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The 1986 Firearm Owner’s Protection Act provides that “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.” How does that square with this . . .

To comply with the ATF long gun registration scheme, some 8500 California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas gun dealers must file a report with the ATF (within 24 hours of any applicable transaction) listing all the particulars of all multiple sales of two or more .22 caliber or larger semi-automatic rifles capable of accepting a detachable magazine purchased by the same individual within five consecutive business days.

In other words, Uncle Sam is creating a registry of anyone and everyone in a border state who buys two or more rifles within five days. That seems a pretty clear FOPA violation. Ah, but there’s a “loophole” . . .

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.

Hair split. We’re not creating a registry. We’re conducting a wide-ranging criminal investigation. If a border state American buys two or more rifles with detachable magazines they’re probably “up to no good.” They lose their presumption of innocence and immediately sit smack dab in the middle in the ATF’s crosshairs.

To hide this legal perversion, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires) initially called the registration scheme a 60-day “emergency” regulation. Which made the long gun registry sound like part of tightly-focused, minimally-invasive, time-limited piece of needs-must police work. An exception that proves the rule to stop the flow of American rifles to Mexican drug cartels.

Within a month, the ATF’s registration scheme became a 90-day “temporary” program. Then it was a “one-year trial” program with automatic renewal and possible national expansion. And then, surprise, the Office of Management and Budget torpedoed the plan. They claimed they did so because it didn’t square with President Obama’s public declamation of the federal red tape afflicting the salmon industry. And no, I’m not making this up.

But wait! It’s baaaaack! Any moment now, President Obama will sign an executive order activating the ATF’s federal long gun registry.

The registry will do sweet FA to prevent Mexican drug cartels from replacing their current arsenal with newer firearms. Yes, replacing. The drug thugs have been buying military and law enforcement weaponry sent to the region by the U.S. government for at least a decade. Including grenades, grenade launchers and fully automatic rifles.

So why bother with a long gun registration scheme? Especially now that the ATF and their bosses at the Department of Justice are deeply embroiled in the scandal surrounding their patently illegal anti-gun running gun running operations. There’s only one word for it: chutzpah.

The classic definition of chutzpah: a young man murders his mother and father and pleads with the judge for leniency because he’s an orphan. Notice the complete lack of humility inherent in the story’s protagonist. The unrealistic expectation of affirmation. The radical disconnect from reality.

And there you have it. The Obama administration is insane or, if you prefer, drunk on power and self-righteousness. They honestly believe there’s an Iron River of illegal firearms flowing from Badger Guns to Los Zetas. They genuinely believe they need to monitor ALL gun buyers to catch a few bad apples. And they think they have the right to do so using whatever methods they choose.

This even though the ATF failed—spectacularly—to take advantage of known, monitored indeed enabled Mexican gun smugglers. This despite the fact that the ATF spent tens of millions of your dollars on Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious—without landing a single “big fish” in the [relatively minuscule] gun dealer-based U.S. to Mexico arms trade. Not one.

Abandoning the border region long gun registry would be a tacit admission that both federal anti-gun running programs were illegal, immoral and bureaucratically fattening. This they cannot do. If you pull the rug on the ATF’s past, present and future sting ops, the ATF’s left with . . . nothing. No reason to live.

Just so. The founders wrote the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to protect Americans’ god-given right to keep and bear arms from government infringement. The ATF is in the firearms rights infringement business. They’re dedicated to strangling our firearm freedom with bureaucratic blight.

There’s only one possible solution to the ATF’s chronic malfeasance and unconstitutional over-reach: highlight and delete. Done.

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  1. One of the common reasons I’ve been reading about for this new piece of legislative trash is to divert the public’s attention from the inanely-bungled F&F operation. I think this will have quite the opposite effect – it will serve to further highlight the complete illegality, incompetency, and absurdity of F&F, as well as this administration.

    Thanks for the great and ongoing reporting of this debacle.

    San Antonio, TX

  2. A good post, but oversimplified. The elegance of the ATF scheme would impress even Hitler.

    First, you’re really selling short how well they tried to cram this through in December, 2010. Entering the federal register on the 17th, 8 days before Christmas, 2 days before the Congressional recess, with around 20% of government employees on “use or lose” leave, AND the contact information given in the federal register was wrong. The requested date for approval by OMB was January 5th, one day after the new Congress convened.

