Gun Advocates Ready for Battle on Federal Assault Weapons Ban
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Thread: Gun Advocates Ready for Battle on Federal Assault Weapons Ban

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Gun Advocates Ready for Battle on Federal Assault Weapons Ban

    Attorney General Eric Holder is using the drug violence in Mexico to "confuse and mislead" Americans in an attempt to reinstate the expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban, gun advocates claim.

    Holder revealed his intention to reinstate the ban last month while announcing more than 700 arrests in connection with a crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the United States.

    "As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to re-institute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Holder said. "I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum."

    Holder said reinstating the ban would decrease the flow of guns from the U.S. into Mexico. He declined to offer a timeframe for any re-implementation; Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller also declined comment on Tuesday.

    But Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, told FOXNews.com that Holder's "argument in general is bizarre."

    "It's a delusion to say that diminishing the Second Amendment in America is somehow going to stop these ruthless drug cartels in Mexico."

    LaPierre called on Holder and Justice Department officials to uphold existing laws and focus on increasing enforcement along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, rather than consider additional legislation.

    "The answer is to enforce the law on both sides of the border," LaPierre said. "I reject the notion that the reenactment of that ban would have any impact on the Mexican drug cartels."

    LaPierre, referring to the drug-related violence that killed more than 6,200 people in Mexico last year, accused Holder of trying to "put a failed political agenda on the back of a national tragedy."

    Signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban prohibited the sale of ammunition clips with more than 10 rounds and 19 types of semi-automatic military-style guns, including AK-47s and AR-15s. The ban expired in 2004, and a 10-year extension proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., was voted down.

    Click here for photos.

    Michael Hammond, spokesman for the Gun Owners of America, said he was not surprised by Holder's comments.

    "We expected the Obama administration, contrary to promises made during the campaign, to do everything it can to go after us," Hammond said. "It's no surprise to us that [Holder] is using a crisis as an argument to achieving his policy goals."

    During a House subcommittee hearing last week, Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, warned against making U.S. gun owners "scapegoats" for the Mexican crisis.

    "The message here is clear: According to some, the violence in Mexico is not the fault of the drug cartels or their American customers, nor is it the fault of decades of Mexican government corruption," Cox said in prepared remarks.

    "In their view, the fault lies with American gun owners. This is an outrageous assertion."

    Authorities should ramp up border security and continue targeting so-called straw buyers who do the cartels' "dirty work," Cox said.

    But Tom Diaz, senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center, testified at the subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs on Thursday that the U.S. civilian gun market is fueling violence in Mexico and on both sides of its border.

    "If one set out to design a 'legal' market conducive to the business of funneling guns to criminals, one would be hard-pressed to come up with a 'better' system that the U.S. civilian gun market -- short of simply selling guns directly to criminals from manufacturer and importer inventories," Diaz said in prepared remarks.

    "The U.S. gun market not only makes gun trafficking in military-style weapons easy, it practically compels that traffic because of the gun market's loose regulations and the gun industry's ruthless design choices over the last several decades."

    Citing February 2008 congressional testimony of William Hoover, assistant director of field operations at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Diaz said military-style weapons like the Barrett .50-caliber rifle, the Colt AR-15 .223-caliber assault rifle and the AK-47 are "precisely the makes and models of firearms that have been carefully designed, manufactured or imported and heavily marketed over the last 20 years by the U.S. civilian gun industry."

    More than 7,770 guns sold in the U.S. were traced to Mexico last year, up from 3,300 in 2007 and roughly 2,100 in 2006, according to ATF statistics. It was not immediately clear what percentage of those guns fell under the United States' federal assault weapons ban.

    Diaz also cited ATF tracing data that shows Mexican drug cartels receive between 90 and 95 percent of their firearms from the United States.

    Along with measures such as targeting Texas, Arizona and California -- the three primary states where firearms are illegally smuggled into Mexico -- Diaz called for the implementation of an "effective" federal assault weapons ban modeled on a bill introduced in 2007 by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y.

    Diaz said manufacturers continued to sell assault weapons throughout the ban by making minor design changes. He also called for the passage of a bill introduced by Feinstein during the last session of Congress that would regulate .50-caliber sniper rifles under the National Firearms Act.

    Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers like Alaska Sen. Mark Begich and Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester have already informed Holder that they'll vigorously oppose any new gun restrictions the Obama administration may be considering.

    In a letter to Holder shortly after his comments, all three senators urged the Justice Department to focus on enforcing existing laws.

