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Montana Moves to Guarantee the Availability of Ammunition

January 23, 2015 Leave a comment

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MONTANA SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION AND ABOUT THE 15 PRO GUN BILLS WE HAVE LINED UP FOR THIS 2015 LEGISLATIVE SESSION: http://www.mtssa.org/?page_id=172

There is a serious threat to our right to bear arms because of narrow, monolithic and federally-controlled manufacture of essential ammunition components, smokeless powder (propellant), primers and cartridge brass. For example, there are only two manufacturers of smokeless powder in the U.S., one plant owned by defense contractor General Dynamics and another owned by defense contractor Alliant Systems (ATK). All other smokeless powder used in the U.S. is imported, and subject to immediate and arbitrary import restrictions. And, General Dynamics and Alliant Systems are subject to a standard condition of military contracts that 100% of their production may be commandeered for military use at any time.

Without ammunition, our firearms and our right to bear ammunition are worth nothing.

We propose certain incentives to encourage small-scale production of ammunition components in Montana. That model includes offering liability protection to future producers, providing that such producers qualify for existing state assistance with financing, and will include a 20-year tax amnesty from start of business, which would give up zero current tax income to the state but would provide jobs for Montana.

Montana Moves to Guarantee the Availability of Ammunition

It’s downright strange.  And more than slightly suspicious.

One of our spokesmen will be on talk-radio in some distant part of the country, and the first caller will ask a familiar question: “Why has all of the ammunition flown off the shelves?”

There are a variety of answers to this question, but many of them revolve around the same three words.  And those words are: Barack Hussein Obama.

Under Obama, for some reason, agencies like FEMA and the IRS have suddenly found it necessary to make large ammunition purchases.

In addition, Obama has banned the import of Russian made 7N6 6.45×39 ammunition using questionable legal justification, and this may be just the beginning.

Private gun owners have made atypically large purchases because of a fear of what Obama and his disciples might do next.  And the paucity of ammunition on the shelves in many places has created a self-perpetuating cycle.

Perhaps for this reason, Montana state Senator Matt Rosendale has introduced Senate Bill 122 — a bill which would use Montana’s considerable resources to encourage the manufacture and sale of ammunition in Montana: CONTINUE READING GOA ARTICLE: http://www.gunowners.org/state01222015a.htm

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MONTANA SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION AND ABOUT THE 15 PRO GUN BILLS WE HAVE LINED UP FOR THIS 2015 LEGISLATIVE SESSION: http://www.mtssa.org/?page_id=172

GOA: Background checks & ATF’s illegal copying of 4473 forms

February 21, 2013 4 comments

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 15:50
Written by Erich Pratt and Michael Hammond

Current Gun Control Proposals Will Endanger the Rights of Law-abiding Americans

— President ignoring real solutions to school violence

 

 

Members of the U.S. Senate Committee:

 

In January, the President unveiled 23 Executive Actions on gun control and a myriad of other anti-gun legislative proposals. These initiatives run the gamut — from imposing gun and magazine bans to expanding our current background check system.

 

Of course, none of the policies he recently unveiled would have stopped Adam Lanza in Connecticut from killing his mother, stealing her weapons and carrying them onto school grounds to commit his despicable crimes.

 

Sadly, the President didn’t deal with the one proposal that would actually make a difference — a proposal that is discussed below. But to be clear, none of the President’s initiatives would have prevented the Sandy Hook tragedy. Yet, all of them would seriously infringe upon Second Amendment rights and endanger the safety of American citizens.

 

While all of his proposals are dangerous, perhaps the biggest threat is the call for Universal Background Checks, and the accompanying threat of gun owner registration. So that’s where we will begin.

 

Background checks & ATF’s illegal copying of 4473 forms

 

Several gun dealers have contacted Gun Owners of America and asked for our advice. Invariably, they say that the ATF is, or has been, at their store — making wholesale copies of their 4473 forms — and they want to know if that’s legal.

 

We are not going to betray their confidence without permission, but GOA can say that this has occurred enough times to make us believe these are not isolated incidents. (GOA has attached several redacted stories from gun dealers in the Appendix.)

 

The copying of 4473 forms has happened despite the prohibition in 18 USC 923(g)(1)(D) which specifically prohibits anyone in the Justice Department from “seiz[ing] any records or other documents other than those records or documents constituting material evidence of a violation of law.”

 

Our experience is not unique:

 

* ATF using digital scanners. “ATF has been copying FFL Bound Books for years — with or without FFL permission. During annual compliance inspections in other states, FFL dealers have reported that ATF industry operations investigators (IOI) brought in digital cameras and photographed the entire dealer ‘Bound Book’ without permission of the FFL holder. Other dealers reported investigators brought in digital scanners and scanned portions of the Bound Book — line by line. Of course, the Bound Book contains the dealer’s full record of lawful firearm sales transaction records.”i

 

*FFL’s complain of illegal ATF activity. “The [ATF] is engaged in new illegal activity, this time in the state of Alaska. According to gun store owners in Anchorage, ATF agents are requiring that they submit what is called ‘4473 Forms’ going as far back as 2007…. The ATF has the authority to inspect or request a copy of the form if agents are conducting a criminal investigation.

 

“But nowhere does the law or the rules and regulations of the ATF permit the agency to require gun stores to simply turn over these records en mass as a matter of course. The gun stores in Anchorage are not being told that their records are being requested as part of a criminal investigation of any kind. The ATF has not specified certain forms from specific time frames as one would expect during such an investigation. The agency is telling the stores that it wants all of these records, in totality, going back to 2007.”ii

 

If the ATF is willing to engage in this activity — in full view of gun dealers — one can only imagine what is being done behind closed doors when the names of innocent gun buyers are phoned in for NICS checks. Can we truly be sure that every gun buyer’s name that is entered into the NICS computer system is completely deleted and scrubbed, without a backup being made … anywhere?

 

Past attempts at turning background checks into a national registry

 

In 1989, a Justice Department report stated that, “Any system that requires a criminal history record check prior to purchase of a firearm creates the potential for the automated tracking of individuals who seek to purchase firearms.”iii

 

Indeed, several attempts have been made — most notably during the Clinton administration — to register the names of gun buyers:

 

* Justice Department initiates registration (1994). The Justice Department gave a grant to the city of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University to create a sophisticated national gun registry using data compiled from states’ background check programs. This attempt at registration was subsequently defeated in the courts.iv

 

* More gun owner registration (1996). Computer software distributed by the Justice Department allowed police officials to easily (and unlawfully) register the names and addresses of gun buyers. This software — known as FIST — also kept information such as the type of gun purchased, the make, model and caliber, the date of purchase, etc.v This demonstrates how easily background checks can be used to register gun owners’ information.

