Monday, June 12, 2017

100% Accurate

When anyone claims that their records are 100% accurate, it is always wise to assume that they do not understand how humans work.  For a very long time BATF claimed in unlawful machine gun prosecutions that their register of NFA weapons is 100% accurate.  Dave Hardy at Arms and the Law made some discoveries while doing FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) queries:
OIG [Office of Inspector General] asked how often there was a discrepancy between the inventory and what the NFRTR said the inventory should be: 46% of inspectors said either "always" or "most of the time." (Only 5% reported "never"). How often was the discrepancy found in the NFRTR? 44% said always or most of the time, only 6% said "never." The comments by inspectors were pretty eye-opening:
"When I conduct an NFA inventory reconciliation, I start knowing that the NRA register will be incomplete or inaccurate."
"The discrepancies in the NFRTR makes it impossible to verify the onsite inventory."
"I encounter discrepancies on a daily basis."
"In one instance, I received an NFRTR inventory report with more than 60 errors on behalf of the NFA branch."
A majority of the FFLs I have inspected, NFA is a small portion of their business. However, I spend the most time on the NFA portion due to the NFRTR being inaccurate most of the time."
"It creates embarrassment to the agency and the IOI because we are always wrong." 
People go to prison based on the claim that the NFRTR is accurate.

Here's a video that includes a BATF official admitting that they perjure themselves about this, and always will:



And this declaration by an attorney:
6. In October 1995 I was informed by a reliable source -- a senior career BATF official -- that Thomas Busey, the Chief of BATF's NFA Branch, which is the official custodian of the NFR&TR, had just given a headquarters training presentation (known as "Roll Call Training"), taped on videotape, in which Busey stated that when he had assumed command of the NFA Branch the previous year he had discovered an error rate of as much as 50% in the NFR&TR, but that his underlings routinely testified in court (and by certifications under seal) that the NFR&TR was 100% accurate when they knew that was not the fact. I promptly filed a Freedom of Information demand for the videotape, identifying it with sufficient specificity to warn those involved that destruction or denial were not viable responses. Even so, my source advised that the first reaction at BATF headquarters on receipt of my FOIA demand was the proposal by Gail D. Rossides, Assistant Director for Training under whose jurisdiction Roll Call training is conducted, that the incriminating tape be destroyed. Wiser -- and perhaps more honorable -- heads prevailed and the tape was sent to the Department of Justice for its assessment. Ultimately, some months later, a transcript of the tape was furnished to me, along with an unsolicited self-serving "correction" (declaration) by a Busey underling attempting to take the edge off the rather startling admissions made by Busey. A copy of the Busey transcript has been previously provided to the Court, and is also included in Exhibit 2 to this declaration. I also possess a copy of the actual videotape (which BATF and the Department of Justice have continually tried to keep out of private hands) and will supply it to the Court on request. A recitation of these facts, authored by me but adopted by Congressman David Funderburk of North Carolina, was published in the Congressional Record, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit 1.
7. Shortly after the disclosure of the Busey transcript described above, the Department of Justice sent a mailout to all United States Attorneys advising of the Busey matter and supplying copies of other BATF documents which could be deemed to be exculpatory in NFA firearms prosecutions. I received several of these packages as Brady material in various firearms cases I was handling and am acquainted with other defense lawyers who also received them. Attached as Exhibit 2 is a copy of the Brady package distributed to the United States Attorneys by the Department of Justice.

As much as I would like an NFA weapon (such as a M3A1 grease gun), this history of sloppy records and institutional perjury, makes it seem too risky.  Don't tempt me, however.

1 comment:

TM Lutas said...

1. Document NFRTR error incidences, format it in a "friend of the court" friendly format, and seek to submit it in all cases where the assertion is made.

2. Take bets how many times you have to do that before BATF stops making the erroneous assertion.

3. Profit!