Previous Post
Next Post

This website has long argued that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a profoundly corrupt organization. Like Randy Newman’s take on short people, the ATF’s got no reason to live. Nothing they do couldn’t be done by some other federal agency. You want to cut $1.5b dollars per year from the U.S. federal budget? Disband the ATF. It’s not much, but it’s a start. Even better, it would stop the ATF from growing. Which is something the Agency’s been desperate to do since birth. Thankfully, the NRA’s thrown cold water on the ATF’s insatiable lust for life. But never underestimate the low animal cunning of a bureaucratic organization hell bent on expansion (i.e. all of them). To wit: here’s how the ATF use the eTrace “crime gun” system to claim more of your tax money . . .

The scam comes to us from the same font of felony finger pointing that revealed the Gunwalker scandal (sending guns to Mexican drug cartels to stop people sending guns to Mexican drug cartels):

It involves the ATF’s eTrace system: a database of information on guns used in crimes available to law enforcement agencies around the word. Well, not really. Yes to around the world (notice the globe in the logo), not so much to “used in crimes.” For example, if the police recover a stolen gun, the ATF enters the info in the eTrace system, even if it wasn’t used in a crime.

As Wikipedia points out, the ATF used to make this clear: “In 2002, ATF reported, ‘A crime gun trace alone does not mean that an FFL or firearm purchaser has committed an unlawful act.'” This disclaimer has disappeared from their publications.

Because massaging the numbers is the ATF’s raison d’etre. You may recall the ATF’s claims that “90 percent of guns used in crimes in Mexico were purchased in America” stat. In fact, 90 percent of the guns submitted for trace were American. The number traced was just 17 percent of the total number of guns confiscated by the Mexicans.

The media and Congress bought the ATF’s entirely misleading stat hook, line and stinker. In fact, the resulting brouhaha led to the first significant increase in the ATF’s funding since the agency began, including four new offices.

Back to eTrace. From the horse’s mouth:

Data manipulation is our business and business is good. One of ATF’s strategies to get more of your money is to say “look at all these traces” – we need more money, more people, more managers. The data is also used to implement agendas. Look at this evil firearm. This model was traced 437 times in 10 years. No explanation of how many gazillion traces were conducted in the same time frame, no context of how it compares to other types traced, and no research of the traces to confirm or refute the actual use in a violent crime.

Mangling the truth to gain power and prestige is not without its consequences. The Washington Post used eTrace to vilify several Washington area gun shops. And what gun dealer needs this kind of shit on their doorstep?

Too many bureaucrats have no understanding of the way the tracing system was supposed to work. If a dealer has more ‘crime gun’ traces than other local dealers, he must be doing something wrong. Of course, it may just mean that he is a high volume dealer, and nothing else. Or, it may mean that he has been in business for many more years than the other dealers, and would naturally have more traces. Nevertheless, certain narrow bureaucratic minds see only the high number of traces, and decide that the FFL should be put out of business.

And by bureaucrats, that means the ATF itself, of course.

Well, guess what….. Every “Gunwalker” gun traced (through eTrace) from Mexico, or anywhere else, is a “crime gun” sale which will be permanently recorded by the eTrace system against the first selling dealer, and tabulated at the National Tracing Center. With enough ‘crime gun’ sale traces, the FFL will be targeted for extra scrutiny during ATF annual inspections. This practice is documented in ATF publications and is an automated process through eTrace at the National Tracing Center. It’s highly unlikely that the automated system could or would be suspended by ATF Supervisor Voth – that would skew the statistics!

This is what happens when you have too much government. Bureaucrats jostle for power and influence, and the public pays the price. Oh and two U.S. federal agents, and dozens of Mexican civilians, have died at the hands of drug thugs wielding guns enabled by the ATF. The ATF lies, people die. And that’s the truth.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Global access to this data gives me grave concerns for our citizens’ personal safety abroad. Example: You are traveling internationally, for whatever reason and selected by some other country’s ‘customs’ / border agency for interrogation. They run your passport ID and behold! You’re found to be a gun owner of a crime gun that was stolen from you. As we know the worldwide regimes are not as friendly to the right to own firearms as we are. Now you’re selected for a full baggage search, taken into custody until they can “sort this out”.