 

* Federal Bureau of Investigation registers gun owners (1998). Despite prohibitions in federal law, the FBI announced that it would begin keeping gun buyers’ names for six months. FBI had originally wanted to keep the names for 18 months, but reduced the time period after groups like Gun Owners of America strongly challenged the legality of their actions. GOA submitted a formal protest to the FBI, calling their attempt at registration both “unlawful” and “unconstitutional.”vi Subsequently, Congress passed the “Smith amendment” in 1998 to mandate the “immediate destruction of all [gun buyer] information, in any form whatsoever.”

 

Universal Background Checks will send us much further down road to registering every gun owner in the country. While this won’t be able to stop creeps like Adam Lanza from circumventing those background checks (he stole his weapons) and attacking children, it will give bureaucrats a roadmap for gun confiscation.

 

The link between gun owner registration and confiscation

 

We know that gun confiscation is the ultimate endgame for many on the Left. While some will try to deny this, there have already been too many outspoken voices to ignore this simple truth. Consider just a few, well-known cases:

 

* “[Gun] confiscation could be an option,” declared New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a radio interview (December 27, 2012). In fact, a confidential memorandum advocating gun confiscation was circulated by New York Democrats prior to the most recent round of gun control which passed in the state.vii

 

* “We cannot have big guns out here,” said Iowa Rep. Dan Muhlbauer. “Even if you have them, I think we need to start taking them.” (Interview with the Iowa Daily Times Herald, December 19, 2012.)

 

* “No one is allowed to be armed. We’re going to take all the guns,” said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of the New Orleans police, right before several law-enforcement agencies began confiscating the firearms of lawful gun owners in the wake of Hurricane Katrina (2005).

 

* In the mid-1960’s officials in New York City began registering long guns. They promised they would never use such lists to take away firearms from honest citizens. But in 1991, the city banned (and soon began confiscating) many of those very guns.viii In 1992, a New York City paper reported that, “Police raided the home of a Staten Island man who refused to comply with the city’s tough ban on assault weapons, and seized an arsenal of firearms…. Spot checks are planned [for other homes].”ix

 

The task of confiscating guns is much easier when the government has a registration list. And, again, this is the number one reason that Gun Owners of America opposes background checks. They give federal bureaucrats the framework for a national registration system.

 

If the Left gets its way, we will be much further down road to giving the Andrew Cuomos of the world the registration lists they need to enforce the confiscation they so adamantly desire.

 

Background Checks Can Easily be Used to Deny Honest Americans (like veterans)

 

While the confiscation threat is, by far, the biggest reason for opposing Universal Background Checks, there are many other reasons, as well.

 

For starters, the NICS list currently contains the names of more than 150,000 law-abiding veterans who didn’t do anything wrong (but honorably served their country and then sought counseling for their wartime experiences) — and could soon contain millions of names of Medicaid patients with post partem depression, IDEA students with ADHD, and soldiers, police, and firemen with PTSD.x

 

Not only that, requiring a background check on every private sale or transfer would impose an incredible hardship upon decent people. Many sellers in very rural areas would find it very difficult to travel hundreds of miles, accompanied by their purchasers, in order to make a sale in a licensed dealer’s place of business. This inconvenience for rural sellers would be even more significant if, as happens almost 10% of the time, the purchase — usually for no reason at all — is not immediately approved.

 

In a significant number of current transactions, purchases are held up for no reason other than the fact that the seller’s name is similar to someone else’s name. Often, these mistaken identities permanently block gun purchases when (1) the FBI’s response remains non-committal after three days, (2) the gun dealer refuses to sell based on a non-committal response, despite the language of the Brady Law, and (3) the FBI’s response is “sue us.”

 

The pact that WalMart made in 2008 with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — and his fraudulently-named Mayors Against Illegal Guns — is symptomatic of this problem. In the deal, WalMart agreed to a ten-point agenda pushed by Bloomberg.xi

 

In particular, point #9 prohibits firearms sales to purchasers who have not received an affirmative go-ahead at the end of the NICS check’s three-day waiting period.

 

In other words, if the FBI gives a “yellow light” — perhaps, because a gun buyer is unlucky enough to have the same name as someone in the NICS system — then WalMart was essentially saying it would not sell the firearm, even though federal law specifically allows the sale to proceed.

 

This three-day provision was inserted into federal law to prevent federal bureaucrats from illegitimately denying millions of gun buyers — simply by its refusal to take a position. Some gun dealers choose not to sell a firearm after the three-day limit. Others don’t.

 

The result is that many law-abiding gun owners can’t purchase firearms, not because the FBI has disapproved them, but because it has refused to answer “yes” or “no.”

 

It’s actions like this which can fundamentally transform the Brady Act, making it so that a whole lot of law-abiding gun owners aren’t able to purchase guns. And we bet that the FBI will be giving a lot fewer green-lights in the future, particularly if universal background checks are enacted.

 

Background checks violate rights, open door to abuses

 

Gun Owners of America has long argued that honest gun owners should not have to prove their innocence to the government before exercising their God-given rights. One should never give a bureaucrat a chance to say no — it only leads to abuses.

 

For one thing, the FBI’s computer system has often gone offline for hours at a time — sometimes for days. And when it has failed on weekends, it results in the virtual blackout of gun sales (and gun shows) across the country.

 

When the NICS system is down, the only place one can buy a gun legally is from a private seller, and now the President wants to eliminate that last bastion of freedom!

 

Recently, the FBI’s system went down on Black Friday, angering many gun dealers and gun buyers around the country. “It means we can’t sell no damn guns,” said Rick Lozier, a manager at Van Raymond Outfitters in Maine. “If we can’t call it in, we can’t sell a gun.”xii

 

Researcher John Lott says that, in addition to crashes in the computers doing the background checks, “8 percent of background checks are not accomplished within two hours, with almost all of these delays taking three days or longer.” And almost 100% of these initial denials turn out to have been illegitimate.xiii

 

Such delays could be deadly for people, especially women, who need a gun in an emergency to defend themselves from an ex-boyfriend or husband. Consider some of the tragic consequences that result when a woman’s right to protect herself is put on hold:

 

* A California realtor, herein referred to as “Jane,” was concerned about her safety at work, so she applied to buy a handgun. But the Golden State requires her to wait 10 days before picking up the gun. Sadly, she was raped by a client within that 10-day period.xiv

 

* Likewise, Bonnie Elmasri inquired about getting a gun to protect herself from a husband who had repeatedly threatened to kill her. She was told there was a 48 hour waiting period to buy a handgun. Unfortunately, Bonnie was never able to pick up a gun. She and her two sons were killed the next day by an abusive husband of whom the police were well aware.xv

 

* Marine Cpl. Rayna Ross bought a gun and used it to kill an attacker in self-defense two days later.xvi Had she had to wait like Bonnie or Jane, Ms. Ross would have been defenseless against the man who was stalking her.

