The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has a unique reputation among federal law enforcement agencies for always telling the truth. Whether its firearm statistics, after-action reports downplaying the body count of their latest sting to backfire, or quotes from senior executives, any information from ATF is suspect and must be verified.
Verifying ATF information is not easy either. They put up a lot of roadblocks. The ATF ignores FOIA requests, and their spokesmen rarely answer their phones or return emails. It’s as if they are too scared of what the public might find.
As an example, one senior AFT official, Carlos Canino, former Agent of the Los Angeles Field Division, can be credited for jumpstarting the war on homemade firearms so it’s especially important to verify everything he says.
In 2020, activists from the propaganda arm of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun empire asked Canino about the prevalence of homemade firearms in California. An earlier study said 30% of the guns recovered by ATF in California were unserialized “ghost guns,” but Canino said the real numbers were actually 41%, with “almost half of our cases” being ghost funs. That was all it took. The entire gun-ban industry jumped on Canino’s statement like a duck on a June bug. The war on homemade firearms had officially begun, and ATF’s Los Angeles SAC fired the first shots.
Erik Longnecker, program manager for ATF’s Public Affairs Division’s Office of Public and Governmental Affairs, will not likely have a long career since he has a habit of returning emails from investigative reporters. When asked to verify and add context to Canino’s comments on the number of unserialized ghost guns, Longnecker was unable to verify the number.
He was able to provide statistics on the number of homemade firearms recovered at crime scenes nationwide from 2016 to 2020, submitted to ATF for tracing; a number that constituted a mere 23,906, or roughly 13 a day. And reported that he was not “aware of any other verified Privately Made Firearm data that had been published by ATF.”
This is outrageous. The entire war on homemade firearms was based on alleged ATF data, which the ATF now claims it cannot verity. Civil rights are about to be violated, and gunmakers and firearm parts manufacturers are about to be put out of business, all based on spurious data from a former ATF official who the agency now appears to have disavowed.
As usual the anti-gunners grabbed onto Canino’s false statement and ran with it. In May 2021 AFT issued a proposed rule to stop the proliferation of ‘ghost guns’ claiming that criminals were buying kits containing nearly all the components and directions to build a firearm within as little as 30 minutes and then using those firearms to commit crimes, according to a White House Fact Sheet.
The Chicago-Sun Times, in an article entitled Ghost Guns Are a Gift to Criminals. It’s Time to Ban Them, claimed that some ghost guns were printed on 3D printers and included no metal which allowed owners to carry them through metal detectors, citing Canino’s fictional statistics. The added that the Chicago police confiscated 455 ghost guns just last year and in 2019 10,000 ghost guns were recovered nationwide.
Several top police officials have accused AFT of conflating homemade firearms with factory made firearms that have had their serial numbers illegally altered or removed. Many police have never seen recovered a homemade firearm from a crime scene.
The war on homemade firearms, like the war on guns itself, is based on false claims, skewed statistics, faulty logic and lashings of media hype. Both seek to demonize an inanimate object and punish legitimate gun owners for the sins of a few bad men. Whether you own a homemade firearm or not, we must all push back against this assault on our civil rights.
No one makes a better case to abolish AFT than ATF. The country would be safer without them.
source: Not Even ATF Can Verify ATF’s ‘ghost gun’ Claims by Lee Williams, JPFO