Shocked, SHOCKED! I tell you….

I’m sure you will be just as shocked as I was to learn that the GAO reports the BATF has accidentally ignored the law and it’s policies and created a gun-owner database via the NICS.

Totally a surprise, amirite?

So what are the odds of a prosecution and destruction of those illegally-kept records, you think? I’m putting it at less than 1%. It Trump wants a few million more votes, promise to prosecute and destroy. (Preferably prosecute the records and destroy the ATF, but I’d settle for t’other way ’round).

20 thoughts on “Shocked, SHOCKED! I tell you….

  1. Of all the alphabet soup agencies we should abolish, the BATF is at the top of the list for its consistently corrupt and illegal practices. It’s been a plague on the land since its inception in 1972 under Nixon (along with the EPA).

    If Trump promised to abolish the ATF, destroy their illegal database[1] and move its FFL oversight to, say the GAO[2], it would garner him over 5 million votes.

    [1] The E.O. would require the destruction of the database, all copies and any backup media, specifically prohibit .gov computers from holding such data, and require a signed affidavit from I/T personnel of completion of the task and no copies exist to their knowledge.
    [2] Why GAO? Because the DHS would be as bad as ATF and because Comey pissed the FBI’s credibility down the drain by letting Clinton skate on her abuse of national security laws.

    • The better answer is to abolish the ATF and all its duties and NOT give them to any other agency. After all, they are all unconstitutional. Don’t give FFL administration to the GAO, or to anyone else.

      On alphabet soup agencies in general: an easy way to tell an unconstitutional agency without any need for research is to check if it calls itself “independent”. If so, it’s unconstitutional (because there are only 3 branches in the Constitution, and “independent agency” is nowhere to be found).

      • Independent agencies were not new concepts when the “progressives” formed them 100 years ago. They are an old concept, as old as Kings and strongmen. The king makes the law, enforces it, and decides if you have violated it. The same procedure for Administrative agencies. The Article 3 courts have jurisdiction only after the Administrative agency spits you out at the end.

        I took Administrative Agency Law in Law School. The professor had worked for the FTC before retiring to teach. I met him in the hallway once and he asked me what I thought of the course. I said it was disheartening, as I read the key case at the beginning of the chapter, and part way through (remembering constitutional law) I would say to myself, “They can’t do that!” . I’d read a page or two further and think, “Sonofagun — they can!”. He laughed weakly and said that was the thing about administrative law. He also said that there was almost no functional space left legally for the states, except as units to administer federal law. This was in the mid 90’s, while the incredible flexible ever expandable commerce clause hadn’t yet bumped into anything.

        (Joe, If I’ve told this old chestnut here already, please delete the last paragraph)

        • Are you saying that “independent agencies” are constitutional? I can believe they are tolerated by the constitution-hating government, its courts included. But I see nothing in the plain English text of the Constitution that authorizes them. Which article and section would you point to?
          As for “administrative law”, that’s the setup that has people they call “judges” who are judge and jury and follow no Constitutional judicial procedure, right? Sure they exist, sure they are still around, but that doesn’t mean they are Constitutional either. And indeed they are being challenged right now, and it’s about time.

  2. One cannot simultaneously accept the second amendment and the BATFE. Anyone who says he supports both the constitution and the existence of the Bureau is therefore a liar.

  3. In the section of this page “Related items” there is “Moonbat posts list of gun owners.” A pull quote from Michelle Malkin quotes, “You’re so paranoid, you nut! We keep records of licensed drivers, and those aren’t used against people, yak, yak, yak..” As refutation of that I have only two words.

    Rebecca Schaefer,

  4. So, was the batf budget written so that they could pay for this database? If not who commited fiduciary fraud? If yes, who wrote the text of that budget?

    Also, notice how the dc establishment allowed the batf to get ahead of this story by letting their lackeys get on shows to “plead” for this capability before the story got big? Interesting.

  5. Here is a serious question for you folk who know more about this subject than do I:

    Sure, there is a law stating the BATFE shall not create, keep or maintain a list of gun purchasers.

    What penalties are attached? Is it a misdemeanor, a felony, a civil regulation with fines attached, or just verboten? Because I’m guessing the latter. When there are no penalties possible for violating a law, and there is a perceived benefit to violating that law, who is gonna abide by that law?

