Tag: ATF

So speaking of confirmation bias, this leaked ATF whitepaper is a fine example of something that needed to be slow-rolled before we shouted it from the rooftops. It’s not that it’s too-good-to-be-true. In fact, it seems to be legit. (Someone at ATF needs to be taught that “reply all” is not your friend.) So now, after a little time to let things settle, it appears that the time is ripe to discuss the leaked memo.

The whitepaper is a call to reevaluate some longstanding rules and policies at the ATF. Among these are an acceptance of “Modern Sporting Rifles” as soundly falling within the scope of the GCA‘s “Sporting purposes” requirements for legal importation. Included is an admission that these firearms are indeed used in sports such as hunting and 3-gun competitions. (Mind you, this doesn’t mean that we’re accepting “sporting purposes” as a legitimate, constitutional restraint on gun ownership. The 2nd Amendment isn’t about sporting goods! However, the GCA is part of the current legal paradigm that we need to work within.) There is also a call to loosen, or eliminate restrictions on silencers (and their parts) as NFA items. Silencers are legal in most States and the ATF’s inboxes are clogged with the  backlog of NFA applications for them.

The big take-away from the whitepaper is that there are reams of ATF regulations that do not advance public safety. Taking silencers as an example, there are almost no prosecutions for the illegal use of these devices in a typical year. (44 per year on average in a nation of 300,000,000 people; 0.0000147%.) These unnecessary, ineffectual rules only serve to erode our freedoms. How? A law or regulation that sits and gathers dust today could be “weaponized” in the future by some clever bureaucrat. Rather than wait for the threat to emerge, it’s better to clear the books of these useless regulations.

Kinda nice seeing the ATF under new management, isn’t it?

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From America’s 1st Freedom…

How El Chapo Got His Gun

by Marshall Lewin – Thursday, February 4, 2016

Photo credit: El Chapo photo by YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images

You’ve probably heard the news that when Mexican authorities raided the hideout of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, the head of the murderous Sinaloa drug cartel, on Jan. 8, they recovered a .50-caliber Barrett rifle that was trafficked through the ATF’s disastrous “Fast and Furious” debacle.

What you may not know, but probably suspected, is that the more information that surfaces surrounding Fast and Furious, the more it appears that the Obama administration deliberately helped traffic guns from the United States to the highest levels of the most ruthless and deadly drug cartels in Mexico for no other reason than to support the absurd claim—asserted by everyone from Barack Obama to his attorney general, Eric Holder, to his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton—that 90 percent of the guns used in crimes in Mexico originated in the U.S., and that imposing more gun control upon law-abiding Americans would somehow control international criminal networks with billions of dollars at their fingertips.

When you look at the evidence in aggregate, no other explanation seems possible, let alone plausible.

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There’s a saying: “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.” One gun slipping across the border can be explained by stupidity. Two can be explained that way. Perhaps even 100 can be. But thousands? But at some point, even the dullest BATFE agent will come to realize that it’s not possible to track a gun after it’s been smuggled across an international border. Thus stupidity does not and cannot explain the government’s actions. Only malice can.



The deadliest Obama scandal, Operation Fast and Furious, has been simmering for months now. Congressman Darrell Issa’s investigation has been getting stonewalled by the Administration and former AG Eric Holder, who oversaw the program, has since returned to life as a Beltway Bandit. But the arrest of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman threatens to move the scandal off of the back burner.

When Mexican Marines caught up to Guzman (Tacos and Sean Penn were involved. I’m not making this up!), they recovered a .50 BMG rifle at the house where he was hidingEl Chapo's fiddyWanna take a guess where this particular rifle came from? You got it; Operation Fast and Furious. This was one of at least 34 .50 BMG firearms that the BATFE allowed to “walk” into Mexico. For those who don’t remember, this operation was supposed to catch gun runners taking guns into Mexico. There was, however, one problem: BATFE agents had no way of tracking the guns once they crossed the border. Perhaps it didn’t occur to them that the other side of the border is Mexico, and not the US, and that their jurisdiction ends at said border.

That theory, as attractive as it sounds, isn’t plausible. How do we know this? The agents involved are able to dress themselves. Were they really that stupid, they’d be showing up to work wearing Garanimals. Which means, of course, that their actions were deliberate.

