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ATF's oversight limited in face of gun lobby
Washington Post ^ | Oct. 26, 2010 | Sari Horwitz and James V. Grimaldi

Posted on 10/26/2010 10:33:36 AM PDT by Second Amendment First

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. -- Trucks filled with boxes of gun-sales records pull up almost daily to a one-story brick building nestled in the hills outside this blue-collar town. Inside, workers armed with Scotch tape and magnifying glasses huddle over their desks, trying to decipher pieces of paper to trace the paths of guns used in crimes.

The National Tracing Center is the only place in the nation authorized to trace gun sales. Here, researchers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives make phone calls and pore over handwritten records from across the country to track down gun owners. In contrast with such state-of-the-art, 21st-century crime-fighting techniques as DNA matching and digital fingerprint analysis, gun tracing is an antiquated, laborious process done mostly by hand. The government is prohibited from putting gun ownership records into an easily accessible format, such as a searchable computer database.

For decades, the National Rifle Association has lobbied successfully to block all attempts at such computerization, arguing against any national registry of firearm ownership.

"Those who wonder what motivates American gun owners should understand that perhaps only one word in the English language so boils their blood as 'registration,' and that word is 'confiscation,' " according to an NRA fact sheet.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist

1 posted on 10/26/2010 10:33:37 AM PDT by Second Amendment First
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To: Second Amendment First
This is still too much information for Burn All Toddlers First.

They should be forced by law to hire only people who use Cyrillic alphabets for this duty.

2 posted on 10/26/2010 10:35:59 AM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Second Amendment First
I don't know about anyone here, but I want gun records, purchased legally by law abiding citizens, to be about the hardest thing on this earth to trace. The 4473s we will out shouldn't be sent to ATF or any other government location.

The government needs to have a damned reason in the first place to want to trace a gun, not pour over thousands of records fishing for evidence. I WANT THEM IMPEDED AS MUCH AS CAN POSSIBLY BE.

3 posted on 10/26/2010 10:38:23 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Second Amendment First
The government is prohibited from putting gun ownership records into an easily accessible format, such as a searchable computer database.

Since when does the BATFEXYZLMNOP obey the law?

4 posted on 10/26/2010 10:39:13 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The only stable state is one in which all men are equal before the law." -- Aristotle)
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To: Second Amendment First

Who needs domestic terrorist when we have the BATF???


5 posted on 10/26/2010 10:39:45 AM PDT by Niteranger68 (A check is worthless until you actually cash it......VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Second Amendment First
The government is prohibited from putting gun ownership records into an easily accessible format, such as a searchable computer database.

ONOZ! Being a JBT is hawwwd wuuuuk! It's no harder than it was when they took the job; maybe they should consider honest employment where they make something and the wealth of the nation is increased by their labors.

6 posted on 10/26/2010 10:45:02 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Second Amendment First
“Those who wonder what motivates American gun owners should understand that perhaps only one word in the English language so boils their blood as ‘registration,’ and that word is ‘confiscation,’ “

They are effectively the same thing.
Registration means you need the government's “Permission” to defend yourself.

If there were registration, Does anyone actually think that the government would “Allow” you keep a gun that you try to register if they decided you weren't entitled to have one?

A “Background check” (for a gun you already own) would most likely be an integral part of any registration scheme, so right for the get go it would be a way of paring down gun ownership in this country.

They could call it whatever they want, but would effectively be a mandatory system of you having to obtain permission to have the right of self defense.

7 posted on 10/26/2010 10:58:25 AM PDT by Voice of Reason88 (One man with a gun can control 100 without one-Vladimir Lenin (The Statist view on guns))
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To: Second Amendment First
perhaps only one word in the English language so boils their blood as 'registration,' and that word is 'confiscation,'

Probably because "registration" is usually created as a tool to more efficiently implement "confiscation."

Anybody who believes the information the government has on you will not be misused just needs to ask those natural-born American citizens of Japanese descent who were imprisoned in concentration camps during WWII without trial. They were rounded up using census records, which the government officially denied for decades.

8 posted on 10/26/2010 11:00:36 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Lurker

The depth of the lefty stupidity and number of outright emotional meltdowns in the comments section are amazing.


9 posted on 10/26/2010 11:02:43 AM PDT by AngryJawa (Obama's Success is America's Failure)
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To: Second Amendment First

We want the BAFT to be limited to cheap lined paper pads and number 2 pencils only for all their record keeping. Starve the beast by restricting its budget and personnel.


10 posted on 10/26/2010 11:37:08 AM PDT by RicocheT
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To: AngryJawa

11 posted on 10/26/2010 11:39:25 AM PDT by mrmeyer ("When brute force is on the march, compromise is the red carpet." Ayn Rand)
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To: Second Amendment First
The government needs to integrate the functions of of Commerce, EPA (Environment) and the ICC (Shipping) into the BATFE.

