BATF violated federal law by creating a database of private gun ownership

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Aim1, Aug 3, 2016.

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  1. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    (Statitics don't mean anything, 67% of people know that - Homer Simpson ;) )


    I'm no statistician either but sample sizes and related come up at work fairly often.


    The GAO says the ATF has 16 systems relating to firearm retail sales. (from Franks link on page 1)

    The sample size is 4.

    Thats a 25% sample size which is a pretty darn big sample and therefore is most certainly relevant and does mean a lot.

    Then I googled up a probability calculator.


    The answer I got was that, with a 95% confidence level, there is a 50% probability that the rest of the systems will have the same failure rate of 50%.


    Assuming I used a good calculator and I under stood it right... and I think I did and do....that's a terrible stat.
     
  2. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    We probably won't be able to meaningfully get too far with this, at least without the participation of an expert audit professional.

    When I was working my clients were regularly being audited, regularly auditing themselves, and/or regularly auditing others. When we needed to address legal issues associated with those audits, my colleagues and I had one foundational rule: immediately involve an expert auditor. Audits and auditing are non-intuitive. A client's senior auditor and I became close friends over the course of a professional relationship spanning more than 20 years.

    Some basics I recall: (1) when auditing multiple systems the audit of each system is independent of the others; and (2) the audit of that system would focus on identifying any performance deficiencies in that system, any legal (or contractual) consequences of those deficiencies, and corrective actions necessary with respect to that system.

    The GAO report of the ATF audit is organized along those lines. So the Audit Letter breaks down the findings by system. The findings are summarize on page 21 (in the pdf) of the letter and explained in detail on pages 22 through 44.

    But this was a qualitative, not a quantitative audit. It doesn't appear that error rates or compliance rates were measured (quantified). Errors and non-compliance were described qualitatively.

    This seems consistent with the the audit objectives as describe in Appendix I:

    So I question whether an attempt to quantify compliance has any meaning.
     
  3. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    It doesn't have any real meaning when 2 people that admittedly aren't qualified are doing it.

    But, imo, I think it would be meaningful to quantify it as it would help to prove, or debunk, as to whether or not there is a 'problem'.

    If the stat's show there is a likelihood the rest of the systems would have the same noncompliance rate, then maybe those should be audited sooner rather than later.

    And if past audits have had similar noncompliance rates, then that could be used to show that there may be a pattern of systemic problems within the organization; or not.


    If we are going to ever try to change things through litigation or through legislation, imo, that info would be crucial to the effort. Would it not?




    Oh.... 460Kodiak, I wasnt meaning to come across argumentative. I get what you are saying and agree with your examples. However, in this case, I disagree that it is a small sample as it was a sample of 4 from 16.
     
  4. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    Frank: Do you think the ATF would use the same standard of leniency for the average FFL gunshop as you seem to be willing to grant them? From those I know with FFL's there is no such standard. One was severely reprimanded because not all people checked the "white, not Hispanic" box on the form. You are, in my humble opinion, a walking poster child for the typical progressive political figure. It doesn't matter what party you claim, the deciding factor comes down to whether you believe in the bureaucracy or the individual. As Vladimir Lenin believed, if the press doesn't report something, it never happened...... In your opinion (in my opinion) if the majority of the legal profession doesn't acknowledge something (such as the Tenth Amendment) it doesn't exist.
     
  5. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    It seems somebody is doing their job out there to disrupt whom they disagree with. Even here on this board where we *usually* get along quite well as a group there is a general emphasis on bickering as of late due to outside influences I believe. And whether it is true or not with regards to the facts in this article we are discussing, I do not have much confidence in the government doing its job without bias at the present time.:banghead:
     
  6. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    The only way to do that meaningfully is with facts.
     
  7. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    The facts aren't found in the article. The article is no more factual than the typical N.Y Times article on gun issues. Propaganda is propaganda, whether it favors the opposition or our side.

    I believe in evidence.

    Of course the Tenth Amendment exists. What it means and how it applies in the real world will be decided by the courts.
     
  8. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    At the risk of wading back into a forum I am clearly not welcome in at this time, this statement right here is the source of my "bile & spleen," and why I am so jaded about the ATF's compliance failures here. They can break laws that would destroy the lives of ordinary citizens/businesses, and merely get an advisory summary in a report for it, even in a situation like this where it should be pretty clear that the retaining of personal info on gun sales is not acceptable. I can't put a DIAS in a lower & walk away if I promise to immediately remove it (and not discard it) once caught.

    There are numerous documented examples of misbehavior for any given calendar year, going back decades. There's more than enough history to deny them the benefit of the doubt when assessing the latest scandal of the day. Surely their agents simply aren't sophisticated enough to realize they were cataloging information that could link buyers with firearms, despite the well known provision in FOPA to prevent exactly this. Surely their database managers get training on the various laws they are to abide by.