So why would the Obama Administration allow firearms like this .50 BMG rifle to get into the hands of Mexican drug cartels? The theory I find more believable is that they were ginning up the “iron river of guns” that Hillary and others have been babbling about for years. Robert Farago at The Truth About Guns thinks that this particular seizure adds credence to an alternative theory: That the US was arming the Sinaloa cartel in their fight against the Los Zetas cartel. In either case, US officials didn’t seem to care that these same rifles were being turned on Mexican law enforcement. There are reports that the Sinaloa cartel was using them against drug surveillance helicopters piloted by Mexican police. Perhaps both theories explain the Administration’s actions. One motivation may have conveniently grown from the other.


The ATF was forced to retreat after their attempt to ban common M855 ammunition. Most people probably saw the attempt as something that was doomed to failure and didn’t think much of it. So why, after it did go down in flames, should we care?

Did you know that this isn’t the first time that the ATF has tried to ban ammunition by executive fiat?

Last year, the ATF banned Russian 7N6 ammunition to little, if any, protest from the public. Why did this attract so little attention? Probably because the projectiles are for the less popular AK-74 platform, not the AR or AK-47. The administration was able to successfully divide and conquer over a caliber that is used by fewer shooters than 5.56 NATO or 7.62x39MM. It’s quite possible that they expected the same result this time.

While the AR-15 is the fastest selling rifle in America, it’s not the most common. There are relatively fewer shooters with this rifle than other types of rifles. There are probably an order of magnitude more .30-06 rifles in American gun cabinets than there are AR-15s. The attempt didn’t work because there’s a critical mass of AR shooters out there who could raise a stink; more so than AK-74 shooters.

The take-away American gun owners should have from this is that it matters when the government tries to overstep its bounds to ban any ammunition. It doesn’t matter if you use it or not. The ammo banned today may not be something you buy, but what about tomorrow’s ban?


I don’t know about you, but I’m left scratching my head over the BATFE‘s attempt to ban M855 ammo. The whole thing ended with the administration hoisting the white flag.

I’m sure a lot of you had the same thought run through your head as I did when the new about the proposed ban first broke: “It will never work.” There was simply no way that a stroke-of-a-pen-law-of-the-land approach like this was going to fly. It’s as though Obama and his minions were begging Congress and the courts to bend them over and start spanking. And that’s precisely what happened. Over half of Congress signed a letter opposing the foolhardy plan.

I’m reminded of the punchline to a joke about a bear hunter that I won’t repeat on a family site like this.


Your Action Urgently Needed to Prevent BATFE from Banning Common Rifle Ammunition!


Oppose BATFE’s Expansion of the Federal “Armor Piercing” Ammo Ban and Tell Congress to Act

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President Obama insisted that if Congress would not enact his gun control agenda, he would do so on his own, through executive action. Whatever else can be said of the president’s track record, he is doing his utmost to keep that promise. Having failed to enact a federal ban on the AR-15, America’s most popular rifle, he’s now using the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to do the next best thing. BATFE is now proposing to ban a whole class of common rifle ammunition used in that overwhelmingly popular firearm. Unfortunately, that’s just the beginning of BATFE’s latest move.

On Friday, we reported on breaking news that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) had issued a “framework” for when bullets which would otherwise be classified as “armor piercing” ammunition under federal law qualify for the law’s exemption for projectiles “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.”

Write Your Lawmakers and BATFE

BATFE is proposing to ban common rifle ammunition used by millions of gun owners. If their proposal is approved, it will result in a ban on the sale of commonly sold rifle ammunition used by gun owners for hunting, target shooting and self-defense. Write the BATFE and your members of Congress and express your opposition to this proposal. You may call your members of Congress at 202-224-3121.


BATFE’s framework is the product of an effort that dates back to at least 2012. As wereported in December 2012, BATFE had met with a wide variety of stakeholders, including your NRA, to gather input on this topic. We had expressed concern that BATFE was misreading the law and encouraged interested parties to file comments to help guide the process in a positive direction.

The issue arises from the federal Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act (LEOPA), intended to ban “armor piercing” handgun ammunition (“AP” ammo) to protect police from being shot through their body armor in surprise attacks with handguns. In relevant part, LEOPA bans various sorts of non-lead projectiles (or projectile “cores”) that “may be” used in handguns.

As the authors of LEOPA realized, however, most common rifle ammunition created for legitimate purposes can penetrate soft body armor, and some rifle bullets can be loaded into ammunition for handguns. Congress therefore incorporated a “sporting purposes” exemption into the “AP” ammo ban to protect ordinary rifle ammunition from being swept up in the ban. Since LEOPA’s enactment in 1986, that scheme has generally worked as intended.

