Civil Liberties

"An angry ex-girlfriend or wife is the best person in the world, the greatest source of information": ATF Agent on "hunt for guns, one house at a time"

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The Houston Chronicle chronicles attempts by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (the group that brought you the Branch Davidian standoff) to track down illegal gun purchases that end up down Mexico way. From Agent Tim Sloan comes this pearl of wisdom:

"An angry ex-girlfriend or wife is the best person in the world, the greatest source of information."

The Chron titles its story "Federal agents hunt for guns, one house at a time," and is clearly sympathetic to the feds (it's 102 degrees out! there's pit bulls at every corner!), but gives details that makes law enforcement look less than knightly:

On this day, agents weren't wearing raid jackets or combat boots and weren't armed with warrants.

Guns were hidden under civilian shirts.

Another tip took agents on a 30-minute drive from the shack to a sprawling home with a pool in the back and an American flag out front.

It turned out two handguns, of a type drug gangsters prefer, were bought by a pastor for target practice.

Some stories, they say, are hard to believe.

The lamest so far came from a police officer: He said he bought a few military-style rifles, left them in his car and—on the same night—forgot to lock a door. He couldn't explain why he didn't file a police report or why he visited Mexico the day after the alleged theft.

Those warrants can really ruin the cut of a sports jacket, that's for sure.

Whole story here.

Here's something to throw in the mix: Why not reduce the amount of violence and gun play, both here and in Mexico, but, I don't know, ending the war on drugs? Seriously, to the extent that Mexico (and by extension, the U.S.) has a drug-violence problem, it is clearly related to the illegal status of intoxicants, not the bang-bang potential of guns. Read this on that.

Hat tip: Dan Gifford, who blogs at Big Hollywood and was nominated for an Academy Award for his production of Waco: Rules of Engagment, one of the most disturbing documentaries of the past quarter-century.

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  1. At that rate of guns being transferred “down mexico way”, we could outfit one cartel in three years. Something tells me they’re getting their military weapons another way. But it’s just out of reach. I’m sure I’ll think of it in a minute.

  2. I happen to work with and know a lot of people who work in law enforcement on the Southwest Border. Every single one of them thinks the “must stop guns going south” policy is complete bullshit and a waste of time. Guns are not going south. The Mexicans have no problems getting guns and don’t need the US to get them. The whole thing is a giant joke.

  3. I’ve heard it before; 90% of putting together a drug bust, is waiting for the girlfriend to call.

  4. “On this day, agents weren’t wearing raid jackets or combat boots and weren’t armed with warrants.”

    Warrants? Who needs warrants? We work for the Federal Government!

  5. I was listening a report on NPR the other day and they were discussing the weapons going down to Mexico without mentioning that the guns in question are illegal for me to own.

    You know who could own them, legally, in this country?

    Law Enforcement. The Military.

    Why not investigate the people who might legally own these guns how they are getting into the hands of Mexico?

  6. The comments in the Chronicle article seem to run about nine to one against the ATF. I guess that is something.

  7. “The lamest so far came from a police officer: He said he bought a few military-style rifles, left them in his car and-on the same night-forgot to lock a door. He couldn’t explain why he didn’t file a police report or why he visited Mexico the day after the alleged theft.”

    I call shenandigans on this one. It is a mandatory two years in the can for being caught in Mexico with a gun. No one, not even someone of the limited intelligence of a cop, is going to risk two years in a Mexican prison to dlliver guns. No, you would buy the guns in the US and give them to the Mexicans. Why the hell would you visit Mexico and smuggle the guns for them. Fuck them. They are the drug runners. They can smuggle the guns themselves. That story is complete bullshit. Never happened. It was made up for the gullible reporter.

  8. The Chron article actually features the term “lamest”?

    Booyah. Killer journalism there, bro.

  9. “An angry ex-girlfriend or wife is the best person in the world, the greatest source of information”: ATF Agent on “hunt for guns, one house at a time”

    Well . . . probably not as good as a desperate, drug addicted, professional snitch, but still pretty good.

  10. …two handguns, of a type drug gangsters prefer…

    What the fuck. I wonder what toilet paper drug gangster prefer, so I can find a different brand and avoid suspicion.

