In case you missed it, the ATF got caught running one of the most inept and corrupt “stings” in the agency’s long history of inept and corrupt “stings.” That would be “Operation Fearless” in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sherman set the way back machine for May 2013. “A bipartisan group of congressional members demanded answers after a Journal Sentinel investigation of the sting that revealed an agent’s guns, including a machine gun, were stolen, the ATF storefront was ripped off of $40,000 in merchandise and agents allowed an armed felon who threatened to shoot someone to leave the store,” jsonline.com reported. But wait! There’s more! . . .
At least four of the wrong people were arrested and three of them charged, including a man who was in prison. The ATF machine gun is still missing . . . They ran up utility bills, refused to pay the landlord and warned him [in no uncertain terms] against pursuing the matter. In addition, ATF agents hired a brain-damaged man with a low IQ to promote the store, then turned around and arrested him on federal charges.
The Inspector General promised an investigation into Operation Fearless – just like he promised an investigation in Operation Fast & Furious, which enabled the illegal sale of some 2000 U.S. gun store guns to Mexican drug thugs, four of whom used those guns to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Others of which used the guns to terrorize and murder Mexican citizens.
Frustrated in his efforts to get an accounting of, and accountability for, Operation Fearless, Wisconsin Representative Jim Sensenbrenner has introduced the ATF Elimination Act. The Act has about much chance of passage as the American Elementary School Marksmanship Program (I just made that up), given the antis’ love of the ATF’s unconstitutional remit. But it’s good to see the ATF’s jackbooted thugs and their amoral masters wrong-footed by the people’s representative in Congress.
Sure, TTAG called for the ATF’s elimination before the Operation Fearless f-up. But this is an actual piece of legislation by an actual Representative. Should the ATF show their fascistic face again – a likely prospect given their checkered history – the idea of getting rid of the anti-gun agency will have been broached. Could a budget-minded incoming Republican President have the ATF scheduled for elimination? He could. From my keyboard to God’s ears.
Here’s Sensenbrenner’s press release, which, strangely, makes no specific mention of any of the ATF’s criminal anti-gun escapades, save a reference to “high profile failures.” Shame.
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) today introduced the ATF Elimination Act, which would dissolve the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and merge its exclusive duties into existing federal agencies. The legislation also calls for an immediate hiring freeze at the ATF and requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to (1) eliminate and reduce duplicative functions and waste to the maximum extent possible, and (2) report to Congress with a detailed plan on how the transition will take place.
Congressman Sensenbrenner: “Washington should be responsible stewards of the American taxpayers’ money. While all too often that is not the case, this is a good government bill to streamline agency activity at DOJ—increasing effectiveness while decreasing cost. The ATF is a largely duplicative, scandal ridden agency that lacks a clear mission. It is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges and a lack of leadership. For decades it has been branded by high profile failures. There is also significant overlap with other agencies. At a time when we are approaching $18 trillion in debt, waste and redundancy within our federal agencies must be addressed. Without a doubt, we can fulfill the role of the ATF more efficiently.”
The ATF Elimination Act would transfer enforcement of firearms, explosives and arson laws to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products would be transferred to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). No later than 180 days after enactment, the DEA and FBI must submit to the Congress a plan for winding up the affairs of the ATF. Field offices and other buildings/assets of the ATF will be transferred to the FBI and it will have one year to report excess property to the General Services Administration (GSA).