    And Arizona state Sen. Jonathan Paton, who testified at last week's hearing, said additional gun laws are just not the answer.

    "It would actually hurt the problem rather than help it," Paton, a Republican, said of re-instituting the federal assault weapons ban. "They're not giving us the resources on the laws that we already have on the books. What makes me think they're going to give us the resources for new laws?"

    Paton cited Mexico's far stricter gun laws as proof that new domestic laws in the United States won't deter criminals intent on trafficking arms.

    "It's not going to solve the problem you have with M-16s and AK-47s; they're already banned and they're already going into Mexico at a feverish pace," Paton told FOXNews.com. "The day they start taking their border security as serious as we do, Mexico will cut down tremendously on its amount of guns."

    Source: FOXNews.com
    Last edited by lukem; 03-18-2009 at 10:33 AM.
    FESTUS
    IN OMNIA PARATUS

  2.   
  3. #2
    "The day they start taking their border security as serious as we do, Mexico will cut down tremendously on its amount of guns."

    Did I miss something? When did we start taking our border security seriously?
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  4. #3
    Would you expect anything less? I know it is going to be a long year until we can start to right the ship. In the mean time, we must keep writing and watching
    Semper Fi

  5. #4
    thedoc96 Guest
    Didnt these same left wing yahoos accuse W of trying to be the world's police force? Why are we worried about the failure of the Mexican criminal justice system? I wonder, by the way, how many weapons crossed the border during the active reign of the assault weapons ban? Funny how they dont mention those facts.
    Other facts they fail to mention is the exponential growth of Mexican cartels in the last five years. Why is that my fault as an American citizen? Because I own guns dummy!! They also fail to mention the events going on south of the border. There has been a marked increase in the infighting amongst rival DTOs. These folks then employed mercenaries to do their bidding. If you do a little research you will see the timeline. This has nothing to do with the expiration of the assault weapons ban. These cartels and mercenaries couldnt give a rats patootie about our laws over here!!

  6. Thanks again to all our left wing Democrat voting buddies here at USA CARRY. Mr. Obama told you he was going to try reinstating the butt hole assault weapons ban, & he said he does not support our right to carry, but you did not listen.

    Now, he is hell bent on destroying our Capitalist Democracy with his insane tax and spend policies, (none of which are showing any promise) and it's going to get even worse.

    Be aware that in the 2010 mid term elections, it is still possible to vote Republican control of the house, and stop the socialist onslaught.

  7. #6

    This just showed up on the ATF web site.

    ATF Online - Houston Field Division Press Release


    U.S. Attorney's Office
    Southern District of Texas
    Tim Johnson - Acting United States Attorney



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    MONDAY, MARCH 9, 2009
    WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/TXS ANGELA DODGE
    PUBLIC AFFAIRS SPECIALIST
    (713) 567-9388



    BROWNSVILLE MAN SENTENCED FOR HIS ROLE IN PURCHASING FIREARMS

    (BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – Jose Angel Perez, 30, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for making false statements in relation to purchasing firearms, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Perez was convicted in December of last year following his guilty plea to making false statements in firearm records. He was sentenced today by United States District Judge Andrew S. Hanen.

    Perez recruited two women to purchase a total of three firearms on his behalf. Those women executed a Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Form 4473, Firearm Transaction Record, falsely stating they were the actual buyer of the firearms when, in truth and in fact, they were acquiring the firearms on behalf of Perez.

    Perez’s 30-month sentence includes upward adjustments or increases in his calculated sentencing guideline range because he engaged in trafficking of firearms by acquiring the firearms for individuals in Mexico, he was an organizer of the criminal activity, he attempted to obstruct or impede the administration of justice with respect to the investigation of the offense and because the offense involved three weapons.

    In addition to the prison term, Judge Hanen imposed a three-year-term of supervised release. During the first two years that that term, Perez must perform 200 hours of community service. The court has permitted Perez to remain on bond pending an ordered to surrender to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.

    This case was investigated by agents with ATF and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Angel Castro.

  8. OK, how many of the weapons they are talking about come from the Mexican army? Is the army selling (US sponsored) weapons to the Cartels? The Cartels hire them to do other jobs, it just makes sense they would use the army as gun suppliers.

