That the ATF hasn’t shown up, demanding to see the machine gun in question.
A preliminary report said the whale was shot with a .50-caliber machine gun, Oswell said.
The long and the short of the story is that the Makah Tribe has subsistence fishing rights for whales, provided they abide by the regulations put in place by Fisheries and Wildlife, which are enforced by the Coast Guard. Right now, the Guard is investigating to see if this whale was illegally hunted.
What I would honestly like to know is where the Makah tribe got a .50 caliber machine gun, if indeed that was what was used on the whale. I also sort of wonder if the “traditional subsistence fishing” license of the Makahs covers the use of automatic weapons.
Update/Edit: It seems that while I was watching football last night, Sebastian was scooping the hell out of me on this story. He has the full details, which include a lot of interesting information about the rifle (not a machine gun, way to go CNN) and why the tribe was using it.