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Old 12-27-2011, 11:25   #1
FearTheBoomAndBust
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Confessions of the BATFE

I know I'm going to get flamed here, but I figure its worth while to show how the real BATFE, not the political appointees that you all (and everyone in the Bureau) hate.

If anyone wants to make an adult argument against the BATFE's existence, I would be more then happy to listen to it, on three conditions:
1) You pay a $200 tax stamp to me and fill out a form with a 6 month turn around time.
2) Read my post first, because it will address a number of concerns.
3) Have proof, and be an adult with your argument, please do not slander the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect (believe it or not) your lawful use and ownership of firearms.

You only have to follow 2 & 3 of the above in order for me to discuss your points thought

Heres the story of me:
I remember accepting the offer to be a SA in the BATFE, I had lots of concerns, because like all of you, my only experiences were of the Bureaus failures, and my father who was in lobbying on Capital Hill and his rants against the BATFE and gun control. I decided on the BATFE anyway, I loved explosives and Firearms, and figured having a 2nd Amendment loving SA would temper the assumed anti-gun feelings of all of my coworkers.

I couldn't have been more wrong. After training and being assigned to my first Field Office I realized that all of my coworkers supported the 2nd Amendment as much as me.

No one, absolutely no one in the BATFE that I have ever met wants to take away your 2nd Amendment rights, however this is America and things must be regulated in order to keep order.

For that the BATFE uses Congressionally passed laws, the United States Code, and the Code of Federal Regulations. Constitutional, Criminal, and every other relevant type of lawyer has argued the legality of use of each of those 3 for firearms law enforcement countless times. The judiciary agrees that it is legal and constitutional. All three branches of Government agree on it, and as per our Constitution, I uphold all three, I did then I still do now.

It is not now, nor has it ever been a conspiracy against lawful gun owners, just unlawful ones, if you didn't want to be responsible and not follow the laws governing Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, or (me specifically Explosives, it was my job to arrest you. You broke the law, I'm law enforcement, thats how things in our society work.

If you don't support the NFA, push Congress to repeal it, or the Executive to write an Executive Order ordering the BATFE and FBI to cease and desist in enforcing it. The BATFE has very little to do with it other then enforcement. If the NFA was repealed you would also see a good chunk of the BATFE's section of the CFR disappear, and Special Agents would happily stop enforcing things such as SBR, SBS, and Fully Automatic weapons.

I guess where I'm going with this is, its the fault of politics not the Bureau for 99% of the things you don't like about the BATFE.

Now to some hot button issues: (Anything from my time with the Bureau that I experienced might seem vague because of classification and non-discloser, everything else though, I will be blunt), non of this is official US Government position and should not be quoted as such.

Q) Fast & Furious defend that!
A) There is absolutely no defending that, I'm not going to try, the OpSec was a cluster, they had no true plan, and it was come up with by the politikers not Special Agents. Did Eric Holder lie to Congress, I believe so, and thats horrible, but no BATFE Special Agent, including myself during my time there, would ever lie under oath, we look down on anyone who does the same way you all do.

Q) Branch Dividians, you all are corrupt villains out to show force and kill women and children.
A) David Korresh (spelling?) blatantly broke a number of laws and believed himself to be the messiah. It was a lawful warrant that the BATFE and FBI were serving, he chose to kill 4 Agents. The siege then started with the hopes of freeing the children of the cult. Did agents involved feel bad about the outcome, they felt bad about the children and 4 Agents who died. Why didn't the BATFE wait for an unarmed David to be on a run to arrest him outside of the compound? Simple, the Bureau feared that with the "messiah" captured, the Branch Dividians would commit mass suicide Jonestown style.

Q) You all (the BATFE) illegally write laws to limit the 2nd Amendment
A) No, the BATFE with the help of US Attorneys under authorization of Congress write a section of the CFR that regulates the broad laws passed by Congress.

Q) The BATFE only exists to take away citizens 2nd Amendment rights
A) Again, no, if anything the BATFE wants to make your 2nd Amendment stronger, as long as you execute it legally.

Q) Why do you say BATFE instead of ATF, isn't it officially ATF?
A) My sub-division was mainly the Explosives and real egregious firearms offenses, we used BATFE because it includes the E.

Q) Why does my SBR or SBS form take so long to process and why do I have to pay $200 to exercise my 2nd Amendment right
A) Funding, the gun lobby limits the BATFE's funding leaving very few people to review the forms and make sure you can legally own what you are asking for. As for the tax, well this is America, death and taxes, make your own joke.

Q) If the BATFE isn't that bad why did you leave?
A) A lot of my skills (language, NREMT-P, good at long away from home travel) weren't being utilized and I was often detailed to other agencies anyways, so everyone thought it would be better to send me where they would be used.

