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Tag: firearms

ATF Security Guard Pleads Guilty to Stealing Firearms, Ammunition from Agency

Christopher Lee Yates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former contract security guard who stole guns, ammunition and firearms parts from the ATF and then sold them pleaded guilty Wednesday to crimes related to the thefts.

Christopher Lee Yates, of Martinsburg, W.V., admitted in court that he stole the items from ATF’s National Firearms and Ammunition Destruction Branch facility near Martinsburg, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Bill Powell.

An investigation found that Yates stole the guns, ammunition and firearm parts while serving as a security guard from 2016 to 2019.

Yates, who faces up to 10 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine, pleaded guilty in exchange for prosecutors dismissing two felony counts.

What remains unclear is why the ATF didn’t have safeguards in place to avoid the thefts.

Australian Study Shows Firearm Reform Law Greatly Reduced Gun-Related Fatalities

No guns sign

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The Journal of the American Medical Association reported recently about a forty-year study in Australia about the effect on gun-related crime by the 1997 major gun law reform. The study compared the number of mass fatal shooting incidents, rates of fatal shooting incidents, firearm deaths, and firearm-caused suicides for the periods 1979 through 1996 (before the reform) with those of 1997 through 2013 (after the reform).

In 1997, after 13 fatal mass shootings (more than 5 victims) and a high rate of firearm-related fatalities, the federal and state governments in Australia enacted sweeping new gun laws. The triggering event was a massacre in 1996 in which a man used two semi-automatic long guns to kill 35 people and wound 19 others.  Rapid-fire long guns were banned as part of the reform, and the guns were subject to a mandatory buy-back program. Over one million firearms were purchased and destroyed.

The conclusions of the study were that the statute greatly reduced mass shootings, as well as the homicide rate from the use of firearms. In the 20 years since the statue Australia has not suffered a single mass firearm killing. Deaths due to firearms plummeted from 3.6 per 100,000 population to 1.3, by a factor of over 3% decline per year. The rate of firearm suicides declined by a factor of 4.8% annually. The study pointed out that part of the rate of decline on these last two categories may have been due to causes other than the gun reform law.

The study was conducted by two professors from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney and a psychology professor at Macquarie University, both in Sydney, Australia.

Thief Steals Service Weapons from FBI Agent’s Car in Washington D.C.

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to determine who broke into an agent’s car and stole two service weapons on Sunday in Northeast, D.C.

Fox5 reports that someone smashed a rear window of the vehicle and stole a Colt AR-15 rifle and a Glock 22 pistol.

The FBI said the weapons were in a lockbox in the parked Ford Expedition.

The FBI declined to say whether the agent is on administrative leave or if it’s standard operating procedure to leave weapons inside a lockbox in an unattended car.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Conducts Record Background Checks for Guns in 2015

gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI conducted more background checks for guns in 2015 than any previous year, the bureau announced today. 

While background checks aren’t a precise measure of the number of guns purchased, they do represent a majority of the guns that were sold. FBI background checks are done through a federally licensed dealer, where most firearms are sold.

The gun sales follow a series of mass shootings that often motivate people to buy firearms.

The FBI conducted 23.1 million guns in 2015, more than double the amount in 2007.

December was the busiest month, with 3.3 million background checks.

Federal background checks began in November 1998.

Millions of Firearms Purchase Records Languish in ATF Facility, Hampering Investigations

gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Firearm purchase records are an important resource for law enforcement because the documents can help trace guns used in crimes.

Trouble is, millions of those records are languishing in cardboard boxes at the government’s National Tracing Center because they have not been processed, the USA Today reports. 

The records – as many as 1.6 million documents a month – come from defunct firearm dealers who must hand over their records to an ATF facility.

The USA Today reports:

The avalanche of records is a little-noticed yet critical component of a newly escalating firearms debate that underscores both the strained operations of the federal government’s chief gun enforcement agency and the strength of a powerful gun rights lobby intent on preventing the creation of a national gun registry, law enforcement analysts say.

The dysfunctional document management system exists even as ATF examiners are faced with a steadily increasing demand for tracing guns used in crimes — 364,441 requests last year — and as the agency seeks to assist local law enforcement authorities in a number of U.S. cities, including Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Baltimore, where there have been dramatic spikes in gun-related violence.

“It’s really sad,” said Ben Hayes, a former ATF official who for more than a decade oversaw parts of the tracing center’s operations. “It’s pathetic.”

Fears of Stronger Gun Laws Apparently Fueled Record Purchases of Firearms

handgun-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Gun sales surged in August following a series of high-profile shootings that spread fear of stronger firearm laws, the National Review reports. 

The 1.7 million background checks conducted by the FBI in August were more than any other August since the checks began in 1998.

Monthly highs also were recorded in June and July, with 1.5 million and 1.6 million, respectively.

Background checks are required of gun buyers at federally-licensed dealers, but they don’t represent all firearm purchases, which means the number is likely higher.

FBI: 95 Law Enforcement Officers Killed in 2014, Most of Them Feloniously

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of law enforcement officers “feloniously” killed in 2014 jumped 89% over the past year, according to new FBI statistics that come just a week after the fatal shootings of an officer in New York City and two officers in Hattiesburg, Miss., the FBI reported.

The FBI recorded 51 felonious killings, compared to 27 in 2013. The average number of annual felonious killings between  between 1980 and 2014 was 64.

Of the 51 killings, 46 involved firearms.

Police departments lost another 44 officers in the line of duty to accidental causes, such as car accidents and smoke inhalation. In 2o13, 49 officers were killed.

Feds Arrest Naturalized U.S. Citizen After Allgedly Threatening to Kill Returning American Troops

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A naturalized U.S. citizen from Yemen planned to use firearms to kill returning American troops and Shitte Muslims living in the Rochester area, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports.

The suspect, Mufid Elfgeeh made no secret of his hatred for the U.S. on Twitter.

Announcing his allegiance with al-Qaeda, he tweeted, “”al-Qaeda said it loud and clear; we are fighting the American invasion and their hegemony over the earth and the people.”

Another tweet advocated martyrdom and asked for donations for jihadists.

Elfgeeh, 30, is charged with two counts of illegally receiving and possessing unwarranted firearm silencers.

The investigation continues.