A Bush appointee no less. In a ruling filed last week, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer of the D.C. Circuit stated the following in her conclusion [emphasis mine]:
Further, ATF did not act arbitrarily or capriciously because
the reporting requirement set forth in the Demand Letter was based on relevant factors.
Apparently, when the ATF demands legal firearms dealers to sell weapons to "straw purchasers" who then sell them to Mexican gangsters, deliberately avoids tracking those weapons, and does this to implement a rule that violates the 2nd Amendment, somehow we are to believe the ATF didn't act "arbitrarily or capriciously." Something really smells. Bad.
The ruling is for the case National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. v. B. Todd Jones (NSSF v. Jones; the original defendant was ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson, who has since been "reassigned" and was replaced by Acting Director of the ATF Jones). I have no idea who the NSSF's legal eagles were on this case; the only information I have seems to be the original complaint filed back in August, 2011. Most of the information having to do with the cover up by Attorney General Eric Holder and his Justice Department (which includes the ATF) minions came out after the complaint was filed; it's possible that the NSSF never amended the complaint with the new evidence that has since come to light, but I don't have access to know if any further information was filed before the ruling came out. What is known is the NSSF has appealed; I'm assuming any and all evidence showing Holder's cover up will be presented.
As was shown by the intrepid reporting by Sharyl Atkisson of CBS, the DoJ did a "document dump" of all kinds of information related to Operation Fast & Furious back in early December, 2011. I know it's been presented before, but I believe a review of what was dumped will be helpful:
- As early as April, 2010, gun dealers were actively assisting the ATF, although they were worried the ATF would make it appear the dealers were selling guns to criminals. Various gun dealers sent further emails to register their concerns over the next few months.
- In July, 2010, the ATF was looking to use the sales they authorized to justify more regulations.
- In December, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered by a weapon sold via OF&F. The latter fact wouldn't be made public until two months later.
- In January, 2011, ATF announced a bunch of arrests as a result of OF&F. Further ATF emails show they were attempting to use these arrests to further their case for more regulations.
- In February, 2011, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer lied to Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) in a letter, saying the ATF did not knowingly allow "straw purchasers" to purchase weapons that were later sold to Mexican gangsters. Ten months later, Breuer admitted he knew of OF&F. The DoJ ended up withdrawing the letter, something nearly unprecedented.
- Also in February, 2011, anonymous members of the ATF blew the whistle on Operation Fast & Furious (although not by name), admitting that the ATF was letting these guns get into the hands of Mexican gangsters, and without tracking them. It also came out that Agent Terry was murdered by one of these weapons. Less than a month later, one of the ATF whistleblowers came forth by name, Agent John Dodson, who provided the name of the operation, Fast & Furious.
- In April, 2011, the Justice Department announced plans to issue a new rule demanding gun dealers from the four border states to report to the ATF all multiple long gun purchases. The rule was implemented on July 11, 2011. A month later, the NSSF filed suit.
The evidence shows the ATF and the Justice Department not only acted arbitrarily and capriciously, but criminally with the cover up. However, Judge Collyer's ruling doesn't show any of the information that has come out since the NSSF filed its complaint the past August, so it's entirely possible, as I stated earlier, that the NSSF didn't present any new evidence for Judge Collyer to review. It also appears there wasn't evidence presented of something else, how the State Department sold tens of thousands of weapons to the Mexican government, many of which have probably also ended up in the hands of Mexican gangsters.
I have no doubt that the appeal will contain all of the information that has since come to light over the last few months. If anything, it should be used to slap an injunction on the rule to prevent it from being enforced. The criminality by Holder and his corrupt "associates" at the Justice Department will eventually come to light one way or another. It's a shame this case lets him off for now.
Cross-posted at Scipio the Metalcon.