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Tag: ATF

FBI, ATF Agents Search Baltimore Home After Sunday’s Mass Shooting in Florida

The shooter, David Katz, (right) was 24 years old. Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Heavily armed FBI and ATF agents wearing bulletproof vests searched the Baltimore home Sunday night of the father of the man who opened fire at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., leaving three dead and 11 others injured.

Authorities identified the shooter as 24-year-old Baltimore resident David Katz, who killed himself. According to investigators, Katz was in Jacksonville, participating in a football video game when he opened fire shortly after 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

ATF and FBI agents arrived at the townhouse of Katz’s father around 6 p.m. and searched the home for about four hours, the ATF said at a press conference.

Authorities were tight-lipped about what, if anything, they found at the home on the 1200 block of Harbor Island Walk.

Inmates Train Puppies Before They Become Bomb-Sniffing Crime Stoppers

Photo courtesy of Puppies Behind Bars.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Taylor spent most of her early life behind the walls of a New Jersey women’s correctional facility.

Now the black Labrador is answering a higher calling, sniffing out bombs and shell casings for the ATF.

The two-year-old dog, who is more hyper than her explosives-detecting predecessor, shares a home with his veteran agent handler, Nic Garlie of the St. Louis ATF office, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports in an uplifting story about second chances and America’s best friend. 

Taylor was raised by prison inmates under a program called, Puppies Behind Bars, which gives criminals an opportunity to raise puppies that are being groomed to work for agencies such as the ATF. It gives inmates a sense of responsibility and provides positive interactions.  

“They really feel like part of them leaves prison when the dog succeeds and goes on to work,” Gloria Gilbert Stoga, the program’s founder, said.

One of Taylor’s handlers, Neville, spent much of her 12 years behind bars alone, bored and without much to accomplish.

The four-legged friend changed Neville’s outlook, according to her journal entries.

“It is a wonderful nervous energy to think while I am locked in this world, I can still be a service to someone,” Neville wrote.

Now Taylor is prepared to help keep America safe.

Violent Felon Who Shot Student And 3 Cops Used Gun Purchased After Passing FBI Background Check

Marlin Mack

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Marlin Mack, a 25-year-old convicted felon with an extensive rap sheet, legally purchased a gun after passing an FBI background check and then used the weapon to shoot and kill a university graduate student and wound three Kansas City police officers in July.

Mack, who was killed in a gun fight with police, managed to legally purchase the gun despite being a convicted felon with a violent past that includes using a high-powered pistol to rob a woman at gunpoint and then trying to kill the man who called police.

How Mack was able to purchase a gun remains a mystery.

Neither the FBI nor the ATF has returned media inquiries.

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. 

Ex-ATF Agent Jay Dobyns Talks About the Dangers of Biker Gangs

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Retired ATF Agent Jay Dobyns spoke about his days as an agent, infiltrating the Hells Angels and the personal challenges of undercover work at a police seminar in El Paso this week, the El Paso Times reports.

“They’re very dangerous men who live a very dangerous lifestyle that’s built on violence.

Below is a video from the El Paso Times.

Tampa Bay Times Editorial: ATF Needs to Get Tougher on Gun Dealers

By Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board

File photo of guns, via ATF

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for policing the legal gun trade routinely goes soft on dealers who violate the law. This is not the only gap in the system but a breach that undermines the foundation of the nation’s gun safety protections.

The New York Times recently reported that even as federal investigators inspecting the nation’s gun stores regularly find violations of the law, higher-ups at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives routinely overrule them. They allow gun dealers who fail inspections to keep their licenses even after they were previously warned on the rules, according to records and interviews with current and former law enforcement officials. Of about 11,000 inspections of federally licensed firearms dealers in 2016-17, more than half were cited for violations, the Times reported — yet less than 1 percent of all inspections resulted in the loss of a license.

Many violations, as the newspaper noted, were minor: Stores made clerical and bookkeeping errors or failed to manage their records appropriately. But there were also many example of serious violations. One store was cited for failing to conduct a criminal background check before selling a gun. Another acknowledged it actively tried to circumvent the gun laws. One seller threatened an ATF officer; another sold a gun to a customer who identified himself as a felon. Felons cannot legally possess a gun. All were previously cited by ATF, and in each case, supervisors overrode the staff recommendations that the stores’ licenses be revoked. Allowing even one gun into the wrong hands could result in a tragedy. “We’re not selling ice cream here,” one retired ATF inspector said. “If you screw up, somebody can be killed.”

To read full editorial click here. 

Legislation Would Require ATF to Create A Computerized, Searchable Data Base

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s a bill that make sense.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida has introduced  legislation to establish a computerized, searchable database of gun records under a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Monday.

The Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act would strike a current federal prohibition on the creation of a searchable database of gun records, reports Homeland Preparedness News reports.  The ATF would be required to establish a database that includes records of the sale, importation, production, and shipment of firearms within three years under the bill.

“The fact that there is a law on the books that forces agents to comb through millions of files by hand is absolutely ridiculous,” Nelson said.

Ex-ATF Agent Says Gun Tracing System is ‘Insane’

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

“The privacy rights of the gun owner have trumped my right not to get shot in the head,” David Chipman, senior policy advisor for the gun control group Giffords, tells station WTSP.

“When you see the tracing center, and how difficult it is for patriots to do their job, that isn’t accidental,” Chipman tells the station. “That’s been set up that way and that’s what makes it so frustrating for the people who are not just trying to solve gun crime, but prevent it from ever happening in the first place.”

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