Q) But what about my 2nd Amendment, you still are trampling on it with regulation.
A) Listen, no Amendment is absolute, all of them have regulation tied to them. Without regulation on even just our Bill of Rights, there would be anarchy, for a well functioning society there must be regulation involved. Its a tough pill to swallow but it is the truth, I don't like it anymore then you men.

Q) But I need my Fully Automatic SBR to protect my family and the Constitution says I have a right.
A) Thats your prerogative, as long as you follow the law and obtain it the right way you are going to catch no Flak from the BATFE.

Q) What can I do to make the BATFE not exist anymore.
A) Executive Branch or Congress, but if the BATFE were to simply disappear the FBI or DEA would receive all of the BATFE's funding and personel and enforce the same laws. Now if you want to get rid of all federal firearms laws, good luck living in that United States, if you have ever been to Yemen where everyone walks around with a Automatic weapon you know what I mean.

Q)?????
A)I don't know what else you all want to know, ask your own question and I will answer it.

I do work 8 hour shifts and must eat and sleep so if I don't respond immediately give me some time.

Have a nice day everyone
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Old 01-03-2012, 19:11   #2
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What are your thoughts on the Marine veteran in this story?

http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/03/ma...ating-gun-law/
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Old 01-03-2012, 19:26   #3
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Thank you for your post. And Kudos for you're Cool Hand Luke Reference.

I'm sure there are many fine people such as your self at the Bureau.

I think on some level everyone understands that generally the BATFE is not responsible for the laws they enforce. However, at least some (if not more) of what they enforce is seen by many gun folks as unconstitutional, over reaching and/or morally wrong. Unfortunately, there is little if any hope of any political solution on much of this though because no politician (certainly not enough anyway) has the guts to stand up to the demagoguery that would ensue by standing up against it. So I guess where some may have issue with BATFE SAs on an individual level, is that if you believe in the previously mentioned unconstitutional/immoral regulations then you are part of the problem. Additionally, if you don't believe in unconstitutional/immoral regulation but still enforce it, then you are still part of the problem. Claiming "I'm just enforcing the rules/laws" does not absolve anyone of blame, in the eyes of many, if those laws are believed to be morally and/or constitutionally wrong.

Then of course I would imagine that there are some of the stories you referred to already like Ruby Ridge, Waco, "Always Think Forfeiture" Leatherman order, Fast & Furious, etc. These stories and perceived onerous regulations tend to continually reinforce a narrative that the agency is at best part of the problem and at worst complicit in a conspiracy to deprive free people of their basic human right to self defense.



I'm not an expert on all BATFE regulation but there are some that make little sense when held up to scrutiny (however well intended they were at inception) and IMHO only serve to infringe on our rights. That doesn't mean I think all BATFE agents are bad people though.
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Old 01-03-2012, 20:55   #4
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So the whole " shoestring is a machine gun" debacle is Bush's fault?
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:54   #5
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I appreciate that most agents at BATFE are not kitten-stomping, anti-gun zealots. Still, in my 35 years of firearms experience as an owner, dealer, C&R, and reasonably-knowledgeable person, I have seen a number of folks in that agency who DO fit the above description. Whether it is all politically-motivated or because the agency seems to attract those types of people, I do not know. But the facts seem to be that the Firearms Section of BATFE has been involved in some pretty egregious offenses against peaceful citizens.

The murders at Ruby Ridge and Waco are simply indefensible. Killing people over tax law is absurd. And for any Federal Agency to initiate lethal force against otherwise peaceful folks is murder, plain and simple.

I also take gross exception to the following statement of yours: "Now if you want to get rid of all federal firearms laws, good luck living in that United States, if you have ever been to Yemen where everyone walks around with a Automatic weapon you know what I mean."

Prior to 1934, there were NO Federal Firearms laws. None, zilch, zero. It was perfectly legal for anyone to walk into the hardware store and order a Thompson, BAR, or war-surplus Maxim or MP18 sub-machine gun with no paperwork. The US somehow was not like the anarchy you imply. Many thousands of WWI veterans brought home sub-machine guns, automatic rifles, heavy machine guns without any of them ever being used in crimes. And And don't even try to bring up Dillinger, and the other bandits of the '30's. Most of them got their Thompsons from the POLICE! And Clyde Barrow got his favorite BARs and 1911s from National Guard armories. A fat lot of good the 1934 NFA did to stop that from happening! In fact, I challenge you to point out ANY evidence that a gun control law EVER kept a criminal from acquiring firearms!

You mention that Congress authorizes BATFE to write regulations based on the laws Congress passes. That is correct, but somehow the regulations all seem to push the limits of the law just as far as they can go. As far as taxes on NFA weapons, the law says BATFE just needs to approve transfers and accept tax. Nothing in the law about fingerprint cards, photos, and local LEO approval. That's all made up by BATFE.