We saw disturbing signs that was changing last year, however, when BATFE abruptly declared that popular 7N6 rifle ammunition was subject to the AP ammo ban.  At the time, questions arose as to why 7N6 was considered “AP” ammo, when the equally popular M855 rifle cartridge had long been subject to a “sporting purposes” exemption. Many wondered if BATFE would ever explain its approach to determining what projectiles are, in its opinion, “primarily suitable for sporting purposes.”

BATFE’s framework now does so. The bottom line is that BATFE has virtually interpreted the “sporting purposes” exemption out of the law. Simply put, this will result in disaster.

The bottom line is that BATFE has virtually interpreted the “sporting purposes” exemption out of the law. Simply put, this will result in disaster.  

While the most visible and immediate effect of the framework is BATFE’s revocation of the “sporting purposes” exemption for M855 ammunition, its long-term consequences could be even more severe. Once an “AP” projectile designed and intended by the manufacturer to be used in a rifle (for hunting, for example) “may be” shot from any commercially available multi-shot handgun, it could never be exempt under the framework (unless loaded in a .22 caliber rimfire cartridge). Basically, this means the virtual banning of non-lead centerfire rifle bullets, even as gun control activists and states are targeting lead bullets for separate bans. This collision of bans on both lead and non-lead bullets could eventually lead to a drastic reduction in lawfully-available ammunition offerings.

The NRA is continuing its examination of the framework and its implications and will be submitting detailed comments in opposition to it. As before, gun owners and other affected members of the public must act now to ensure BATFE does not get away with this. While emotions are running high in response to this latest attempt by BATFE to undercut the Second Amendment by administrative fiat, submissions should refrain from inappropriate language and calmly explain the framework’s errors. The following are just a few suggested points that can be addressed in comments to the proposed framework. This list is merely a sampling of the many points that could be raised against it.

  • M855 ammunition should not even be categorized as “armor piercing” in the first place, given that lead is the primary material beneath its copper jacket.
  • BATFE’s framework does not clarify the “sporting purposes” exemption; it simply interprets it into irrelevance.
  • The framework overturns nearly 30 years of settled law and the good faith expectations of gun owners and industry members.
  • The framework is totally at odds with the intent of the law to ensure that restrictions on armor piercing handgun ammunition do not unduly restrict common rifle ammunition, most of which is capable of penetrating police body armor when used in a rifle as intended.
  • BATFE incorrectly insists that it is required to establish an “objective” standard based on handgun design, yet it fails even to do that with the very broad “discretion” it retains to deny the exemption to projectiles that meet its “objective” test.
  • The framework will suppress the development of non-lead rifle projectilesthat offer increased performance for hunters, decreased lead exposure, and solutions for hunters in states that restrict the use of lead in hunting.
  • The framework will likewise deter handgun development, as new designs could trigger bans.
  • Coupled with increasing attempts to ban lead projectiles, the framework could drastically reduce the availability of lawful ammunition for sporting and other legitimate purposes.
  • M855 ammunition in AR pistols is not a common threat faced by law enforcement officers.

Comments will only be considered by BATFE if received by March 16, 2015. They may be submitted in any of three ways:

Don’t Forget to Take Action!

Write the BATFE and your members of Congress using the link below and express your opposition to the BATFE proposal to ban common rifle ammunition used by millions of gun owners.You may call your members of Congress at 202-224-3121.


  1. Via the ATF website atAPAComments@atf.gov (follow the instructions at the link for submitting comments).
  2. Via fax at (202) 648-9741.
  3. Via mail to Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments.

Finally, please contact your U.S. Senators and Member of Congress. Urge them to oppose BATFE’s attempt to ban M855 handgun ammunition and other rifle cartridges that are overwhelmingly used by law-abiding Americans for self-defense, sport shooting and other legitimate purposes as “armor piercing.” Use the “Write Your Lawmakers” feature on our website or call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 225-3121.



Anti-gun types have always been a little off. OK… They’re just plain nuts; obsessing over private property owned by others that, on the whole, harm no one. There’s roughly one gun in the US for every man, woman, and child in the population. And in case you haven’t noticed, we haven’t killed each other off. But that little factoid doesn’t stop that Anti’s hysteria. In fact, they’re getting worse.