Then, their acronym would be accurately descriptive... '-)

12 posted on 10/26/2010 11:45:45 AM PDT by TXnMA (Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad! REPEAT San Jacinto!!)
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To: Second Amendment First

If elected President, my first act would be to sign an executive order eliminating BATF and firing all of its employees. The Federal government has no Constitutional authority to regulate alcohol, tobacco or firearms. None. Turn regulation of these items back to the states, as our founders intended. And that’s just for starters.


13 posted on 10/26/2010 11:53:41 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: Second Amendment First
It is a simple fact that tracing a gun purchase rarely if ever solves a crime.
14 posted on 10/26/2010 11:55:46 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Playing by the rules only works if both sides do it!)
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To: Second Amendment First
It is a simple fact that tracing a gun purchase rarely if ever solves a crime.
15 posted on 10/26/2010 11:56:10 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Playing by the rules only works if both sides do it!)
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To: Lurker
This is still too much information for Burn All Toddlers First. They should be forced by law to hire only people who use Cyrillic alphabets for this duty.

LMAO

16 posted on 10/26/2010 12:05:12 PM PDT by AAABEST (Et lux in tenebris lucet: et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt)
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To: andy58-in-nh
If elected President, my first act would be to sign an executive order eliminating BATF and firing all of its employees. The Federal government has no Constitutional authority to regulate alcohol, tobacco or firearms. None. Turn regulation of these items back to the states, as our founders intended. And that’s just for starters.

Don't forget about the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). After 9-11, the ATF was split. The law enforcement and investigative function went as the BATFE under the Department of Justice. The TTB was created to manage the tax and regulatory function of the old BATF and is under the Treasury.

17 posted on 10/26/2010 12:09:18 PM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Liberalism can be summed up thusly: someone craps their pants and we all have to wear diapers)
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To: IYAS9YAS

Thanks for the reminder. I’d eliminate that, too. Along with the Departments of Labor, Energy, Education and Homeland Security, too. Pure waste.


18 posted on 10/26/2010 12:21:37 PM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: Second Amendment First

So who cares where the gun came from that was used in a crime? You caught the dude, so put him/her in prison. The only thing you should be doing is looking at reported stolen gun records in order to return the gun to it’s rightful owner (if it was stolen).


19 posted on 10/26/2010 12:22:31 PM PDT by trapped_in_LA
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To: TXnMA

Another slight of hand goes unnoticed!

The trucks carrying boxes of records?
Let me tell you what the article did not.

“Forward Trace Request” are done by phone.
The tracing center calls the manufacturer with the guns serial number, the manufacture tells them which distributor they sent the gun to.
Trace calls the distributor, then the retailer, who tells them who purchased the gun at retail.
No trucks are required.

Of course this does not work well for guns that have changed hands privately.
In that case BATFE has to hope the original purchaser has a record of who they sold it to when they sold it, traded it, pawned it, whatever.
Then BATFE can lean on them to provide the information.

Once a gun is over a few years old the chance of successfully tracing it become near zero.
Once a gun has changed hands two or three times in private, tracing is nearly impossible.

What those trucks are delivering are the complete records of EVERY FFL who has gone out of business, for ANY reason, going back twenty years.
All FFL’s transaction records and bound books records are required to be kept for twenty years.

BATFE is skirting the law, they are attempting to build a data-base tracking all guns and their purchase, registering the last known owner!
This is in direct violation of the law as intended by congress.

This really got going under the Klinton regime.
I recall a hearing being held when it came to light, BATF (no “E” at that time) claimed that since the records are from dealers who are no longer in business, they were perfectly justified in exploiting their alleged “Loophole” and establishing a system of tracking firearms and owners.

Sadly, I do not believe that succeeding administrations ever did anything to stop this illicit activity.

So every year BATFE waste a few million dollars pretending that faded coffee stained records (Form 4473) going back twenty years are going to provide law enforcement with important information.

One solution, or at least partial fix to this, revise the record keeping law to require forms need not be kept beyond three years.
Legitimate tracing of guns would not be impaired, and the illicit data-base effort would get a lot less expensive.

This should be included in the pending BATFE Modernization Act!


20 posted on 10/26/2010 12:28:05 PM PDT by Loyal Sedition
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To: trapped_in_LA
So who cares where the gun came from that was used in a crime? You caught the dude, so put him/her in prison. The only thing you should be doing is looking at reported stolen gun records in order to return the gun to it’s rightful owner (if it was stolen).

You are apparently unaware of the dark magic forces present in all firearms. Much like a witch's potion, the proper amalgamation of steel, plastic, and wood creates a spell which inspires the posessor to all manner of mayhem and murder. This must be stopped by all means, Constitutional or otherwise. I'm sure I don't have to remind you what kind of Somalian nightmare we'd be living without the good 'ol 4473.

21 posted on 10/26/2010 12:29:46 PM PDT by AngryJawa (Obama's Success is America's Failure)
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To: trapped_in_LA
So who cares where the gun came from that was used in a crime? You caught the dude, so put him/her in prison. The only thing you should be doing is looking at reported stolen gun records in order to return the gun to it’s rightful owner (if it was stolen).

