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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Another Example of Why ATF is Badly in Need of Reform

I've posted previously about the ATF harassment of Ryan Horsley of Red's Trading Post - how ATF is coming in on an almost weekly basis trying to close down Red's by inspecting the gun shop's books looking for the slightest paperwork mistake. Horsely has finally gotten his day in court. The judge has yet to issue a verdict.

One has to wonder if ATF is on a mission to not only shut down gun shops, but to end the private ownership of firearms as well. One more example of ATF harassment of private gun owners is this story which was part of CNN's Lou Dobb's program on Thursday. The report is about the conviction of Wisconsin gun owner and honorably discharged Army veteran, David Olofson, who was convicted in federal court of "transferring a machine gun," after his 20-year-old AR-15 rifle malfunctioned on a shooting range. That malfunction caused the rifle to fire multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger. Now the father of three is a convicted felon facing prison time. On Friday, Dobbs reported part two of Olofson's ordeal and the questionable tactics used by ATF to push the case. In short, in this particular case, ATF lived up to the image of a rogue agency that Congressmen John Dingell described in 1982.

There are two bills than need the support of gun owners that would bring much needed reform to ATF, HR 4900 and HR 1791. HR 1791 - the Fairness in Firearm Testing Act - would direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to make a video recording of the entire process of its examination and testing of an item for the purpose of determining whether the item is a firearm (and if so, the type of firearm) or ammunition. In addition, it bars the Bureau from editing or erasing any such recording.

HR 4900 revises the civil penalties accessed to gun dealers for violations of firearms law and the procedures for assessing such penalties, revises the definition of "willfully" for purposes of firearms violations and standards for criminal violations of firearms record keeping requirements, and requires the Attorney General to: (1) make preliminary determinations on firearms license applications and notify applicants in writing of a proposed denial; and (2) establish guidelines for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) inspections, examinations, or investigations of possible firearms violations. The bill also prohibits ATF from disclosing information on firearms purchasers other than to a court, law enforcement agency, or prosecutor.

These are two very needed reforms and gun owners are urged to contact their congressman and ask them to support and co-sponsor the bills if they have not already done so.


The Bill of Rights acknowlege God given Rights said...

The JURY, not the BATF&E has ultimate responsibility for this miscarriage of justice. The Jury system is the final check on bad laws/governments. A juror does not need to give a reason for a "Not Guilty" vote. If even ONE member on that jury had stood up for common sense it would have stopped this miscarriage of justice. BOO to the Jury, not just the Gestapo actions of the federal government.

VSSA President said...

I don't disagree with you. That does not change the fact that BATFE is out of control and needs to be reigned in or better yet, defunded.