The NRA-ILA writes…

Is it our imagination, or are gun control supporters really getting “out there” lately? Take Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Dan Simpson, for example. On Tuesday, Simpson didn’t just exaggerate or engage in hyperbole. If he had, we might not have noticed, because those things are a dime a dozen when you’re talking about gun control supporters.

Simpson instead went off the deep end and then some, as he tried to vilify the NRA, NRA members, and American firearm manufacturers for disagreeing with expanded background checks and an expanded ban on semi-automatic firearms and their magazines.

Simpson didn’t stop there. He goes on to imply that the NRA and PBS were in collusion to produce the network’s “whitewash” of the NRA. (Funny… It looked an awful lot like a hatchet job to us.)

But this is a recurring theme that we’ve noted in these pages before. As the anti-gun crowd gets dealt more and more defeats, they become more and more unhinged. 10 years ago, if you suggested that anti-gun types might launch “false flag” attacks to further their cause, I might have paused to wait for you to then go on about how the black helicopters were involved in the plot. But now, after seeing anti-gun screwballs like Christopher Dorner, I have to wonder how goofy that sort of conspiracy theory really is.

Another example is “Operation Fast and Furious“.  For years, anti-gun activists have claimed that there is an “iron river of guns” flowing from the US into Mexico. Of course, this simply wasn’t true. (Unless one counts US-made firearms that were stolen from the Mexican Army as “smuggling”.) So what was the Obama Administration’s reaction to the “bad news” that American gun shops aren’t a source of illegal guns in Mexico? They ginned-up their own iron river to make up for the one that didn’t exist. It takes a special brand of anti-gun crazy to do something like that.

And Dan Simpson is another fine example of that special brand of crazy.


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You can learn all manner of things about people from their Facebook pages. But imagine what it would be like if signing up for Facebook wasn’t voluntary. Worse yet, imagine what it would be like if Government agents were the ones filling in the details of your Timeline. The ATF has been imagining that and they want to turn imagination into reality.

Wired.com reports:

According to a recent solicitation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the bureau is looking to buy a “massive online data repository system” for its Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII). The system is intended to operate for at least five years, and be able to process automated searches of individuals, and “find connection points between two or more individuals” by linking together “structured and unstructured data.”

Current Federal law prohibits the ATF from compiling a database of gun owners. So the question you should be asking is “What do they intend to do with this sparkly new ‘Massive’ database system?”. Perhaps they’ve been reading S. 374 and interpret §202(a)(4) the same way we do and they’re just trying to get a head start on things.

The ATF claims that they need this system to speed up tiresome manual searches. I guess that spying on law abiding citizens is hard work; especially when Chucky Schumer wants to hand you a brand new dataset to rummage through.

(H/T: Anthony Canales)


At times it seems like ours is a world that’s ever in turmoil. Everything seems like it’s in some state of upheaval. There are, however, some things in this world that are reliable constants; like the Washington Post shilling for the extreme, anti-gun Left. This op-ed piece, Lax U.S. gun laws enable killing in Mexico, is the latest example of the “stability” of the Post.

If we are to believe the Post’s editorial board, the lessons we should take away from the whole Fast and Furious scandal are…

  • 80% of all illegal guns in Mexico still come from the US
  • Fast and Furious was well intentioned
  • It’s really George Bush’s fault

Of course, as has been explained before, the 80% Myth (Formerly known as the 90% Myth) is simply false. The Mexican government is downright sloppy when it comes to their gun trace requests to the BATFE and their own record keeping. They’re just plain corrupt about inventory control at armories and evidence lockers.

And was Fast and Furious really “well intentioned”? Increasingly, it looks like the sole purpose to the operation was to gin-up a reason for more domestic gun control laws. How well intentioned could a government be that conspires to manipulate the media in an attempt to rob the People of their liberties? (And let’s be honest, with media like WaPo around, why all the silly cloak-and-dagger nonsense? Our “free press” will  happily bend over and print whatever anti-gun propaganda the Obama administration asks them to!)

And for the record, the forerunner to Fast and Furious was “Operation gunrunner”; a Bush-era program that actually stopped illegal guns before they crossed the border into Mexico. But stopping illegal guns isn’t as useful for writing new gun laws as is letting them into the hands of narco-terrorists. For that little ruse, the Obama program Fast and Furious was created. And if this really was all Bush’s fault, why is Obama’s Attorney General engaged in a cover up? Why would Eric Holder protect the Bushies?

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