forfeiturereform.com reports that “Attorney General Eric Holder has granted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) authority, for a one-year trial period, to seize and administratively forfeit property allegedly involved in controlled substance offenses .” Oh great. The federal Agency that instigated and condoned the illegal sale of firearms to Mexican drug thugs–at least one of which was used by a “rip crew” to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry–can now confiscate property from citizens allegedly involved in drug offenses. Hey isn’t that a DEA gig? Glad you asked . . .
ATF investigations focusing on violent crime frequently involve complex criminal organizations with multiple criminal enterprises and uncover drug-related offenses in addition to offenses within ATF’s primary jurisdiction, such as violations of the Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, or the Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 114. In such investigations, ATF does not currently have authority under 21 U.S.C. Chapter 13 to seize for administrative forfeiture property involved in controlled substance offenses. Instead, ATF generally refers such property to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which is primarily responsible for investigating violations of drug laws contained in title 21 of the United States Code. DEA then initiates, processes, and concludes all necessary forfeiture actions for the controlled-substance-related property.
Now they don’t have to! The ATF can just take the money and stuff from people busted for a firearms offense and keep it for themselves! Awesome!
In fact, it doesn’t even matter if the ATF finds drugs. As long as they think a suspect’s cash might have come from drug dealing they can take the money from its owner “on theories that the currency was furnished, or intended to be furnished, in exchange for a controlled substance.”
[Note to the TTAG’s AI: you might not want to keep cash in your gun safe anymore.]
How, pray tell, did Attorney General Eric “Perjury” Holder extends the ATF’s powers without Congressional approval? The same way they created the illegal long gun registry in America’s border states: Executive Order.
This rule has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” section 1(b), Principles of Regulation, and with Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.,” This rule is limited to agency organization, management, or personnel matters as described by Executive Order 12866, section 3(d)(3) and, therefore, is not a “regulation” or “rule” as defined by that Executive Order.
It’s not a rule or regulation. It’s a . . . policy change. Geddowdaheah. Seriously, will no one rid me of this troublesome agency?