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Archive for July 9th, 2018

Editorial From Valley News: ATF’s Firearms Tracing Hurt by Absurd Law

By Valley News Editorial Board

When law enforcement agents seek information on guns found at crime scenes, they call the firearms tracing center of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Agents at the tracing center, in West Virginia, then try to establish a chain of custody based on the gun’s serial number, manufacturer, distributor and retailer.

The agents pursue this task in the most inefficient, wasteful and time-consuming manner imaginable, manually searching records — about 800 million of them — because federal law purportedly prevents the center from organizing them into a searchable digital database.

This absurd prohibition needs to be lifted.

The law, the 1986 Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, resulted from a marriage of ideological rigidity and political cowardice. It expressly prohibits “any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions.”

Of course, if a gun sale is legal, and it’s made by a federally licensed dealer, then all that information exists. The National Rifle Association doesn’t want officers of the law to be able to access it efficiently.

To read the full editorial click here. 

Motorist Won’t Be Charged In Traffic Death Involving FBI Agent and Fire Official

FBI Agent Carlos Wolff.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Roberto Garza Palacios, 28, of Germantown, Md., will not be charged in the December 2017 traffic death of an FBI agent Carolos Wolff and a deputy state fire marshal on I-270 in Montgomery County, WTOP radio reports.

The decision comes after prosecutors in Montgomery County found there was not enough to charge Roberto Garza Palacios, 28, of Germantown with anything more than a traffic violation.

“This is just a really, really nasty accident,” said Garza Palacios’ attorney Hasim Humayun.

On Dec. 8, FBI agent Wolff and Deputy State Fire Marshal Sander Cohen were struck by a car driven by Garza Palacios as they stood in the left shoulder lane of I-270, next to a concrete median wall, WTOP reports. Cohen had stopped to help Wolff after his car had become disabled, according to police.

“This is just a really, really nasty accident,” Garza Palacios’ attorney Hasim Humayun tells WTOP.

Dershowitz v. E-FBI Agent: Has Trump Done Something Illegal

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Alan Dershowitz debated Asha Rangappa, a former FBI special agent who is now a lecturer at Yale and analyst with CNN, debated Sunday on ABC’s George Stephanopoulos show about President Donald Trump and the Russian collusion investigation, Real Clear Politics reports.

Dershowitz said Trump can only be charged if he grants an interview with Robert Mueller’s investigators.

“You need to commit a crime to be impeached,” Dershowitz said. “If he’s committed previous crimes — there’s no evidence of that — that won’t work. But if he commits the crime of perjury, he’s in Clinton-land.”

Former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa disagreed, arguing there’s a “circumstantial case” for obstruction of justice against the President. “The obstruction case does center on the president’s intent,” she said, “whether he acted corruptly when he fired James Comey. But Mueller does have a lot of circumstantial evidence.”

“He has the conversations between James Comey and the president, he has attempts by the White House to approach the CIA and NSA to try to stymie this investigation, he has his own words on the Lester Holt interview,” she explained. “So he does have a circumstantial case. I do think Mueller wants to sit down and get from his own words what the president had in his mind.”