    We see it over and over, and keep coming back to it again and again; is it incompetence or arrogance driving these repeated breaches of public trust?
    -As I said, the ATF can somehow maintain a functional database of personal purchase data improperly, yet can't answer the simple question "how many machine guns are in your registry?"
    -Can send an LEO all the way to SCOTUS & jail for arranging a fully documented discount-Glock sale to a legal possesor because he did not have an FFL which wouldn't have been granted anyway, yet 'loses' thousands of firearms across the border to Mexican cartel smugglers?
    -Threatens to prosecute business owners who informally lend their tooling/machinery to third parties so they can build their own firearms unattended with their own skill but without substantial capital investment, yet set up laughable sting operations whose only result is to prosecute those citizens induced to cooperate as informants.
    -Who demand FFLs surrender entire bound books for photocopying during routine inspections, while delaying and denying FOIA requests on a number of topics.

    The GAO tells the ATF they were breaking the FOPA and other laws with their practices, Thomas Brandon immediately demands they be given authority to continue these exact same (illegal) activities. Yup, I'm just sure they intend to conform to the auditor's recommendations.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/atf-head-our-job-is-not-to-take-away-peoples-guns/
    "...Would it be efficient and effective? Absolutely. Would the taxpayers benefit with public safety? Absolutely. Are we allowed to do it? No." [Are you doing it anyway? Apparently yes, according to the GAO]

    TCB
     
  9. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Aren't there practically no opinions in favor of the states/individuals respectively based upon explicit 9th/10th grounds, respectively? I ain't no lawyer, but I recall this being specifically mentioned both in high school and college civics courses, that these two had essentially not been upheld to date and were functionally theoretical.

    I don't believe in cliches intended to shut down dissenting discussion. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence...okay, bad example :p. It's all well and good to demand evidence, but we here at THR can't exactly subpoena the ATF and get what we need, right? Not when they put off FOIA requests for years at a time. What we have right now is a report, it says the ATF was breaking laws/rules about storing personally identifiable purchaser information. Are we just supposed to have a one-post thread that mentions this, then locks & is buried/forgotten because additional evidence is not immediately available? That seems rather pointless from my perspective, but perhaps not from your elevated position of truth arbitrage?

    It makes sense to me to discuss this development in context, of a long and rather consistent history of the Bureau exceeding their authority and just generally doing stuff that's clearly against the law, then claiming 'oops' as an excuse when caught. I honestly don't know why "past bad acts" wouldn't be pertinent info when considering a defendant accused of "new bad acts." The Bureau's had their funding slashed at least once for pulling stunts like this.

    Evidence will be posted as it becomes available, since it adds to the discussion; that doesn't mean there is nothing to discuss in the meantime. I just submitted evidence that the Bureau desires to compile a large, formal database of personally identifiable purchaser information; rather odd assertion for them if they intend to joyfully comply with the GAO, and going forward.

    "Alright, Mr. ATF, I'll stop buying & selling guns if you won't prosecute me under GCA rules for dealing without a license, but I intend to form an LLC that will continue my buying & selling of guns as an FFL." Great plan, there ;)

    TCB
     
  10. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    Bile, spleen and hyperbole -- not evidence based fact.

    Unless you can actually document the cases, this is just a rhetorical trick.

    So you're blaming ATF for Ambramski. First, the case was fully litigated, and Ambramski lost at the Supreme Court. Second, ATF has been consistent and clear for over ten years (as outlined here) that what Ambramski did was an illegal straw purchase. Teh ATF was clear that it could prosecute such conduct, one can hardly complain when it does so.
     
  11. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    Nonetheless, as discussed extensively and repeatedly here, the meaning and application of the Constitution is the province of the federal courts -- as the Founding Fathers provided in the Constitution.

    But absence of evidence is also not evidence. Without evidence the best you can do is either admit that you don't know; or, in some cases, state something explicitly as a hypothesis. If one is going to state a hypothesis, he should at least also suggest how the hypothesis might be tested.

    Of course it makes sense to you, because that's what you want to do. You obviously enjoy doing it.

    But how does spending a lot of time and great energy discussing things that can't be supported with evidence increase our knowledge.

    What is there to discuss without evidence? Fantasy? Belief? Guesses?

    We continually charge the anti-gun crowd with having no regard for the facts and being driven by emotion. Just like many of the pro-gun cadre are acting in this thread.
     
  12. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I like the speeding example given earlier. You generally conform to the speed limit most of the time but speed some times. But when you get caught speeding during that "some time", it's still speeding and you pay the fine or face the consequences.

    But there is the posted speed limit and the limits that are enforced. Shouldn't they be the same? The ATF should face the consequences for their disobedience to federal law. If such was the case, just maybe somebody in the government would have the balls to stand up to the progressives when asked or encouraged to bend the law to suit their political ends.
     
  13. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Do you know the proper lawful remedy when an audit finds that an agency did not fully comply, in prior periods, with some of the the requirements of an Appropriations Act?
     