And do you really want to get into the absurdity of Firearms Tech Branch? C'mon, do you REALLY want to get into a discussion of shoestrings, holes, nails, springs, angle iron, and other things Tech Branch has decided are 'machine guns'? Which side plate of a Maxim is the registered part this week? How about the regulation that ANY part of a suppressor is a suppressor? Show me where Congress wrote that into law?

Lastly, I question this statement of yours; "please do not slander the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect (believe it or not) your lawful use and ownership of firearms." Please explain to me how BATFE agents protect my lawful use and ownership of firearms? 'Regulate', yes. But 'protect'? Can you show me concrete examples of this?

Again, I appreciate your willingness to have this discussion. I have many times sent in my Form4 with the $200 check attached. And wait times are dependent upon how the agency allocates resources. If they wanted to collect more tax, they would hire more examiners. If they were REALLY interested in collecting more tax, they would simply run a NICS check on applicants, and approve the Form4. Nothing in the law prohibits that from being done electronically. Turn-around of three minutes.
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Old 01-04-2012, 13:53   #6
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1gewehr thank you for a well educated, FACTUAL and accurate post.

I had posted earlier but decided to delete it because FearTheBoomAndBust has proven that his “opinion” out ways the facts and I'm just so tired of that my frustration has turned into contempt. It's everyones fault but those pulling the trigger and lighting the fires.

Confessions of the BATFE? REALLY? Perhaps you meant the title to read, more excuses, blame everyone except those that actually do the dirty deeds and I’ll defend their unconstitutional “right” to do everything and anything they do. OR you could have just titled it, I believe everyone has their heads so far up their arses they’ll believe my BS.
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Old 01-04-2012, 16:19   #7
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FearTheBoomAndBus

There is so much unconstitutional about the BATF that it is hard to know where to start. Since, as others have pointed out, you are just expressing your opinion. And your opinion is worth exactly what mine is (NOTHING), I have some comments on your statements.

Quote:
but no BATFE Special Agent, including myself during my time there, would ever lie under oath, we look down on anyone who does the same way you all do
How can you make such a claim, do you know this to be true. And if so, show us.

Quote:
Simple, the Bureau feared that with the "messiah" captured, the Branch Dividians would commit mass suicide Jonestown style.
How do you have such insight into the inner workings of the Bureau? Were you in on the decision making process? If the Bureau is making life taking decisions out of fear, that speaks to a whole new level of incompetence.

Quote:
Q) You all (the BATFE) illegally write laws to limit the 2nd Amendment
A) No, the BATFE with the help of US Attorneys under authorization of Congress write a section of the CFR that regulates the broad laws passed by Congress.
The issue is the matter of legality. If you or anyone else writes a law that infringes upon a citizen's RIGHT to own and bear arms, that by definition violates the Constitution therefore is ILLEGAL.

Quote:
A) Again, no, if anything the BATFE wants to make your 2nd Amendment stronger, as long as you execute it legally.
Again, calls for supposition on your part. If you can show where, when and how the BATF strengthens the 2nd amendment, please do.

Quote:
A) Funding, the gun lobby limits the BATFE's funding leaving very few people to review the forms and make sure you can legally own what you are asking for. As for the tax, well this is America, death and taxes, make your own joke.
Again you need to look onto the meaning of infringe. You have NO legal right to charge a citizen for a RIGHT. I don't think RIGHTS are a joking matter.

Quote:
A) Listen, no Amendment is absolute, all of them have regulation tied to them. Without regulation on even just our Bill of Rights, there would be anarchy, for a well functioning society there must be regulation involved. Its a tough pill to swallow but it is the truth, I don't like it anymore then you men.
Wrong. an amendment is absolute until it is repealed. And when it comes to the Bill of Rights, you cannot regulate them. If you do, you have demoted them to privileges. Anarchy due to a lack of regulations, that is a baseless fear mongering lie.


Quote:
Now if you want to get rid of all federal firearms laws, good luck living in that United States, if you have ever been to Yemen where everyone walks around with a Automatic weapon you know what I mean.
Calls for wild speculation that does not stand up to logic and reason. That is the same as saying guns in citizen's hands will result in the wild west in our streets.

Please don't come telling me your regulating my rights for my safety, I'm not interested in that lie. People all over the world have listened and yielded to this line of reasoning and are DEAD. And if you don't know about these groups of people, just ask. I know you will be answered.

As to the nice day, I prefer a FREE day. Thanks for the offer though.
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Old 01-04-2012, 20:11   #8
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Wow! What a great thread!!!

We need someone with a background in Constitutional Law to weigh in...
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Old 01-04-2012, 21:45   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zut View Post
Wow! What a great thread!!!

