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Tag: ATF

Meet Randi, an ATF Bomb-Sniffing Dog Who Will Help with Super Bowl Security

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

She has four legs and a powerful sense of smell.

Randi, an ATF canine, will be working security during the Super Bowl in California this weekend, Guns.com reports. 

Randi is a trained explosive-sniffing dog with three-a-half years on the job

The canine also was used to detect explosives outside of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood.

ATF’s Scott Sweetow Named Deputy Director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center in Quantico

Scott Sweetow

Scott Sweetow

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF agent Scott Sweetow has been named deputy director for the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC).

The intergovernmental agency, which is based at the FBI Laboratory in  Quantico, Va.,  coordinates efforts to gather and share intelligence about improvised explosive devices (IEDs), helps disarm and disrupt IEDs, link them to their makers and works to try and prevent attacks.

Sweetow will be responsible for strategic planning and execution, administration, financial management, program management and oversight of the day-to-day operations

The agency, created in 2003, is headed by a director from the FBI Greg Carl. Sweetow represents the ATF in the agency.

In May 2014, Sweetow was named Deputy Assistant Director for ATF’s Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII).

He began his career with ATF in 1990 in Los Angeles, spent several years assigned in the Arson and Explosives group, and served as a Certified Explosives Specialist. His duties included being part of ATF’s elite National Response Team, which investigated such high-profile crimes as the Oklahoma City bombing and the Centennial Olympic Park bombings.

He also spent several years working criminal intelligence matters, including a weapons case targeting the “The Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman’s one time driver and bodyguard, Hikmat Alharahsheh.

Additionally, he served as special agent in charge of the ATF offices in Atlanta and St. Paul.

 

ATF Arrests Anti-Government Man After Finding Pipe Bombs, Firearms at His Home

ATF LogoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Tampa man who has expressed anti-government sentiments was arrested after the ATF found eight pipe bombs, firearms, ammunition and bomb-making materials in his Florida home, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Michael Ramos, 24, was taken into custody after a search warrant was executed at his home Monday.

The ATF has not yet reported charges against Ramos, who was in possession of an AK-47, a .45 caliber pistol and large amounts of ammunition.

Ramos previously expressed anti-government sentiments and said he was in possession of explosives.

Other Stories of Interest

ATF Arrests Man Accused of Setting Fire to Houston Mosque on Christmas Day

Gary Nathaniel Moore

Gary Nathaniel Moore

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities arrested a man accused of setting a Houston mosque on fire on Christmas Day, Houston Public Media reports. 

ATF isn’t sure what motivated Gary Nathaniel Moore, 37, to commit arson at the mosque.

Moore told authorities that he worshipped at the mosque.

At this time, there is no evidence of a hate crime, authorities said.

Moore was charged with one felony count of arson at a place of worship.

Other Stories of Interest

Blaze That Tore Through Mosque in Houston Was Intentionally Set, Officials Said

Detroit fire lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Christmas Day fire at a mosque in Texas was intentionally set, investigators told The Source.

The two-alarm blaze tore the Savory Mosque in Houston at 2:45 p.m., causing significant damage.

No injuries were reported because about 200 people left the mosque about an hour before the arson fire.

The investigation is being handled by the ATF, FBI and Houston police.

Other Stories of Interest

Lengel: The Terrible Message President Obama is Sending About ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service

president obama- white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Imagine if you will, if there was an interim director of the FBI and President Barack Obama announced that he wasn’t going to bother nominating the interim director to a permanent post because he didn’t want to expend the political capital and energy.

Imagine the message that would send: Presumably that the FBI wasn’t worth the trouble, that it wasn’t worth the effort, that it wasn’t really that important of a law enforcement agency.

Well, The Hill newspaper reports that Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the President wasn’t going to nominate U.S. Marshals Service Acting Director David Harlow nor interim ATF head Thomas Brandon for a Senate confirmation. That means both will be deputy directors.

It not only sends a message to the agencies and its workers that “you’re not that important,” it also sends the same message to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who set their budgets, and to the public at large.

The U.S. Marshals Service transports prisoners, hunts fugitives and protects federal courthouses and judges. Sounds pretty important to me.

ATF enforces our gun laws and investigates explosions. That also sounds pretty important.

Interestingly, at a time when President Barack Obama is shouting from the mountain tops about the importance of cracking down on gun violence, he’s whispering behind closed doors that ATF, which could help in the battle,  is not a very high priority to him.