 

While none of these tragedies specifically occurred because of delays resulting from a NICS check, it does underscore the truth behind the oft quoted adage that a “right delayed is a right denied.”

 

Five more reasons for opposing Universal Background Checks

 

Gun Owners of America has produced pages and pages of arguments that explain the problems — and abuses — that have gone hand-in-hand with background checks.xvii But, in brief, it’s important to note these five additional problems.

 

FIRST: The principle that no American can own a firearm without getting the go-ahead from the government is offensive to Americans. We don’t require breathalyzer checks before people get into their cars even though drunk drivers kill more than 30 times more people than “assault rifles” do. Nor do we require background checks on clubs and hammers, which also kill more often than “assault rifles.”xviii

 

SECOND: Universal background checks would not have stopped Adam Lanza (who stole his guns), or James Holmes or Jared Loughner (who passed background checks).

 

THIRD: One of the nation’s leading anti-gun medical publications, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that the Brady law has failed to reduce murder rates. In August 2000, JAMA reported that states implementing waiting periods and background checks did “not [experience] reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates.”xix

 

FOURTH: Throughout its history, the background check system has been plagued by serious failures. On the one hand, large percentages of gun owners have been erroneously denied — according to one GAO report, almost 50% of denials were the result of administrative snafus or unpaid parking tickets.xx On the other hand, the law has failed to put real criminals behind bars — in 2010, only 13 people were potentially sent to jail as a result of being stopped by NICS checks.xxi

 

FIFTH: Can we really trust the administration that gave us Fast & Furious to respect our Second Amendment rights? The Obama Administration knowingly approved (via background checks) the sales of thousands of guns to the Mexican Cartel in order to justify calls for greater gun control here at home. As a result, several hundred Mexicans have been killed — not to mention at least one U.S. federal agent. Considering the administration’s record on guns, the administration should NOT be trusted to keep guns out of the “wrong hands.” Isn’t this a case of the fox guarding the hen house?

 

Let’s be honest: Universal background checks are nothing more than the ineffectual platform from which gun haters will make their next set of demands, based on the next horrific tragedy.

 

At this point, we now move on to some of the other gun control proposals that are on the table.

 

The High Cost of Limiting Semi-autos and Gun Magazines

 

Senator Dianne Feinstein has reintroduced her semi-auto ban, but her new version is one on steroids. Feinstein’s bill (S. 150) would ban the types of shotguns, rifles and handguns that millions of Americans currently own. And possibly, depending on statutory interpretation, her bill could ban all magazines of whatever size.  Among other things, S. 150 would do this by supercharging the 1994 semi-auto ban by:

* Banning all semi-autos with just one cosmetic feature (pistol grip, forward grip, folding stock, grenade launcher, barrel shroud, threaded barrel);

 

* Banning all semi-autos with fixed magazines of over 10 rounds (but see below as to how a sneaky “loophole” may use this to ban ALL magazines of any size);

* Allowing for grandfathering and transfer of semi-autos (but prohibiting the transfer of magazines and prohibiting the transfer of semi-autos without a Brady Check); and

 

* Banning all magazines that can be “readily restored … [or] converted” to accept more than 10 rounds.

 

In regard to the final bullet item, there is one very important question: Does “readily” modify “converted” or does it merely modify “restored”?  How will the ATF interpret this?

 

If it’s the latter, the bill will ban ALL magazines of whatever size.

 

Does the Feinstein ban violate the Americans with Disabilities Act?

 

As noted above, S. 150 would cover all semi-automatics that contain just one cosmetic feature, such as a pistol grip. Ironically, agents from the Department of Homeland Security are acquiring 30 round magazines and 7,000 assault weapons because they are “suitable for personal defense use in close quarters.”xxii

 

Indeed, there are many reasons that law-abiding Americans, including those who are disabled, would desire to have these types of firearms — and to even have pistol grips on their firearms. Consider the testimony from one GOA member:

 

Feinstein’s ban on pistol grips is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I have severe arthritis in my hands and wrists due to repetitive motion injuries working as a correctional officer. I cannot operate a rifle or shotgun without a pistol grip as my hands don’t bend enough to grip a traditional stock. If pistol grips are banned, I will be denied my 2nd Amendment rights. I am at considerable risk for retribution from criminal elements, and in fact a former inmate from the psychiatric ward showed up at my house just 2 weeks ago, luckily he was not intent on violence, at least this time.

 

It is the height of hypocrisy to say these firearms are useful self-defense weapons for Homeland Security agents, but that they are not useful for regular Americans like the GOA member listed above. Or that they shouldn’t be available for women like Maryland resident Sharon Ramboz who used an AR-15 rifle to defend herself and her three children against several burglars.xxiii

 

Banning standard magazines (or larger) will make people less safe

 

Some in Congress want to limit the size of gun magazines. But they can only do so by threatening our God-given rights and by putting people in greater danger.

 

Those who are unfamiliar with guns simply don’t understand how self-defense works. Real life is not like the latest action movie where the bad guys shoot their guns endlessly (and miss), but the good guys fire off one or two rounds and hit their targets.

 

When Matthew Murray entered the New Life Church in Colorado Springs in 2007, intent on killing hundreds of people, it was Jeanne Assam (one of the worshipers there) who fired off 10 rounds before Murray was critically injured enough to halt the attack and end his own life.

 

Good thing there was only one attacker. If Assam had used a reduced-capacity magazine or there were multiple attackers, she would have been out of luck. So would have:

 

* Those New Orleans residents who, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, discharged more than two dozen rounds during one firefight, where they fended off a roving gang in the Algiers neighborhood; or,

 

* The Korean merchants who armed themselves with so-called “assault” weapons (and lots of ammunition) during the Los Angeles riots. Their stores remained standing, while others around them burned to the ground.

 

All of this just underscores the point that when you are facing gang or mob violence — and the police are nowhere to be found — you need more than just a six-shooter.

 

Just last month, a Georgia woman defended her twins by shooting an aggressor in her home. She unloaded her six-shot revolver, hitting the perpetrator five times in the head and neck. Nevertheless, the thug was still able to get up and walk out of the house. Now, just imagine if this woman was facing multiple attackers. She would have been out of ammunition, and she and her children would have been in great danger.xxiv

 

Self-defense expert Massad Ayoob talks about an Arkansas drunk who opened fire on an officer, who then responded by firing 29 shots. It was only the last bullet which finally killed the drunk and stopped him from shooting.xxv Same with an Illinois criminal who was shot 33 times by the police before the druggie finally dropped and was unable to shoot any longer.xxvi

 

In the real world we live in, there are violent gangs who get high on drugs and are resistant to pain when they attack. Banning the tens of millions of “high capacity” magazines that are already in circulation won’t keep them out of dangerous hands. But infringing the Second Amendment will threaten our safety.

