Protect Our Gun Rights: Eliminate the ATF

 Whose side is he on? (courtesy sipseystreeirregulars.blogspot.com)

In How to Ban Guns, the dailykos.com lays out the gun control equation: registration > confiscation > civilian disarmament. Agreed, only I put a few more >’s into the equation: registration > confiscation > civilian disarmament > police state > mass murder. Even if we disagree on the eventual outcome, it’s nice when an enemy of freedom puts their cards on the table—instead of wrapping their statist plot against the U.S. Constitution in misdirection, lies and half-truths. And here’s the thing: there’s a federal agency ready, willing and able to make it so: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In fact, they’re already doing it . . .

With all the hysteria over the Sandy Hook slaughter, the mainstream media has completely forgotten about Operation Fast and Furious. The ATF black bag job ran for ten months in 2010. During its course, the Bureau enabled some 2000 gun store firearms sales to known members of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel.

At least a few of these ATF-enabled firearms ended up in the hands of drug thugs who murdered U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officer Jaime Zapata. Hundreds if not thousands of Mexicans have been intimidated, tortured, raped and/or killed by criminals wielding ATF-enabled firearms.

Contrary to the Bureau’s spin, Fast and Furious was not a “botched sting.” No attempts were made to “follow the guns.” No arrests were made until after Terry was murdered and the program was suspended, when the glare of public scrutiny forced the ATF to do something. The few gang members who had their chains yanked received light prison sentences in exchange for their silence.

I mention this not because the Washington Post has singularly failed to do any real reporting on this story, then or now, but because Fast and Furious is proof positive that the ATF is quite happy to act extra-legally. As there were no consequences for any of the Agents involved (save the whistleblowers), the ATF is no more humbled by this screw-up than they were after the needless loss of life during the massacre at Waco. Or the assassination at Ruby Ridge.

If anything, the Bureau that’s been mired in scandal for four decades has been emboldened by the Fast and Furious failure. What happened to the Contempt of Congress citation issued against Attorney General Eric Holder for withholding tens of thousands of documents from the Congressional Committee investigating Fast and Furious? Well exactly.

Equally, no one—certainly not the ATF—seems to be bothered by the continued existence of the ATF’s long gun registry. The program requires 8500 gun dealers in four border states to file a same-day report on any sale of two or more larger than .22 caliber rifles to the same buyer in a five-day period.

As we reported in April 2012 (and before), the long gun registry is an illegal program created entirely by Executive Order, still in force in America’s southern border states. Which hasn’t led to a single prosecution. If you think the ATF will cancel the registry or not seek to expand it to other states at the earliest opportunity you’ll believe that Viki Makrianis is taking a shower upstairs.

Fast forward to President Obama’s post-Sandy Hook flurry of 23 firearms-related Executive Orders. EO 13 mandates that the government “Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and enforce gun crime laws.” Translation: increase funding to the ATF, which has been limited thanks to the NRA’s lobbying efforts.

That would be a big mistake. Again, the ATF is the same bunch of arrogant, unaccountable, 2A-stomping government agents they ever were. Check out this excerpt of a report by jsoline.com entitled ATF’s Milwaukee sting operation marred by mistakes, failures

A store calling itself Fearless Distributing opened early last year on an out-of-the-way street in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood, offering designer clothes, athletic shoes, jewelry and drug paraphernalia.

Those working behind the counter, however, weren’t interested in selling anything.

They were undercover agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives running a storefront sting aimed at busting criminal operations in the city by purchasing drugs and guns from felons.

But the effort to date has not snared any major dealers or taken down a gang. Instead, it resulted in a string of mistakes and failures, including an ATF military-style machine gun landing on the streets of Milwaukee and the agency having $35,000 in merchandise stolen from its store, a Journal Sentinel investigation has found.

When the 10-month operation was shut down after the burglary, agents and Milwaukee police officers who participated in the sting cleared out the store but left behind a sensitive document that listed names, vehicles and phone numbers of undercover agents.

