TNR: The ‘Beleaguered’ ATF Is the Anti-Gun Weapon America Needs

atf agents

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

The ATF raided a major ghost-gun company this month after determining that it hadn’t been complying with federal law. Rumors have circulated on gun-industry sites that the Biden administration intends to tackle both pistol braces and ghost guns. The administration has not confirmed those rumors, though ghost guns do figure prominently in Biden’s gun violence plan.

While almost everything associated with the ATF is controversial, there is one aspect of their mission that is politically red hot: They handle gun industry inspections and shutting down problem dealers. For years, the ATF has downgraded recommendations by its own inspectors to shut down gun stores that have repeated serious violations such as selling weapons to felons or not running the required background check. At the same time, [ATF Special Agent Mark] Jones said, the center of gravity within the ATF shifted after Waco. The part of the bureau responsible for inspecting gun dealers and manufacturers “lost an enormous amount of power,” Jones said, while the law-enforcement side of the bureau took over.

The result is that firearms inspectors have few resources and little pull. That’s made it difficult for the ATF to oversee an industry with immense political power. “It’s hard for me to imagine how the industry could be treated any more gently by ATF than they’re treated right now,” Jones said.

[NSSF Director of Public Affairs, Mark] Oliva, who represents the firearms industry, pushed back on that. He pointed to a Democratic presidential debate last year where Biden called gun manufacturers “our enemy.” He’s afraid the new administration will use the ATF to close down dealers that mess up on paperwork.

“Instead of using it as a regulatory agency, they’ve said that they would use the ATF to shut down businesses for even minor clerical errors,” Oliva said.

— Joshua Eaton in This Beleaguered Federal Agency Is America’s Best Hope to Curb Guns

comments

  1. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

    They obviously know they cant go door to door so like the snakes they are, theyll sneak around the back door as usual. Dry up supplies and drive prices out of reach, kinda like the British a while ago, eh?

    1. avatar Paul says:

      Panic buyers and scalpers do a fine job of that on their own.

      1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

        Given a deadly disease that has been abused by tyrants and the racially motivated riots this year combined with the release of violent criminals and the elimination of bail driving a revolving door catch and release (in)justice system, it seems like a really good year for anyone who didn’t already have guns to panic and rush out and buy some.

        1. avatar Catboss says:

          You are right. I know many uneducated new gun owners that just went out and bought would ever they could find. I failed trying to coach them in advance. One bought a Ruger Precision rifle. A very nice rifle but hardy something useful for home protection. Crazyness.

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          @Catboss,

          Just had this very conversation with a newbie gun owner at Christmas dinner. He was one of two (separate) relatives I took to the range after the “mostly peaceful protests” were in full swing. Neither had ever owned guns before, and both chose the Glock platform as their favorite from all the guns I brought for them to try.

          One relative was patient and was able – believe it or not, here in SoCal where demand is thru the roof – to score a used Glock 17. The other (the one at dinner) walked in to the LGS and plunked his money down for the only gun left on the shelf…an FN57, chambered in 5.7x28mm. While he loves the gun, he wishes he had waited for an actual Glock, because he has only 200 rounds remaining and has not been able to find any 5.7 ammo anywhere since his initial purchase. Even though 9mm is arguably in the highest demand of all handgun calibers, I myself have a boatload of the stuff I stocked up on during the “Trump slump” years and could have sold him some so he could at least train.

          It’s all about the decisions we make. Those of us who prep and buy during the times of plenty are in a better position when the famine comes.

        3. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

          I haz a question
          Ammo depot sent an email today with 5.7 in stock for $2 a round. The price sucks but…

        4. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Oof. That does sound pretty bad. Thx for the info. I’ll pass it along and let my relative feel the pain…

      2. avatar Debbie W. says:

        To all who straddled the fence and held hands with sneaky pasty mouth POTUS bashers you helped feed the snake. Now you can celebrate seeing an election fraud jackass and his gold digging ho at the helm. If you are among the politically inept POTUS bashers you have no podium to criticize the ATF. What you should do is criticize yourselves for being so fat, stupid and ungrateful over the past 4 years you forgot all about what it would have been like under hilliary rotten clintoon. Perhaps with Jim Crow Gun Control joe you will see the results of the seeds you helped to sow. On the surface you rode the Trump Train because you had no where else to go but you were never really onboard and that you clearly displayed..

        1. avatar Montana Actual says:

          Debbie, just stop. Please just fucking stop.

          Trump does not give a fuck about our guns.

        2. avatar Paul says:

          I’ll second Montana Actual’s post. Some of your stuff is just embarrassing, Deb. Actually, a lot of your stuff.

  2. avatar Mudhunter says:

    The echo chamber of tyranny doesn’t understand how the gun industry doesn’t see the gentleness of ATFs benevolent actions. Would be funny if it wasn’t deadly.

    There may be a big anti-liberty push by Biden and ATF. Both would be engaged in tyranny and treason.

    The big push back should be that it is time to eliminate ATF. Its existence to regulate a right is not acceptable by any standards of true liberty.

    Its something that should have been done a long ago.