    I learned that lesson from a state purchasing agent who, when caught making technically illegal purchases for his enormous state university, asked the same question and got the answer that there weren’t any penalties – it was just the LAW! So he continued using his less expensive, more secure bidding technique, which could not be gamed and cheated upon like the regulation bidding rules mandated, and worked there for another 10 years.

    • IIRC, strictly speaking, the law says that BATFE may not spend taxpayer money to build or maintain such a database, just like the CDC may not spend taxpayer money to fund “gun violence research”.

      Hypothetically speaking, if they somehow convinced a couple “true believers” among their IT/DBA staff to do it on their own time (and probably on their own machines), that, in theory, would not be forbidden by statute.

      But no, other than risking a loss of future budgetary funding, violating the “spending prohibition” carries no penalty whatsoever. And no Congress would EVER refuse to fund BATFE, so in essence, there’s no risk at all.

      • Not only that, but even things that do carry penalties, such as felony conspiracy to infringe Constitutional rights, don’t actually ever get punished. So the question is somewhat interesting in a theoretical sense, but there isn’t any real world aspect to it.

  6. So wait….

    The BATFE built a “Multiple Sales (MS)” database, called it “Access 2000”, and then failed to maintain it properly by deleting records they are not allowed to keep?

    Am I the only one who wonders if, by some bizarre (non-)coincidence, this “database” was built in … say … Microsoft (MS) Access 2000?

    😉

    And as to the final paragraph:

    “There’s a lot of things that don’t make sense in this town, you know?” he told CBS. “And, so, yeah, would it be efficient and effective? Absolutely. Would the taxpayers benefit with public safety? Absolutely. Are we allowed to do it? No.”

    I disagree with his premise. Would it be efficient and effective? Depends on how you define “efficient” and “effective”. Are they allowed to do it? No.

    Would the taxpayers benefit with public safety? Hell, no. There’s no benefit to the public. Some people buy two AR-pattern rifles for their own personal use, you spend taxpayer money under false pretenses to maintain the purchase record, they do NOT go on to commit crimes with those guns so you have to spend MORE taxpayer money to remove their names after two years. Sounds like a waste to me.

    • “There’s nothing in the constitution that says the Federal government has got anything to do with most of the stuff that we do.” — James Clyburn (D-SC)

  7. Anyone else wonder why they have to give the make model and serial number of the firearm for a NICS approval? Instant database entry via voice recognition, with a recorded version for quality control. I would bet the BATFE agent confirms the entry before approval. If it was really a background check they would only need name, SSN and Drivers license number, gun info would be irrelevant.

    • It’s rather interesting that SSN is optional — my gun store said they’d encourage me to supply it because it would speed up the process, but it wasn’t required.

  8. Today’s WSJ has an op-ed by a Texas M.D. about the push to have doctors ask their patients whether they own guns. I haven’t been asked yet; I’ve been thinking the right answer is “none of your business” but for PR sake I may simply answer “no” if it happens.
    The article repeats the “suicide” argument uncritically, unfortunately. But its main virtue is that it raises a very interesting point. When a doctor asks a question, the answer goes into your medical records. Those records are now, by government edict, electronic records. They are supposed to be secure, per HIPAA. In reality, medical offices are among the most incompetent IT organizations known to mankind. And besides, HIPAA says that your data are confidential except in various vaguely worded exception cases, any number of which seem to be ideally suited for the government to use medical records as yet another gun ownership database.

    In other words, if you like your guns, do not answer “yes” to that question.

    • Potential problem: it is a crime to lie to a government agent. Even if you have not sworn an oath. Soooo….. if they know you have bought guns, and the law requires you make all sales go through an FFL, and you say “no,” they might have you in a neatly constructed trap. Either you were selling without doing it right (one crime), or you were lying on an official form to a person acting as an agent for the government when they asked the question (a different crime).

      Yeah, it might look like a stretch. But I’ve seen an awful lot of legal asymmetrical stretching recently. If you are rich and powerful and on the side of favoring more government they stretch one way, and if you are a little guy on the other side of those things they stretch the other.

      Any bets they couldn’t make an example of someone like that if they chose to?

      • First they would have to admit that doctors are government agents, which while it may be true is something they probably would not want to admit.

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