We need someone with a background in Constitutional Law to weigh in...


So are you looking for spin on the second amendment or the truth? One need not be a constitutional scholar to know there is no other interpretation of “shall not be infringed”. Until another Amendment overriding the 2nd. is added by a 2/3 majority vote of congress any law contrary to that is unconstitutional no matter who says it isn’t.

Quote:
"Let us hear no more of confidence in man, but let us keep THEM [men in government] from mischief by binding them down by the chains of the Constitution." [Thomas Jefferson] [emphasis added]
Now tell me what he and the rest of the forefathers meant when they wrote “shall not be infringed”.

Several of the founding fathers would not sign the Constitution until the original 10 Amendments (The Bill of Rights) were added because they believed the Constitution did not go far enough to protect the rights of the people. Anyone that honestly believes they left the Amendments open to interpretation is a fool. Anyone who doesn’t believe and still wants to enforce some sort of interpretation has an ulterior motive. More often than not that motive is power over others.
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Old 01-04-2012, 22:03   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FearTheBoomAndBust View Post
For that the BATFE uses Congressionally passed laws, the United States Code, and the Code of Federal Regulations. Constitutional, Criminal, and every other relevant type of lawyer has argued the legality of use of each of those 3 for firearms law enforcement countless times. The judiciary agrees that it is legal and constitutional. All three branches of Government agree on it, and as per our Constitution, I uphold all three, I did then I still do now.
I always find these statements interesting.

It proves that people will follow orders even orders they don't believe in, if they come from authorities. Or to put it more bluntly, The Germans at the death camps were just following orders. If people didn't believe in the death camps they should not have stopped them by contacting their representatives.
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Old 01-04-2012, 23:51   #11
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Gun makers baffled by ATF criteria
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...-atf-criteria/
http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1392077
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...
The constitution is not, nor was it meant to be absolutely literal.
...
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Old 01-05-2012, 14:54   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FearTheBoomAndBust
just following orders sir..
use whatever justification you want to feel better about it, it doesn't make you right.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:44   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zut View Post
Wow! What a great thread!!!

We need someone with a background in Constitutional Law to weigh in...
What part of "shall not be infringed" is hard to understand?
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:50   #14
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marked for later read.
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Old 01-06-2012, 13:02   #15
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tagged to read after work. looks to get long.
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Old 01-06-2012, 13:59   #16
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The non-"F" BATFE guys that I've had dealings with seem like great folks, not thugs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FearTheBoomAndBust View Post
No one, absolutely no one in the BATFE that I have ever met wants to take away your 2nd Amendment rights, however this is America and things must be regulated in order to keep order.
Do rank and file agents recognize the damage certain ATF policies and programs do to the second amendment and individuals' rights? We all appreciate the Fast and Furious whistleblowers. You are saying there are more in line behind them? Is there internal resistance to things like "Always Think Forfeiture" and the grevious handling of some of these cases we see?

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Old 01-07-2012, 01:25   #17
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FearTheBoomAndBust,

I appreciate your current attitude... I really do. Would it change if agents were asked to do other things? If BATFE is paying the bills most will just be "doing their job" right? I wonder if even 5% would walk away from their jobs if there was total registration and then confiscation of all semi-auto's - on principle I mean.

As far as the Branch Davidians, I think the whole "mass suicide" thing was probably thought up AFTER the initial shootout. IMO someone wanted to go in guns blazing and that's just what they got.

If BATFE wants to curry favor with gun owners they need to stay out of the way... NOT plot and scheme in attempting to deny lawful American's their God given right to own a weapon.

Like most things political the BATFE is about those in power wanting more of it and many will do just about anything to justify their own existence on the backs of taxpayers. "How can we look important? How can we justify expansion of the Bureau? How can we gain more power? How can we increase our funding?" These are the questions most often asked at the Federal level... It's not just the BATFE.

Your closing defense of the Bureau is interesting in that the FBI or DEA will just get all the personnel and funding to enforce the same laws... again showing what's WRONG with the federal government - "Nothing you little people can do about it anyway, we'll still be here doing what we do because WE'RE government!"

Government needs to be as small as possible! Really.
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Old 01-07-2012, 13:30   #18
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"If I were to select a jack-booted group of fascists who are perhaps as large a danger to American society as I could pick today, I would pick BATF [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms].

-- U.S. Representative John Dingell, 1980"
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Old 01-07-2012, 13:42   #19
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"however this is America and things must be regulated in order to keep order."

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Old 01-07-2012, 16:50   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Steinbrenner View Post
"however this is America and things must be regulated in order to keep order."

Ve must keep order. Ve haVe Vays of making you com-form. Sound familiar?

These people don’t realize how what they say comes across. Problem is they really believe what they say. But we must admit that “regulated” sounds better than “controlled” right?
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