BATFE

Border Patrol Supervisor Found Guilty of Multiple Firearm Offenses

BATFE LogoYet, somehow, it appears that Katie Couric and her anti-gun crew are still walking free for apparently committing similar crimes in the same state. Federal agents, film crews, Fast & Furious gun runners, and who-knows-who-else is going to Arizona to break existing laws and illegally buy firearms and we need more gun laws?

Martin Rene Duran, a former supervisory United States Border Patrol Agent, was convicted by a federal jury today of seven counts of illegal transportation of firearms and one count of possession of a short-barreled rifle following a three-day trial.

According to evidence presented at trial, Duran purchased seven firearms in Arizona in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Duran made these purchases using an Arizona driver’s license with an address where he never lived and claimed Arizona residency even though he resided in California. At the time of the execution of a federal search warrant in October 2015, Duran was in possession of multiple firearms that were illegal in California and one short-barreled rifle.

Duran is scheduled to appear before Senior U.S. District Judge Marilyn L. Huff on April 30, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. for sentencing.

“Federal law enforcement officers are not above the law,” said U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman. “All citizens are required to abide by the laws of the United States.”

“This decision affirms the efforts the Department of Homeland Security makes to hold its personnel to the highest standard and shows it will not tolerate malfeasance which tarnishes the hard work performed by employees on a daily basis,” said Jeffrey Gilgallon, Special Agent in Charge, ICE Office of Professional Responsibility.

“Bringing a case against another federal agent is never pleasant, but we hold public safety and a commitment to justice above all,” said Bill McMullan, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Los Angeles Field Division. “It is ATF’s mission to quell firearm trafficking and when we see those engaged in illegal firearms activity we act on it.”

The charges include violations of 18 USC 922(a)(3) – Illegal Transportation of Firearms – which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 with three years of supervised release and 26 USC 5861 and 5871 – Possession of Unregistered Firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release.

NSSF, BATFE Jointly Launch Operation Secure Store

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced today the launch of Operation Secure Store (OSS), a comprehensive joint initiative to help Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) make well-informed security-related decisions to deter and prevent thefts.

Central to the OSS initiative is NSSF’s prior partnerships with ATF to help prevent thefts from FFLs through educational programming, such as the ongoing series of regional seminars hosted by ATF. Additionally, the organizations’ matching rewards program becomes an anchor component of the program, effectively doubling the money offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for thefts from licensed retailers.

“No one wants to prevent the theft of firearms more than the licensed retailers that sell them,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF president and chief executive officer. “There is no one-size fits all solution to helping prevent thefts from firearms retailers, which is why Operation Secure Store will provide access to information and training to allow retailers to make the decisions that are right for them.”

“It’s clear from the crime guns we recover every day that firearms stolen from FFL retailers are a serious threat to public safety” said ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon. “To mitigate this threat, ATF welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with the NSSF to educate and inform FFL retailers on how they can enhance the security of their businesses.”

More information about the initiative will be announced in the weeks ahead.

ATF Seeking Public Comments on Bump Stock Regulations

Consumers, Retailers, and Manufacturers Asked to Weigh in on Machine Gun Classification

ATF-BumpStock-RFCPresumably prompted almost exclusively by (or, at least, jumping at the “convenient” excuse of) their use in the October 1, 2017 attack on Route 91 Harvest Festival concert in Las Vegas, the BATFE is now seeking comments from the public regarding new regulations, potentially including reclassification as machine guns, on firearm accessories known as bump stocks.

Share your Comments with the ATF Now

In the wake of the attack, which has since spawned no shortage of conspiracy theories thanks to the dearth of officially released details, there was a brief initial outcry calling for increased regulation before quickly fading from the news. Some of those calls even came from unexpected sources, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and businesses who make their money by renting fully automatic firearms to tourists.