    But it doesn’t stop there. This is an information collection activity pursuant to alleged criminal activity, that means they don’t have to destroy any information collected because… it’s an ongoing criminal investigation.

    Gunwalker documents prove they are already keeping databases of people and firearms. But the real stinker here, the ugly, wart faced truth is that no press outlet has truly investigate the motivation for Gunwalker. Sure, they say it was to ‘stop the illegal flow of guns into Mexico’. How? Was ATF going to invade Mexico like they did the Branch Davidian compound in Waco? Only one problem with that plan, it’s an act of WAR.

    All of the Congressional staff, administration officials & press lackeys keep parroting the same line about stemming the flow of guns into Mexico but where is the proof that this is the actual motivation? So far, I’ve only seen sound bytes and twisted numbers. Sure, maybe there is proof somewhere that a few people involved in the origins of Gunwalker had actual law enforcement in mind.

    This ignores the original point. Look at the elegance of the strategy ATF used to drop the rifle registration scheme on the Federal Register. Does that level of planning reflect the kind of ‘botchery’ attributed to ATF in Gunwalker? Not even close.

    The gun confiscators are conniving scumbags and their employment as well as their immunity from criminal prosecution is well established. They feel not the least bit of responsibility for the deaths and injuries they have caused, nor will they ever be held accountable.

    One more thing about the scumbags – it’s key to remember that they are professional liars. They use lies & half truths to get ‘deals’, coerce confessions, do undercover work. It’s perfectly legal for them to lie to you, but a crime for you to lie to them. Day in and day out, they lie and we pay them to do it. They’re obviously pretty successful at it because look at their web page for all the undercover busts they have made. Now think about this. Congress is calling in people from an agency staffed with… Professional liars to answer questions about an operation where people were maimed, injured and killed and they’re expecting… what exactly?

    How can you believe anything that a professional liar says?

    • Dave Y: I don’t understand something in your comment. It seems that you are suggesting in your fourth paragraph is that the ATF had ulterior goals in mind when F&F began. It seems perfectly clear and reasonable that the powers that be of the ATF wished to stop the flow of illegal firearms and weapons into the hands of the Cartel soldiers. The main problem was that they found out they were lousy at it and their inability to foresee the consequences of failure, and their inability to act to remedy the situation — other than giving it the ol’ hush-hush — caused F&F to spin wildly out of control. They flopped. They messed up, again. And here again we see the ATF’s domestic policies and reflecting what seems to be a Federal fear of armed Americans. But thus is politics, at least the government is afraid of us and not the other way around.

      But this is not evident of a wide reaching conspiracy. All that the ATF has proven is that they misplaced how they see gun control. The ATF gauges success in arrests and seizures. Not small time weapon smugglers shut down. Not enacting policies that discourage straw buyers. Not creating an atmosphere which engenders an atmosphere in which FFL’s protects rights and lives over wallets. Instead the ATF sees a spirit of egotism where agencies are measured by arrests and funding received.

      My last two cents is about the strategy they seemed to have employed. They see some grand big picture in which all the kingpins and generals end up behind bars. But the fact is that few wars end with dead generals and leaders. They end when there are no more soldiers.

      • Excuse me. Do you even know how illogical your post sounds? F&F (GUNWALKER) could never have provided the agency with the information that they claim they wanted, it was an impossibility!

        Now if their stated reason/s were an impossibility and illogical, a conclusion reached by a 5 years old, 30 seconds after reading their statement, there must necessarily be another reason or reasons, that they did it anyway!

        What, I wonder could they be? And while we consider the answers to that question, why are they lying about it and covering it up?

        I read somewhere that their intentions were “good” and “reasonable” but from my previously unbiased opinion, I only see an example of high crimes and misdemeanors and I’m very sorry to say, treason.

        Let me repeat that so it sinks in…. Treason.

        Or does that word have no meaning anymore?

    • Entering the federal register on the 17th, 8 days before Christmas, 2 days before the Congressional recess, with around 20% of government employees on “use or lose” leave, AND the contact information given in the federal register was wrong.

      I guess leaving it in a locked cupboard in a basement with a broken light behind a sign reading “Beware of the Leopard” was cliched.

  3. FOPA has been long ignored. What we have is the machine gun ban, without the protection.

    They already keep records like this, including the Multiple Sales Reports, which has the name and address of 4.2 million gun owners.

