December 18, 2010
BATFE Requests Emergency Powers
A little over a year ago, in February 2009, I wrote this blog post: Why is Mexico Burning?
Less than a month later, the L.A. Times published this article: Mexico's Arms Race
The vast majority of firearms used by Mexican drug cartels in their ongoing war for territory, routes into the United States, and control over the border region are smuggled in through Mexico's southern border with Guatemala. A generations old civil war being waged by native tribes against the Mexican government along with the mountainous, jungle-filled terrain make this an ideal corridor for smuggling firearms into Mexico. These firearms are sold to gun-runners by corrupt officials in various South American governments, stolen from arsenals in both South America and places as far away as South Korea, or in some cases provided by governments like Iran, Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and Syria. The amount of firearms coming from American gun shops through "straw purchases" or bought at border region American gun shows from private individuals is not small, but it is far less than the "90%" figure that the current administration and the media are so fond of throwing around.
Yes, many of these firearms are American-made. They are coming from shipments we have supplied to friendly governments. Those shipments are either stolen by drug cartels themselves or bought from corrupt officials in those governments. Fully automatic AK-series rifles are either bought on the open market direct from suppliers in Eastern Europe, bought from other drug gangs in South America, or provided by Iran, Syria, and other Middle Eastern governments. In terms of raw percentages Hamas and Hezobollah provide as many weapons as American gun shops and gun shows, but the media almost never bothers to report this. Now why do you suppose that is?
Now the BATFE is seeking emergency powers to force American gun dealers along the Mexican border to report bulk sales of semi-automatic weapons larger than .22 caliber. (Washington Post: Proposal Calls for Dealers to Report Bulk Sales) The part the request overlooks and the media fails to report is that any dealer who wishes to keep their FFL is already required to report suspicious purchases. The BATFE can walk into their gun shops without a warrant on any day for any reason or even for no reason at all and demand to review their sales records. If a specific purchase is demanded for review, they must provide it regardless of whether a warrant has been issued. Gun dealers, in order to stay in business, must completely surrender their Fourth Amendment rights to the Federal government. The BATFE does not need any sort of emergency powers to review those sales, so why are they suddenly demanding them?
This request for emergency powers is subject to public review. This .pdf contains the phone number of the contact at ATF coordinating the public review: Request for Public Review
Give'em a call and let them know how you feel. Remember, they work for you. You are the boss. That's why they must hold a public review when requesting this expansion of their already vast powers of search and seizure. So call'em up and let'em know your mind. If you support it, if you oppose it, if you're neutral on it, none of that matters. The important part is to let them know.
Factcheck.org has an interesting, although inaccurate analysis of the facts: Counting Mexican Crime Guns
Note that Factcheck.org both completely overlooks AK-series weapons and fails to take into consideration firearms known to be provided by Hamas, Hezobollah, Iran and Syria.
The drug cartels and terrorists are working together with the backing of our enemies, but our government and it's puppet media continue to blame American citizens!