ATF Cries Poverty, Travels Like Kings


Orchid Advisors, which describes itself as the only management consultancy dedicated to the firearms industry, is holding their annual Firearms Industry Compliance Conference this week in Orlando. It’s an annual confab that “brings together all segments of the industry–manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors, dealers, and regulators to focus on operational compliance.” As you might expect, when you have a segment of the economy that’s as highly regulated as is the firearms industry, keeping up with the changing regulatory landscape can be a challenge. And no industry powwow focusing on regulation would be complete without a representative of our friends at the ATF . . .

You remember the ATF. That’s the agency that the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex is always claiming is woefully underfunded. That’s kind of hard to reconcile, though, when they’re able to send a full soccer team plus two bench warmers down to Mouseville for a few days of fun in the sun.

One attendee sends us these observations:

13 personnel from ATF are at the Orchid Advisers conference. This included
AD Marvin Richardson, DAD Curtis Gilbert, Division Chiefs Earl Griffith,
Alphonso Hughes, Mike Fronzak, FTB chief Max Kingery and FEO Mike Curtis,
and others. ATF continues to complain about lack of money, personnel and
resources, but when there is good deal trip in Orlando there is unlimited

Wonder how many of them brought their golf clubs along for the trip.


  1. avatar Ken says:

    Why do you ask about golf clubs, is barry going to be there?

    1. avatar Random_Commenter says:

      Because it is being held at a golf resort, in a state that has over 1400 golf courses.

      You tax dollars at work 😉

      1. avatar Karl says:

        Years ago I had to addend a conference in DC. I stayed in a nice hotel in Crystal City a couple of Metro stops from the conference. Government reps also attended but they had to stay way out of town due to their per diem allowance. What happened in this country from then to now?

  2. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Aw c’mon it’s cheap to fly and stay in Orlando-I’m going to Disney World!

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      Methinks the super 8 is not where these guys are staying.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    As long as the ATF gang is at the convention, they’re not smuggling guns to Mexican goons or raiding Ares Armor.

    1. avatar forrest says:

      I’m with this guy ^^^

      I’d rather them spend their time vacationing in Florida than at their desks thinking up new exemptions to “shall not be infringed.”

  4. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    Alrighty, who is putting the hookers on the gov’t credit card ?

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      Don’t be stupid… Hookers use PayPal.

  5. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    ATF continues to complain about lack of money, personnel and
    resources, Don’t they all. One of the wonders of Soviet Socialism is to throw money at a noble experiment and when the results are dismal, ask for and throw more taxpayer money in the black hole for even more dismal results. It seems all of government functions in a fail and spend cycle.

  6. avatar davidx says:

    The regime’s capos and nabobs and other assorted criminal riff-raff scum are always whining about money and the lack thereof and how it keeps them from doing their jobs for this wunnerful country, etc., etc., yet, like the Incumbent and his concubine and their litter, they live the life of Reilly; the latter having spent countless millions on vacations and air travel and hotels. But we, the clueless and greedy Mundanes, really ought to pay more…More…MORE!

    The time is coming, maybe not this year or next, or in the next five or ten years, even, but it is coming, when people like these will be facing crowds rolling on in with pitchforks and torches, or their contemporary equivalents, and end up swinging from lamp poles.

    1. avatar Irish1776 says:

      Amen. Please visit us at

      1. avatar davidx says:

        I am visiting, but fear the Constitution is a gone dead letter, and was at its inception, stillborn.

        In return, Oathkeepers, take a look at:

        “Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Constitutional Convention, 1787,” compiled by Robert Yates and John Lansing.

        Also, the Anti-Federalist Papers.

  7. avatar Aaron says:

    We don’t need an ATF. Or DEA. Or a lot of the alphabet agencies. We need one federal police agency to concentrate on serious interstate and national crimes. The ATF is redundant and unnecessary.

