Federal agency attempts to make firearms retailers spy on their customers under new illegal directive
Paul Joseph Watson & Aaron Dykes
Friday, July 29, 2011
Even as it finds itself embroiled in a scandal that saw weapons being deliberately sent to criminal gangs in Mexico, the ATF has issued a letter ordering firearms dealers in border states to report sales of two or more semi-automatic rifles, and is following it up by harassing gun owners with intimidating home visits as well as threatening gun dealers to spy on their customers.
As the Justice Department announced earlier this month, “All gun shops in four Southwest border states (Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico) will be required to alert the federal government to frequent buyers of high-powered rifles.”
The ATF letter also orders gun dealers to report to the feds sales of “two or more pistols or revolvers, or any combination of pistols or revolvers totaling two or more.”
The letter, which was subsequently sent out to gun dealers and has since entered the public domain, orders firearms retailers to “Submit to ATF reports of multiple sales or other dispositions whenever, at one time or during any five consecutive business days, you sell to an unlicensed person or otherwise dispose of two or more semi-automatic rifles capable of accepting a detachable magazine and with a caliber greater than .22 (including .223/5.56 caliber).” The directive takes effect from August 14, 2011.
However, what the federal agency isn’t keen to make public is how its agents are using these reports to make threatening home visits to firearms owners, while ordering gun store owners to become de facto informants by telling them to spy on their customers.
According to several gun dealers in Austin as well as one of our own staff members, the ATF is visiting people’s homes, demanding to be allowed inside without a warrant, and implying that gun owners could be terrorists for purchasing two or more firearms at a time.
Illustrating how lawless this is, a central Texas gun dealer who provided Alex Jones with the ATF letter, contacted Daniel Jones, the head of the ATF in Austin two weeks before receiving the letter to ask about news reports that President Obama was going to order the investigation of citizens that bought two or more rifles. Agent Jones told him “no that law is not going to pass, and we can’t enforce something that isn’t law so don’t worry about it.” Of course, the law didn’t pass but the ATF later enforced it anyway.
This is all based on a directive from the federal government that is completely outside of the law and unconstitutional. The law that would have required gun dealers in border states to report sales of two or more semi-automatic rifles to the ATF was “stripped entirely from the text of the regulation” when it came up for a vote in Congress on April 15, but as part of the Obama administration’s dictatorial zeal to accomplish its agenda outside of the law, the program is going ahead anyway.
The federal government is enforcing a law that was never passed.
Read the letter the ATF is sending out to gun stores below (click to enlarge).
Americans who purchase guns are already forced to undergo checks against the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to prove they are not a criminal. The ATF’s new unconstitutional directive only adds an extra layer of bureaucracy, putting a further squeeze on second amendment rights while creating a logistical nightmare for firearms retailers.
The letter orders retailers to report each sale of two or more weapons before the end of the same business day, requiring them to fill in a form for each sale that takes over 10 minutes to complete. This extra burden will create hundreds of extra necessary man hours for every gun store per year, and could even put the smaller ones out of business.
The ATF’s intimidation campaign directed against firearms dealers and gun owners is all unfolding while the organization simultaneously comes under scrutiny for the infamous Operation Fast and Furious, a BATF program that. “Sanctioned the purchase of weapons in U.S. gun shops and tracked the smuggling route to the Mexican border. Reportedly, more than 2,500 firearms were sold to straw buyers who then handed off the weapons to gunrunners under the nose of ATF.” Some of the weapons were later used to kill US Border Patrol agents like Brian Terry.
After being caught sending weapons to Mexican criminals that were used to kill U.S. Border Patrol agents, police and citizens, the ATF is now treating American citizens like criminals simply for exercising their second amendment rights, all under the guise of a regulation that was rejected by Congress and never became law.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
The Obama administration and the ATF claim that the Fast and Furious program was part of a sting operation to catch leading Mexican drug runners, and yet it’s admitted that the government stopped tracking the firearms as soon as they reached the border, defeating the entire object of the mission, unless the mission was about pushing through gun control in the US and had nothing to do with the drug war.
As the evidence clearly indicates, Operation Fast and Furious was likely a plot on behalf of the administration to discredit the second amendment. While the feds were selling guns to Mexican drug gangs, Obama was simultaneously blaming drug violence on the flow of guns from border states to Mexico.
The ATF’s efforts to intimidate both gun sellers and purchasers also arrives months after President Obama told gun control advocate Sarah Brady that his administration was working “under the radar” to sneak attack the second amendment.
During a March 30 meeting between Jim and Sarah Brady and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, at which Obama “dropped in,” the president reportedly told Brady, “I just want you to know that we are working on it (gun control)….We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”
The quote appeared in an April 11 Washington Post story about Obama’s gun control czar Steve Croley.
The name of the gun shop owner who provided us with the ATF letter is withheld because he doesn’t want to face recriminations from a notoriously vindictive agency.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.