  14. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    So what you're saying is the 9th & 10th (and perhaps soon the 2nd) are in practice theoretical restraints with few practical implications, as seen by fed court decisions to not uphold them. I can "agree" this is reality, I cannot see anyone accepting this as proper. Can the SCOTUS issue an incorrect ruling, Frank, or does their authority literally make them infallible in your view? I could see how a lawyer operating under sufficient moral relativism could come to such a conclusion, since you do indeed have to frame your arguments within their twisted interpretations (leading to still more twisted interpretations), possibly to the point they become your own on some level.

    So what you're saying is we should lock the thread after posting a news article, so it may fall off the forum page & be forgotten. I am perpetualy confused by what you feel the purpose of these forums is. Or if there even is a purpose.

    Correct, which is why their gunwalking schemes are so outrageous in comparison, because they not only went unpunished, they were not even properly investigated.

    I summarized several recent examples, and you only replied to the one which was upheld at SCOTUS (in stark contrast to their own behavior).

    I missed this earlier;
    Frank, you left it up to ellicit sympathy after somewhat overreacting to my statements & catching some flak. So some drunk guy on the net said something stupid; reprimand or ban the guy, nuke the post & move on.

    TCB
     
  15. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Ordinarily, one would think it warrants further investigation if the audit was not all encompassing, at the very least. This report merely reccommends the ATF should change some policies; weak legal language (I believe only "may" is weaker).

    TCB
     
  16. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    That does not follow.

    The schemes may well have been outrageous, but the fact that someone did not properly investigate them did not make them so.
     
  17. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    The ATF has 16 systems to keep track of one thing. It sounds like any possible law breaking shouldn't be the story here.
     
  18. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    Only if the context is not recognized.
     
  19. Sks39

    Sks39 Member

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    I have suspected they have always kept the data secretly. Nice to know I wasnt just paranoid.
     
  20. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    In reality, opinions by definition are not required to be based on fact or evidence, kinda why they are opinions. Probably where the old saying "opinions are like anal orifices, everyone has one and they all stink!" comes from. I generally have no problems with other folk's opinions, it's when those opinions are presented as fact is where I have a problem. I see tons of this exhibited here on Gun Forums. Opinion presented as fact was actually what created the ammo and gun shortage half a dozen years ago.
    Another thing that I have a problem with is when folks resort to condescending remarks to try and bolster their argument. You have all the evidence in the world to support your claims here Frank, but still you resort to this......




    ...clearly, IMHO....a violation and the ignoring of rule #4 in the Forum's code of conduct,

    personal attacks are prohibited. You can disagree with other members, even vehemently, but it must be done in a well-mannered form. Attack the argument, not the arguer.

    Had it been me or anyone else here(other than a Mod), I assume I'da gotten one of those nasty little "infraction" notices or the post deleted or edited. Reminds me of another old saying.......What's fair for the Goose is fair for the Gander." Any other thread going around in circles like this one would have more than likely been closed a long time ago, the exception being the main arguer is a Mod. Again, MHO. Probably just Bile, Spleen and Hyperbole tho.......


    ...........of this, I whole heartily(and bilely and spleenly) agree!
     
  21. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay, one might "think"....

    I do not want this to sound critical, but that takes us back to my question.
     
  22. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm afraid I do not see the characterization of an argument as not worth paying attention to, or a description of one as "bile and spleen", as a personal attack.

    Let's go back to this:


    From an audit report issued by the General Accountability Office, that is what they are going to get...PERIOD.

    And that does not have anything whatsoever to do with the acceptability of the practice.

    How many of you have dealt with the GAO?
     
  23. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    In reference to post 71, I don't know the answer to your question in post #63, if that is even the question you're referring to.


    ...And that takes me back to my question I asked 10 posts earlier in post #53

     
  24. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I dunno....maybe the words "you" and "yours"? :rolleyes:

    Sorry, but condescending phases like that are no different than calling someone a "dumb donkey" or an idiot.

    ....then you must be blind. What if I were to call you a pile of crap? Is that not a personnel attack? How is that any different that calling you bile and spleen? Both are pretty offensive images and degrading. Or does it matter if one is a Mod or a regular poster? I'm sorry, but I get so sick of seeing these condescending statements made in threads in a vain attempt to discredit others. Kinda like a third grade girl out on the playground bullying a first grader. While one can expect it from the general public, I think most folks feel Mods should be held to a higher standard....otherwise they ain't much of a Mod. Again , just my bile and spleen.

    I ain't trying to criticize anyone here, seems to be enough of that in this thread, but the name of this Forum is "The High Road". IMHO, we should stick to it and not take the low road with name calling and condescending statements.
     
  25. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Buck, there is a world of difference between criticizing an argument and making accusations about one who makes argument.

    Of course, one must accept that "your bile" refers to the argument.

    Which it most certainly does.
     
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