How many errors can USA Today make in a single article on gun laws?
"A review of congressional legislative records, federal lobbying disclosure forms, as well as interviews with former ATF agents, shows how the NRA has repeatedly supported legislation to weaken several of the nation's gun laws and opposed any attempt to boost the ability of the Bureau of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to enforce current laws, including:
The Firearms Owners' Protection Act of 1986. This law mandated that the ATF could only inspect firearms dealers once a year. It reduced record-keeping penalties from felonies to misdemeanors, prohibited the ATF from computerizing purchase records for firearms and required the government to prove that a gun dealer was "willful" if they sold a firearm to a prohibited person."
No, FOPA says BATF can randomly inspect once a year. It can inspect additionally anytime a gun is "traced" to a dealer, or if they have evidence of specific misconduct. Certain conduct has to be proven "willful" (made in known violation of the law) to secure a conviction. A dealer who deliberately sells to a prohibited person is hardly in a position to claim he didn't know that this was illegal.
"The Tiahrt amendments. Beginning in 2003, the amendments by then-representative Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., to the Justice Department's appropriation bill included requirements such as the same-day destruction of FBI background check documents and limits on the sharing of data from traces."
As I recall, the same-day destruction requirement is only for persons who passed the background check. How would that, or sharing trace data with others, impair law enforcement?
"One provision in the law Vizzard cited as particularly vexing to the ATF was that false record keeping for dealers was reduced to a misdemeanor, meaning if an ATF agent audited a gun dealer missing 1,200 guns, the dealer could not be charged with a federal offense.
"You just don't get many U.S. attorneys filing misdemeanors in federal court," he said."
Sure. Just go out and violate a National Park or National Forest Service regulation, and see how hard it is for them to get a U.S. Attorney to file misdemeanor charges.
"ATF records show the agency had 1,622 agents and 826 industry investigators in 1973 compared with 2,574 agents and 833 investigators in 2012.
Meanwhile the number of firearms owned in the United States has only grown."
And the number of licensed dealers has shrunk.
"The agency has not had a permanent director since 2006, the same year the Congress passed a bill to require the head of the ATF to be confirmed by the Senate like their counterparts in the FBI - a bill supported by the NRA.... President Obama recently nominated B. Todd Jones, the ATF's current acting director, to fill the leadership void permanently. While the NRA has yet to weigh in on his nomination, key senators, such as Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have already called for a thorough investigation of his record."
Hello? USA Today? Jones was confirmed by the Senate over a year ago, and recently resigned.
"Ronald Carter, who served as acting director in 2009, said the blame for the ATF's troubles ultimately lies with Congress and said it was time for the bureau to have a permanent head.
"ATF is not exactly loved," Carter said. "They passed the Brady Bill, but they never gave it any teeth. There are no penalties.""
A former acting director never heard that the agency now has a director? And doesn't know that Brady Act violations are felonies, carrying penalties of up to five or ten years? I hope he was misquoted.