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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 67421 Find in a Library
Title: BATF'S (BUREAU OF ALCHOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS) WAR ON CIVIL LIBERTIES - THE ASSAULT ON GUN OWNERS - REPORT OF THE TASK FORCE TO INVESTIGATE THE ENFORCEMENT POLICIES OF THE BATF
Author(s): D T HARDY
Corporate Author: Second Amendment Foundation
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 126
Sponsoring Agency: Second Amendment Foundation
Bellevue, WA 98005
Sale Source: Second Amendment Foundation
James Madison Building
12500 NE Tenth Place
Bellevue, WA 98005
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A TASK FORCE INVESTIGATING THE ENFORCEMENT POLICIES OF THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREAMS (BATF) DETAILS ABUSES IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF GUN CONTROL LAWS.
Abstract: THE BATF ABUSES ARISING FROM ITS VIGOROUS ENFORCEMENT OF GUN CONTROL LAWS RESULTED FROM A DESIRE TO CONVINCE CONGRESS THAT THE BUREAU WAS PERFORMING A NEEDED AND USEFUL TASK. CONSEQUENTLY, BUDGET CUTS, WHICH WERE BEING ADVOCATED FOR BATF IN THE FACE OF THE DECLINING NEED FOR CURBING ILLEGAL LIQUOR PRODUCTION, COULD BE AVOIDED THROUGH GENERATING A LARGE NUMBER OF HIGHLY PUBLICIZED ARRESTS IN GUN CONTROL ENFORCEMENT. SEVERAL METHODS OF QUESTIONABLE LEGALITY ARE USED BY BATF AGENTS TO ACHIEVE LARGE NUMBERS OF ARRESTS. ONE METHOD IS ENTRAPMENT, WHICH TAKES THE FOLLOWING FORMS: (1) THE 'STRAW-MAN' SALE, WHICH INVOLVES TRANSFER OF A GUN LEGALLY PUCHASED TO A PERSON NOT LEGALLY QUALIFIED TO BUY FIREARMS AND THEN ARRESTING THE DEALER FOR MAKING AN ILLEGAL SALE, (2) THE 'IMPLIED DEALERSHIP' TACTIC, IN WHICH NONDEALERS WHO SELL PERSONAL WEAPONS IN COMPLIANCE WITH BATF STANDARDS ARE ARRESTED FOR 'DEALING WITHOUT A LICENSE,' (3) PROSECUTION FOR POSSESSION OF 'DESTRUCTIVE DEVICES' THAT IN PRACTICE POSE NO DANGER, AND (4) USE OF THREATS OR VIOLENCE TO INDUCE VIOLATION OF THE LAW. BATF AGENTS ALSO USE UNSCRUPULOUS INFORMANTS, INFILTRATE POLITICAL GROUPS, AND PROSECUTE INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE. FURTHER, BATF PUBLIC RELATIONS PROGRAMS ATTEMPT TO INFLUENCE THE ATTITUDES OF THE COURT, JURORS, AND PROSECUTORS. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CORRECTING SUCH ABUSES INCLUDE CLARIFYING THE COMMANDS OF EXISTING LAW, RESTRICTING IMPROPER INCENTIVES TO INFORMANTS AND FORFEITURES OF PROPERTY GUARDING AGAINST PROSECUTORIAL USE OF PREJUDICIAL PUBLICITY, GRANTING ADDED PROTECTION TO AGENTS AGAINST REPRISALS FOR REFUSALS TO ENGAGE IN ILLEGAL ACTS, AND EXPANDING CIVIL LIBERTIES AVAILABLE TO INJURED PARTIES. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. APPENDIXES PRESENT BATF FIREARM SEIZURES NATIONWIDE AND BY REGION AND RELATED CORRESPONDENCE. (DEG)
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Entrapment; Gun Control; Informants; Program abuse
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67421

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