Archive | July 2011

San Diego Congressman backs Boehner’s debt crisis plan

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who served in the Middle East Wars, said he supports House Speaker John Boehner’s debt reduction plan and will vote for it later today.

“Over the last couple months, bipartisan negotiations on the debt limit have identified almost $1 trillion in budget savings,” Hunter explained. “The Boehner plan takes those cost savings and for the first time in history, attaches them to an increase in the debt limit. In total, the plan saves $917 billion over ten years, which is more than the debt ceiling increase. This amounts to significant savings and offers a reasonable approach toward achieving substantive debt reduction over the long-run.”

The Republican plan is the second package to make it to the floor in the House that leaves military spending in place and keeps the country on offense. “It’s a plan that keeps us moving in the right direction while protecting the country’s economic interests,” Hunter said.

The Congressman warns voters that the Democrat plan could cut Pentagon spending during a war and the Republican plan may be the last chance to avoid any government disruption.

“However, in the last two days, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has derided the Speaker’s plan, in some way suggesting it’s incompatible with his vision on the debt limit when the spending cuts in the proposal were settled weeks ago. Regardless of whether Harry Reid wants to admit it, the plan the House is voting on today is perhaps the last chance for the Senate to do what’s right.”
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The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has confirmed the Republican plan cuts and caps spending by $917 billion over the next 10 years and will trim $22 billion in spending for FY2012.

The House plan reduces “discretionary spending each year compared to the President’s budget, $96 billion in 2012, $118 billion in 2013, $115 billion in 2014, $117 billion in 2015, and so on,” Hunter says. The plan also “requires Congress to draft proposals to produce reductions of at least $1.8 trillion that help protect programs like Medicare and Social Security from bankruptcy.”

It remains clear that the current Republican debt crisis bill doesn’t satisfy the “Tea Party” caucus in Washington, but as time runs out for America’s ability to borrow money, compromise may be the only option left.

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Border Patrol foils cocaine and crystal meth smugglers

Border Patrol agents east of San Diego stopped two separate drug smuggling efforts and seized more than $300,000 worth of cocaine and methamphetamine headed for the streets of Southern California.

Yesterday, Border Patrol agents came across a female U.S. citizen driving a Plymouth Neon at the Pine Valley checkpoint. She arrived with a 22-year-old male Mexican national passenger and during the inspection process agents became suspicious of the occupants nervous behavior and directed them to a secondary inspection.

Once the K-9 team inspected the car, agents found illegal drugs in the rear of the car. Further examination lead Border Patrol agents to a non-factory compartment inside the car’s rear bumper.

“Inside the compartment, agents discovered eight bundles of cocaine with a total weight of 22.05 pounds and an estimated street value of $220,500,” according to a Customs and Border Patrol press release. “The suspected smugglers and drugs were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.”
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On Sunday agents detained a 19-year-old male United States citizen driving a 1998 Ford Mustang. Agents said the driver appeared nervous and directed him to a secondary inspection. The Border Patrol K-9 team inspected the car and alerted agents to the trunk of the Mustang.

“Agents searched the vehicle and discovered five packages of methamphetamine with a total of 5.38 pounds worth an estimated street value of $107,600. The suspected smuggler and drugs were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to a multi-agency drug taskforce,” CBP said.

Both cars were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

The San Diego Border Patrol checkpoints have confiscated more than 65,000 pounds of marijuana, 1,368 pounds of cocaine and 317 pounds of methamphetamine since October 1, 2010.

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DEA breaks up San Diego cross-border drug smuggling ring

As part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) “Project Delirium” San Diego agents arrested 24 suspected cross-border drug traffickers.

Those arrested were in procession of hundreds of pounds of illegal drugs and authorities said the smugglers belonged to brutal Mexican drug cartels.

The suspected traffickers were transporting large quantities of methamphetamine and other controlled substances into San Diego County. The seizure of the drugs prevented them from being distributed across the U.S., said William R. Sherman, acting special agent-in-charge of the San Diego DEA.

“When you take the arrests made here in San Diego and couple them with the coordinated nationwide effort this week against this violent organization, you see that we have disrupted their whole distribution chain, from the street seller to the middle man to the leaders of the organization in Mexico,” Sherman said.

The agents in San Diego seized more than 200 pounds of meth, 200 pounds of marijuana, one pound of cocaine and three pounds of heroin, Sherman said.

Today, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office filed multiple charges against 12 suspects for possession of methamphetamine, transport of drugs and hiring an under-aged minor to transport controlled substances.

