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Created: Tuesday, 04 December 2007 05:00
Written by Administrator

Senate Close To Confirming A Ted Kennedy-style Liberal To BATFE
-- Contact your Senator immediately

Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102
Springfield, VA 22151
(703)321-8585

"We'll miss him in Massachusetts, but he'll be a strong leader at ATF, and I look forward to working with him on key issues on gun control." -- Senator Ted Kennedy

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The above quote highlights all you need to know about Michael Sullivan, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Sullivan was, unfortunately, nominated by President Bush to permanently take over ATF this year. Right before Thanksgiving, the Senate "hotlined" his name for unanimous consent approval. (Hotlining is a parliamentary maneuver which allows non-controversial bills or nominations to be unanimously approved by the Senate without debate or a vote.)

GOA immediately sent a letter to each Senator's office, urging them to oppose the Sullivan nomination. Thankfully, one senator subsequently objected to Sullivan's approval, and his nomination was put on hold. However, that legislator is now coming under fire from other senators, who are asking him to withdraw his "hold."

That's why it's important for gun owners to contact their two Senators. Under Sullivan's leadership, the ATF has gone berserk. Sure, the problems at ATF didn't originate with him, but Sullivan has certainly done nothing to put out the fire.

While discussing the agency's 2008 appropriations bill, the House Commerce & Justice committee issued a stinging rebuke for the ATF:

The committee has heard reports that ATF has pursued license revocations and denials against firearms dealers based on violations that consist largely of recordkeeping errors of various types that are unlikely to impede tracing investigations or prosecution of individuals who use firearms in crime. The Committee encourages ATF to consider lesser gradation of sanctions for recordkeeping errors. [House Committee report on HR 3093.]

The strategy, that was begun long before Sullivan arrived, has continued unabated under his tutelage. ATF inspectors try to find any violation they can, usually focusing on clerical mistakes.

A family gun business that had been in operation for years in Baltimore, Maryland was attacked because of the "wanton, repeated crime" of abbreviating Baltimore as "Blto" on the teeny, tiny spaces on the 4473 forms.

Now, the agency has turned their collective guns on Red's Trading Post in Idaho, among others. Even though one ATF agent told the manager that Red's was "one of the best small gun shops" he'd ever seen, the ATF has continued its assault on this gun shop (which has been in business for decades) for minor clerical mistakes and failing to put up a poster.

According to WorldNetDaily, one judge who is familiar with the Red's Trading Post case found "the ATF speaks of violations found during the inspections of 2000 and 2005, but fails to reveal that additional investigations in 2001 and 2007 revealed no violations or problems." The judge also noted the ATF was exaggerating the situation by "double counting" some violations.

The agency holds a continuing animus against gun owners and dealers. Inspectors have no handbook under which to operate, and the absence of such written procedures allows them to be arbitrary and capricious.

Americans don't need an anti-gun cop from Massachusetts as the Director of the federal gun police.

CONTACT: Please ask your Senators to oppose anti-gunner Michael Sullivan as the Director of the BATFE. You can use the pre-written message below and send it as an e-mail by visiting the GOA Legislative Action Center (where phone and fax numbers are also available).

---------- Pre-written letter ----------

Dear Senator:

I urge you to OPPOSE the nomination of Michael Sullivan for the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Under his leadership, the ATF has gone berserk. Sure, the problems at ATF didn't originate with him, but Sullivan has certainly done nothing to put out the fire.

In July, a House committee report on HR 3093 rebuked the ATF for pursuing license revocations and denials against firearms dealers based on "violations that consist largely of recordkeeping errors of various types" that are unlikely to impede tracing investigations or prosecution of individuals who use firearms in crime.

Red's Trading Post in Idaho is one of the many gun dealers that have been frequently harassed by the ATF. Even though one ATF agent told the manager that Red's was "one of the best small gun shops" he'd ever seen, the ATF has continued its assault on this gun shop (which has been in business for decades) for minor clerical mistakes and failing to put up a poster.

According to WorldNetDaily, one judge who is familiar with the Red's Trading Post case found "the ATF speaks of violations found during the inspections of 2000 and 2005, but fails to reveal that additional investigations in 2001 and 2007 revealed no violations or problems." The judge also noted the ATF was exaggerating the situation by "double counting" some violations.

Finally, the fact that Ted Kennedy wants to work with Sullivan on gun control is reason enough to find another candidate to head up the ATF. Kennedy said, "We'll miss him in Massachusetts, but he’ll be a strong leader at ATF, and I look forward to working with him on key issues on gun control."

Because of these concerns, I would ask that you please oppose the Sullivan nomination, and instead work with Gun Owners of America and the NRA to find a nominee who will protect the rights of innocent gun owners.

Sincerely,

****************************

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