Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Double-Standards in D.C.

Friday, October 11, 2013

As most Americans know, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives--and perhaps others in the Obama administration--knowingly allowed guns to be smuggled from the United States to Mexican drug-smuggling cartels, on the hope that the guns would be recovered at Mexican crimes scenes and eventually traced to sales in the United States. The goal of the effort, dubbed Operation Fast and Furious, was to give anti-gun politicians evidence to use in their campaigns against general-purpose semi-automatic rifles, such as the hugely popular AR-15.  As for the carnage that might precede the guns' recovery?  That was obviously a risk the planners of the operation were willing to take. 

Some of the smuggled guns were indeed used to kill people in Mexico, but one was also involved in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. An investigation ensued, the House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for refusing to cooperate with its investigation of the scandal, and senior officials associated with the scandal were forced to resign.

Commonsense would dictate that to regain the public's trust, the BATFE should accept responsibility for its failures and be more transparent with the public. However, as John Solomon reported in Monday's Washington Times, the agency is still in information-suppression mode, "blocking the main whistleblower in the Fast and Furious case from publishing a book for pay, claiming his retelling of the Mexico 'gun‑walking' scandal will hurt morale inside the embattled law enforcement agency." In a letter to the whistleblower, Agent John Dodson, BATFE said that if he publishes his book, it "would have a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix [BATFE office] and would have a detremental [sic] effect on our relationships with [the Drug Enforcement Administration] and FBI."

Dodson is not alone in his fight. On Tuesday, the ACLU sent a letter to the BATFE, stating that preventing Dodson from publishing his book violates his First Amendment rights. BATFE's decision, ACLU attorney Rita Cant wrote, "undermines the importance that whistleblowers and public employee speech play in revealing wrongdoing and contributing to public debate."

It's not an encouraging start to the tenure of the agency's new director, B. Todd Jones.

Meanwhile, evidence has been uncovered that the District of Columbia and Philadelphia police departments provided firearms to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to help her promote her "assault weapon" ban legislation in January, but that D.C. police denied a request from Senators Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for firearms to be used in their presentations opposing the ban.

The evidence was uncovered by a Freedom of Information Act request filed by tenacious Washington Times reporter Emily Miller, author of the new book, "Emily Gets Her Gun," which details the grueling process she went through to legally take possession of her handgun following the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) that struck down the city's 32-year-old handgun ban as a violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

As Miller reported on Wednesday, however, it didn't take long for D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier to arrange for multiple firearms to be provided to Feinstein, whose legislation would have banned almost every detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifle, and almost every semi-automatic shotgun, as well as other categories of firearms.

The sordid tale appears to have begun when Feinstein's office asked D.C. police to provide an AR-15 and several other semi-automatics for her press conference promoting her new ban. Lanier agreed, with one stipulation:  "Chief Lanier wanted to help Mrs. Feinstein, but she didn't want the media to know," Miller wrote. Feinstein's office was told that the police would "prefer that no mention of the fact that the weapons came from D.C. or were recovered by [Metro Police] in [Feinstein's] official language or speeches."

Feinstein's and Lanier's secret began to see daylight when the Senate Sergeant at Arms told Miller that the firearms Feinstein used in her presentation had come from the D.C. and Philadelphia police departments. Miller's FOIA request thereafter produced a communication from Lanier to Philadelphia police chief Charles Ramsey, lamenting the fact that Miller had found out about Lanier's cooperation with Feinstein. "This is exactly why I didn't want to participate," Lanier said, adding, "We will not participate again." Lanier also separately complained to the lobbyist who helped Feinstein's office obtain the firearms, saying "So much for our agreement [to keep things quiet]. Unfortunately this will be the next tail wagging our dog for weeks."

However, as Miller details, when Senators Cruz and Graham asked to bring two rifles to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Feinstein's gun-ban proposal, they were denied. Cruz was thus limited to a photograph of a rifle, which motivated a Feinstein staffer to write D.C. police, stating, "I was gratified to hear Sens. Cruz and Graham complaining that getting weapons into their hearing today was 'unworkable.'"

Fortunately, Lanier's deck-stacking in favor of Feinstein was not enough for the Senate's most fanatical gun-prohibitionist to prevail. Feinstein's legislation was defeated by a wide margin. We can only hope that, with her bias in this episode having been revealed, Lanier will perform her duties in a more even-handed, less-biased manner when handling requests from members of Congress in the future.

TRENDING NOW
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Ignores Heller: No Protection for Guns It Deems “Dangerous”

News  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Ignores Heller: No Protection for Guns It Deems “Dangerous”

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinions in Heller and McDonald, many of the lower U.S. courts have been making up their own rules when it comes to the Second Amendment. Tuesday’s outrageous opinion by ...

Hawaii: Anti-Gun Legislation Passes Committee

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hawaii: Anti-Gun Legislation Passes Committee

SB 898, sponsored by state Senator Ronald Kouchi (D-8), would permanently strip an individual of their Second Amendment rights, not based on a criminal conviction or mental adjudication, but based on a quasi-criminal proceeding.  The ...

Kentucky: Senate Constitutional/Permitless Carry Legislation Amended

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kentucky: Senate Constitutional/Permitless Carry Legislation Amended

Today, Senator Robin Webb (D-18) offered a strike and insert amendment to constitutional/permitless carry legislation, Senate Bill 7.

New Hampshire Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Into Law

News  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Hampshire Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Into Law

Measure Effective Immediately. Today was a great victory for gun owners in New Hampshire when Gov. Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 into law, allowing law-abiding New Hampshirites to carry their firearms in the manner that ...

West Virginia: Pro-Carry Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

West Virginia: Pro-Carry Legislation Introduced

Multiple pro-gun bills were introduced this week in the West Virginia Legislature that seek to provide protections to West Virginians who choose to carry a firearm for self-defense. 

South Dakota: Bill Attempting to Silence NRA Passed by House Committee

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

South Dakota: Bill Attempting to Silence NRA Passed by House Committee

Today, the House Judiciary Committee heard and passed House Bill 1200 by a 9-3 vote. 

Washington: Anti-Gun Legislation Could be Heard on the Floor Next Week

Friday, February 24, 2017

Washington: Anti-Gun Legislation Could be Heard on the Floor Next Week

As early as next week, the Washington House of Representatives could hear and vote on House Bill 1122 and House Bill 1483.

Iowa: Pro-Gun Bill Passes Subcommittee

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Iowa: Pro-Gun Bill Passes Subcommittee

Today, House Study Bill 133, the omnibus bill which would make many pro-gun reforms for Iowa gun owners, passed its subcommittee hearing.  HSB 133 will now go to the full House Judiciary Committee for further consideration.  ...

Amicus Briefs Filed in Support of Petition for Supreme Court Review in Peruta Right-to-Carry Case

Friday, February 24, 2017

Amicus Briefs Filed in Support of Petition for Supreme Court Review in Peruta Right-to-Carry Case

In January, California Rifle & Pistol Association attorneys filed a petitionwith the United States Supreme Court asking the Court to review the NRA-supported case of Peruta v. California, which seeks to confirm that the Second ...

A Fourth Circuit Trifecta: New Rulings Confirm Need for Judges who Respect Second Amendment

News  

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Fourth Circuit Trifecta: New Rulings Confirm Need for Judges who Respect Second Amendment

Anyone still unconvinced about the importance of the courts and the need for justices who support Second Amendment rights had plenty of food for thought this month, with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.