  11. Matthew, the difference is that cops can generally score the ex on the rebound.

  12. …two handguns, of a type drug gangsters prefer…

    Lemme guess. I bet it’s the type that shoots “bullets”.

  13. Once I saw a t-shirt that said, “ATF should be a convenience store, not a govenment agency” My thoughts exactly.

  14. It has gotten worse. I know people with NFA stamped weapons that are required after notification to show their records. Recently several have had BATF officers request and even demand that all their firearms be recorded, even the ones not requiring a tax stamp. I don’t know if it;s a slow creep of regulation or just stupid officers. Either way it’s a little disturbing the guys following the rules are being leaned on.

    Once I saw a t-shirt that said, “ATF should be a convenience store, not a govenment agency” My thoughts exactly.

    Beer Bait and Bullets

  15. Fuck, fuck, fuck the ATF.

  16. What the fuck. I wonder what toilet paper drug gangster prefer, so I can find a different brand and avoid suspicion.

    Lemme guess. I bet it’s the type that shoots “bullets”.

    It is most likely .38 Super, which is popular in countries where it is illegal to own handguns chambered in calibers used by militaries, such as .45 ACP and 9×19 Parabellum. It is also very popular in competitive shooting, like matches in IPSC and USPSA.

  17. Girly .25s are big with the “gangsters” I’ve known, because they’re easily concealed or dropped, and finding a .25 bullet in some guy’s face will set police off wasting time looking for wronged wives and abandoned mistresses.

  18. “An angry ex-girlfriend or wife is the best person in the world, the greatest source of information”

    I don’t know for sure, but suspect, it is still the case in Canada, when applying for a PAL (Possession/Acquisition Licence) or any other firearms license, that one’s spouse or girlfriend (not yet both) must sign the form, basically giving permission for the applicant to apply. Also used to (may still) require anyone you have had a relationship with in previous two years to be listed on the form and contacted for their approval.

    Them bureaucrats.. craps.. er bureaucops sure know who to consult for solid info on a guy’s character.

  19. Send all drug users to Mexico. It’ll equalize our populations.

  20. That might be true. Your article got it right. Angry girlfriends or spouses can be a very good information if the guy is doing something fishy.Hope to read more article like this in the future. Thanks.

  21. Really? I say that we interview some of their ex-wives for good information about them. The divorce rate among AFT agents and other police officers is very high.

  22. …finding a .25 bullet in some guy’s face will set police off wasting time looking for wronged wives and abandoned mistresses.

    You should never shoot someone with a .25, because you might hit them. And if you hit them, they might find out about it, and then they could get mad.

  23. BP,

    My advice: Don’t get shot with anything.

  24. SugarFree, that is one of my major goals in life. I once managed to get a little piece of brass shrapnel in my thumb, and that sucked plenty for me.

  25. KD

    I get the impression from some of Pierre Lemieux’s stuff that you can be denied a permit in Canada if you had lost your job or gotten separated or divorced. They didn’t need an actual diagnosed mental illness, just something in your life that might have made you sad.

  26. Angry ex girlfriends and wives are also a great source of false information too! I know quite a few stories of women making fake police calls. Or fake calles to unions to turn in their ex’s for taking side jobs, etc.

    One called her ex over to “pick up his shit” then immediately called the police saying he’s on his way help her he’s coming to kill her. Lucky for him it was a small town and he knew one of the cops that showed up.

  27. Send all drug users to Mexico. It’ll equalize our populations.

    Americans love their drugs. They don’t like hot, poor countries.

  28. One called her ex over to “pick up his shit” then immediately called the police saying he’s on his way help her he’s coming to kill her. Lucky for him it was a small town and he knew one of the cops that showed up.

  29. Argh. reason’s eating my comment and not paying attention to the cut&paste screwed that last comment.

    One called her ex over to “pick up his shit” then immediately called the police saying he’s on his way help her he’s coming to kill her. Lucky for him it was a small town and he knew one of the cops that showed up.

    That dumb broad deserves to have the fuck beat out of her.

  30. That dumb broad deserves to have the fuck beat out of her.

    No, a crazy bitch like that is not worth going to jail for. And violence is only appropriate if your life is in danger anyway.

    What she deserves is to be ignored and left isolated with no friends until she dies alone after a long life of misery and loneliness.

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