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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.

The National Rifle Association Launches NRA Carry Guard

NRAcarryguardOn Monday, the National Rifle Association of America announced the launch of NRA Carry Guard, a program created to provide America’s most comprehensive insurance and legal coverage, as well as best-in-class training for those who carry a gun. NRA Carry Guard members can access many great benefits including legal assistance and the ability to select their own counsel, as well as immediate access as needed to supplementary payments for bail, legal retainer fees, compensation while in court and more. NRA Carry Guard is the only membership program for self-defense insurance and training developed and supported by the National Rifle Association, representing the next evolution in freedom’s defense from the most powerful civil rights organization in American history.

“For the last 20 years, I’ve supported and defended the Constitution of the United States. I really do believe that an armed citizenry makes for a stronger country, a stronger society, a safer society,” says veteran U.S. Navy SEAL George Severence, who serves as NRA Carry Guard National Director. “The Second Amendment would look vastly different today without the NRA. With so many concealed carry permit holders out there, it would be my hope that all of them would become NRA members, because the only reason that they have that right to carry is because the NRA has been defending that right.”

“There is no other organization in the United States of America that can do what NRA has done with NRA Carry Guard,” says Dana Loesch, NRA National Spokesperson. “Without the NRA, there would be no right to carry a firearm at all in this country. The NRA and its 5 million members have led the movement for the past three decades to restore this freedom to its rightful place in America.”   Continue reading

NSSF Backs President’s Selection of Gorsuch for Supreme Court

Neil_Gorsuch_10th_CircuitThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition and related industries, tonight expressed its strong support for President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to become an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

“We are pleased to lend our support to President Trump’s nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and urge the Senate to approve his nomination in as expeditious manner as possible,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We are confident that Judge Gorsuch will serve our nation with distinction as an Associate Justice of our nation’s highest court and that his service will do honor to the legacy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia in the protection of the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.”

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.

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.

National CCW Reciprocity Bill Introduced for 2017

VAnonresRecipAsk any concealed carry license holder who does any appreciable amount of travel and they can tell you that the United States can be a patchwork of state and local laws.  Can you have a loaded firearm in your car?  Are rifles and handguns treated differently?  Does a loaded magazine count as “loaded,” or must a round be chambered?  Do No Guns Allowed signs carry the force of law?  Can you carry in restaurants which serve alcohol?  Is your concealed carry permit even good in your destination state?

These issues might represent a lot to consider when traveling with firearms, but a new bill introduced in the House might solve at least one of them.

Yesterday marked the first day of the 115th Congress and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC-8) kicked it off with a piece of pro-gun legislation in the form of The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.  HR38 would eliminate the confusing hodgepodge of laws across the nation by allowing individuals who legally carry a concealed firearm in their home state to exercise the same right in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry – a concept known as National Reciprocity.

NRA-ILA Executive Director, Chris Cox, supported the bill, saying “the current patchwork of state and local laws is confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders. This confusion often leads to law-abiding gun owners running afoul of the law when they exercise their right to self-protection while traveling or temporarily living away from home.

The official Congressional summary of HR38 is still pending as of this writing; however, Rep. Hudson has released this text of the bill, a one-pager summary, and a brief Q&A.

Hudson, a strong advocate of Second Amendment rights, has introduced similar legislation in the past, including last session’s HR986 during the 114th Congress.  Despite decent support from among his congressional peers, this bill failed to make it through the legislative process.  Now, with republican control of the House, Senate, and White House – along with at least one Supreme Court seat to be filled by the incoming President Trump – the new iteration of the national reciprocity bill has a chance at passing.  It is already off to a good start with a bi-partisan field of more than 60 co-sponsors.  Continue reading

ATF Publishes Open Letter Law Enforcement on 41F Policies

ATF_41F_CLEO_LetterThe BATFE recently published an open letter to Chief Law Enforcement Officers (CLEOs) regarding the January 41F ruling (fmr 41P) which makes changes to the way in which NFA applications are handled for legal entities and individuals.

In part, the letter specifies “that a copy of all applications to make or transfer a firearm, and the responsible person questionnaire, if applicable, be forwarded to the [CLEO] of the locality in which the applicant, transferee or responsible person is located (“CLEO notification”)” and that the ruling “eliminates the requirement that an applicant obtain a certification signed by the CLEO before the transfer or making of an NFA firearm may be approved.

The letter goes on to explain that there is no action required by the CLEO upon receipt (or lack thereof) of the paperwork – to include even confirming receipt of the documents.  Further, the letter says that it is up to each CLEO to determine how they dispose of or retain (and whether or not they do either).

Of immediate concern are several potential issues regarding this lackadaisical hands-off approach to record keeping and privacy mandates.  One concern would be with how an applicant would prove that they met the new CLEO notification requirement if there is no acknowledgment of receipt by the CLEO, and what future repercussions might be.  Application denials?  Revocation of approved applications with forced surrender of the firearms?  The ATF has already proven that they are not above such tactics in the recent Form 1 Machine Gun debacles, which are still in litigation.  Or worse?

The second concern would be how the CLEOs are protecting applicants sensitive information that is contained in the notification paperwork.  As the $200 cost associated with making or transferring NFA firearms ($5 for transferring AOWs) is not a fee or a price for goods or services sold but, rather, the tax paid for making or transferring the item, the application could well be considered a tax document.  This document details the what firearms are being made or transferred, at which physical address, and – for many applicants – their home address, photograph, fingerprints, signature, and other sensitive information.  This information could potentially be problematic if it fell into the wrong hands, which is not outside the realm of possibilities when the CLEO is able to simply toss your notification paperwork into the trash bin for dumpster divers to find or leave it laying around on a desk at the PD for petty crooks to have a look at as they are brought through.

As if identity theft wasn’t enough of an issue, without any mandated safeguards on how this information is to be protected, consider the possibility of a motivated criminal coming to Joe Gunguy’s house at 123 Anystreet Lane to steal the expensive 7.5″ Noveske 5.56 AR-15 pattern rifle to use on the streets.  If this firearm is so much more dangerous than an off-the-shelf firearm that it requires owners to to register them and pay an extra $200 tax on them and notify the government when we travel with them, does it make sense for the CLEOs to treat the information about those weapons so recklessly?  Or is this just another spotlight on the absurdity of the NFA in general?

The full text of the letter is here.  Further discussion of the open letter to CLEOs is available on Joshua Prince’s law blog.

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