ATF Gun Tracing Van – A Federal Boondoogle?

“The ATF is building a second gun tracing van and deploying it to Baltimore later this summer,” our Bloomberg-funded friends at The Trace report. “When a ballistics van was parked there in May, it generated 22 leads for police.” Needless to say, the “anti-gun violence” friends in the mainstream media are thrilled! (see video below) Of course . . .

We’re talking about millions of taxpayer dollars worth of equipment and personnel costs to run these vans, which generated 22 “leads” out of 66 Baltimore-based cases in three weeks. Not arrests. Not convictions. Leads.

“It make take some time to flush out these leads,” the reporter intones. The best that the ATF can claim (at this point): their mobile lab linked one gun to multiple crimes in one case.

I’m sick and tired of security theater. The best way to stop “gun violence” is to end the war on drugs and the revolving door justice system. Then tackle the other causes of gangland shootings. Not to mention suicide prevention.


  1. avatar stateisevil says:

    LOL. What a horrific agency. Useless for fighting real crimes and bloated on tax loot from the tax cows to crap all over our Constitution and civil rights. Land of the coward, home of the slave.

  2. avatar barnbwt says:

    “ATF: A Federal Boondoggle?”

    1. avatar Chris Morton says:

      Between the “Good Old Boy’s Roundup”, Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Fast and Furious, the BATF[E] has proved itself conclusively to be cravenly corrupt and hopelessly incompetent.

      It needs to be abolished and many of its employees prosecuted.

      Oh, I almost forgot. In the past they’ve put out an official training video on how to lie under oath.

      1. avatar Clark Kent says:

        And where, exactly, is this alleged video and where may it be viewed?

    2. avatar Chief Master says:

      ATF: “A Total F-up”

  3. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    C’mon, RF. It a beautiful van. Even though the “E” was left off of the agency name.

    1. avatar BlackoutFan says:

      They also couldn’t fit

      (And really big fires)

    2. avatar BDub says:

      I was wondering if this van also traced Alcohol and Tobaco, since they seem to be specifically avoiding the Explosives in the name.

  4. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

    I flipped off the last ATF van I saw. Agent was not amused. Fuck them.

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      You might want to re-think showing off your IQ number in public……..

  5. avatar Mr.Savage says:

    dear isis…..

  6. avatar Nick says:

    So, what exactly is it these vans can do that a properly equipped forensics lab cannot? Surely Baltimore and Chicago (where the first is currently deployed) have labs that exceed the capabilities of whatever equipment can be stuffed into a van.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      The more important question is what can it do? It can spend at least $100K of taxpayer money for the van and graphics alone, not to mention whatever hundreds of $K lab equipment is inside. It can deploy agents costing the taxpayer not only their generous salaries, but very decent hotels and per diems. It can cost even more of the BPD’s money and resources, as now you just added another cog to the wheel, another agency to interface with. Dollars to donuts, there’s a dedicated liaison officer.

      1. avatar Clark Kent says:

        So how much, exactly, do ATF agents make? Pony up that information and then we can make up our own minds whether they make a ‘generous’ salary. In other words, put up or shut up.

        1. avatar FirstStrike says:

          Check the government GS scale of salarys. Pay is based on training and experience.

    2. avatar FirstStrike says:

      The real world is not a CIS show. These towns do not have the systems in house to do this. NIBIN was created to track firearm testing data like IAFIS does for fingerprints. Normally everything is sent to a central lab for testing. All the vans do is go to high crime areas and get results to Law Enforcement in the area faster.

  7. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    If the money is going to the ATF and not going to process form 4s and such, then it is good for them to waste it. Better wasted than spent on infringing rights.

    1. avatar Drew says:

      Any money spent processing form 4s is a waste. It’s a process that doesn’t serve a purpose (other than to delay rights)and shouldn’t exist

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        Not that I disagree with you, but if we have to do it to avoid a felony, at least they could process it quickly.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I like the system cooked into background checks, if we don’t hear from you in 3 days, it’s approved. Especially since I am still waiting to hear what is checked on a form 4 which is not checked on a normal BC.

        2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Amen, Larry.

  8. avatar Missouri_Mule says:

    So just how many million did it cost to find out stolen guns are stolen????

  9. avatar Hank says:

    That van looks like some sleazy traveling palm reader van.

  10. avatar RCC says:

    Palm reader would probably be more accurate lol

    Total waste of time and money

  11. avatar Pete says:

    So cheesy. They should get a RICO’d 1998 Dodge Viper with custom paint and go around to publich schools whining to kids about, I don’t know, the horrors of constructive intent.

  12. avatar Troubled Soul says:

    I am confused
    This is not some new cutting edge technology here.
    They’ve been doing this for decades.
    I doubt that this is the kind of help Baltimore or Chicago needs

  13. avatar RickP says:

    Get rid of that agency! What a POS and waste of money.