    1. avatar Who is Henry Bowman says:

      The ATF leadership has been a massive liability for a lot of years. Unfortunately, if they are defunded or disbanded the laws they have been enforcing are still in force. Some alphabet boi org would pick up the baton – probably the FBI (who have significantly more resources). All that would be accomplished is shifting the POTG’s contempt from one org to another. The proper route for reform is eliminate the infringing laws and correct the leadership issues. How to accomplish that is beyond the scope of this paragraph unfortunately.

      1. avatar Mercury says:

        Step one: reverse the disastrous Wickard v Filburn decision.

        Step two: there is no step one. Step zero may be judicial restructuring by any means necessary, but if we can skip that and fix the corrupt court decision that completely rewrote the Constitution and changed our system of government from federal to de facto unitary, all the better.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “…but if we can skip that and fix the corrupt court decision that completely rewrote the Constitution and changed our system of government from federal to de facto unitary, all the better.”

          Indeedy, doody, daddy.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        True. Repeal certain laws (hint, look at 1934, 1968, 1986) and the reason for tens of thousands of jobs with Fed LE just disappeared, the jobs will disappear soon enough.

      3. avatar Paul says:

        Oh, wait – are some of us not already contemptuous of the FBI? Look back over all of their terrist busts. The FBI likes to hire an “informant” who organizes a bunch of borderline mentally deficients, who sit around and talk crap, the “informant” sells them a “bomb”, and the FBI swoops in for another headline.

        Nevermind that the FBI has been a partisan cheerleading squad for the Dems for the last two elections.

        1. avatar MADDMAXX says:

          are some of us not already contemptuous of the FBI?

          You mean the Fucking Blithering Idiots? No, no contempt at all..

  3. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Joshua Eaton there is definitely pro burning children alive. Probably call it a really late term abortion or something.

    The ATF is an organization that exemplifies anything and everything wrong in our government. Corrupt, fourth branch morons that justify their existence by crushing constitutional rights.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      I thought ATF stomped kittens and FBI preferred arson.

      1. avatar possum says:

        Gently stomping kittens.

  4. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    In case I haven’t said it in a few days FUCK THE ATF!

  5. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

    Rather telling that he wants to “curb guns”, not curb gun violence.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Pretty good, actually, no one has yet exposed a violent gun.

  6. avatar MADDMAXX says:

    Maybe we can convince Trump to drag himself away from his golf game long enough to fire all of those over zealous deep staters causing all this mayhem… At least we won’t have to WAKE him up or wait til he reads about it in the morning News Paper like his predecessor..

    1. avatar Scott says:

      In case you didn’t realize it the Deep Staters of the Senior Executive Service, in particular can’t be fired. The real issue is congress in all of its stupidity created an untouchable, elite group of largely Ivy League educated overlords to rule over us peons. These bureaucrats can follow the lead of elected officials or not. The only way to really control them is to threaten to defund the agency and the President can’t really do that. Senior ATF people are just a small part of this elite group of bureaucrats.

      1. avatar MADDMAXX says:

        Deep Staters of the Senior Executive Service, in particular can’t be fired.

        No but they CAN be reassigned to bumfuck Alaska (no offense meant to people of the great state of Alaska)….

  7. avatar Shire-man says:

    Lefties literally pining for the “good old days” of Waco.

    Gonna be a fun few years.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Shock and awe.

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    Ah grasshopper’s the ATFE just “justified” their existence in Nashville. In your Christmas daze did you notice ATF was mentioned pretty much non-stop on the network “news”?!? Not saying they caused it…😕😕😕😕😕😕

    1. avatar MADDMAXX says:

      Not saying they caused it

      Yeah that warning message running before the blast was NOT significant… OBTW they did find human remains near the site of the explosion… Could be a homicide charge in someone’s future…

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        As fishy as Big Mike Obama having babies…let’s warn everyone we’re blowing up downtown Nashville😎

        1. avatar Miner49er says:

          “Big Mike Obama having babies”

          Well you know, this is the season when that little virgin Jewish girl got pregnant as well…

    2. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

      The movie “The Long Kiss Goodnight”‘s entire premise is a gov’t organization staging an event purely to justify a budget increase….
      When The Onion, Hollywood, etc are closer to reality than fiction, something is wrong.
      1984 was supposed to be a work of fiction, not a how-to guide.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        That’s what I thought when I heard that human, well, cells, were found at the blast site. That movie included a pair of frozen Arab stooges to confess to the crime posthumously.

        This is still one of my favorite movie quotes of all time:

        Charly Baltimore: Easy, sport. Got myself out of Beirut once, I think I can get out of New Jersey.
        Mitch Henessey: Yeah, well don’t be so sure. Others have tried and failed. The entire population, in fact.

    3. avatar Warwolf says:

      No the fbi caused it. Pulled it off so as to blame some “right wing gun loving patriot” of which will be prosecuted into the ground under a Biden administration.

  9. avatar GS650G says:

    Biden will give Beto the ATF to run.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Biden – former presidential usurper?

  10. avatar Darkman says:

    Biden
    Advocates
    Tyranny
    For
    Everyone

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Needs to be a bumper sticker

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Not a fan of bumper stickers. Still, a couple copies of “Trump is still my President” are on the way.

