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Click here to read Outgunned. It’s Representative Elijah E. Cummings’ pre-hearing report, asserting that “lax gun laws” forced the ATF into desperate measures (i.e. its anti-gun smuggling gun smuggling operation). Cummings’ circus is now on, with the Obama apologist parading gun control advocates in front of the Congressional cameras, including Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke’s last hurrah. [Full list of witnesses after the jump] Bottom line: forget Gunwalker. The feds should increase the criminal penalties for straw purchases (i.e. lower the burden of proof), enact a dedicated firearms trafficking statute and implement a multiple long gun sales registry. Ironically enough, ATF agents and their bosses (and their bosses’ bossess) engaged in Operation Fast and Furious would fall afoul of two of these recommendations . . .

  1. Senator Charles Schumer (NY)
  2. Michael R. Bouchard, former Assistant Director Field Operations, ATF
  3. Thomas Mahoney, Assistant State’s Attorney Supervisor, Gang Prosecution Unit, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
  4. Eric Olson, Senior Associate, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  5. Kristen Rand, Legislative Director, Violence Policy Center
  6. Paul Helmke, President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
  7. Colby Goodman, Author of “U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico: New Data and Insights Illuminate Key Trends and Challenges”

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  1. Now let me get this straight. The take-aways from fellow traveller Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and his “pre-investigation report” (read: “desperate attempt at spinning this crapfest in favor of the Democrat administration) are:

    • The ATF just needs MORE (mo’ money, mo’ men, mo’ power) to do their job. THAT’s why they screwed up.
    • They need MORE because they are tilting after the windmills of that fabled “river of guns” going into Mexico. You know, the one that doesn’t exist.
    • We have to toughen gun laws because, you know, all those .50 cal sniper rifles, AKs and “scores of others” are being allowed to flow into Mexico. (Despite all evidence to the contrary.)
    • Mexican President Calderon insists this is all our fault. And if we can’t believe him, who CAN we believe?
      I don’t like Issa’s methods (he’s getting too close to the truth) so it’s time for some smokescreens, baby!

    • Tell you what. I’ll trade you your little inquisition into Gunwalker for some shiny, new, gun laws that will make Clinton’s “Assault Weapons Ban” look pale by comparison.

    That about sum it up?

    • guns are flooding into Mexico and on our urban streets and OUR children are dying, including a member of the Congressman’s family. Legal Gun ownership would not be affected provided you don’t have any FBI history in using a gun in a crime. Violence is the problem, and it is vile indeed. Pray for peace.

  2. Call me stupid, but doesn’t the Mexican gov’t control their own border? Can’t they interdict trans-border gun shipments? Why is it our responsibility to police their border for guns going to Mexico when the Mexicans whine and cry when we take proactive steps to police OUR border against illegal aliens coming into the USA?

  3. You’re right that Cummings and ATF want to “lower the burden of proof” on so-called straw transactions – but it’s the burden of proof on sellers that they want lowered.

    ATF is after straw dealers. They could care less about straw buyers.

    Rarely appreciated is the simple fact that ATF’s regulatory clients are federally licensed firearms dealers (and, to a lesser extent, manufacturers and importers). These are the entities that ATF is charged with regulating, and it is these entities that they refer for prosecution, too. There is simply no charter within ATF to investigate and prosecute straw buyers. Individuals on the buy-side of a firearm transaction are literally “off the ATF’s radar.” This is the real reason that “Fast and Furious” was born.

    ATF isn’t asking for tougher penalties on straw buyers, because those criminals already face felony charges with ten-year minimum sentences. Of course, many of these individual straw buyers are inner-city minority women and (by definition) do not possess a criminal record. These are not the types of individuals that the Obama Justice Department is eager to prosecute – hence, most, if actually prosecuted, receive probation. But this is a political problem – not a statutory problem.

    What’s really at play here is yet another backdoor attempt to “close the gun show loophole.” ATF wants to make it illegal to sell or buy any firearm except through an FFL. With this sort of clear threshold, they’ll have no trouble prosecuting straw dealers… because anyone who sells a firearm to anyone else without an ATF license will be committing a felony.

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