  9. #8
    No matter what political bias you view this through it won't make any sense. Am I to understand that it is better to ban legal and registered sale of assault weapons to law abiding civys so that more assault weapons can end up being sold illegally to criminals? Where is the statistical data to support the theory that the 'Assault Weapons Ban' reduced violence involving said weapons in the US or Mexico between 1994-2004? I want to know how many of these cartel violent crimes really involve assault weapons versus how many involve some ********* like a chainsaw or a vat of acid. How many involve a six-shot revolver or a single barrel shotgun? We could go on and on with these sorts of questions and that New York ivy league idiot Holder just doesn't have a viable answer.

  10. #9

    Here is another story

    Trial of Phoenix gun seller to start today

    March 19, 2009 |

    Trial of Phoenix gun seller to start today
    Prosecutors say guns reached Mexico gangs
    by Dennis Wagner - Mar. 9, 2009 12:00 AM

    The Arizona Republic

    Law-enforcement agents on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border will be watching closely today as a Valley businessman accused of supplying assault rifles to Mexican drug cartels goes on trial.

    The case has drawn international attention as a landmark effort against gunrunning and because of the cooperative work between Mexican and U.S. authorities. Mexican prosecutors sat in on suspect interviews and provided investigative materials for the case.

    Court papers claim dealers in Arizona and other states bordering Mexico provide three- quarters of the black-market firearms to Mexico, a nation that strictly controls gun ownership. Phoenix is considered a hub for illegal exportation of AK-47s, SKS rifles, .50-caliber rifles and other weapons favored by narcotics gangsters.
    Authorities hope to stem the flow of weapons, which are bought at stores and gun shows and then smuggled into Mexico, by cracking down on illegal sales at gun stores.

    In Phoenix, a store called X-Caliber was raided last year after multiple weapons in Mexican shootouts were traced back to the store. Owner George Iknadosian, 47, is accused of selling more than 700 "weapons of choice" to straw buyers, knowing that the firearms were bought on behalf of narcotics syndicates.

    His co-defendants have pleaded guilty, with most getting reduced charges and sentences in return for cooperation with the prosecution.

    "The important part of this case is the number of weapons that ended up at crime scenes in Mexico," Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said. "There's no question that he (Iknadosian) was a specialist. He was able to get the weapons they wanted in the volumes they needed."

    Iknadosian has pleaded not guilty to charges of forgery, fraud, money laundering and operating a criminal syndicate. Defense filings in a related civil forfeiture case suggest that any violation of law stemmed from a misinterpretation of federal regulations. His trial before Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Gottsfield is expected to run nearly three weeks.

    A year ago, Goddard signed a pact to fight organized crime with about two dozen attorneys general from both sides of the border. Mexican law enforcement sought U.S. help in tracking firearms after weapons used in cartel battles with police were traced to Arizona.

    More than 6,000 people were killed in drug violence south of the U.S. border last year, Goddard's office said. Prosecutors believe that illegal arms from America figure prominently in those slayings and in the killings of 2,000 Mexican law officers.

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reports that 7,700 guns recovered in Mexico last year were traced to American sales, more than double the number in 2007.

    In one case, Mexican police records say, eight federales were killed in a firefight with gangsters who outgunned the police using weapons from X-Caliber.

    More firearms from the store were involved in a Nogales ambush that took the life of Sonora's chief anti-narcotics agent, Goddard said.

    Some of the gunrunners, who also worked as Valley supermarket employees, told investigators they sold the weapons directly to Mexican police on the streets of Nogales. A Colt .38 Super, one of the most powerful auto-loading pistols made, was confiscated during the arrest of Alfredo "El Mochomo" Beltran Leyva, a narco captain who oversaw drug transportation, money laundering, bribery and paramilitary units for a major cartel, according to Mexican police records.

    Iknadosian, a native of Egypt, had been a gun dealer in California until 2004. Prosecutors say he moved to Arizona for its more lenient firearm regulations.

    In May, after an 11-month probe, Phoenix police and ATF agents raided Iknadosian's business and Glendale residence, seizing about 1,300 weapons.

    Iknadosian and nine co-defendants - suspected of being buyers for the cartels - were charged in a 21-count indictment.

    In civil court, the state is seeking to take Iknadosian's real estate, bank accounts, firearms and other property, alleging that X-Caliber took in $373,640 from illicit gun sales. Iknadosian is contesting the forfeiture. His court response says the sale of 711 rifles and pistols sold over a 21-month period represents normal business for Phoenix-area gun shops.

  11. #10
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    These "straw buyers" need to be rounded up and prosecuted as well. There needs to be tougher penalties on these types of crimes so potential "straw buyers" won't be lured in by fast cash.

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