The biggest offenders snagged in the DEA raid included; Francisco Saucedo, 46, Mayra Arroyo, 24, and Roberto Buenrostro Duran, 23, -all pleaded not guilty to the drug charges and held on $500,000 bond.

One search warrant recovered more than 18 pounds of crystal meth buried in the backyard of Arroyo. In another arrest agents nabbed Buenrostro transporting a backpack filled methamphetamine during a traffic stop.

Deputy District Attorney Allison Fomon said her office arraigned three other defendants on Friday and the rest will face a judge later in the week.

The prosecutor said the suspects face just five to eight years of jail time if convicted.

Officials said the year-and-a-half long sting targeted suspects in America with ties to the vicious Mexican drug trafficking organization La Familia, located in Michoacan, Mexico.

Last week federal authorities reported the U.S. arrested 1,980 perpetrators and seized $60 million in cash. The agents also confiscated nearly 2,770 pounds of methamphetamine, 6,000 pounds of cocaine, 1,000 pounds of heroin, 14,000 pounds of marijuana and $3.8 million in assets.

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U.S. government allegedly selling guns to Mexican drug cartels

In an alarming turn of events, ATF’s Project Gunrunner “Fast and Furious” included more programs located El Paso, Texas, Columbus, New Mexico as well as “Operation Castaway” in Miami, Florida. However, the new alleged U.S. gun-smuggling rings are larger and include the sale of military-grade weapons directly to the Mexican Los Zetas cartel.

Reports from two former CIA agents conclude the U.S. government has set up shop in stash houses located in New Mexico and Texas. Former Director of Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) Intelligence Center in El Paso, Phil Jordan alleges the Obama Administration knew about the sale of weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

The other CIA agent turned reporter Robert Plumlee said the U.S. government maneuvered weapons using an unnamed company and working with the U.S. Direct Commercial Sales program. He also believes the Los Zetas cartel has purchased property along the U.S./Mexico border to house the military-grade weapons.

To make matters worse, the U.S. Direct Commercial Sales program hails from the U.S. State Department run by Hillary Clinton. The Directorate of Defense Trade Control Program oversees private U.S. companies that sell defense weapons.

Under the Direct Commercial Sales program, the U.S. State Department regulates and licenses businesses to sell weapons and defense services and training for export. Last year, the program provided Mexico with $416.5 million worth of firearms, equipment, and military-grade weaponry.

Plumlee told the El Paso Times “From the intel, it appears that a company was set up in Mexico to purchase weapons through the U.S. Direct Commercial Sales program, and that the company may have had a direct link to the Zetas.”
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“They’ve found anti-aircraft weapons and hand grenades from the Vietnam War era,” Plumlee said. “Other weapons found include grenade launchers, assault rifles, handguns and military gear including night-vision goggles and body armor.”

The door is still open to connect the small-town of Columbus, N.M. that witnessed the town’s Mayor and Police Chief arrested in March. Plumlee contends the U.S. authorities were aware of the weapons trafficking along the border before the “Columbus 11” scandal.

It appears the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) played a big role in this gunrunning raid.

“This investigation, along with the countless others that ATF and HSI have pursued jointly over the past several years, provides further proof that the trafficking of firearms to Mexico continues to be a significant problem,” said William Newell, special agent in charge of the ATF Phoenix Field Division. Newell is set to testify this week in Washington on Fast and Furious. “The good news is that all the agencies involved in this investigation were fully committed to joining forces to stop this activity, and the results speak for themselves,” according to the El Paso Times.

Assuming these reports are true, DEA, ATF, and Department of Justice (DOJ) are complicit in arms trafficking. If the U.S. government is complicit in trafficking weapons to Mexico, then family members of the 36,000 murder victims could sue America for wrongful deaths.

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DHS complies with some 9/11 Commission Report recommendations

The 9/11 Commission released its report seven years ago, and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the agency will carry out several security measures to protect America.

The report highlights changes DHS implemented after the 9/11 commission strived to ensure the country is stronger, safer and more resilient. As the country prepares for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks, the new DHS report details advancements homeland security made to better defend the evolving terrorist threats.

“Ten years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, America is stronger and more resilient than ever before, but threats from terrorism persist and challenges remain,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Over the past decade, we have made great strides to secure our nation against a large attack or disaster, to protect critical infrastructure and cyber networks, and to engage a broader range of Americans in the shared responsibility for security.”

One part stressed by DHS is the expanding information sharing program. The United States strengthened homeland security that improves information sharing with both the public and private sector. “If You See Something Say Something™” campaign is one example of a program that relies on public imput to ensure U.S. security.” This program didn’t exist on 9/11. The “National Suspicious Activities Reporting Initiative,” which trains state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and signals related to terrorism, crime and other threats is another new program.

Another program implemented is the “Airline Passenger Pre-screening and Targeting Terrorist Travel,” program. “Ten years ago, screening of passengers coming to the United States was limited to the visa process and inspection of a person by an immigration officer at the port of entry.” Now DHS requires all airlines flying to the U.S. to provide an “Advance Passenger Information and Passenger Name Records” list before departure. This list checks all passengers flying to, from, or within the United States against government watch-lists.

Protecting Cyber Networks and Critical Physical Infrastructure is one of the most difficult tasks for DHS. The National Cyber security Protection System uses the EINSTEIN cyber intrusion detection system and is a key component in protecting the country from cyber attacks. DHS also opened the “National Cyber Security and Communications Integration Center,” that will serve as the nation’s hub for responding to cyber attacks.

A 2010 landmark memo between DHS and the Department of Defense also improves America’s abilities to protect against cyber threats to military computer programs and networks, according to the report.

Napolitano contends that America needs to bolster the security of U.S. borders and identification documents needs to be a top priority. “Protecting the nation’s borders—land, air, and sea—from the illegal entry of people, weapons, drugs, and contraband is vital to homeland security, as well as the nation’s economic prosperity.” However, the recent ATF “Project Gunrunner” and continuation of cartel violence show the Obama administration’s lack of control. This contentious border security issue has created a new firestorm- one the Democrats have yet to solve.

This last program Napolitano touts gives new meaning to “robust” and “civil liberty.”

DHS tries to feel its way through TSA by “ensuring a robust privacy, civil rights and civil liberties safeguards.” However, TSA continues to draw fire from angry passengers who say the “friskers” and too “friskee.”

While the DHS report lays the groundwork for a more secure U.S., the government continues to put off finishing the border fence- something most Americans want.

To view the Department of Homeland Security’s full report and related materials, please visit

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San Diego Border Patrol agents seize nearly 1 million dollars in illicit drugs

U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Pine Valley checkpoint just east of San Diego, spoiled several smuggling efforts yesterday that resulted in the seizure of roughly three quarters of a million dollars of crystal methamphetamine.

Border Patrol agents pulled over a 23-year-old male American citizen driving a gold 1999 Chevrolet Lumina at the San Diego checkpoint.

“During inspection, agents became suspicious of the man’s nervous demeanor and referred him for a secondary inspection,” said CBP Agent Kurtis Woods.

“Agents noticed anomalies around the engine of the vehicle,” Woods explained. On further review agents “discovered numerous plastic bags of crystal methamphetamine hidden inside of the engine compartment totaling 5.82 pounds with an estimated street value of $104,760.”

In other freeway checkpoint stops, Border Patrol agents seized marijuana from drug smugglers valued at nearly $160,000.

“The second seizure took place at 9 a.m., when agents assigned to the checkpoint encountered the driver of a gold Chrysler 300. Agents noticed the driver, a 22-year-old male United States citizen, appeared nervous and referred him for a secondary inspection,” he explained.

A Border Patrol K-9 team inspected the Chrysler and found the marijuana inside the trunk and rear bumper.
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“Agents searched the vehicle and discovered an access door to a non-factory compartment near the spare tire containing a total of 30 cellophane-wrapped bundles of crystal methamphetamine,” Woods said. “A total of 35.05 pounds was discovered with an estimated street value of $630,900.”

In yet another bust at the I-8 checkpoint agents seized 146.7 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $88,000. “The marijuana was discovered after a Border Patrol K-9 team alerted to an auxiliary fuel tank in the bed of a white 2003 Ford F-150,” Border Patrol said. “A 29-year-old male U.S. citizen and his 22-year-old Mexican female passenger were arrested as a result of the incident.”

The Drug Enforcement Agency took custody of the suspected drugs and traffickers for further investigation. Border Patrol agents at the Pine Valley checkpoint seized all the vehicles.

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La Raza steps up efforts to keep welfare dollars for Latinos

As the debt crisis reaches the eleventh hour, lobbying organizations gear up to ensure their clients get a slice of the dwindling American pie.

“Never has it been so clear that the health and welfare of Latinos is at stake. Last-minute budget negotiations continue to keep Medicaid cuts on the table,” National Council of La Raza said.

The group urges its supporters to call Washington lawmakers to make the case for continued support of “healthy Latino families and communities.”

