Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was interviewed by Ginny Simone for NRA News. Among the topics discussed were Issa’s bill honoring slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the latest round of hearings into Operation Fast and Furious (aka Project Gunwalker).
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who as Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is holding hearings into Operation Fast and Furious, has just introduced a bill to honor one of its victims. The Brian A. Terry Memorial Act would designate the U.S. Border Patrol station in Bisbee, Arizona as the Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station.
The bill has 52 co-sponsors including some of the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee such as Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) whose goal in the hearings seems to be to promote gun control and protect the White House. I guess a guilty conscience will sometimes prompt even the most politically jaded to do the right thing every now and again.
The text of the bill is below:
H.R.2668 — Brian A. Terry Memorial Act (Introduced in House – IH)
HR 2668 IH
H. R. 2668
To designate the station of the United States Border Patrol located at 2136 South Naco Highway in Bisbee, Arizona, as the `Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station’.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 27, 2011
Mr. ISSA (for himself, Mr. CUMMINGS, Mr. MICA, Mr. QUAYLE, Mr. SENSENBRENNER, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, Mr. KING of Iowa, Mr. GALLEGLY, Mr. PENCE, Mr. CHAFFETZ, Mr. JORDAN, Mr. ROSS of Florida, Mr. MARINO, Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas, Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of California, Mr. CHABOT, Mr. GOODLATTE, Mr. SMITH of Texas, Mr. CALVERT, Mr. LEWIS of California, Mr. MCKEON, Mr. DREIER, Mr. DENHAM, Mr. WALBERG, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. DESJARLAIS, Mr. GOHMERT, Mr. LABRADOR, Mr. MCHENRY, Mr. TURNER, Mr. WILSON of South Carolina, Mr. LUETKEMEYER, Mr. FORBES, Mr. REICHERT, Mr. PEARCE, Mrs. MCMORRIS RODGERS, Mr. CLAY, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia, Mr. REYES, Mr. PASTOR of Arizona, Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. HINOJOSA, Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas, Mrs. NAPOLITANO, Mr. HONDA, Mr. BACA, Mr. TOWNS, Mr. CRENSHAW, Mr. KINGSTON, Mr. GARRETT, Mr. WESTMORELAND, and Mr. QUIGLEY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
To designate the station of the United States Border Patrol located at 2136 South Naco Highway in Bisbee, Arizona, as the `Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station’.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Brian A. Terry Memorial Act’.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds the following:
(1) A native of Flat Rock, Michigan, Agent Brian A. Terry served his country proudly with the United States Marine Corps and continued his service as a police officer with the cities of Ecorse and Lincoln Park, Michigan, prior to joining the United States Border Patrol.
(2) Agent Terry was a member of the 699th Session of the Border Patrol Academy assigned to the Naco Border Patrol Station within the Tucson Sector.
(3) On December 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry was conducting a Border Patrol Tactical unit (BORTAC) operation in the area of `Peck Wells’.
(4) At 11:15 p.m., near Rio Rico, Arizona, and about 15 miles north of Nogales, Arizona, Agent Terry and his team spotted a group of individuals approaching their position.
(5) Shortly thereafter, an encounter ensued and gunfire was exchanged that left Agent Terry mortally wounded.
(6) Agent Terry succumbed to his injuries on December 15, 2010.
(7) Agent Terry is survived by his mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, brother, and two sisters.
SEC. 3. DESIGNATION.
The station of the United States Border Patrol located at 2136 South Naco Highway in Bisbee, Arizona, shall be known and designated as the `Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station’.
SEC. 4. REFERENCES.
Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the station referred to in section 1 shall be deemed to be a reference to the `Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station’.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)said he didn’t think it was possible to know less about an operation after a hearing than before. He thinks William Newell through his testimony just proved it was possible.
Dick DeGuerin is the attorney for Carter’s Country gun shop in Houston. After being criticized for being one of the stores that sold guns that were found in Mexico and traced to the U.S., it came out that they only went ahead with sales at the request of the ATF. If this sounds similar to what we heard Phoenix area gun store owners say, it is.
DeGuerin was interviewed by Cam Edwards for NRA News. He would like the House Oversight Committee hearings into gunwalking to be expanded to include what went on in Texas. I think we could safely add the Tampa area to that list as well.
It is often said that one of the best ways to inoculate people against the gun prohibitionists is to take them shooting.
