BATFE

Guess Which Country Just Helped Illustrate the Absurdity of US Suppressor Laws?

TN Man Convicted of Smuggling Suppressors into US Thanks to Lighter Regulation in… England(!?)

NRA16_7486Well, this is embarrassing, as far as firearm freedoms go.  It’s like having to admit that your Bugatti Veyron got beat around the track by the neighbor kid’s 1989 Honda CRX.  Isn’t America supposed to be the bastion of gun rights (or, as anti-gun groups would have you believe, a violent wild west frontier straight from the bloodiest shoot-em-up flick you can find)?

Most proponents of an originalist (or any other common sense) interpretation of the United States Constitution and Bill of rights probably already feel that firearms are too heavily regulated in the US, and none are more highly regulated than Title II weapons that fall under the purview of the National Firearms Act, such as machine guns, silencers, short barreled firearms, and destructive devices.  Such items are flat out illegal in a number of states and, where they are legal, ownership involves a number of hurdles, including high prices, payment of a $200 transfer tax, being finger-printed, wait times lasting the better part of a year, and federal registration of the item.  “But hey, at least we don’t have European-style gun control, right?

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) recently released details of the conviction of a Tennessee man who traveled to England, where some may be surprised to find less restrictive laws, to purchase firearm silencers and smuggle them back into the US, presumably because the draconian laws in place here made them too difficult to obtain.   Continue reading

Leaked BATFE White Paper Shows Senior Admin’s Position on Relaxed Regulations

ATF_whitepaper_firearm_regulationsThe ATF’s associate deputy director, Ronald Turk – second in charge only to acting director Thomas Brandon – recently penned an internal white paper which was leaked to several media outlets, including the Washington Post, who published the letter this week.

In the letter, Turk makes a number of proposals, mainly expressing support for reducing firearms regulations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE).

The white paper includes 16 “Points of Discussion,” including expanding licensing of “kitchen table FFLs” without a brick-and-mortar storefront, moving forward with approval for new manufacture of armor piercing ammunition, allowing interstate sales of firearms by FFLs at gun shows, expanding the permitted use of the NICS background check system by FFLS, and providing clarification on several demand letters.

Likely of more interest to many gun owners are several other suggestions that may have a more immediate impact on their firearms collections and uses.

The full white paper can be read here. Continue reading

Faux Automatic: Rapid Fire Without a Machine Gun

Before heading to SHOT Show this year, I consulted with a few other female shooters that I know to ask what they were hoping to see new this year.  In general, I was surprised to find that they were actually in the same KISS school of thought that I am: something that works well, works consistently, and is not difficult to understand how it works.  One thing that did surprise me was more interest in fully automatic firearms than I had expected.  I have been fortunate in that I have had the opportunity, on more than one occasion, to shoot automatic weapons.  If you have not experienced full-auto mag dumps yourself, to be completely honest, it is even more fun than it looks.

Fully-automatic weapons, or machine guns, are regulated  under the National Firearms Act (NFA).  The law basically says that the only legal machine guns for civilians are the ones that were lawfully possessed prior to May 19, 1986 and those require payment of a $200 transfer tax, lengthy approval process, and federal registration in the NFRTR.  This makes for a very limited supply of weapons that are in circulation, which – as we learned about supply and demand in Economics 101 – drives the price sky high – often into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Unless you either join the military or have some pretty cool friends, you may not get the opportunity to shoot a machine gun.

However, a shooter and their ammo (ergo, their money) are easily parted and the firearms industry has come up with some innovative ways to turn a pocket full of money into a hot, smoking pile of spent brass.  Thanks to that innovation, there are some legal ways to simulate full-auto firing power.   Continue reading

Firearms Industry Group Backs Sessions for AG

jeff_sessions_official_portraitFirearms industry group National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has released a statement backing President-Elect Donald Trump’s pick for Attorney General.

The trade association for the firearms, ammunition and related industries, today expressed its strong support for the nomination of the U.S. Senator from Alabama as the 84th Attorney General of the United States.

During the last eight years, through numerous attacks on our Second Amendment liberties, Senator Sessions has worked tirelessly to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens, including through his staunch support of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We are confident that with Senator Sessions as the top law enforcement officer in the nation that our public will be safer, that criminals will be taken off the streets, that justice will be served, law enforcement priorities will take precedence over politics and the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans will be respected.

Frankly, we here at GunLink are just excited to see someone other than anti-gun Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch filling the roll, whose duties as the head of the United States Department of justice include being at the helm of the BATFE.

U.S. Attorney’s Office and ATF Announce $500,000 Project Safe Neighborhoods Federal Grant

John Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, and William Temple, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Dallas Field Division, joined Ken Shetter, President of One Safe Place, and Joel Fitzgerald, Fort Worth Chief of Police, at a press conference this morning to announce a $500,000 federal grant that has been awarded to One Safe Place to implement the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative in two Fort Worth neighborhoods.

PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gang and gun crime in the U.S. by networking existing local programs that target gun and gang crime and providing these programs with additional tools for success. PSN’s strategic approach brings more “science” into criminal justice operations by leveraging innovative applications of analysis, technology and evidence-based practices to improve performance and effectiveness while containing costs.

The grant is one of only seven half-million dollar grants awarded by the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Assistance and funded under the 2016 Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction/Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. This grant also addresses domestic violence, which, according to many statistics, is a major contributing factor for the increase in gun and violent crimes.   Continue reading

ATF Releases U.S. Firearm Trace Data for 2015

BATFE LogoThe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released today firearm trace data for all individual U.S. states and territories for calendar year 2015. Trace information provides investigative leads to law enforcement and can link a suspect to a firearm in a criminal investigation. Firearm traces also help identify potential firearm traffickers, and detect in-state, interstate and international firearm trafficking patterns, including the sources and types of crime guns.

ATF’s Violent Crime Analysis Branch produces this annual report using trace information compiled at ATF’s National Tracing Center (NTC), the nation’s only crime gun tracing facility. The NTC provides critical information that assists domestic and international law enforcement agencies to solve firearm crimes, detect firearm trafficking patterns, and identify trends with respect to intrastate, interstate and international movement of crime guns.

In 2015, there were 190,538 firearms recovered and traced back to a purchaser in the United States, an increase of more than 20,000 firearms recovered and traced in the previous year. The majority of the traces involved 9 mm (more than 55,000) and .22 caliber (more than 35,000) firearms. The top three types of firearms traced last year were pistols (more than 150,000 traces), revolvers (more than 44,000 traces) and rifles (more than 41,000 traces).

The released firearm trace data offers a description of firearms recovered and traced in each state along with the source states of the firearms recovered.

In addition to the number of recovered and traced firearms per state, the report includes recovery location information, the average time it took from when a firearm was purchased to when it was recovered in a crime, and the criminal offense associated with the firearm.

To access the complete 2015 firearms trace report, visit ATF’s online statistics page at https://www.atf.gov/about/firearms-trace-data-2015.

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