 

Firearms, and magazine capacity, is not about hunting deer

 

To listen to much of the discussion around Capitol Hill, one would think the Second Amendment is just about hunting. “You don’t need an AK-47 to go deer hunting,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives (July 24, 2012).

 

“I don’t know anybody that needs 30 rounds in the clip to go hunting,” said Senator Joe Manchin on Morning Joe this past December.

 

Likewise, the President has stated that, “I believe in the Second Amendment. We’ve got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves.”xxvii

 

We are glad to hear the President make reference to “protection,” but all of these comments — and the whole emphasis on hunting — distracts from the real reason that the Second Amendment was included in the Constitution.

 

On at least two occasions, the U.S. Supreme Court has forcefully presented the ultimate reason for the amendment’s inclusion in the Bill of Rights. In Heller v. McDonald (2008), the Supreme Court stated that an armed populace is “better able to resist tyranny.”xxviii And in McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Court reiterated the definitive purpose for owning firearms:

 

* “[St. George Tucker] described the right to keep and bear arms as ‘the true palladium of liberty’ and explained that prohibitions on the right would place liberty ‘on the brink of destruction.’”xxix

 

* “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”xxx

 

For these reasons, any discussion of “hunting deer” completely misses the mark. The Second Amendment was never about shooting Bambi or other animals. It was intended to protect the right of people to defend themselves against any aggressor — both foreign and domestic.

 

The Second Amendment states that this right “shall not be infringed.” This is very similar to the language in the Declaration of Independence which declares that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Unalienable rights are those God-given liberties which cannot be in any way infringed, delayed or denied to those who are law-abiding citizens.

 

We don’t limit First Amendment rights and gag movie-goers to prevent them from yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. Likewise, we should not be “gagging” law-abiding gun owners and infringing their rights through background checks, gun bans and magazine limitations.

 

A policy that works to reduce school violence

 

It’s not too much access to firearms that is plaguing America. That’s not what has resulted in the recent spate of school violence. America was virtually gun control-free in the 1950s, and yet kids were not using guns to shoot up schools.

 

The problem is that there are too many restrictions today which prevent good people from acting in self-defense. Virtually all of the mass shootings that have occurred in this country over the past 20 years have occurred in gun-free zones.

 

And that’s why the Congress should repeal the Gun-Free Zones Ban which prevents armed teachers or principals from protecting the children — just like Assistant Principal Joel Myrick did at his Mississippi high school in 1997.

 

To this end, Texas Rep. Steve Stockman has introduced H.R. 35, the Safe Schools Act of 2013. This bill would repeal the federal Gun-Free School Zones act and allow teachers and principals, who are qualified by their state to carry concealed, to also do so at public and private schools.

 

The Stockman bill is truly the greatest step that Congress could take toward securing our schools. But some in Washington are so blinded by their anti-gun ideology, that they care more about protecting themselves than they do our children. In the roughly 15 square block area of Capitol Hill, there are 1,800 Capitol Hill police officers to protect every Representative and Senator. How many armed adults are protecting our kids on any given day at school?

 

It’s this principle of self-defense which explains why we haven’t seen any school massacres in places like Utah and Harrold, Texas, where teachers or principals can carry concealed. Come to think of it, we also haven’t heard of any horror story scenarios in these jurisdictions — like students finding a gun in a purse, or a teacher accidentally firing his weapon.

 

Concealed carry permit holders are the most law-abiding segment of society. They are eight times less likely to commit a crime than the average citizen and — in light of a 2006 Bureau of Justice Statistics study on police abuse — almost 800 times less likely than law-enforcement.xxxi

 

That’s why Gun Owners of America is encouraging more states to emulate places like Utah. Constitutionally, the states should be the ones working out their school security issues. But at the very least, Congress should repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act and stop threatening to punish law-abiding teachers and principals who want a gun to stop another Adam Lanza from killing their students and fellow staff members.

 

Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America. Michael Hammond is the legislative counsel for GOA. This testimony was submitted to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee for its hearing on: “Proposals to Reduce Gun Violence: Protecting Our Communities While Respecting the Second Amendment” on February 12, 2003.

 

i Robert Farago, TheTruthAboutGuns.com (May 27, 2012).

 

iii Richard B. Abell, Assistant Attorney General, Task Force Chairman, Report to the Attorney General on Systems for Identifying Felons Who Attempt to Purchase Firearms (October 1989), p. 75.

 

iv Bureau of Justice Assistance, Grant Manager’s Memorandum, Pt. 1: Project Summary (September 30, 1994), Project Number: 94-DD-CX-0166.

 

v Copy of “FIST” (Firearms Inquiry Statistical Tracking) software at GOA headquarters, Springfield, VA. See also Pennsylvania Sportsmen’s News (Oct./Nov. 1996). The default in the “FIST” computer software is for the police officials to indefinitely retain the information on gun owners—despite the fact that the Brady law only allows officials to retain this data for 20 days. One wonders who will ensure that this information will be deleted after the 20th day.

 

vi FBI’s Final Rule printed in the Federal Register (October 30, 1998) at 58311. After the FBI submitted its proposed regulations on June 4, 1998, Gun Owners of America submitted written comments (in September of 1988) to challenge the FBI’s regulations. GOA stated, “These proposed regulations are unlawful and unconstitutional. They are so fundamentally corrupt that there are no incremental changes which will even marginally improve them. Rest assured that they will be challenged in every possible judicial and legislative forum. . . . The efforts to retain information on gun owners for eighteen months—and indefinitely in your computer backup system—constitutes an illegal system of firearms registration, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 926. The same is, in fact, true even for efforts to retain information about persons prohibited from purchasing firearms.”

 

vii “NY Democrat pleads with Republican not to share document proposing confiscation of guns,” The Commentator (January 20, 2013). See http://tinyurl.com/bg7q3jy.

 

viii On August 16, 1991, New York City Mayor David Dinkins signed Local Law 78 which banned the possession and sale of certain rifles and shotguns.

 

ix John Marzulli, “Weapons ban defied: S.I. man, arsenal seized,” Daily News (September 5, 1992).

