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Tag: Guns

Bold Thief Steals 3 Handguns, Agent’s Badge from FBI Vehicle

fbi badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A bold thief stole three handguns and an FBI agent’s badge and credentials from a locked vehicle in the San Francisco Bay Area in what is the latest theft of stolen firearms from law enforcement vehicles, the Associated Press reports. 

Stolen were two 40-caliber Glocks and one .45-caliber handgun as the vehicle was parked in a residential neighborhood of Benicia, FBI spokeswoman Gina Swankie said.

The FBI declined to release details, including why the weapons and other FBI property were left inside the vehicle overnight. But the spokeswoman said a $5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the stolen property.

“Our primary objective is recovery of the items stolen and identification and arrest of the individuals involved,” Swankie said. “There’s a lot of information that would be premature to offer at this time.”

Airport Security Confiscates Record Number of Guns at Checkpoints

body images airportBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As an unprecedented number of Americans are buying guns, a record number of firearms are being confiscated at airports.

The TSA confiscated 2,653 guns in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints nationwide, Homeland Security Today reports.

That’s a nearly 20% increase over 2014.

The TSA reported that more than 80% of the guns were loaded.

“The transport of firearms by commercial air in carry-on bags represents a threat to the safety and security of air travelers. Through increased training in detection methods, our officers are becoming more adept at intercepting these prohibited items,” said TSA Administrator Peter V. Neffenger. “I am proud of the men and women who serve in the TSA and grateful for their hard work in the past year.”

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport seized the most guns in 2015 – 153.

President Obama Plans to Hire More FBI, ATF Staff to Expedite Background Checks for Firearms

President Obama Executive Order ImmigrationBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Obama administration wants to expedite mandatory background checks on gun buyers and needs hundreds more federal law enforcement personnel to help, Govexec.com reports. 

The plan calls for hiring more than 230 extra analysts and other support staff for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which saw a record number of gun sales.

The idea is to more quickly process background checks, which helps the FBI provide notice to local authorities about potential unlawful firearm purchases.

The White House said the new hiring “will begin immediately and increase the existing workforce by 50 percent,” according to a fact sheet on the executive actions. “This will reduce the strain on the NICS system and improve its ability to identify dangerous people who are prohibited from buying a gun before the transfer of a firearm is completed.”

The hiring will take place over the next two years.

Washington Post: President Obama’s Actions on Gun Control Have No Teeth

atf-gunsBy Jonathan H. Adler
Washington Post

Today the White House announced a series of executive branch actions(not executive orders) that are supposed to reduce the threat of gun violence. Chief among these measures is a new guidance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) concerning when those who sell guns are required to obtain a federal license and perform background checks of prospective gun purchasers. The ATF is also finalizing a regulation that would prevent prospective gun purchasers from avoiding background checks by acquiring guns through a trust or corporation, but this is a separate measure.

According to the White House, the new ATF guidance is intended “to ensure that anyone who is ‘engaged in the business’ of selling firearms is licensed and conducts background checks on their customers.” The ATF is achieving this not by issuing new regulations (re)defining what it means to be “engaged in the business” of selling guns under federal law. Instead, the ATF issued a guidance document that simply explicates what this legal requirement means, providing examples of the sorts of things that would indicate that a given individual is in the gun business, rather than conducting the occasional personal sale as a hobbyist or as part of an estate liquidation, or something of that sort. According to both the White House release and the ATF guidance, the various indicia identified in the guidance are, in turn, based upon what federal courts have found in relevant cases. (The relevant court decisions are not cited or otherwise identified in the document, and I have asked both ATF and the White House for more information on this point.)

Taken at face value, the new ATF guidance is thus nothing more than a restatement of existing legal requirements. Put another way, it merely identifies those who are already subject to the relevant federal requirements and does not in any way expand the universe of those gun sellers who are required to obtain a license and perform background checks. In other words, it is — as the document says — a guidance, and not a substantive rule. It has no legal effect.

If the ATF guidelines are nothing more than a guidance — an indication of the sorts of things that might trigger a federal investigation or prosecution, but not a tightening of the relevant legal standard — why would the administration do this? There are several potential answers. First, guidance documents are often useful insofar as they explicate relevant legal standards and (as the name implies) provide guidance to the regulated community. Such documents can help people know when they are subject to specific legal requirements. Further, if there are a significant number of people who should have federal gun licenses but have neglected to obtain them, the guidance document might encourage greater compliance with federal law.

For more information click here.

Other Stories of Interest

President Obama to Announce Executive Actions to Tighten Gun Control

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama is expected to announce a long-awaited executive action on gun control this week in his final year as president, Politico reports. 

The White House said the measures would curb gun violence.

Citing people familiar with the proposals, Obama would require more small-scale gun sellers to be licensed, making them subject to background checks.

Obama also wants to tighten rules for reporting stolen or lost guns.

Obama proposed even stiffer gun regulations but Congress was unlikely to approve any new curbs on firearms.

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.

Senior Homeland Security Official Flip-Flops on Gun Sales to People on Terrorist Watch List

gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A senior Homeland Security official who suggested last week that President Obama’s plan to ban firearm sales to people on the government’s terrorist watch list was misguided has taken an entirely different tone, the Washington Times reports. 

Alan Bersin seemed to undermine Obama’s proposed ban in sworn testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, saying that he didn’t think it would be appropriate to ban gun sales based on one’s presence on the terrorist watch list.

Bersin was repeating the opinions of many Republicans who feel it’s a violation of the Second Amendment to create such a ban because of the lower standards of evidence to place someone on the no-fly list.

But following the testimony, Bersin issued a statement that he agrees with President Obama and Democrats that a ban is needed because of the dangers of terrorism.

“To be clear, it is the administration’s position that Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. This is a matter of national security and common sense, and it is a position I and the department support,” Mr. Bersin said in the statement.

Some Republicans lashed out, saying Bersin was likely pressured to change his tone.

“I think he said what he meant, and his bosses weren’t happy with that answer. We’ve seen that multiple times from this administration,” Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican, told the Washington Times.

Editorial: ATF gun-trace records Are ‘Horribly Outdated’

By Editorial Board
Capital-Journal

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence issued a report to support the contention 90 percent of guns used in United States crimes could be traced to 5 percent of gun dealers.

To emphasize the point, the Washington, D.C., gun-control advocacy organization released a list of the 50 “most despicable” dealers among 3,000 bad apples in the business. The Kansas business on the roster was Shawnee Gun Shop Inc. Allegedly, 588 guns were traced to the store during a five-year period.

There is a glaring problem with the list touted by the Brady Center. It is horribly outdated. Gun traces involving Shawnee Gun Shop and noted by the Brady Center occurred from 1996 to 2000. The location of the store on Robinson Street in Johnson County is now home to a different entity: Bullet Hole Shooting Range.

The Brady Center can’t legitimately anchor policy advocacy on information so antiquated. It is not remotely fair.

The solution is for Congress and the president to repeal a federal law named for former U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt. The Kansas Republican authored the Tiahrt Amendment, which blocks public release of specific federal crime gun data under the Freedom of Information Act. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives performs traces on firearms at request of law enforcement agencies. The information has been beyond reach of anyone other than investigators or prosecutors involved in criminal inquiries since the early 2000s.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

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