Skip to comments.Obama Administration Expands ATF’s Power to Seize Property
Posted on 09/08/2012 2:49:47 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
Obama Administration Expands ATFs Power to Seize Property
As part of a one-year trial run, the Department of Justice has granted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives the power to to seize and administratively forfeit property allegedly involved in controlled substance offenses, which is almost tantamount to saying that on the mere suspicion that one is doing something illegal, the ATF can snatch ones firearms and property.
The Washington Times, among other publications, have explained the implications of this new DoJ decree:
Its a dangerous extension of the civil-forfeiture doctrine, a surreal legal fiction in which the seized property not a person is put on trial. This allows prosecutors to dispense with pesky constitutional rights, which conveniently dont apply to inanimate objects. In this looking-glass world, the owner is effectively guilty until proved innocent and has the burden of proving otherwise. Anyone falsely accused will never see his property again unless he succeeds in an expensive uphill legal battle.
Such seizures are common in drug cases, which sometimes can ensnare people who have done nothing wrong. James Lieto found out about civil forfeiture the hard way when the FBI seized $392,000 from his business because the money was being carried by an armored-car firm he had hired that had fallen under a federal investigation. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Mr. Lieto was never accused of any crime, yet he spent thousands in legal fees to get his money back.
Until this expansion of power was granted, the ATF had to refer such matters to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which would initiate, process and conclude all necessary forfeiture actions for the controlled-substance-related property.
So, in other words, now we have at least two federal agencies that can, on a regular basis, seemingly supplant due process and the fourth amendment to take ones property.
With respect to ones money, the burden of proof required is even more tenuously worded. That is, as The Firearm Blog, and The Truth About Guns reported, the ATF doesnt even need to find drugs; rather it can snatch ones cash on theories that the currency was furnished, or intended to be furnished, in exchange for a controlled substance.
Obviously, there are a lot of questions. Among them, how can the government do this without Congressional approval or oversight? Well, Executive Order:
This rule has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, section 1(b), Principles of Regulation, and with Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review., This rule is limited to agency organization, management, or personnel matters as described by Executive Order 12866, section 3(d)(3) and, therefore, is not a regulation or rule as defined by that Executive Order.
The point to be made here is that it was conceived under the same power that the Obama Administration used to institute the mandate that requires dealers in border-states (Texas, Arizona, California, and New Mexico) to track and report individuals who purchase more than one semi-automatic rifle, with detachable magazine greater than .22 caliber, within a five day period.
Now, with every new change in policy, theres always the question of how will it effect the average citizen?
This is obviously a difficult question to answer. The government would probably argue that its a necessary measure to help crackdown on drug trafficking and that it wont infringe on the rights of the law-abiding.
But then, on the other hand, you have organizations like the Drug Policy Foundation, which is dedicated to the legalization of controlled substances that said in a report circa 2000, one recent study showed that more than 80 percent of person [sic] who had their property seized by the federal government were never even charged with a crime (for more on this, click here).
Also, along those lines, the editors at the Washington Times see it as a confiscatory measure specifically designed to take guns and money from the law-abiding.
Law enforcement agencies love civil forfeiture because its extremely lucrative. The Department of Justices Assets Forfeiture Fund had $2.8 billion in booty in 2011, according to a January audit. Seizing guns from purported criminals is nothing new; Justice destroyed or kept 11,355 guns last year, returning just 396 to innocent owners. The new ATF rule undoubtedly is designed to ramp up the gun-grabbing because, as the rule justification claims, The nexus between drug trafficking and firearm violence is well established. Like with everything, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle between an innocuous measure to help federal agencies fight drug-related violence and crime and a full-blown affront to law-abiding citizens, which in this particular case is not at all comforting.
As its been said in the past:
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. - Benjamin Franklin
Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping!
To get onto The Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping List you must threaten to report me to the Mods if I dont add you to the list...