 

x Based on research from the Congressional Research Service, more than 150,000 military veterans have lost their Second Amendment rights, despite the fact they have committed no crimes. [See Sen. Tom Coburn letter to Gordon H. Mansfield, Acting Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (Oct. 16, 2007).] This process began during the Clinton administration when the Department of Veterans Affairs sent the names of more than 80,000 veterans to the FBI for inclusion in the NICS system. But as Senator Tom Coburn found out ten years later, these were not veterans that were guilty of crimes, rather, they were former soldiers who had gone to the VA for counseling to help them deal with the stress from prior combat. Many of them were suffering from PTSD. But because a doctor or psychiatrist determined that a third party should help them manage their financial affairs, they lost their Second Amendment rights. How could this happen? Well, the legislative history began in 1968 when Congress banned those who are “adjudicated mentally defective” from owning firearms. This was an attempt to keep those criminals who had escaped a conviction by reason of insanity from owning weapons. The problem with applying this to veterans, of course, is that they have lost their gun rights without being “adjudicated” in a court of anything — no judge, no impartial jury, no nothing. These veterans are being disarmed because a guardian has been appointed to look over their checkbook and manage their financial affairs. (Would the President and most members of the Congress lose their gun rights based on this “inability to manage one’s financial affairs” standard?) Sadly, what began illegally under the Clinton administration was later “legalized” by the Veterans Disarmament Act — otherwise known as the NICS Improvement Act of 2008.

 

xii Nok-Noi Ricker, “Call volume shuts down FBI’s firearm background checks, stops Maine sales on Black Friday,” Bangor (Maine) Daily News (November 23, 2012).

 

xiii John Lott, “The ‘40 Percent’ Myth: The figure gun-control advocates are throwing around is false,” National Review Online (January 24, 2013) at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/338735/40-percent-myth-john-lott.

 

xv Congressional Record (May 8, 1991), at H 2859, H 2862.

 

xvi Wall Street Journal (March 3, 1994) at A10.

 

xvii For example, see http://gunowners.org/fs0202.htm.

 

xviii For drunk driving-related fatalities, see Table 3 Statistics, US Department of Transportation National Highway Safety Administration Traffic Safety Facts Report 12/2012: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811701.pdf. For FBI statistics regarding rifle deaths (of which “assault rifles” would be a subset) and “clubs, hammers, etc.,” see FBI Crime Report 2011, Expanded Homicide Data Table 11: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-11.

 

xix Jens Ludwig and Philip J. Cook, “Homicide and Suicide Rates Associated With Implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act,” Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 284, no. 5 (August 2, 2000).

 

xx General Accounting Office, “Gun Control: Implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Act,” (January 1996), p. 39-40, 64-65. See fn. 16 at http://gunowners.org/fs0202.htm.

 

xxi Ronald J. Frandsen, “Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010: Federal and state investigations and prosecutions of firearm applicants denied by a NICS check in 2010,” Department of Justice (August, 2012), p. 8. According to the DoJ report, there were still another 12 cases were still pending as of December 13, 2011.

 

xxii “If ‘Assault Weapons’ Are Bad…Why Does DHS Want to Buy 7,000 of Them for ‘Personal Defense’?” The Blaze (January 26, 2013).

 

xxiii See Lauren Fox, “Conservative women say AR-15 rifles would keep women everywhere safer,” US News & World Report (January 30, 2013) and “Assault weapon provides security, owner testifies,” Baltimore Sun (February 11, 1992).

 

xxivNick Chiles, “Georgia Woman Who Shot Intruder Hailed as Model Gun Owner,” Atlanta Blackstar (January 10, 2013).

 

xxv Massad Ayoob, “Defending Firepower,” Combat Handguns (October 1990), p. 25.

 

xxvi Ibid., at 71.

 

xxvii Barack Obama, Second Presidential Debate, October 17, 2012.

 

xxviii D.C. v. Heller (2008) at 24-25.

 

xxix McDonald v. Chicago (2010) at 22.

 

xxx Ibid., citing Joseph Story (1833) at 22.

 

xxxi Compare Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Citizen Complaints about Police Use of Force [in 2002]” (published 2006) at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/ccpuf.pdf and Howard Nemerov, “Concealed Handguns: Danger or Asset to Texas?” (Tables 1 and 3) at http://www.prattontexas.com/documents/Texas%20CHL%20Study.pdf.

D.C. chief and ATF head asked who authorized violation of magazine ban

December 27, 2012 3 comments

 

A controversy ignited over “Meet the Press” host David Gregory displaying a rifle magazine during an interview with National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre has taken several turns, due to the law in the nation’s capitol making possession of such a device illegal, with Washington D.C. Chief of Police Cathy Lanier confirming to Breitbart TV that her department was investigating “to determine if the magazine was real,” and now TMZ, in an exclusive report, claiming “an ATF official” told show staffers they could use the magazine after consulting with D.C. Police.

That’s in direct contradiction to a report by The Washington Examiner quoting a police official who flatly stated “NBC contacted MPD inquiring if they could utilize a high-capacity magazine for their segment. NBC was informed that possession of a high-capacity magazine is not permissible, and their request was denied.”

 

CONTINUE READING:

The Marxist Thug-In-Chief, obama, May Think He’s The Only One With An “Enemies List”

September 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Issa: White House pursuing an ‘enemies list’ in Washington

By Jonathan Easley – 09/20/12 09:01 AM ET

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Thursday that a team at the White House is pursuing him and others on its “enemies list” in an attempt to quell dissenters in Washington.

“Not since Richard Nixon have we seen a president who puts together an enemies list and has a whole team pursuing it, but that’s what’s happened in this administration,” Issa told “Fox and Friends.” “It’s sad; it’s not the America I want to have going forward. I sincerely hope after the election, regardless, the American people will have made a statement that we won’t tolerate this.”

Issa was responding to allegations made by right-wing website The Daily Caller, which reported earlier this week that emails it obtained show the Department of Justice (DOJ) colluding with the liberal advocacy group Media Matters.

The Daily Caller says the emails show the administration worked with Media Matters to attack reporters challenging the DOJ over the botched gun-walking scandal known as “Fast and Furious.”

Issa was mentioned in some emails between DOJ Public Affairs Director Tracy Schmaler and a Media Matters staffer. In the emails, Schmaler seems to be explaining the intricacies of the case, but some on the right say this is evidence of the administration spinning news to the liberal media.

“[Schmaler] serves at the pleasure of the president. These political appointees do the president’s bidding. So would I like to see her go? Of course. I want to see the entire team packing their bags starting Nov. 7,” Issa said. “But I think the point is, these people represent the culture that President Obama brought in to Washington. A culture of division. A culture that embraces the concept that the 1 percent is evil and somehow the rest of America somehow needs to punish the 1 percent. I guess I’m part of the 1 percent, for purposes of their attack.”

Attorney General Eric Holder will hold a hearing Thursday morning to address the inspector general report on the Fast and Furious operation.