And the agency remains locked in a battle with the building’s owner, who says he is owed about $15,000 because of utility bills, holes in the walls, broken doors and damage from an overflowing toilet.

The sting resulted in charges being filed against about 30 people, most for low-level drug sales and gun possession counts. But agents had the wrong person in at least three cases. In one, they charged a man who was in prison – as a result of an earlier ATF case – at the time agents said he was selling drugs to them.

Other cases reveal that the agency’s operation was paying such high prices that some defendants bought guns from stores such as Gander Mountain and sold them to the agents for a quick profit.

The greatest enemy of those who cherish their firearms freedom: politicians and agitators who want to infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment protection. Their second greatest enemy: government agents who would willingly, happily, joyfully do the bidding of these proto-tyrants.

To protect the right to armed self-defense, gun rights advocates should not forget that the sooner the ATF is demoted from federal agency status back to a division of the IRS, or disbanded entirely, the safer we’ll be from the enemy within.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

61 Responses to Protect Our Gun Rights: Eliminate the ATF

  1. avatarJB says:

    Excellent article. The ATF are pure scum.

    • avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

      You watch – it will turn up in a shooting and be used as evidence of automatic weapons plaguing our streets. When will it eve end, they will ask? And I will reply, “when you stop contributing to it.”

  2. avatarBrad says:

    “Other cases reveal that the agency’s operation was paying such high prices that some defendants bought guns from stores such as Gander Mountain and sold them to the agents for a quick profit.”

    Which by the very definition, its entrapment which is conduct by a law enforcement agent inducing a person to commit an offense that the person would otherwise have been unlikely to commit. Fvcking amatuer hour.

    • avatarProfBathrobe says:

      That’s not entrapment unless the officer had the intent to trick them into committing a crime. This is more a case of opportunism than entrapment, since it was by their own initiative that these people performed their little scam, not because they were pressured or deceived into a criminal situation.

    • avatarpat says:

      Just like the Weaver sting with the stupid sawed off shotie.
      The evil pigs liked to put a 50 cal in Vickie Weavers eye (while she was holding a baby). Great sniper shot, huh. The assassin should be killed.

  3. avatarWilliam says:

    I can’t believe the WASHINGTON POST would abdicate their solemn journalistic mission like that!!!

    Yes, I KNOW “abdicate” isn’t the preferred word. I just wanted to use it. For fun.

  4. avatarDave S says:

    Just fund it at 1.00 a year will work

    • avatarChris Mallory says:

      Fund the division that allows felons to regain their rights and defund every other operation by the agency.

  5. avatarAnonymous says:

    > the massacre at Waco.
    > Or the assassination at Ruby Ridge.

    It’s funny how Leftists approve of police brutality when the BATF does it.

  6. avatarJPD says:

    Well that nailed it on the head. Anyone who looked at the flat out murders at Ruby Ridge, plus the debacle of Waco, knows that the gestapo are alive and well in the good ol’ US of A.

  7. avatarCZ-PA says:

    My greatest hope is that the antis have just woken the sleeping giant of gun owners. People in favor of gun rights truly are a political powerhouse, with the proper motivation. Do you think any other subset of the American population would fight as hard for their rights as we are now? Hello no! And not only are there millions of us, our ranks are swelling rapidly (check the gun sales).

    After we beat back the current wave of gun grabbing, we need to go on the offensive. For a variety of reasons, I think that eliminating self-defense free zones should be our first objective. But either eliminating or massively reforming the ATF would perhaps be our greatest objective.

    We really need to get the NRA behind this. I’m a member, and I support them. But I wish they would focus more resources on getting bad laws rolled back, not just trying to prevent new ones.

  8. avatarTex74 says:

    And we all know that government agencies never shrink, they just grow in size and budget every year.

  9. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    Yes, I live about 2 miles from where that fine operation occured. Thats what happens when jobs are filled by people with the “right” qualifications, Randy

  10. avatarMatt in FL says:

    “What happened to the Contempt of Congress citation issued against Attorney General Eric Holder for withholding tens of thousands of documents from the Congressional Committee investigating Fast and Furious?”