This kind of crap is evidence that federal law enforcement members should not get the special retirement plans they have. They are becoming more and more criminal themselves and are beginning to think their “rights” are superior to American citizens’ rights to life, liberty and property. Under the direction of the Obama appointees such as Eric Holder as well as their willing accomplices in the senior career civil servants they are becoming our oppressors instead of our defenders.
that being said, if you still refuse to add me to the ping list, I'll demand a mod zot for adding me without a referal, as well as a zot for not adding me with a threat...
dang, i hope you understand all that, cause i wrote it and its confusing to me...
LISTER: Hey, it hasn't happened, has it? It has "will have going to have happened" happened, but it hasn't actually "happened" happened yet, actually.
RIMMER: Poppycock! It will be happened; it shall be going to be happening; it will be was an event that could will have been taken place in the future. Simple as that. Your bucket's been kicked, baby.
that mean im on the ping list now ??? hopefully ??? please...
Not to put too fine a point on it, yes, yes you are.
looks like her left boob is sagging a bit!
THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO BE SECURE IN THEIR PERSONS, HOUSES, PAPERS AND EFFECTS, AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES, SHALL NOT BE VIOLATED, AND NO WARRANTS SHALL ISSUE, BUT UPON PROBABLY CAUSE, SUPPORTED BY OATH OR AFFIRMATION, AND PARTICULARLY DESCRIBING THE PLACE TO BE SEARCHED, AND THE PERSONS OR THINGS TO BE SEIZED.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising
in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any
criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be DEPRIVED OF LIFE, LIBERTY OR PROPERTY, WITHOUT THE DUE PROCESS OF LAW; nor shall private property be
taken for public use, without just compensation.
More constitutional safeguards down the crapper.
Does that piece of parchment in the Smithsonian mean anything anymore?
One is forced to wonder if our Harvard-educated president - or ANYONE at the BATFE - has ever even read it.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court sleeps, and congress, fixated on privileges, perks, and pensions, sucks its collective thumb and sends out its franked letters to the effect of, “Hey, everything’s fine; vote for me again!”
I haven't heard Jack.
Which czars is he going to close up shop on? Is Romney going to indict Holder, or any of Holder's gangbangers in the DoJ? Regardless of Obama's 'pardons'?
Sorry, I'm NOT IMPRESSED, after Bush let all the Great Rapist's thugs walk. Where is Sandy Burger? You actually think Romney is going to be honest? He's a 'politician' which is code for whore.
I like that.
Looks like all gov’t agencies will fall under the IRS umbrella of “guilty until proved innocent” and the mere act of trying to prove one’s innocence will likely become “racist”.
You better watch that second-hand smoke, buddy. We’ll get your house, your dog and your Marlboros.
While we’re on the subject of F&F and all the new power the BATFE now has to abuse, when are they going to seize Eric Holder’s RUV and summer home?
Moslem and Democrats are not controlled by the DO”J”.
Justice is BOUGHT in the US by race, by politics,
THE DOJ is a DNC RICO operation.
There is NO MORE JUSTICE in the USA.
These forfeitures have been going on for years - way before Obama. I imagine Obama is all for it, as are a lot of local governments cause it’s easy money for them.
As if the whole thing weren’t bad enough in general, the word “allegedly” is the one that got me riled, too. Anyone could be alleged to have done anything. This is license to grab property from ANYONE they don’t like for no reason whatsoever. How much plainer does it have to be?
#38. I agree. Too many LEOs not doing their jobs, and now we have another big batch of LEO wannabes in every federal bureaucracy.
Apologies in advance to the hardworking LEOs who are out there doing the hard jobs, I think they are in the minority. From what I can tell, the vast majority are busy ignoring serious crime which might be hazardous to deal with. Instead, they are busy writing parking tickets and traffic tickets on little old ladies who fail to stop for a full 3 seconds at a stop sign so they can raise revenue for their jurisdiction. Now they are going to gear up with all kinds of fun SWAT type paraphernalia so they can terrorize Grandma and seize her property because of some “alleged” infraction.
They are afraid to go after the real drug dealers. That would be dangerous. Whole swaths of most cities and even most small towns are a no-man’s land where police rarely, if ever, set foot. But an easy mark like Grandma? No problem.
The people need to relearn the Constitution and our Congress must regain its rightful place as lawmaker.
We have an alleged government, and Romney isn’t going to fix anything.