 

Source and Video Interview: THE HILL

 

Oversight anticipates IG Fast and Furious report this afternoon

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

[TWG: Not sure why anyone thinks anything new will become of this. We already KNOW they purposely handed thousands of firearms to mexican drug cartels and islamic terrorists. We already KNOW those firearms were used to murder American citizens and Mexican citizens, along with border patrol officials. We already KNOW this whole effort is treasonous and we already KNOW the obama/hitlery regime will stop at nothing to disarm Americans. This newest “report” may contain information we have not seen before, but does anyone really believe any government officials will be tried and punished accordingly for this treasonous act?  Clearly, that will not be the case.]

A statement released moments ago by the Press Secretary for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform gave reporters and other interested parties a “heads up” in anticipation of receipt of the Operation Fast and Furious report from the Office of Inspector General.

“We believe the IG report will come out at about 2 pm [Eastern time],” Becca Watson of the Committee advised recipients by email. “Oversight, from either me or Frederick [Hill, the Committee’s Director of Communications], expects to have a statement in response out after the initial release from the IG.”…(Con’t)

CONTINUE READING: http://www.examiner.com/article/oversight-anticipates-ig-fast-and-furious-report-this-afternoon?CID=examiner_alerts_article

Issa says ATF’s McMahon ‘will probably be referred for criminal prosecution’

August 23, 2012 1 comment

[TWG Note: The crimes committed by the obama regime continue to stack up.  Isn’t it comforting to know that obama and his marxist swine appointed a BANKER to head the ATF Fast & Furious schemes?  I suppose JP Morgan owes the obama regime a lot of favors for the BILLION$ in “stimulus money” the obama regime shuffled into their pockets as well as the hush-hush on JP Morgan using those BILLION$ to outsource jobs.]

In a startling assertion almost buried in last night’s “On the Record” interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa indicated he has criminal charges in store for an ATF official implicated in the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” operation. Referring to “double-dipping” by former Assistant Director William Hoover, hired by the J.P. Morgan financial services conglomerate while he’s on leave from ATF and awaiting retirement, Issa let slip with what should be considered a bombshell announcement, and a precursor for things to come.

“This is somebody who our reports said perjured himself before the Congress,” Issa charged. “We don’t understand why J.P. Morgan would hire somebody who’s lied to Congress, and will probably be referred for criminal prosecution.”…(Con’t)

CONTINUE READING: http://www.examiner.com/article/issa-says-atf-s-mcmahon-will-probably-be-referred-for-criminal-prosecution?CID=examiner_alerts_article

ATF damage control on whistleblowers raising new concerns

July 19, 2012 4 comments

Fast and Furious  July 19, 2012  By: David Codrea

A video posted yesterday by The Washington Guardian, featuring Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Acting Director B. Todd Jones that warns against agents taking complaints “outside the chain of command,” is being met with alarm and skepticism by politicians, agents and others determined to get to the bottom of Bureau and Department of Justice corruption charges. In a related simultaneous development, a memo reminding ATF management of “Rights and Duties Under the Whistleblower Protection Act” is being dismissed as a cynical ploy by an activist attorney…(Con’t)

 

CONTINUE READING: http://www.examiner.com/article/atf-damage-control-on-whistleblowers-raising-new-concerns?CID=examiner_alerts_article

 

SCATHING! Committee on “Oversight and Government Reform” Letter From Darrell Issa To barack hussain obama.


June 25, 2012

The President

The White House

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

On June 19, 2012, shortly after leaving a meeting in the U.S. Capitol, Attorney General

Eric Holder wrote to request that you assert executive privilege with respect to Operation Fast

and Furious documents he is withholding from this Committee. The next day, Deputy Attorney

General James Cole notified me in a letter that you had invoked executive privilege. The

Committee received both letters minutes before the scheduled start of a vote to recommend that

the full House hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with its

subpoena.

Courts have consistently held that the assertion of the constitutionally-based executive

privilege — the only privilege that ever can justify the withholding of documents from a

congressional committee by the Executive Branch — is only applicable with respect to

documents and communications that implicate the confidentiality of the President’s decisionmaking

process, defined as those documents and communications to and from the President and

his most senior advisors. Even then, it is a qualified privilege that is overcome by a showing of

the committee’s need for the documents. The letters from Messrs. Holder and Cole cited no case

law to the contrary.

Accordingly, your privilege assertion means one of two things. Either you or your most

senior advisors were involved in managing Operation Fast & Furious and the fallout from it,

including the false February 4, 2011 letter provided by the Attorney General to the Committee,

or, you are asserting a Presidential power that you know to be unjustified solely for the purpose

of further obstructing a congressional investigation. To date, the White House has steadfastly

maintained that it has not had any role in advising the Department with respect to the

The President

June 25, 2012

Page 2

congressional investigation. The surprising assertion of executive privilege raised the question

of whether that is still the case.

As you know, the Committee voted to recommend that the full House hold Attorney

General Holder in contempt of Congress for his continued refusal to produce relevant documents

in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious. Last week’s proceeding would not have

occurred had the Attorney General actually produced the subpoenaed documents he said he

could provide. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the contempt resolution

this week. I remain hopeful that the Attorney General will produce the specified documents so

that we can work towards resolving this matter short of a contempt citation. Furthermore, I am

hopeful that, consistent with assertions of executive privilege by previous Administrations, you

will define the universe of documents over which you asserted executive privilege and provide

the Committee with the legal justification from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel

(OLC).

 

Background

 

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a firefight with a group of armed

Mexican bandits who preyed on illegal immigrants in a canyon west of Rio Rico, Arizona on

December 14, 2010. Two guns traced to Operation Fast and Furious were found at the murder

scene. The Terry family appeared before the Committee on June 15, 2011, to ask for answers

about the program that put guns in the hands of the men who killed their son and brother.

Having been stonewalled for months by the Attorney General and his senior staff, the Committee

issued a subpoena for documents that would provide the Terry family the answers they seek.

The subpoena was served on October 12, 2011.

Internally, over the course of the next eight months, the Justice Department identified

140,000 pages of documents and communications responsive to the Committee’s subpoena. Yet,

the Department handed over only 7,600 of these pages. Through a series of accommodations

and in recognition of certain Executive Branch and law enforcement prerogatives, the Committee

prioritized key documents the Department needed to produce to avoid contempt proceedings.

These key documents would help the Committee understand how and why the Justice

Department moved from denying whistleblower allegations to understanding they were true; the

identities of officials who attempted to retaliate against whistleblowers; the reactions of senior

Department officials when confronted with evidence of gunwalking during Fast and Furious,

including whether they were surprised or already aware of the use of this reckless tactic, and;

whether senior Department officials are being held to the same standard as lower-level

employees who have been blamed for Fast and Furious by their politically-appointed bosses in

Washington.