  11. avatar possum says:

    Just give the poor man some water for christ sake.

  12. avatar PavePusher says:

    Link goes to a Linkdin page for so,eone with the NSSF. Where is the actual article?

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      And what’s TNR?
      The New Republic?

  13. avatar enuf says:

    There’s always going to be legit reasons for Federal law enforcement to go after criminal operations providing guns and ammo to evil, criminal scum. This need has never been met by the ATF other than in infrequent cases. Instead the ATF has always, since its first massive bloody screw-up in the 1971 Ken Ballew Raid, made a mess of things.

    The ATF has a long history of harassing and harming innocent citizens. Or of getting their own officers and allied law enforcement agents injured and killed. It has always, without relief, been an incompetently led, arrogantly managed disaster. The only way to find a law enforcement agency with a bloodier history is to go visit some third world shit-hole countries with all the brutal repression of the people that implies.

    No doubt there are some criminals sneakily hiding behind legit gun businesses. Maybe if the ATF had professionalism and accountability instead of the pretense of same, they could do something about it.

    As it is, de-fund, disband and bar the lot of them from any public service job of any kind for the rest of their incompetent and arrogant lives.

    Except maybe the bomb experts. Give them jobs in the FBI as unarmed civilian scientists and technicians. Always hear good things about that bunch, don’t see a need for them to carry guns or badges as LEO’s.

    The rest of the ATF, unrepairable, unaccountable, unneeded and downright dangerous.

    1. avatar Kurt says:

      One of the few intelligent comments here so far. The only part I disagreed with is in regards to the FBI. They’ve shown that they have been infected with corruption over the past few years, too. It will be difficult to chop the head off the snake and still keep the uninfected agents.

    2. avatar Montana Actual says:

      You always head good things about the FBI? Probably because you get your news from the same places you heard good things about Biden…

      You are worse than Miner49er, dude. At least that idiot embraces the full retard of progressiveness. You seem to be stuck somewhere that starts with Anarcho-

  14. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Biden misunderstood his important supporters (donors) when he said there were limits on his EO/EA authority (correct!). Biden did not recognize that his activists are not concerned with constitutional limits, but with the power to punish enemies. They will eventually explain to Joe that it is the ride that is the punishment. By launching a flurry of EO/EA proclamation, the targets will spend fortunes defending themselves in court, especially courts likely to rule against the plaintiffs. Charles Nichols filed his petition for California to permit open carry of long guns in October 2017. No movement since. The battle over EO/EA overreach will easily stretch over an entire presidential term of office.

    It doesn’t matter what is written in the Constitution. The only thing that matters is what one can get a court to rule. Thinking that Biden could simply stand up and say, “Henceforth, all privately owned firearms are banned from possession, use, trade, commerce.”, and wipe out the entire firearm industry before a single case can get before the (expanded) SC.

    You may say the radicals will not move too swiftly, so as to not upset the base. I would point out that a reading of the early two years of Obama indicates a breathtaking level of political activity generally ascribed only to people who think they will rule forever. No different this time.

    Once in power, the Left doesn’t play games. The only question is how many people will die because of it.

    1. avatar GRA says:

      You defeat them in this case by causing THEM to die instead of you.

  15. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

    “But critics say it effectively turns a legal rifle into an illegal short-barrelled rifle that’s much easier to conceal.” – clear proof that those critics don’t understand what they’re talking about.

  16. avatar GRA says:

    I don’t like this article. Why the hell does the USA need an “anti-gun weapon” in the form of a federal agency at all?

    What the USA needs is an anti-agency movement to rid ourselves of all the oppression.

  17. avatar John Galt says:

    Why such consistent fawning over the atf at ttag?

    F*** the atf and their extended families. Die, burn in hell and cancel their pensions

    TTAG should stop sucking atf’s BIG anus(es).

    NO Honorable person would work for atfyou and no American should do anything but PISS ON THEM.

    Firing squads way overdue.

    1. avatar Mike V says:

      They didn’t write the article.

  18. avatar Montana Actual says:

    Fuck the ATF. You want a defund movement Americans will support? Start there. If we took to the streets screaming defund the ATF and targeted known federal buildings we might actually get results. Instead, we rely on the same system that aims to squish us like an insect under it’s boot. Like it or not, the left got results by their “movements”. We could do it better, and with a whole lot less destruction by simply targeting nothing but the federal agencies and the politicians that get away with this crap. Our justice system is a fucking joke. At the very least, we’d have more people scared to join these agencies instead of continuing to take the kings shillings because it provides their future a promise of comfort.

    oh, I’ve said too much… fedbois and bootlickers in 3…2…1…

  19. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies. says:

    Remember when SCOTUS ruled on the travel ban ? How the rhetoric TRUMP used could be seen as evidence against a federal policy ? This could be the same.

  20. avatar Chris Morton says:

    The BATFE (Don’t feed their bloated egos by calling them ATF) is “beleaguered” because it’s an utterly corrupt organization with a long history of White supremacist activity and institutional perjury.

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