Now, the Department of Justice is contemplating a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would interpret the statutory definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) to clarify whether bump stocks, fall within that definition. Before issuing such an NPRM, the Department and ATF are soliciting comments from the public and industry regarding the nature and scope of the market for these devices, giving citizens the opportunity to weigh in on the topic.

The request for comments was published in the Federal Register, and can be seen here (excerpts are below).  Comments can be left via the regulation’s page on the Regulations.gov website or left directly here. Gun Owners of America have produced a summary of their two main points: that 1) Bump Sstocks do not fall within the definition of “machine gun” under the NFA and 2) ATF has no Constitutional or legal authority to ban or regulate bump stocks.

Share your Comments with the ATF Now

 Below are excerpts from the Request for Comments in the Federal Register:   Continue reading

U.S. Attorney Announces New Grant to Expand Efforts to Combat Gun Violence

Additional Resources to Share Gun Intelligence and get Trigger Pullers Off the Streets

BATFEU.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes announced today the expansion of the Project Safe Neighborhood program in the Puget Sound region, with additional focus on crime gun intelligence in South King and Pierce Counties. The U.S. Department of Justice awarded $500,000 to the program which will enhance intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies so that guns used in crimes can be linked, helping law enforcement build cases for prosecution.

“Forensic tools from ATF, and intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies have been key to identifying felons with guns who need to be off the street,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “In three of the cases we are highlighting today, the guns recovered have been tied to multiple shootings – in one case as many as 9 shots fired incidents in a short period of time. Combating gun violence is a top priority of the Justice Department and my office.”

The Project Safe Neighborhood grant provides funding for a Special Assistant United States Attorney to review every firearms case in King County to see if it is appropriate for federal prosecution. Grant money in 2017-2018 will provide for additional personnel to leverage the Gun Crime Intelligence Center to make connections between shooting incidents in south King and Pierce Counties. This information helps law enforcement identify, arrest and prosecute high-impact offenders.

“ATF is proud to partner with local law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring the most advanced forensic science to the battle against gun crime,” said Darek Pleasants, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Seattle. “The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. Since the program’s inception in 1999 through 2016, NIBIN partners have captured approximately 2.8 million images of ballistic evidence and confirmed more than 74,000 NIBIN hits.”

Unveiled in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement. PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking both new and existing local programs that target gun crime and then providing them with the resources and tools they need to succeed. Implementation at the local level has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

Giving a Firearm as a Gift? Some Reminders From NSSF

GunLink_GiftThe holidays are just around the corner. As hunters, shooters, collectors or just plain plinkers, it’s a natural instinct to want to share our enjoyment of firearms with others. What better way to do that than to make a gift of a firearm to a family member, close friend or relative?

The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that . . . it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.

The first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place; for example, juveniles (under age 18), generally speaking, are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.   Continue reading

Chicago Campaign Targets Illegal Gun Purchases

NSSF, ATF, U.S. Attorney, Area Law Enforcement Emphasize ‘Don’t Lie for the Other Guy’

DontLieAs part of an ongoing national effort to help prevent illegal “straw” purchases of firearms, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are reminding the public in the Chicago Chicagoland area that stiff penalties are in place for individuals convicted of such purchases.

Billboard advertisements for the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy program have been purchased by NSSF in key locations throughout the region with the message: “Buy a gun for someone who can’t and buy yourself 10 years in jail. Don’t Lie for the Other Guy.”

The month-long public awareness campaign was officially launched today with a short program at the Bass Pro Shops, 709 Janes Ave, Bolingbrook, Ill. Present at the event were representatives of the ATF Chicago Field Division, the Bolingbrook Police Department, Will County Sheriff’s Office, DuPage County Sheriff’s Office and NSSF.

More than 55 million impressions will be delivered via billboards and in-transit displays, as well as 3.5 million digital and social media impressions around Chicago along with more than 2.4 million impressions through 30-second radio spots airing on local stations. Chicagoland was chosen for this special campaign by ATF. No taxpayer dollars are used. The program is funded in full by the firearms industry.   Continue reading

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