Tag Archives: Bureau of Alcohol
It was only a month ago that a bizarre story broke in the Pacific Northwest, as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers trumpeted their seizure of what they claimed were more than two dozen machine guns disguised as toys.
They really were toys.
But instead of admitting they can’t tell a toy gun from a real one, CBP turned these Airsoft rifles over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), and the agency agreed that these pot-metal made, plastic BB-shooting plinkers were honest-to-God firearms.
To put it mildly, things got interesting.
In short, multiple experts examined the dubious BATFE claim and found that the WE Tech rifles confiscated by the CBP and slated for destruction by the BATFE cannot be converted to machine guns, or any other kind of working firearm.
To read the entire story go to http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/agents-of-incompetence-atf-dodges-foia-still-has-seized-bb-guns-part-iv/
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Thank You, Vytautas
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has sent a memo to some health care providers noting procedures to be followed if the swine flu outbreak eventually makes quarantines necessary.
DHS Assistant Secretary Bridger McGaw circulated the swine flu memo, which was obtained by CBSNews.com, on Monday night. It says: “The Department of Justice has established legal federal authorities pertaining to the implementation of a quarantine and enforcement. Under approval from HHS, the Surgeon General has the authority to issue quarantines.”
McGaw appears to have been referring to the section of federal law that allows the Surgeon General to detain and quarantine Americans “reasonably believed to be infected” with a communicable disease. A Centers for Disease Control official said on Tuesday that swine flu deaths in the U.S. are likely.
Federal quarantine authority is limited to diseases listed in presidential executive orders; President Bush added “novel” forms of influenza with the potential to create pandemics in Executive Order 13375. Anyone violating a quarantine order can be punished by a $250,000 fine and a one-year prison term.
A Homeland Security spokesman on Tuesday did not have an immediate response to follow up questions about the memo, which said “DHS is consulting closely with the CDC to determine appropriate public health measures.”
The memo from McGaw, who is DHS’ acting assistant secretary for the private sector, also said: “U.S. Customs and Coast Guard Officers assist in the enforcement of quarantine orders. Other DOJ law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Marshals, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives may also enforce quarantines. Military personnel are not authorized to engage in enforcement.”
The CDC’s error is one example of how quarantines can raise civil liberties issues. If a suspected swine flu patient is confined to a hospital isolation ward for a week or two, who pays for the bills? What if private businesses find their buildings requisitioned in an emergency? Or if hospital employees charged with enforcing the quarantine fail to show up for work?
McGaw’s memo on Monday also said that the federal plan to respond to pandemic influenza was “in effect.”
A Defense Department planning document summarizing the military’s contingency plan says the Pentagon is prepared to assist in “quarantining groups of people in order to minimize the spread of disease during an influenza pandemic” and aiding in “efforts to restore and maintain order.”