I met with Attorney General Holder on June 19, 2012, to attempt to resolve this matter in

advance of the Committee’s scheduled contempt vote. We were joined by Ranking Member

Elijah Cummings and Senators Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley, respectively the Chairman

and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. The Department had previously

identified a small subset of documents created after February 4, 2011 — the date of its letter

The President

June 25, 2012

Page 3

containing the false claim that no gunwalking had occurred — that it would make available to

the Committee. The Justice Department described this small subset as a “fair compilation” of the

full universe of post-February 4th documents responsive to the subpoena.

During the June 19th meeting, the Attorney General stated he wanted to “buy peace.” He

indicated a willingness to produce the “fair compilation” of post-February 4th documents. He

told me that he would provide the “fair compilation” of documents on three conditions: (1) that I

permanently cancel the contempt vote; (2) that I agree the Department was in full compliance

with the Committee’s subpoenas, and; (3) that I accept the “fair compilation,” sight unseen.

As Chairman of the primary investigative Committee of the U.S. House of

Representatives, I considered the Attorney General’s conditions unacceptable, as would have my

predecessors from both sides of the aisle. I simply requested that the Department produce the

“fair compilation” in advance of the contempt vote, with the understanding that I would postpone

the vote to allow the Committee to review the documents.

The short meeting in the Capitol lasted about twenty minutes. The Attorney General left

the meeting and, shortly thereafter, sent an eight-page letter containing more than forty citations

requesting that you assert executive privilege. The following morning, the Deputy Attorney

General informed me that you had taken the extraordinary step of asserting the privilege that is

designed to protect presidential decision making.

In his letter, the Attorney General stated that releasing the documents covered by the

subpoena, some of which he offered to the Committee hours earlier, would have “significant,

damaging consequences.”

1 It remains unclear how — in a matter of hours — the Attorney

General moved from offering those documents in exchange for canceling the contempt vote and

ending the congressional investigation to claiming that they are covered by executive privilege

and that releasing them — which the Attorney General was prepared to do hours earlier —

would now result in “significant, damaging consequences.”

 

The Scope of Executive Privilege

 

Deputy Attorney General Cole’s representation that “the President has asserted executive

privilege over the relevant post-February 4, 2011, documents” raised concerns that there was

greater White House involvement in Operation Fast and Furious than previously thought.

2 The

courts have never considered executive privilege to extend to internal Executive Branch

deliberative documents.

Absent from the Attorney General’s eight-page letter were the controlling authorities

from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. As the court held in the seminal

case of

In re Sealed Case (Espy):

1

 

Letter from U.S. Att’y Gen. Eric H. Holder, Jr. to the President (June 19, 2012), at 2.

 

2

 

Letter from Deputy U.S. Att’y Gen. James Cole to Chairman Issa (June 20, 2012).

 

The President

June 25, 2012

Page 4

The privilege should not extend to staff outside the White House in

executive branch agencies. Instead, the privilege should apply only to

communications authored or solicited and received by those members of

an immediate White House adviser’s staff who have broad and significant

responsibility for investigating and formulating the advice to be given the

President on the particular matter to which the communications relate.

3

The D.C. Circuit established the “operational proximity test” to determine which

communications are subject to privilege.

Espy made clear that it is “operational proximity to the

President that matters in determining whether the president’s confidentiality interest is

implicated.”

4

In addition, even if the presidential communications privilege did apply to some of these

subpoenaed documents,

Espy made clear that “the presidential communications privilege is, at all

times, a qualified one,” and that a showing of need could overcome it.

5 Such a need — indeed a

compelling one — plainly exists in this case.

The Justice Department has steadfastly maintained that the documents sought by the

Committee do not implicate the White House whatsoever. If true, they are at best deliberative

documents between and among Department personnel who lack the requisite “operational

proximity” to the President. As such, they cannot be withheld pursuant to the constitutionallybased

executive privilege. Courts distinguish between the presidential communications privilege

and the deliberative process privilege. Both, the

Espy court observed, are executive privileges

designed to protect the confidentiality of Executive Branch decision-making. The deliberativeprocess

privilege, however, which applies to executive branch officials generally, is a common

law privilege that requires a lower threshold of need to be overcome, and “disappears altogether

when there is any reason to believe government misconduct has occurred.”

6

The Committee must assume that the White House Counsel’s Office is fully aware of the

prevailing authorities of

Espy, discussed above, and Judicial Watch v. Dep’t of Justice.7 If the

invocation of executive privilege was proper, it calls into question a number of public statements

about the involvement of the White House made by you, your staff, and the Attorney General.

Finally, the Attorney General’s letter to you cited numerous authorities from prior

Administrations of both parties. It is important to note that the OLC opinions provided as

authorities to justify expansive views of executive privilege are inconsistent with existing case

law.

3

In re Sealed Case

(Espy), 121 F.3d 729 (D.C. Cir. 1997).

 

4

 

Id.

 

5

 

Id.

 

6

 

Congressional Research Service, Presidential Claims of Executive Privilege: History, Law, Practice, and Recent

Developments (Aug. 21, 2008).

 

 

7

 

365 F.3d 1108 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (holding that presidential communications privilege only applied to documents

“solicited and received” by the President or his immediate advisers).

 

 

The President

June 25, 2012

Page 5

 

Remarks about White House Involvement in Fast and Furious

 

For the past sixteen months, Senator Grassley and I have been investigating Operation

Fast and Furious. In response to a question about the operation during an interview with

Univision on March 22, 2011, you stated that, “Well first of all, I did not authorize it. Eric

Holder, the Attorney General, did not authorize it.”

8 You also stated that you were “absolutely

not” informed about Operation Fast and Furious.

9 Later in the interview, you said that “there

may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made and if that’s the case then we’ll find

out and we’ll hold somebody accountable.”

10

From the early stages of the investigation, the White House has maintained that no White

House personnel knew anything about Operation Fast and Furious. Your assertion of executive

privilege, however, renews questions about White House involvement.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney emphasized your denial that you knew about

Fast and Furious. Mr. Carney stated, “I can tell you that, as the president has already said, he did

not know about or authorize this operation.”

11 A few weeks later, Mr. Carney reiterated the

point, stating, “I think he made clear . . . during the Mexican state visit and the press conference

he had then that he found out about this through news reports. And he takes it very seriously.”

12

In an October 6, 2011 news conference, you maintained that Attorney General Holder

“indicated that he was not aware of what was happening in Fast and Furious.”

13 Regarding your

own awareness, you went on to state, “Certainly I was not. And I think both he and I would have

been very unhappy if somebody had suggested that guns were allowed to pass through that could

have been prevented by the United States of America.”

14

On March 28, 2012, Senator Grassley and I wrote to Kathryn Ruemmler, who serves as

your Counsel, to request that she grant our numerous requests to interview Kevin O’Reilly, a

member of the White House National Security Staff. We needed Mr. O’Reilly’s testimony to

ascertain the extent of White House involvement in Operation Fast and Furious. In her response,

Ms. Ruemmler advised us that the e-mail communications between Mr. O’Reilly and William

Newell, the Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Phoenix Field Division, did not reveal “the

existence of any of the inappropriate investigative tactics at issue in your inquiry, let alone any

decision to allow guns to ‘walk.’”