  14. avatar Paul53 says:

    Wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper to just look for somebody bleeding? Give me the money and I’ll do it for them!

  15. avatar Ralph says:

    “It make take some time to flush out these leads”

    It may take even more time to flush out the ATF.

  16. avatar Hunter427 says:

    What a joke and waste of money. They really piss money away. They would be better sent on safe gun classes in schools

  17. avatar million says:

    I don’t like the temporary van but the NIBIN tech looks legit. Problem is its use can’t be transient. Baltimore has to implement NIBIN permanently as one more tool in an investigators toolbox like their DNA or fingerprint databases.

    1. avatar DaveL says:

      There are two very big differences between fingerprint or DNA and ballistic toolmark identification. First, DNA and fingerprints are far more stable over time than bullet or cartridge tool marks, and second, fingerprints and DNA are far more unique. So where a hit in a fingerprint database gives you a very high degree of confidence that person left that fingerprint, and a hit in a DNA database gives you near certainty, a NIBIN hit gives you something like a 50% chance the actual suspect weapon is in the list of the top 100 hits. All the rest are false leads. Incidentally, this is precisely why they hype the number of hits or leads versus crimes actually solved or convictions actually secured.

      Long story short, it isn’t actually legit. Not in any practical sense.

      1. avatar million says:

        Thanks, I did not know that.

  18. avatar The Cooper File / BATF Criminal Fraud. says:

    ATF is an outgrowth of the Federal Alcohol Administration , declared unconstitutional in 1935. By ‘ color of law ‘ and with powers not granted the Treasury Secretary created BATFE. — It’s a 100 % Fraud , They know it , which is why they are now talking about relaxing ( for now ) some already unconstitutional restrictions.
    ——– > ATF funding , and its very existence is on the line , and they are plenty scared.
    The research paper ; ” BATF / IRS Criminal Fraud ” has already been entered as evidence in several cases to show ” Total Lack Of Jurisdiction ” among other things.

    An excellent read :

  19. avatar TruthTellers says:

    Everytime local affiliates “reporters” and “journalists” are told by their editors to put together a piece for this stuff to air, it just peels off another layer of the Fake News onion that current media is.

    “Guys, I have positive sources that can document corruption at City Hall!”

    “Nah, forget that, let’s talk about the two drug dealers that stabbed each other last night on South Main St.”

    “OMG, Police covered up a sex trafficking ring. We gotta bring this to air!”

    “Nope, ATF gun van is the top story.”

  20. avatar rt66paul says:

    Getting help from the population, showing kids that the can match bullets and cases to a gun is a good thing. Getting kids interested in ballistic science is a good thing. Showing kids that regular guys in a cool, brightly painted van(not bastards in uniform) can help solve shootings is also a good thing.
    Maybe the cost is out of line, maybe the state should do it’s owm work, but it is obvious that what they are doing is not right. These guys could have safety awareness training on whatever “safety training day” the schools have. I remember going to the fire station and learning about staying safe as a 5 year old kid. Teaching kids to drop and find a safe place to be if they hear/see gunfire/guns might save thier lives and could help bridge the “us vs them” attitudes from both sides.
    When a child sees a white man as the guy that puts him out of the family apartment, takes mom/dad/other relatives away to jail, turns of utilities, takes his dog away all he sees is abad person. The militarization of police just makes it worse, so anything that helps these kids to see good in people is a good start.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      “…showing kids that the can match bullets and cases to a gun is a good thing.”

      Absolutely. It means that Baltimore and Chicago kids will learn to pick up their brass after they shoot someone. It’s mostly an anti-littering initiative, really.

  21. avatar IYearn4nARnCali says:

    Okay my friends, it is time to defund the ATF.

    I can’t wait for the state of California to invest tax money on a bunch of these vans and just park them at random in various locations in this state, cause GHON VILENZES!!!! For the kids!

  22. avatar strych9 says:

    It won’t take long for someone to steal it and loot the equipment.

  23. avatar Kenneth G Maiden says:

    ATF and Air Marshals is were the wannabes go.

  24. avatar Just Someguy says:

    “ATF… federal boondoggle.”

  25. avatar M. James says:

    Use all of the funding to keep criminals in prison for the full sentences, CONSECUTIVE not concurrent.

    Why charge a man with half a dozen crimes, convict him at great expense and then let him serve months not years for all the crimes?

    Stop plea deals before, during and after conviction, eliminate early release, eliminate bail for those who
    commit more crime when on early release and parole from recent plea deals.

  26. avatar Doug says:

    Well, as ATF’s records are not computerized, I would say there is exactly nothing that this van can accomplish.

  27. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    Maybe they should outfit a plane or jet this way so they could land at various cities, pick up evidence and wile flying to the next city do their evaluations and drop their results by parachute on their next fly by. Shouldn’t have joked about this, they may do it !

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