Yesterday evening I took the Complementary Spouse’s brother-in-law and nephew shooting at the Top Gun Shooting Sports in Arnold, Missouri. Scott may have shot a couple of times when he was a boy but not since. Grant is your typical 14-year old who is into skateboards, video games, and YouTube. Grant had shot an airsoft gun but never a true firearm. He had been asking his dad if they could go shooting sometime.
After dinner, we trekked over to Top Gun which is one of the nicer indoor ranges and shops that I’ve ever visited. I brought a Ruger 10/22 and a Ruger Mk II target pistol, hearing protection, and safety glasses.
|Grant with the Ruger 10/22|
I started Grant out with just one round in the carbine. He was a little worried about the recoil but I assured him that with a .22 it is very light. He later said he was both excited and a little scared. I’d say he handled it very well – his first shot was in the bulls-eye of the target. We progressed from there to multiple rounds and he did just fine. I had sent him a YouTube video with the Four Rules and he had watched it beforehand. He did well on the safety aspect as well.
|Scott with the Ruger Mk II pistol|
I started out Scott in a similar manner to Grant and he did equally well. One of the best moments from the evening was when Grant turned to his dad and said, “This is fun!” Scott agreed.
|Grant shooting the Ruger Mk II|
We spent about an hour and a half at the range. Actually they had to shoo us out as they wanted to close up. When we got home, Grant told his 12-year old sister all about it and said she needs to go. Next time I think we’ll have two lanes and two more new shooters!
Taking a new shooter out is one of the best things we as gunnies can do. Tom Gresham always talks about it on GunTalk and he is right. When some anti tells them guns are evil and only meant to kill, they will know better. I think if we all commit to taking just one new person shooting a year and making it a fun experience, it will be the best insurance we could have in protecting our Second Amendment freedoms.
Kurt Hofmann, the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, and I had our own little “blogger meet” today in southern Illinois. We met for lunch in Edwardsville which is home to Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. It is also the county seat of Madison County which is also famous – or infamous depending on your inclinations – for the number of class-action lawsuits that have been filed in its courts.
It was nice to finally meet Kurt in person as we had corresponded for many months and I have been reading his columns for a while now. He arrived wearing his brand-new Project Gunwalker T-shirt which will make his fellow 82nd Airborne alumnus Sean Sorrentino very happy. Mine is waiting for me at the Post Office.
We talked about a number of things including deer hunting in Illinois versus North Carolina, shooting, politics, families, the prospects for concealed carry in Illinois, etc. And, of course, we discussed the latest House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings on Operation Fast and Furious (aka Project Gunwalker). I think we were both amazed at how poorly William Newell presented himself in the hearings drawing even exasperated comments from Ranking Minority Member Elijah Cummings.
While discussing the region’s indoor shooting ranges, Kurt told me an amusing story of how he took out a target pulley system with his .500 S&W Magnum snubby(damn!). Kurt shoots from a lower position due to being in a wheelchair. The angle this time turned out just right for his bullet to clip the cable and sever it. Ooops! Still, anyone who can handle a .500 S&W Magnum snubby is more than OK in my book.
As long as Kurt is up for it, I think these lunches will be a regular thing when I come out to the St. Louis area. If there are other gun bloggers who would like to join us, please let me know. We may even be able to arrange a blogger shoot on the other side of the river in the free state of Missouri.
The CalGuns Foundation is doing a great job in keeping California sheriffs honest when it comes to concealed carry law in that state. They have just filed a suit in Merced County against the county, the sheriffs department, and Sheriff Mark Pazin for the additional requirements that Sheriff Pazin imposes on CCW applicants. CalGuns alleges these additional requirements contravene California state law.
I think it is safe to say that other counties in California may expect such lawsuits if they try to skirt the state law on concealed carry.
FOUNDATION SUES MERCED COUNTY, SHERIFF MARK PAZIN OVER UNLAWFUL FIREARM CARRY LICENSE APPLICATION POLICIES
San Carlos, CA (July 27, 2011) – As part of its ongoing Carry License Compliance and Sunshine Initiative, the Calguns Foundation has filed a lawsuit in Merced County Superior Court challenging Merced County and its Sheriff’s firearm carry licensing policy for violating state law. Joining CGF are three individual plaintiffs who have been harmed by these policies, Michelle and Seth Rossow and James Clark. The plaintiffs are represented by Jason Davis of Mission Viejo and Donald Kilmer of San Jose.
