were later smuggled into Mexico from those countries.
Further, ATF fails to properly address:
7. American origin guns exported many years ago. (Average age of traced Mexican guns is over 14 years).
8. Foreign guns with American markings never imported into the United States for any number of reasons.
9. Counterfeit guns made elsewhere with fake American markings. ATF acknowledged this is a problem.
10. Frequently, pictures of seized Mexican guns show many .22 rimfire rabbit rifles and sporting shotguns. Are these included in ATF statistics? ATF doesn't say.
In an April, 2011 study titled "Update on U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico Report", author Colby Goodman reported that ATF now reports tens of thousands of Mexican trace requests are duplicates. In some cases, ATF received information on the same firearm up to five times as Mexican police, a crime lab, the military, and the Attorney General’s office all write down information on the same firearm, and the Attorney General’s office in Mexico City submitted trace requests on all of them.
As as result of these duplicate 'successful' traces:
1. The American first purchaser receives up to five duplicate 'crime gun' trace reports on one gun that he may have innocently bought years ago.
2. The selling dealer will also receive up to five duplicate 'crime gun' traces on his record.
3. Mexican authorities submitting the traces will receive multiple duplicate trace reports providing the personal information (name, address and personal data) of the American first purchaser, and the name and address of the selling dealer.
4. Statistics on "seized Mexican guns" are even more seriously inflated than previously reported.
Monday, May 23, 2011
CUATF tears a new one into the rifle multi-sale proposal. The 90 percent lie.
Ike, writing at CleanUpATF.org: