Gun Digest

ATF Gun Confiscations Skirt Due Process


ATF Gun Confiscations Getting “Easier”

As the Washington Times reported, “The Obama administration is making it easier for bureaucrats to take away guns without offering the accused any realistic due process. In a final rule published [recently], the Justice Department granted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authority to ‘seize and administratively forfeit property involved in controlled-substance abuses.'”

That may sound like property being seized from a convicted drug dealer. It's not. This gun confiscation and forfeiture (meaning, ATF can sell off the property after gun confiscations) occurs when ATF claims a crime has been ommitted in a case involving “controlled-substances.”

“That means government can grab firearms and other property from someone who has never been convicted or even charged with any crime.”

It is then up to the owner to prove that his or her property wasn't used in the commission of a drug crime.

“Law enforcement agencies love civil forfeiture because it's extremely lucrative,” the Times contended. “The Department of Justice's Assets Forfeiture Fund had $2.8 billion in booty in 2011, according to a January audit. Seizing guns from purported criminals is nothing new; Justice destroyed or kept 11,355 guns last year, returning just 396 to innocent owners. The new ATF rule undoubtedly is designed to ramp up the gun-grabbing because, as the rule justification claims, ‘The nexus between drug trafficking and firearm violence is well established.'”

Essentially, ATF now has an increased “profit motive” to initiate gun confiscations during its investigations. Of course, “Nowhere is there any recognition of the burden placed on innocent citizens stripped of their property or of the erosion of their civil liberties.”

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