California firearm carry license laws currently require applicants to have “good cause” and “good moral character.” The Calguns Foundation believes that those requirements are an unconstitutional prior restraint on the people’s right to bear arms, and is challenging those requirements in its Federal lawsuit over Yolo County’s carry licensing scheme in Richards v. Prieto, currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
However, in Merced County, the Sheriff saddles applicants with additional forms, fees, and processes – even for individuals who meet the heightened good cause and moral character requirements – that, CGF alleges, violate state law.
“Sheriff Pazin has had ample time to create a policy that adheres to state law,” said Brandon Combs, a director of CGF and leader of the Initiative. Calguns Foundation first contacted Merced in October of 2010, when it discovered that the Sheriff had established an unlawful moratorium on carry license applications. The Sheriff subsequently lifted the moratorium, but has since refused to modify parts of his policy that CGF identified as unlawful.
“This case is definitely important to all Merced County residents who seek a carry license,” added CGF chairman Gene Hoffman. “What Sheriff Pazin has done is further burden a process that’s already costly and complex with unlawful requirements and fees. We are merely requesting the court mandate that the Sheriff’s policy be consistent with existing law.”
In 1999, California enacted Assembly Bill 2022 to enforce standards upon the carry licensing process. “The Legislature, in AB 2022, sought to address the arbitrary and widely-varying abuses in carry license policies between different cities and counties in California,” said Jason Davis. “They made it clear that application requirements, forms, and fees are to be uniform throughout the state.”
“When we found out my wife was about to become a new mom,” said plaintiff Seth Rossow, “we knew we needed to take steps to protect our family when we weren’t in our home. We’ve had problems with meth users hiding at our ranch, and we watch the news like everybody else. In this day of budget cuts and reduced law enforcement patrols, it is important for us to be able to easily apply for our carry licenses.”
“The Rossow’s concerns for their safety are not unique,” added Don Kilmer. “California created a system that was designed so that applicants could focus on important issues, like training, rather than worry about a local form the Sheriff might or might not want them to fill out that day.”
“Ultimately, this case is about making carry license policies consistent with California law,” said Gene Hoffman. “We believe that we can accomplish this without 58 lawsuits, but if that’s what it requires, that’s what we are prepared to do.”
A downloadable copy of the complaint may be found at CGF’s downloads library. More information on Calguns Foundation’s Carry License Compliance and Sunshine Initiative and other Second Amendment-related litigation and educational efforts can be found at www.calgunsfoundation.org.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Alan Korwin, who publishes a number of books on gun laws in the states, is reporting that August 14th is the start date for the demand letters from ATF to Southwestern FFLs. In an email alert sent out on Monday night (July 25th), he reports:
According to four BATFE agents familiar with the planned Fast and Furious
gun-smuggling “fix,” the bureau plans to release a “demand letter” by the
end of this week, insisting that gun dealers in the four Mexico-border
states begin reporting multiple rifle sales to the bureau.
All multiple rifle sales made to the same buyer within a five-day period
will have to be reported beginning on August 14, on a form to be announced,
according to the agents. The order will exclude rifles in .22 caliber, and
rifles without detachable magazines. The agents acknowledged that
congressional action, lawsuits, an injunction or other court orders might
forestall the implementation of the hastily concocted scheme. Such
preventive measures are already underway.
The rumored executive order to require gun dealers in California, Arizona,
New Mexico and Texas to begin reporting multiple rifle sales to BATFE will
not be issued. A previous Page Nine report that referred to the expected EO
now appears incorrect. It is possible that the uproar over the program
caused the administration to change its approach, and put all the heat on
BATFE to “enact” law without Congress. The EO was widely reported and
An exhaustive examination of statutory authority under which BATFE is
required to operate revealed no legitimate power to demand these records,
though the agents claimed they do have authority (two younger ones said
they have no control over the process, and were simply following along).
When questioned if they would consider resigning if asked to implement an
illegally introduced rule, the agents all either declined to answer or said
no, they would not resign.
Because a buyer will have to be identified to show that the sales reflect
purchase by one person, the record collections will be a gun registry tied
to gun ownership, which is strictly forbidden under federal law. No
requirement to destroy these records exists, since no authority to collect
the records exists. The BATFE agents said they would not be keeping the
records, because they “lack authority,” but could not identify a time frame
in which the registry information would be destroyed, or any audit trail.