You are apparently unaware of the dark magic forces present in all firearms. Much like a witch's potion, the proper amalgamation of steel, plastic, and wood creates a spell which inspires the posessor to all manner of mayhem and murder. This must be stopped by all means, Constitutional or otherwise. I'm sure I don't have to remind you what kind of Somalian nightmare we'd be living without the good 'ol 4473.

22 posted on 10/26/2010 12:29:53 PM PDT by AngryJawa (Obama's Success is America's Failure)
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To: TXnMA

Hmmmm...DoG...Department of Guano...I like it!


23 posted on 10/26/2010 12:59:43 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: andy58-in-nh
If elected President, my first act would be to sign an executive order eliminating BATF and firing all of its employees. The Federal government has no Constitutional authority to regulate alcohol, tobacco or firearms.

Nah, you'd have to execute them. Otherwise, think of the type people that you're turning loose on society pissed off and with time on their hands. Think of the havoc they'd wreak! They'd probably all become lawyers or some such thing.

24 posted on 10/26/2010 1:01:30 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Loyal Sedition
Sadly, I do not believe that succeeding administrations ever did anything to stop this illicit activity.

Prolly not. Bush was just about as statist as any Dem, just put a little bit more of a smiley face on it.

25 posted on 10/26/2010 1:04:28 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Niteranger68

Aren’t they one and the same?


26 posted on 10/26/2010 1:09:02 PM PDT by Stonewall Jackson (Democrats: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany.")
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To: Second Amendment First
"Those who wonder what motivates American gun owners should understand that perhaps only one word in the English language so boils their blood as 'registration,' and that word is 'confiscation,' " according to an NRA fact sheet.

No not according to any NRA sheet you two twits, Sari Horwitz and James V. Grimaldi. According to REALITY.

Chicago's draconian Handgun Laws started with the mere matter of 'simple registration'. A little form the size of an Index Card. Pretty soon that 'registration' was slooooowly altered to NO MORE Handgun registrations being allowed. It became a defacto Handgun Ban, just by the passage of time. Handgun owners moved out of that cesspool - like me and my bride did way back when - or they passed away. Eventually, BINGO - no more 'Legal' Handguns in Chicago.

And if you were 'Grandfathered in', but then forgot to renew that yearly registration on time, they got you. You could NOT renew then, even if only a day late. You had to get that gun out of the city, MOVE OUT and take the gun with you, or turn it in to the Police to be destroyed.

So James and Sari, take your gun registration database and shove it up your 'word processor' - sideways.

27 posted on 10/26/2010 1:14:24 PM PDT by Condor51 (SAT CONG!)
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To: Stonewall Jackson

Like Clark Kent & Superman we never see them in the same room at the same time.
Hmmm.....

;)


28 posted on 10/26/2010 2:07:13 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Second Amendment First

I understand what was the obvious point of the article, but I still come away from it realizing that the feds have way too much information and control over the sale and ownership of guns.

If someone can’t be trusted with their 2A rights, send them to prison for life. The problem is the courts, not the gun manufacturers, dealers, or gunowners. Don’t encroach on my rights because the juduciary is too wimpy to permanently remove these lowlifes from our midst, and that includes juveniles.


29 posted on 10/26/2010 2:23:45 PM PDT by chilltherats (First, kill all the lawyers (now that they ARE the tyrants).......)
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To: chilltherats
If someone can’t be trusted with their 2A rights, send them to prison for life.

Who decides whether or not they can be trusted?

30 posted on 10/26/2010 2:45:10 PM PDT by SeeSac
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To: andy58-in-nh

EPA would be first to go on my list, followed by BATFE (&TTB), then education, then energy, then labor and then HHS. Treasury, commerce, interior, justice, homldsec, FEC and all the various commissions and sub-departments they include would be revamped, meaning many things eliminated, some things combined, others separated out, and so on.

It’d be like rebuilding your pc from the ground up. Slim it way, way down, get rid of the useless and/or unnecessary and/or superfluous programs and files. Kill off the trojans and viruses. Get rid of the lies, spies and propagandists (adware and trackers). Then spend as little as absolutely needed (efficiency) to put on THE very best firewall (military and border patrol) and the fastest connection imaginable (free market) and go like hell!


31 posted on 10/26/2010 3:02:27 PM PDT by chilltherats (First, kill all the lawyers (now that they ARE the tyrants).......)
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To: SeeSac

They do. The first time they intentionally use a firearm or any other weapon in the commission of a crime, off they go to never-again land.


32 posted on 10/26/2010 3:05:02 PM PDT by chilltherats (First, kill all the lawyers (now that they ARE the tyrants).......)
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To: Still Thinking

DoG... ‘-)


33 posted on 10/26/2010 4:03:11 PM PDT by TXnMA (Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad! REPEAT San Jacinto!!)
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