15 She further emphasized “the absence of any evidence that

suggests that Mr. O’Reilly had any involvement in ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ or was aware of

8

 

Interview by Jorge Ramos, Univision, with President Barack Obama, San Salvador, El Salvador (Mar. 22, 2011).

 

9

 

Id.

 

10

 

Id.

 

11

 

The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney (June 17, 2011).

 

12

 

The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney (July 5, 2011).

 

13

Richard Serrano,

Obama Defends Attorney General: Holder Faces Scrutiny over ATF’s Fast and Furious Gun

Operation

 

 

, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER

, Oct. 7, 2011.

 

14

Id

.

 

15

 

Letter from Hon. Kathryn Ruemmler, Counsel to the President, to Hon. Darrell E. Issa, Chairman, H. Comm. on

Oversight & Gov’t Reform, & Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary (Apr. 5,

 

2012).

 

 

The President

June 25, 2012

Page 6

the existence of any inappropriate investigative tactics.”

16 Your assertion of executive privilege

renews concerns about these denials.

Earlier this month, when House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith asked the

Attorney General when the Justice Department first informed the White House about the

questionable tactics used in Fast and Furious, he responded, “I don’t know.”

17 He informed

Chairman Smith that his focus was on “dealing with the problems associated with Fast and

Furious,” and that he was “not awfully concerned about what the knowledge was in the White

House.”

18

Attorney General Holder has assured the public that he takes this matter very seriously,

stating that “to the extent we find that mistakes occurred, people will be held accountable.”

19

Yet, he has described the Committee’s vote as “an election-year tactic.”

20 Nothing could be

further from the truth. This statement not only betrays a total lack of understanding of our

investigation, it exemplifies the stonewalling we have consistently faced in attempting to work

with the Justice Department. If the Attorney General had produced the responsive documents

more than eight months ago when they were due, or at any time since then, we would not be

where we are today.

 

Moving Forward

 

At the heart of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious are

disastrous consequences: a murdered Border Patrol Agent, his grieving family, countless deaths

in Mexico, and the souring effect on our relationship with Mexico. Members of the Committee

from both sides of the aisle agree that the Terry family deserves answers. So, too, do Agent

Terry’s brothers-in-arms in the border patrol, the Mexican government, and the American

people. Unfortunately, your assertion of executive privilege raises more questions than it

answers. The Attorney General’s conditional offer of a “fair compilation” of a subset of

documents covered by the subpoena, and your assertion of executive privilege, in no way

substitute for the fact that the Justice Department is still grossly deficient in its compliance with

the Committee’s subpoena. By the Department’s own admission, it has withheld more than

130,000 pages of responsive documents.

I still believe that a settlement, rendering further contempt of Congress proceedings

unnecessary, is in the best interests of the Justice Department, Congress, and those most directly

affected by Operation Fast and Furious. In light of the settled law that confines the

constitutionally-based executive privilege to high-level White House communications, I urge

16

Id

.

 

17

Oversight of the U.S. Dep’t of Justice: Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary,

112th Cong. (June 7, 2012)

(Test. of U.S. Att’y Gen. Eric H. Holder, Jr.).

 

 

18

 

Id.

 

19

Mike Levine,

Guns Groups To Sue over New Obama Regulations, DOJ Vows To “Vigorously Oppose,”

 

F

OXNEWS.COM

, Aug. 3, 2011, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/03/guns-groups-to-sue-over-new-obamaregulations-

doj-vows-to-vigorously-oppose/#ixzz1yRMujaLY.

 

 

20

Congress Contempt Charge for U.S. Attorney General Holder, BBC NEWS

, June 21, 2012,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18528798.

 

 

The President

June 25, 2012

Page 7

you to reconsider the decision to withhold documents that would allow Congress to complete its

investigation.

In the meantime, so that the Committee and the public can better understand your role,

and the role of your most senior advisors, in connection with Operation Fast and Furious, please

clarify the question raised by your assertion of executive privilege: To what extent were you or

your most senior advisors involved in Operation Fast and Furious and the fallout from it,

including the false February 4, 2011 letter provided by the Attorney General to the Committee?

Please also identify any communications, meetings, and teleconferences between the White

House and the Justice Department between February 4, 2011 and June 18, 2012, the day before

the Attorney General requested that you assert executive privilege.

I appreciate your prompt attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Darrell Issa

Chairman

cc: The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

U.S. House of Representatives

Senator Charles E. Grassley, Ranking Member

Committee on the Judiciary

U.S. Senate

Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman

Committee on the Judiciary

U.S. Senate

The Honorable Kathryn Ruemmler, Counsel to the President

The dims’ Newest LIES About Fast & Furious


 

Democrats spout big lie about Fast and Furious snafu, say cops

 
 
 
 
 
 
Jim Kouri's photo

Law Enforcement Examiner

During Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly’s interview of Democratic Party operative Julian Epstein today, the Obama sycophant stated that President George W. Bush and his Justice Department were responsible for initiating the snafu known as Operation Fast and Furious.

From the start, according to a law enforcement source, when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was questioned by Congress about Operation Fast and Furious, an ATF operation that ended up a political fiasco, the Democratic Party sent out its operatives armed with talking points that accused the Bush Administration of masterminding the operation.

“The Big Lie is that the Obama Administration simply continued a Bush Administration ATF operation. Fast and Furious is all Obama and Holder. Period. Case closed,” said detective lieutenant Charles Traeja (NYPD-Ret.)…(Con’t)

 

CONTINUE READING: http://www.examiner.com/article/democrats-spout-big-lie-about-fast-and-furious-snafu-say-cops

Issa invites questions while staffers ignore them


House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., addressed apparent stonewalling by the Republican leadership in pursuing a contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General Eric Holder on last night’s “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren.  Although  Holder has not produced subpoenaed documents and information demanded by the committee, Van Susteren asked Issa about rumors that House Speaker John Boehner “isn’t wild about this,” prompting the chairman to  detail his strategy for building Congressional consensus, including  reaching across the aisle to concerned Democrats for support.

“We’ve sent out to every member of Congress 64 pages laying out the case for contempt.” Issa explained. “We’ve asked them do they have any questions…”

Issa is referring to the contempt citation draft the Committee sent out on May 3, and while it lends itself to many questions, one asked by Gun Rights Examiner of staffers has gone ignored after repeated requests:…(Con’t)

 

CONTINUE READING: http://www.examiner.com/article/issa-invites-questions-while-staffers-ignore-them?CID=examiner_alerts_article

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