    I actually saw a story about this just yesterday:
    House, Holder may near deal on Fast and Furious contempt

  11. avatarChris Mallory says:

    Waco and Ruby Ridge were failed ATF operations, but the FBI deserves much of the credit for the murders. We need to disband most Federal law enforcement agencies. The Federal government was not supposed to have any general police power.

  12. avatarLarry says:

    You have a better chance of getting a quadracorn.

  13. avatarCGinChicago says:

    Did anybody read that dailykos article in full? Nuts…

  14. avatarRalph says:

    Jackbooted thugs do what jackbooted thugs do. And they have plenty of company, like the US Marshal Service, the FBI and your friendly US Attorney.

    • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

      TSA is well on the way to joining he list. Recruit a bunch of psychos who like to control people like sheep and fondle genitalia via intimidation and they will happily move up the ladder to bigger and badder deeds.

  15. avatarJoey says:

    What can any of us do about it? We’re always on the defense, always having to defend the 2nd amendment from gun grabbers. I’d like a group that goes on the offense. Specifically, how the US vs Miller case was used to regulate short barreled shotguns because they “weren’t in common use”, but using that language, assault rifles should be legal since they are in common use among civilians (ie COPS, they are civilians). Someone guide me to a group that will go on the offense and get my rights back.

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      Second Amendment Foundation is doing just that through the courts.

    • avatarRobert M says:

      I wouldn’t say that. Look at how many states now have CCW permit systems compared to the 80′s. Overall we have been winning. Our biggest problem is the Media that is decidedly anti-gun. Lets face it if it wasn’t for the constant media push gun control would be a foot note in history in the US.

      Thanks
      Robert

      • avatarpat says:

        While we have had many victories these last several years, what I find alarming is the frightening speed at which this swarm of vile leftist locusts can decimate our rights. Can you imagine what would/could have happened if this school shooting took place before the supreme court decision (as well as some of the other favorable decisions), or if there were a few less friendly judges on the court, or (GOD) if these scenarios transpired during Obummers 1st two years when he had control of the house and senate?
        Even when you think its a blowout……it well may be a game of inches.

      • avatarJoey says:

        But we are still having to beg and pay the government to get the permit. I have to prove to the government that I am not a felon and that I know how to handle a firearm before I can exercise this right. I’m not down with this. I understand we’re making progress, but either it’s infringing or it isn’t. I don’t give a crap about what the public thinks about machine guns, it’s my right to have one. If it’s commonly used by civilian cops, there’s no reason for me not to have access to it.

        • avatarpat says:

          This is the true horror. We are already regulated up the ol’ poop shoot, and our enemy thinks/acts like its the old west.

  16. avatarLance says:

    Id say ban BIG City Cops (NY and LA gestapo especially) too. They are not cops who protect us just the brown shirts of BIG corrupt mayors. They shoot more people by mistake than bad guys (NY Empire state building shooting). Bump fascist wannabes.

  17. avatarCrunkleross says:

    A pet peeve is how quick some gun owners are to “sic” the aTf on other gun owners for the lamest reasons. And yet they claim to be staunch 2A supporters. That kind of behavior has been seen in the last century with unfortunate results.

    • avatarHerb says:

      Citizens snitching on other citizens concerning guns? Government hotlines which advertise “Report an illegal gun, and you don’t have to give your name!” go back to the 1970′s. Bounties may even be offered this time.

      Do you have any current examples?

    • avatarC says:

      I heard of this happening just the other day. Guy had an illegally modified SBR and tried to turn some problem in on the warranty. I perfectly understand them not wanting to touch it with a ten foot pole, but to ruin the guy’s life when you can walk away free and clear? Come on.

