The day before Christmas, an ex-felon set a trap for fire fighters in Webster, New York. He set his home ablaze then when fire fighters responded, he shot four, killing two before taking his own life. The killer was an ex-convict, having served time for killing his grandmother. Was this another instance of the Department of Justice preventing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) from getting guns out of the hands of people who are not supposed to have them?
In September of this year, Reno Gazette-Journal reporter Martha Bellisle published the results of a months-long investigation into a virtual shutdown of the ATF office in Reno. While the office was not closed, all agents requested and received transfers because the assistant U.S. attorney in Reno, Sue Fahami, refused to prosecute any cases brought to it by Reno ATF agents. Fahami sent a memo to the agents saying she took the action because Reno agents lied to her about an informant. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.), and Congressman Mark Amodei (R-Nev have repeatedly asked the Department of Justice for an explanation. They want answers to why the rift was allowed to fester and why no action to resolve it was taken. To date, none has been given. Only last month has the federal court begun investigating some of the rejected cases. It’s unknown how many ex-felons are walking the streets of Nevada with illegally obtained weapons.
William Spengler, the identified gunman in Webster had illegal possession of a firearm. I would hate to think two firefighters are dead because ATF agents in New York face similar hurdles as the agents in Reno.