When pressed, the senior official identified a statute that supposedly
conveyed authority for the daring plan. The citation is to 18 USC
§923(g)(5)(A) which states:
“Each licensee shall, when required by letter issued by the Attorney
General, and until notified to the contrary in writing by the Attorney
General, submit on a form specified by the Attorney General, for periods
and at the times specified in such letter, all record information required
to be kept by this chapter or such lesser record information as the
Attorney General in such letter may specify.”
This does not confer the needed authority, because “all record information
required to be kept by this chapter” does not include multiple sales of
long guns to the same person in a five-day period. The agent disagreed. In
fact, Congress specifically excluded such information when it enacted, by
due process, a statute requiring similar information for handguns in the
same law, in 18 USC §923(g)(3)(A):
“Each licensee shall prepare a report of multiple sales or other
dispositions whenever the licensee sells or otherwise disposes of, at one
time or during any five consecutive business days, two or more pistols, or
revolvers, or any combination of pistols and revolvers totalling two or
more, to an unlicensed person.”
In addition to the creation of this illegal reporting requirement, illegal
gun-owner registry, with unknown details and no public control over the
rule-making process, it amounts to record keeping specifically banned under
the Firearm Owners Protection Act, 18 USC §926(a)(2):
“No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of
the Firearms Owners Protection Act [5/19/86] may require that records
required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents
of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned,
managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political
subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms,
firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established.”
Like so many laws the federal government writes, this one declares that
these acts cannot legally be done, but provides no specific punishment for
perpetrators, such as those running this scheme inside BATFE. Laws could be
written with teeth, to control bureaucrats. Instead of saying, “No one may
collect this information,” the law could say, “Anyone who collects this
information shall go to prison and pay a fine.” Given the common abuses now
prevalent in government, such laws have been needed for a long time, on a
state and local level as well as federally, some legislators say. Any
legislator unwilling to draft laws that way, allowing “officials” to do
whatever they please without consequence, deserve to be removed from
office, according to leading experts.
In the wake of revelations that the deranged killer in Norway used a Ruger Mini-14, the Violence Policy Center has released a “report” calling the Mini-14 the “poor man’s assault rifle.” This term came from “Assault Pistols, Rifles and Submachine Guns” – an old, out-of-date book (published in 1986) – by Duncan Long
The MRSP for the base model of the Ruger Mini-14 is $881. The price for the model they feature in the “report” is $921. Street prices for these rifles are still in the upper $600 range. Those are U.S. prices. I imagine it is much higher priced in Europe.
The Violence Policy Center then goes into exhaustive detail from the deranged killer’s 1500 page manifesto about why he went with the Ruger Mini-14. They, of course, call it a “militarized weapon” which can defeat body armor and are easily available in the United States. Mind you, the deranged killer was Norwegian and bought his rifle under the extremely strict Norwegian gun control laws.
Again, it is the implement that the gun prohibitionists blame and not the killer. Nowhere on their site do I see anything about the killer’s access to fertilizer with which he constructed a car bomb that killed 7 people.
This “research” is typical of VPC. They use obscure books and articles to condemn the firearm, quote extensively from a deranged man’s “manifesto”, and, by doing so, give him the publicity he so desparately was seeking.
In an article on today’s hearings into Operation Fast and Furious, CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson has this update on William Newell’s testimony.
Update, 2:40 p.m.: The special agent in charge of the Phoenix ATF office during gunwalking scandal, Bill Newell, testified early this afternoon that he discussed the program with a White House staffer.
Newell said he talked to his friend, Kevin O’Reilly, who is listed the White House’s Director for North America at the National Security Council.
This is, to my knowledge, the first direct indication that at least one staffer in the White House was aware of Operation Fast and Furious. There is no way to know currently whether he passed this information to others on the NSC or up the chain to the President’s office.
With every revelation in Project Gunwalker, it just keeps getting more and more interesting.
UPDATE: David Codrea examines the significance of the NSC’s Director for North America being in the loop about Project Gunwalker here.
What’s evident from today’s exchange is Issa’s committee has some degree of access to past Newell/O’Reilly email correspondence. How much is one question. Where following up on what they have will lead—and how high up—is another, and the most important one of all.