  18. avatarAndrew Wehr says:

    Project Gunrunner began in Laredo, Texas, in 2005 and was expanded in 2006. Operation Fast and Furious was operational from 2009 to 2011.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/21/what-is-operation-fast-and-furious-11-questions-answers.html

  19. avatarMark says:

    The president stated he wanted a new ATF director. I told Rand Paul I want the job. I can destroy them from within if I’m in charge. Write your representatives and let them know I’m ready to put a leash on the beast before strangling it.

  20. avatarAharon says:

    “Viki Makrianis is taking a shower upstairs”

    Oh’, you know Viki too?

  21. avatarChuckN says:

    “With all the hysteria over the Sandy Hook slaughter,
    the mainstream media has completely forgotten about
    Operation Fast and Furious.”

    That’s being gracious at best. The few MSM journalists
    that do know about it, immediately dismiss it as some
    right wing conspiracy.

  22. avatarTRUTHY says:

    I guess I’ll have to point it out again. The Daily Kos article is fine to reference, but you should see the good there, and not the bad. READ the poll results at the bottom, asking if you are FOR gun control (2%-157 votes), AGAINST gun control (91%-6779 votes), associating gun control with communism (6%-449 votes). And Daily Kos is a LIBERAL website.

    • avatarJohn Fritz says:

      I’ll tell you something else. I spent a while reading the comments that followed up the confiscation story and they were not at all what I expected.

      I hate that D.K. site more than getting a cavity drilled sans Novocaine but it gave me pause to see people showing some honest to God common sense in many of those responses.

    • avatarrosignol says:

      I daresay that the article might have caught the attention of certain websites who cater to readers that are not your typical visitor to Daily Kos.

      Don’t take the poll as representative regarding what a typical Kossak thinks.

  23. avatarChuckN says:

    I should remind everyone that the BATFE handles more
    than just firearms. So maybe we should concentrate
    more on removing/restructuring the firearms section.
    Considering they also deal with alcohol, tobacco and
    explosives, trying to completely cancel the agency
    would be a logistical and political nightmare.

    I spent a few years EOD and met my share of ATF agents
    from the explosives section. All the guys I worked with
    were top notch and very professional. And every one of
    them hated to be lumped in with the firearms section.
    Maybe the other sections of the ATF are just as bad and
    I just lucked out on working with some really great guys.
    Just my 2 cents anyway.

    • avatarstateisevil says:

      Chucky,

      I don’t see any logistical nightmare. The government, especially the federal government has no business regulating alcohol, tobacco, or explosives. It’s simple: tomorrow, they all are fired.

    • avatar16V says:

      Let’s be historically accurate – the NRA is very much to blame for the current way and powers of the BATFE.

      Raygun was about to basically cripple them with defunding and turn most of their functionality over to the FBI and state LE. At the last minute the NRA caved/changed philosophy, and decided it prudent to deal with the devil they knew. I mean, who would ever expand the ATF’s powers, right?

      From what I remember, the NRA logic was that too many cooks were potentially hard to manage, so better to have just one. Especially one that really didn’t have that much power, even though Tricky Dick had elevated them to “agency” status…

  24. avatarJLR says:

    I could have sworn at one point that the editorial position of TTAG was against exaggerated and hyperventilating rhetoric like “gun control = genocide” and agitating for armed rebellion. Whatever happened to the blog that was willing to go against the grain, and point out that the fears about the UN arms control treaty were completely unfounded?

    I’m as opposed to the recent gun control push as anyone, but arguing that gun control in the US is a prelude to genocide just makes us sound like paranoid freaks.

  25. avatarChuck in IL says:

    I hope Markos understands that when they get to the confiscation part of his plan, him and his fellow cheerleaders are going to become… lets just say persons of interest.

  26. avatarCZJay says:

    We don’t need an ATF. They cause more problems than anything.

    Suppressors (especially) and short barreled firearms shouldn’t be restricted/infringed. What is a good argument for having them “controlled”?

    Short barrels make the gun less effective, louder and less controllable while firing. Suppressors are not silencers; they make the gun quieter, but the gun then becomes more unwieldy and heavy.