    1. avatar Nate says:

      I agree. The entire ATF’s mission is almost entirely overlapped with the FBI. For conversations sake lets say the DEA sticks around, they could easily take over the Alcohol and Tobacco aspect, those are both drugs. I don’t like the word “federal police” though, the FBI’s faq’s section actually makes the distinction of being an investigative body and not a police force which I think is important. Imagine if we had federal highway patrol or US Marshals doing regular patrol, it would NOT bide well. Another thing is law makers LOVE to create federal laws that hinge on only a miniscule relationship to interstate crimes to get the federal governments foot in the door, I certainly hope that slows down in the future.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Nate, I don’t think that is correct, wasn’t the whole reason for the ATF to collect taxes? We are so far away from that now it’s hard to recall, but I think the FBI is there to deal with criminal actions, and ATF is only supposed to collect taxes as defined by Congress. Just how they “grew” into the “regulating” business I can’t even guess.

  8. avatar Silver says:

    Can that taxpayers fund a Constitutional Compliance Conference that all politicians and alphabet agency capos are required to attend?

  9. avatar Jay-El says:

    I’m no fan of the ATF, but I’m also not jumping to conclusions about them taking lavish trips at the taxpayers’ expense. They’re undoubtedly on a per diem adjusted to the city they’ve traveled to, and the government will only pay that amount. If they hit the mini golf or the minibar, it’s coming out of their own pockets.

    1. avatar vv ind says:

      Serious or sarcastic?

      Yep, dems alls pirty onist peeples what wurks thar

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I’m thinkin’ not.

    3. avatar JJ48 says:

      Agreed, Jay. While we can’t rule out frivolous spending, the information provided does not indicate such.

    4. avatar PeterZ in West Tennessee says:

      For normal government travel the gov pays the airfare, rental car and hotel. They then provide a per diem for food and incidentals. That typically runs about $75 per day. You do the math.

      1. avatar JJ48 says:

        Per diem for Orlando is $56 a day for meals and incidentals.

    5. avatar BDub says:

      Um, this is a Federal Agency we are talking about.

    6. avatar neiowa says:

      You guys are so mean. I pretty sure they are staying at the 6

      They only get $171/day (or so). How can you get by on that?

  10. avatar John L. says:

    I never thought I’d be doing this but…

    First, ATF probably didn’t choose the conference venue. So you can’t blame then for that.

    Second, the conference has three parallel tracks, so if ATF wants good coverage at each session, sending one guy won’t work so well.

    Third, all-in, the cost to attend a conference is usually somewhere in the neighborhood of 1-2 week’s worth of personnel cost paid by the employer (e.g. salary, benefits, any overhead rates … often a lot higher than just the take-home), especially for a short one like this. It just doesn’t cost that much, relatively speaking, to send someone to a conference.

    Finally, have any of you traveled under current GSA travel rules? If someone’s staying extra days for golf, the room is on their own dime and they’re burning vacation time. And if more than 1/3 of the total days are vacation, you’re paying for the airfare yourself.

    So yeah, the conference is at a nice place and a number of people went. That doesn’t automatically make it a boondoggle. You’d have to look in detail about attendance at sessions, personal days, etc., to know that.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Good points! Only I’d bet you dollars to donuts this IS a boondoggle.

      The ATF has a history of swarming a crime scene with agents – so they can party. Seriously. Got it from the horse’s mouth.

      1. avatar John L. says:

        No bet. 🙂

        But I’ve been on enough conference travel to know that it’s not what it’s cracked up to be, even if the location is nice.

        Or maybe that’s just the ones I go to.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      The conferences I’ve been to don’t take attendance at actual meetings, you could play golf and chase hookers all weekend. And let’s not forget the excellent example of hard working public employees set by the IRS in Vegas a couple years back!

      1. avatar John L. says:

        Nor do the ones I – rarely these days – attend take attendance. That said, unless one has evidence of some form, there’s no justification for any claim about how many ATF minions were actually attending sessions.

        I’m not saying they all were in all sessions; I am saying simply, show me the evidence one way or the other. A good investigative reporter might start by asking to see booking schedules at local golf ranges, and use a FOIA request to look at rental-car gas claims and car rental receipts on travel expense reports to see if the mileage matches up with attending the conference or sightseeing.

        I thought the Vegas thing was the General Services Administration, not the IRS … although it’s entirely possible it was both. In any case I still curse them whenever I fill out my pre-trip paperwork, and post-trip expense reports.

  11. avatar Kyle says:

    Funny (Well sad and insane) that the ATF is afforded the ability to not only enforce firearm laws, but they can also work to enforce laws concerning taxes, work safety, corp., local laws, city/town ordinances and EPA efforts.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Nonsense. They have to drop a dime to call in other agencies.

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