    This shouldn’t be a surprise anyways, they already violate the constitution, why not violate it a bit more.

  4. The administration’s behavoir on the growing Gunwalker family of scandals makes clear that this was a false flag operation from the start. Go back to 2009 when the adminstration started propagandizing the so-called Iron River of guns flowing to Mexico from Bob’s border gun store. They already knew it wasn’t true but they pushed it along with a call for more “common sense” gun restrictions. Then they told ATF to make it happen. Somewhere along t the way it blew up in their face and what did they do? The started implementing the regulations that wanted in the first place citing the very same weapons that the ATF sent south (and north from Hondurous) as the justification.

    No, this isn’t a conspiracy theory or evidence of incompetance. It has all been a deliberate plan by Obama and Holder.

  5. “The founders wrote the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to protect Americans’ god-given right to keep and bear arms from government infringement.”
    Robert Farago

    The First 10 Amendments to the Constitution as Ratified by the States December 15, 1791
    PREAMBLE Congress OF THE United States.
    “THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution…”

    Amendment II “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

  6. With all the crypto-fascists running Washington, you have to hand it to the ATF. There’s nothing crypto about the American Gestapo.

    • That’s an insult to good secret policemen everywhere. The Gestapo and it’s bastard son the Stasi were effective organizations. The ATF is strictly amateur.

  7. Ben,
    I’m not sure I get your main point but I focused on this:
    “It seems perfectly clear and reasonable that the powers that be of the ATF wished to stop the flow of illegal firearms and weapons into the hands of the Cartel soldiers.”

    My point is that this is attributing motives to a cadre of people who have as a paid mission to 1) confiscate firearms. 2) imprison those who possess them based on the relatively arbitrary social policy created by Congress and in some cases, themselves.

    I am saying that everyone I have seen reporting on this issue or commenting on it taking the government’s word that this was a legitimate law enforcement action, but where are the source documents – something from Melson or that level suggesting at a high level – stop the flow of guns into Mexico. The directive to field offices saying ‘obtain ffl cooperation and track these guns so we can …’

    I’m further commenting that these are professional liars we’re talking about. It’s the nature of their work to infiltrate, deceive, “entrap” (not necessarily the legal definition of entrap ), and imprison their victims. How much trust can you put in a person who lies day in and day out?

    I think that it is equally reasonable that the strategy we are all talking about was chosen either specifically for, or with an equally good benefit of the goal to demonstrate a need for more gun control and that the operation was at least 50% directed towards creating a demonstrated need for new gun laws, regulations, rulings & restrictions. It is almost certain that a very significant portion of this program was intended to be political.
    How were they going to arrest the “big fish”? The ones in a foreign country?

  8. Anything unusual about those in the U.S. government supplying ‘arms’ to people specifically for the purpose of assisting them in taking control of a region, without regard to their ideology or criminality? Not hardly. It’s been done so many times now it’s almost whatcha might call a “tradition”.
    Consider as you may the idea that, in addition to creating the iron pipeline of guns from the U.S. to Mexico when it didn’t previously exist to use as a ’reason’ to enact more ’gun control laws’ from the federal level…increasing the number of weapons available also increases the prospect that one cartel will emerge as the controlling force, instead of the several warring factions that currently exist. With only one major cartel in control it then becomes possible to negotiate agreements and terms with their leaders.
    Bear in mind the NWOrder Agenda for North America calls for establishing a North American Union/Union of the Americas and the drug wars among the various cartels are holding up progress.

  9. “They” don’t care about “your” constitution. “They” only care about what they want. “They” want everything you have, all of your freedom that “they” don’t approve of, all of your “extra” money, your dreams, all of it, everything. Because “they” have enough people in positions of power who can manage public opinion, legal challenges and the logistics of tyranny and Marxist programs, “they” are far more open than “they” have ever been, far more transparent than some of “them” want to be. Because some of them realize that “they” can still loose.

    All “they” need do however is keep the lid on until “they” can instill the necessary fear and enforcement and “they” believe that “they” will be unstoppable. There is a “they” and “their” target is you and your freedom and prosperity and your constitution and bill of rights, which at this point, they only need continue to ignore.

    The word for this is treason.

    The people who commit treason are called traitors, and we used to hang them. Now you hardly ever see any reporting of their actions and why? Because there are knowledgeable traitors among the media who manage that kind of thing for “them.”


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