President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch need to step up and defend their law enforcement agencies.

It’s the right thing to do.

President Obama Won’t Nominate Interim ATF, U.S. Marshals Service Heads for Confirmation to Permanent Posts

ATF head Thomas Brandon.

ATF head Thomas Brandon.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama has decided he won’t nominate permanent leaders to head the ATF and U.S. Marshals Service, The Hill reports.

That means that the interim department heads will stay in their positions until the end of Obama’s administration next year, the Justice Department announced Monday.

That decision means that neither U.S. Marshals Service Acting Director David Harlow nor interim ATF head Thomas Brandon will face Senate confirmation hearings.

It was expected that confirmation hearings would be difficult and timely, “especially as scrutiny ramps up in the months ahead of next year’s presidential election,” The Hill wrote.

Together, they “have demonstrated themselves to be outstanding public servants and extraordinary partners in the work of building a stronger, safer nation,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement announcing the decision not to seek Senate-confirmed replacements.

Ex-ATF Agent: Let’s Stop Pretending Lawmakers Are Regulating Lethal Firearms

gunsBy Former ATF Jay Wachtel
for Washington Post

When it comes to regulating firearms, we only pretend to legislate. And even when we do legislate, we only pretend to make them safer. Think that I’m exaggerating? Read on.

In 1994, the federal assault weapons ban outlawed a host of firearms by make and model, including the popular Colt AR-15 and several “AK” style rifles. More broadly, the law also prohibited the manufacture and sale of any semi-automatic rifle that could accept a detachable ammunition magazine (for quicker reloading), and had two or more external features such as a folding stock (to make a gun more compact), pistol grips and barrel shrouds (to help steady one’s aim) and a flash suppressor (to hide a shooter’s position). Caliber wasn’t affected but magazine capacities were limited to ten rounds. Existing weapons and magazines could continue to be possessed and transferred.

How did the gun industry respond? With cosmetic fixes. Colt renamed the AR-15 the “Sporter,” stripped off its flash suppressor and bayonet lug and modified the magazine. Other manufacturers and importers took similar measures, renaming guns and making minor tweaks.

Everyone was pleased. For liberals, the law’s passage was a victory. What got lost in the orgy of self-congratulation, though, was the purpose of the ban.

One assumes that assault rifles were picked on because they are particularly lethal. Key attributes that make them so include accuracy at range, rapid-fire capability and, most importantly, fearsome ballistics. In their most common calibers – 7.62 and .223 – these weapons discharge bullets whose extreme energy and velocity readily pierce protective garments commonly worn by police, opening cavities in flesh many times the diameter of the projectile and causing devastating wounds.

None of these real threats were addressed by the ban. Yet when the statute expired ten years later, Democrats in Congress voiced outrage and promised to secure its renewal.

Last week, a young Southern California couple armed with two pistols and two .223 caliber assault rifles viciously murdered 14 people and wounded 21, some critically. All four guns were purchased from licensed gun retailers in California, the state whose assault weapons law has been touted as the nation’s most restrictive. But as the officers who responded to the massacre in patrol cars and armored vehicles can attest, their state’s vaunted measures (its supposedly stiff provisions require, for example, that magazines be fixed in place, yet provide an easy workaround) proved hopelessly ineffective.

California, the state which gun enthusiasts love to hate, seems no more anxious to take real action against highly lethal firearms than the reticent Feds.

What makes this so? For a clue we can turn to District of Columbia v. Heller,the landmark 2008 Supreme Court case that slapped down a law prohibiting the possession of handguns. In its ruling, the Court held that the Second Amendment grants individuals the right to have firearms for “traditionally lawful purposes” such as self-protection. Going beyond handguns, the majority also endorsed the concept that the Second Amendment protects the right to possess firearms “in common use.”

What’s missing from Heller is a comparison of guns at the time the Second Amendment was written and now. Had the Framers time-traveled to a contemporary gun store, they probably would have been astonished at just how lethal firearms would become. They might have even graced the Second Amendment with an additional clause that placed limits on the madness.

But they didn’t. Neither did the Heller justices, who completely ignored the stark contrast between then and now. One wishes that a law clerk looked up Section 921(a)(16) of the Gun Control Act of 1968, which exempts weapons with antique ignition systems or that do not use fixed ammunition – in other words, the guns of the Framer’s era – from the definition of “firearm.”

To read more click here. 

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