“You have done it once before,” said Jennifer Ng’andu, deputy director, Health Policy Project. “We need you to do it again. Overnight you flooded congressional offices with more than 3,000 messages telling them to keep their hands off the Medicaid and CHIP programs that provide valuable coverage and services for nearly 13 million Latinos—one in four in our community.”

La Raza’s pitch encourages activists to add personal stories and even offers suggestions.
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* Support the Medicaid program. Don’t devastate the lives of one in four Latinos and one in six Americans by gutting the Medicaid program.
* Without Medicaid many would have no options for health care, leaving them without the resources to take charge of their health and prevent illness and disease.
* Extreme cuts to Medicaid will also undermine health care access for vulnerable children, families, and seniors, including half of all Latino kids, who would have no way to see a doctor if they are sick.

The recession hurt many Americans, but how lawmakers tackle the trillion dollar debt crisis will decide the success of the country moving forward.

The link to La Raza;

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Dozens of suspected drug-cartel members arrested in San Diego

A multiagency criminal sweep in San Diego arrested dozens of alleged Mexican drug-cartel members today.

The task force titled, “Operation Second Sole,” arrested 43 “high value” drug-cartel suspects trafficking drugs, weapons and stolen property. Authorities said these assailants engaged in “incredible acts of violence” throughout San Diego communities.

“Many of the suspects arrested today have significant criminal histories and were considered to be armed and dangerous,” San Diego Police Lieutenant Kevin Ammon said. “The success of today’s operation rid the county of a serious threat to the safety and security of our citizens.”

Federal, state and local law enforcement officers used search warrants to take down and arrest 43 cartel suspects. The morning raids captured criminals without incident in and around San Diego County.

Ammon explained the joint task force was successful in “disrupting criminal enterprises.”

Law enforcement agencies launched ‘Operation Second Sole’ to “interrupt and prevent dangerous individuals from committing acts of violence in furtherance of narcotics trafficking,” said John Torres, ATF special-agent-in charge in Southern California.
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“As a result of this joint effort, suspects implicated in criminal activity ranged from homicide to armed robbery. (All) have been taken into custody along with (the) seized contraband, including illegal firearms and methamphetamine,” Torres said.

The Mexican cartel sweep is part of an effort to disrupt criminal gangs along the U.S. border and break up illicit drug rings.

The multi-agency taskforce included, San Diego Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (BATFE), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), California Border Protection Alliance Group (HIDTA), San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and finally the Chula Vista Police Department.

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Federal agents snag a $29,000 bra at U.S. border- not exactly Victoria Secret

Normally a $29,000 bra conjures up thoughts of scantily-clad women sashaying down a rose-pedal runway, however, in San Diego the padded bra contained drugs.

Federal agents at the San Ysidro Port of Entry snagged a 22-year-old Mexican female who tried to enter the U.S. with nearly a pound-and-a-half of methamphetamine lined inside her bra.

The young women tried to enter the country through the pedestrian entrance during the busy 5 p.m. rush hour.

Agents busted the would-be drug smuggler when they noticed “discrepancies under the woman’s clothing near her chest,” according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agents.

CBP Officers sent the young women to a secondary inspection station where agents found the drugs, according to CBP.
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The brassiere contained six plastic packages filled with methamphetamine. CBP Authorities said the drugs had an estimated street value of $29,000.

Federal Agents took the suspect into custody to face drug-smuggling charges.

Customs and Border Protection did not release the suspect’s name.

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ATF’s ‘fast and furious’ pushes DOJ to skirt Congress to crack down on gun sales

While the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (BATFE/ATF) “gun walking” scandal has captured the mainstream media’s attention; the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) response for added gun regulation is going over like a straw purchase.

As witnessed last week, the Department of Justice issued some harsh medicine for firearm dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. These dealers will soon be required to report multiple sales of long guns.

Washington’s political posturing with ATF centers on the government-gone-wild approach, as in the “Fast and Furious” program that allowed guns to cross the border and into the hands of Mexico’s ruthless drug cartels. The reckless “Fast and Furious” program has left lawful firearm dealers scratching their collective heads and many rank-and-file ATF agents seething.

Congressional leaders investigating “Fast and Furious” have swiftly criticized DOJ’s handling of the program. Republican leaders say U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is trying to divert the “Fast and Furious” investigation by punishing Federal Firearms Licensees who operate in southwestern states. The plan President Obama and DOJ have cooked up targets some southwestern dealers and forced them to report multiple long-gun sales.

