Mens rea is Latin for “guilty mind.” In legal theory acting to set up a crime before committing it indicates a guilty mind; or guilty intent.

In the spring of 2009, just a few months before the Obama Administration instructed the Phoenix ATF office to commence Operation Fast and Furious,  Attorney General Eric Holder introduced and secured a curious change to United States gun legislation.

The tracing of firearm serial numbers provides information about the manufacture of a weapon,  its original retail seller and buyer,  the entire known history of the weapon. For years,  anti-gun rights zealots had procured these trace statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol,  Tobacco and  Firearms  for the purpose of initiating frivolous lawsuits against both gun dealers and manufacturers.

Then,  in 2004,  Kansas Republican Rep. Todd Tiahrt successfully added an amendment to the yearly ATF funding bill.  Known since as the Tiahrt Amendment,  the legislation prohibits the sharing of trace information for any but legitimate law enforcement purposes.  That is,  trace information on firearm serial numbers could only be provided to federal,  state and local law enforcement agencies engaged in specific,  criminal investigations.  Those responsible for left-wing fishing expeditions would no longer have access to trace statistics for the purpose of manufacturing lawsuits.

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