Authored by Emily Miller via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Texas secretly gives its citizens’ incomes to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Documents show this has led to at least one person being monitored by the feds without a warrant through the federal gun background check system. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) told The Epoch Times that it has written contracts with ATF for “sharing income information” for criminal investigations. The revelation may lead to oversight by the legislature.
Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain, a Republican, is “deeply troubled” about this coordination with the state’s unemployment agency and federal government.
“My office will be looking into whether the Texas Workforce Commission is assisting the ATF in the Biden Administration’s mission to violate the constitutional rights of law-abiding Texans,” Cain told The Epoch Times after reviewing the emails obtained by Gun Owners of America (GOA) as part of its ongoing FOIA lawsuit.
This is the third part in an exclusive Epoch Times series on the ATF giving information on innocent suspects to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for daily monitoring through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The FBI uses NICS as a database of people who are prohibited from possessing or buying guns.
Texan’s Income Exposed
In one of the documents, an ATF agent emailed the FBI that a person suspected of straw purchasing or firearms trafficking needed to be put into the gun background check database. The agent wrote that “per TWC,” the man’s “reported wage earnings with the State of Texas do not appear to supply the financial means to afford the firearms purchased.”
The ATF agent requested on Dec. 28, 2020, that the Texan’s gun purchases be monitored daily for 90 days. However, as previously reported, the FBI wrote to ATF that its agents could request an extension of the monitoring for as long as they wanted.
Texas’s role in the program was uncovered in the ATF’s ninth production of documents to GOA as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. The 42 pages are more heavily redacted than the previous ones given to GOA. There are seven pages of blacked-out information before the source of the income of the person in Texas is shown as TWC.
“One would think that a pro-gun state like Texas would not be handing over gun owners’ confidential financial information to the federal government without a warrant or likely even without probable cause,” Rob Olson, an attorney for GOA, told The Epoch Times.
Second Amendment Sanctuary?
A spokeswoman for TWC said in a statement: “Federal and State law provides a path for sharing income information with a federal governmental agency if the federal agency can establish a purpose that is permissible under law and enters into a written agreement which sets forth legal requirements regarding allowable use and protection of the information.” She also said a warrant to release salary information is not required by law.
Read more here…