“The Judiciary Committee has primary jurisdiction over policy related to the Justice Department,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa) Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “We’ve learned from our investigation of ‘Fast and Furious’ that reporting multiple long gun sales would do nothing to stop the flow of firearms to known-straw purchasers because many Federal Firearms Dealers are already voluntarily reporting suspicious transactions,” Grassley explained.

In fact, documents obtained by Senator Grassley about BATFE’s “Fast and Furious” showed at least 150 long guns were reported in real time by law-abiding firearm dealers. Keeping that in mind, ATF leaders in D.C. watched (on closed circuit TV) the firearms transferred from known-straw purchasers (people who buy guns for those who cannot legally buy firearms) to third parties. The result of ATF’s rogue program put guns into the hands of Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), which have lead to countless slayings in Mexico as well as complicity in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December of 2010.

“This (data) makes it pretty clear that the problem isn’t lack of burdensome reporting requirements. The administration’s overreach with regulations continues, and is an (attempted) distraction from its reckless policy to allow guns to walk into Mexico,” Grassley said.

Department of Justice new overreaching firearm laws

Last week, the Justice Department announced it will move forward with a new reporting system despite its lack of authority to create legislation without Congress.

According to the National Rifle Association, a reporting procedure was proposed implemented last fall was an “emergency” measure by ATF. The new procedure specifically called for all the firearm retailers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to report multiple long-gun sales.

The flawed program would force dealers to report law-abiding citizens who buy two long guns within five days. “For example, a dealer would have to tell the government every time a deer hunter in Sacramento or Amarillo finds a good deal on a pair of semi-automatic .30-06s like the popular Remington 7400,” the NRA explains.

Nevertheless, a DOJ statement from, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said; this new reporting measure “will improve the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to detect and disrupt the illegal weapons trafficking networks responsible for diverting firearms from lawful commerce to criminals and criminal organizations.”

However, dealers contend the flood of new paperwork (ATF estimates 18,000 reports a year) would cost the agency and firearm dealers more money and labor as well as squander already limited resources that could focus on legitimate investigations.
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The NRA also points out that the ill-conceived and ill-fated “Fast and Furious” program encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell thousands of guns to suspicious buyers, despite documented objections from dealers and ATF agents alike.

“The (Obama) administration knowingly and intentionally allowed guns to be trafficked into Mexico,” said Lamar Smith (R-TX). The Texas lawmaker explained that “Limiting the Second Amendment rights’ of law-abiding citizens is not going to solve the problem…this is the height of hypocrisy.”

Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) introduced S 570 a bill that would also “prohibit the Department of Justice from tracking and cataloguing the purchases of multiple rifles and shotguns.”

The Obama Administration’s approach is to skirt Congress by issuing regulations by “executive order” will only result in multiple legal actions from the NRA, Second Amendment advocates as well as the California Association of Firearms Retailers (CAFR).

A spokesman for the CAFR posed the following question; “What part of federal law is so difficult for this administration to understand? Federal law applies to all states not just a select few. It may very well be the ATF ‘fast and furious’ program that has placed more firearms in the hands of (Mexican) criminals than any one legitimate firearm retailer in any state targeted by the DOJ proposal.”

Dealers and citizens contend Mexico needs to be held accountable for its own actions regarding firearm purchases and importation.

“The $40 billion transnational criminal enterprises don’t fill out paperwork and are not deterred by paperwork violations,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director. “This is a blatant effort by the Obama administration and ATF to divert the focus of Congress and the general public from their gross incompetence in the ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal. This scheme will unjustly burden law abiding retailers in Border States. It will not affect drug cartels and it won’t prevent violence along our borders.”

The NRA and other Second Amendment organizations are preparing for the lawsuit and will file the moment “demand letters” are received from ATF or DOJ.

Next a report of Senator Feinstein’s efforts to limit guns…

Taking a serious look at the unique problems America faces with our southern neighbor is critical if the U.S. wants to gain the upper hand with narco-traffickers. Last month, to no one’s surprise, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) issued a report that AG Eric Holder and President Obama have taken seriously. (Feinstein report here)

Included in the Senator’s firearm assessment are;

– Enactment of legislation to close gun show loopholes regarding background checks.

– Better enforcement of existing bans of military-style imports.

– Reinstatement of Assault Weapons Ban.

– Federal Firearms Licenses required for multiple long-gun sales.

– Senate ratification of the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other related materials (CIFTA).

The Obama Administration has already begun implementing Senator Feinstein’s wish list much to the dismay of firearm retailers.

Stay tuned for more updates on the ATF scandal…

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