  27. Slightly off topic –

    I used to work with a former head honcho from the FAA. He said once that the prevailing attitude amongst many of the FAA’er was doing just enough to get by and counting down the days until retirement. He gave the example of a 35 yr old who had a calendar that counted down the days until he could retire – at f’in 35!

    All over the interweb, there’s a feeling that these gov’t agencies are infallible, like they are in the movies. The more I think about these lettered agencies and their histories, I believe for every uber smart, competent individual, there has to be at least two or more seat warmers. Think about your own dealings in the work place. Gov’t has got to be worse.

    heyjackass.com

  28. avatarJohnnyNRA says:

    POLICY ENVIRONMENT
    ATF’s operations are guided by Federal
    statutes, the Code of Federal Regulations, formal
    memoranda of understanding, international
    partnerships, and policy guidance.
    Federal statutes, such as the GCA, the NFA,
    the Arms Export Control Act, and sections of
    the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970
    (including the Safe Explosives Act) govern
    ATF’s critical mission activities. ATF enforces
    these statutes and regulations with a multidisciplined
    and balanced approach, in accordance
    with guidance issued by DOJ.
    In accordance with Presidential Directives,
    ATF will continue to play a key role in shaping
    the national response to domestic incidents
    and coordinating efforts with partners
    to ensure safety for all Americans.

  29. avatarJohnnyNRA says:

    STATUTES
    l Gun Control Act
    l National Firearms Act
    l Arms Export Control Act
    l Title XI of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970
    (including the Safe Explosives Act)
    l Jenkins Act
    l Additional parts of the U.S. Code relating to
    explosives, liquor tra!cking, contraband
    cigarettes, and money laundering

  30. avatarJohnnyNRA says:

    INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
    l G8
    l United Nations
    l Organization of American States
    l Central American Integration System (SICA)
    l European Union
    l Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
    l Interpol
    l Europol

    POLICY GUIDANCE
    l National Implementation Plan forWar on Terror
    l Presidental Directives
    l HSPD-5 Management of Domestic Incidents
    l HSPD-19 Combating Terrorists Use of Explosives
    l PPD-39 Policy on Counterterrorism
    l DOJ Strategic Plan
    l National Response Plan
    l National Response Framework

  31. avatarpat says:

    JohnnyNRA: With what you posted, it looks like the ATF can do….gulp….ANYTHING. This beast needs to be carved up into smaller constitutional chunks, with some of the fat (and ROT) thrown out.

  32. avatarJohnnyNRA says:

    Yeah, I don’t know why it still up on their site; it’s called ATF’s Strategic Plan for FY 2010 – FY 2016.

  33. avatarRich says:

    We need to have weapons comparable to an infantry soldier. How otherwise can we stop a tyranical government? We need our select fire weapons back. Between 1934 when full autos were registered as class III until May of 1986 when no new ones were allowed to civilians, there has been only 1 crime reported by legally owned select fire weapons. They cannot say they cause crime. They want stiffer background checks we need our full autos back Never negotiate from a stance of weakeness.

    • avatarpat says:

      Semiauto is quite sufficient for asymetrical/guerilla warfare. Remember, they cant/wont poop where they eat (bomb their own town/people/infrastructure). A battle weapon (7.62 by 51) would work even better than a assault weapon (223) for distance and punching power (turning cover into concealment and defeating body armor). You would have to watch your round count with auto and it is only marginally more effective clearing a room or with an overwhelming force with unlimited ammo (the military) coming down on you.

  34. avatarMy Name Is Bob says:

    Yeah! F the ATF!!! The FBI could handle the criminal parts and the IRS could handle the tax stamps and the like! Cut the fat!!!!

  35. avatarC says:

    When the agency is disbanded, i call dibs on the name for use on my new department store!

    Don’t worry, there’ll be a TTAG reader discount.

  36. avatarMichael B. says:

    Some say the devil is dead, the devil is dead, the devil is dead,
    Some say the devil is dead and buried in Calumet.
    More say he rose again, more say he rose again, more say he rose
    again,
    And joined the ATF.

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