    Worse – what if you have bought more than one firearm in a short period of time? According to ATF, that earns you a spot in the suspect persons database.

    I think a “logical first step” is to take away the T from JBT and eliminate all positions within ATF that carry firearms, period. This would mean they would have to secure cooperation from another federal agency ( does the National Zoo Police count? ) in order to conduct an “enforcement action” or a “dynamic enforcement action”. They will be far less inclined to go storming into someone’s residence or business guns blazing without the guns. They might even learn some manners.

  2. With enough ‘crime gun’ sale traces, the FFL will be targeted for extra scrutiny during ATF annual inspections. This practice is documented in ATF publications and is an automated process through eTrace at the National Tracing Center.

    So the stores that called up the BATFE&RBFs&GHs and said, “I am pretty sure this guy is a straw purchaser,” and they told them to make the sale anyway, those stores are going to be in trouble?

  3. A number of shops in Arizona were cooperating with ATF and making sales to straw purchasers with permission from ATF. Every one of the trafficked firearms that shows up in Mexico and is run through eTrace will show as a ‘crime gun’ trace through that dealer. The eTrace process is automated, and has no way to determine if the sale was ‘allowed’ by ATF or not. To repeat…. each gun traced from Mexico will be reported as a ‘crime gun’ trace by ATF’s eTrace program against every dealer – whether they cooperated or not.

  4. Note to FFLs cooperating with BATFE: do what the BATFAGS ask, but get it in writing. The BATFE doesn’t just eat its own.

  5. Repeal the GCA-1968…

    Well, they’re never going to do that. As long as you have unconstitutional laws on the books, you will have unconstitutional enforcement of those laws. Since violating the constitution is in and of itself the highest form of law breaking because the constitution is the highest law of the land, additional crimes committed in furtherance of violating it are incidental, including the crime of murder.

    We are now witnessing this in the notable silence and inaction with respect to the congress and murder of two federal agents in a scheme, which was to be used to further violate the constitutional rights of American citizens and destroy the second amendment. One dare not speculate too deeply with respect to the legitimacy of this government when it chooses at every opportunity, to violate this constitution and bill of rights for it’s convenience, desires and the enhancement of it’s power over the population. Fortunately, the courts they have appointed, almost totally agree and support their actions, which has the effect of legitimizing their actions, in the public’s perception. The political class says that red is blue and their courts say that the hue is correct, or perhaps blue green with red trim but never red as the founders saw it, and wrote it.

    It now seems that everything is secondary to the power that government now wishes to exercise and enjoy at the total expense of the people.

  6. I agree: GCA ’68, signed into oppressive legislation by the worse president in
    American history, Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) should be totally repealed! So
    should the BATF, Federal Reserve, Patriot Act, McCaine/Feingold, seat belt
    and helmet laws, etc! I have had a belly full of the domestic tyrannical socialist
    “nanny state” since the 1960’s! It seem to becom progressively worse, corrupt,
    deceitful, crooked, and abusive with each passing year! On the net:
    The John Birch Society (, JPFO, Inc. (, The
    Constituition Party of Oregon ( and
    Chuck Baldwin at

  7. Disband the BATFE — send (any) useful agents to the border patrol, any useful labs to the FBI.

  8. I’ve heard of fire arms being confiscated from people by ATF agents claiming that they have a felony conviction(s) on their record.

    However when asked to see the evidence / record they claim they have they refuse to produce it leaving the gun owners with a choice of giving up their property for no good reason based on their word or going to court with an agency of the federal government.

    Ordinarily I would say if you know you’re innocent you should fight it, but in this economy who can afford to, which seems to be what this government mafia depends on.

    I guess if the Mexican government can do that kind of thing and get away with it why shouldn’t we expect the same thing out of the american government.

    After all, if most of the people living in the southwest are Mexicans doesn’t that effectivly make this part of Mexico, regardless of who’s flag is flying.

  9. Fundraising through various activities as sales, silent auctions, walk-a-thons, races, or entertainment events is a popular revenue generator for charitable and non-profit organizations. However, quite a few obstacles exist in the pursuit of running a successful fundraiser, including lacking or overworked volunteers, limited payment methods, limited reach, and overall process inefficiencies.,”

    Check ya later

Comments are closed.