by AWR Hawkins
Obama has expanded civil-forfeiture rules making it permissible for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to seize weapons from citizens without the hassle of due process.This effectively gives Attorney General Eric Holder, of Fast and Furious fame, extended power over guns and gun-related property.
The rules were broadened under the guise of giving the ATF authority "to seize and administratively forfeit property involved in controlled substance abuses." And if that doesn't strike you as extreme on first glance, consider the fact that this expansion of civil-forfeiture allows the ATF to fore-go almost all "due process" in making their seizures -- in effect, placing the burden of proof on the citizen instead of federal agents.
Last year, even without these expanded powers, ATF confiscated more than 11,000 guns, and nearly four hundred of them were taken from innocent citizens. With the expanded powers and the ease of bypassing due process now in place, the number of guns confiscated could rise exponentially.
We cannot view this expansion of civil-forfeiture without remembering Obama's May 2011 pledge to pursue gun control "under the radar." For what could be more "under the radar" that quietly expanding federal power to bypass due process and confiscate private citizens' guns?