Merge ATF with FBI? Not So Fast

Merge ATF with FBI? Not So Fast

Just about all sides in Washington agree that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a mess. Its record of management failures is dismal even by bureaucratic standards, and fiascoes like the raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas and the "Fast & Furious" gunrunning scheme would be humorous in the Keystone Kops fashion had they not resulted in so many deaths.

Now the Center For American Progress, a left-wing think tank, has issued a 182-page report detailing the agency's foibles and suggesting it be merged into the FBI.

The fact that the CAP is practically an arm of the Obama administration and hardly a friend of the gun owner should immediately induce caution. The gun community has a justified disdain for the BATF, which repeatedly has persecuted law-abiding citizens and gun dealers on trumped-up charges. But we shouldn't be in a great hurry to see it subsumed onto the FBI. Let's let the CAP explain its reasoning:

"The FBI is a politically strong and well-respected agency and is therefore able to operate above the fray of politics with adequate funding and resources. The FBI director typically serves a 10-year term across presidencies and through numerous election cycles, which serves to shield the agency's work from the vicissitudes of elections, partisan politics, and interest group lobbying. And, as is relevant here, the FBI is already deeply involved in federal efforts to combat and prevent gun violence."


So, in other words, let's take the gun controlling out from under a universally disdained and distrusted agency with a long track record of failure and put it under a well-respected agency that Republican politicians will hesitate to criticize. Um, that's not progress to me.


The Reagan administration suggested abolishing the BATF and moving its functions under the Secret Service. NRA scotched that idea on grounds that the last agency you want enforcing firearms law is one with "secret" in its name. In the last few years of course, the once-respected Secret Service has gotten a BATF-level reputation, between cavorting with Colombian prostitutes, drunk-driving arrests and allowing intruders in the White House.

So what would be an improvement over the current BATF? Jeff Cooper suggested moving it under the Civilian Marksmanship Program, but he may have been kidding about that. Many experts have suggested splitting its functions, with the regulatory side under the Treasury Department and the crime-busting troops under the FBI.

Leaving it as is probably remains the best option for our side. It's the devil we know, and that usually beats the devil you don't. It was interesting that B. Todd Jones, who recently left the agency for a cushy job with the National Football League, actually gave the most succinct summary of why a merger would be a bad idea.

"As much as the ATF gets beat up, merging the agency with the primary responsibility of enforcing the Gun Control Act while respecting the Second Amendment with the agency that has the primary responsibility for national security would be a very dangerous thing."


Maybe Jones wasn't so bad after all.

Students Suspended for Photos with Airsoft Guns

Two students at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School in Taunton, Mass., were suspended for posing with airsoft guns in one of their own homes.

Read here for the full story.

Luxury Gun Clubs Becoming More Popular

"Guntry clubs," or luxurious shooting facilities offering the same sort of amenities one would find at a golf course: comfy lounges, food and drink, pro shop, locker rooms, professional instruction, etc., are becoming much more popular. Is this good or bad for the shooting community?

Read here for more.

Young Girl Loses Control of an Uzi, Kills Firearms Instructor

A Lake Havasu City, Ariz., firearms instructor was killed when a nine-year-old girl lost control of an Uzi submachine gun and a bullet hit him in the head. How young is too young when it comes to automatic firearms?

Read here for the full story of the incident.

Guns & Pot: An Uneasy Combo

Is there any overlap between gun owners and those in favor of legalizing marijuana?

Check out the full story here.

New House Bill Targets SMG-Toting Bureaucrats

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) has introduced the Regulatory Agency De-militarization (RAD) Act, a bill intended to force agencies not involved in law enforcement as that term is generally understood to disband their police forces. Do non-law enforcement agencies such as the USDA really need automatic firearms?

Read the full story here.

Only the Polarized Are Actually Polarized?

Are politics too polarized, or is polarization what you get when people actually believe in something?

Read here for more.

Why You Can\'t Always Trust the Police

A police scandal in the British city of Rotherham, where a gang abused more than 1,400 girls while authorities looked the other way, illustrates why you can\'t rely solely on the police for your protection.

Read here for the full story.

The Straight Dope on Kalashnikov Sanctions

Kalashnikov Concern products have been banned from further importation into the U.S. as part of sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine. What do the new sanctions mean for gun owners?

Read here for the full story.

Smart Guns: What the Antis Won\'t Admit

A California gun store that had planned to offer pistols with so-called "smart gun" technology scrapped the idea after receiving backlash from gun owners.

Read the full account here.

Anti-Gun Initiative 594 Passes in Washington

While the November 4 election was somewhat of a victory for gun owners with (mostly) pro-gun Republicans gaining seats in the Senate and the House, anti-gunners have scored a big win in Washington. What does this new initiative mean for gun owners in the Evergreen State?

Read here for the full story.

Open Carry Protests: Our Internal Dilemma

Open Carry Texas (OCT), a group campaigning for gun rights in Texas, has stirred controversy among pro-gun groups such as the NRA and left the issue of open carrying of rifles up for debate. Where do we draw the line on what is reasonable in terms of achieving political goals?

Check out the full story here.

The Scourge of Toy Guns

A New York professor says the cure for police shooting people with toy guns is to boycott toy guns. Is that the answer?

Read the story here.

Wolverines? Michigan Nixes American Sniper

The University of Michigan temporarily cancelled a scheduled viewing of the film American Sniper following criticism from some of the school\'s Muslim students.

Get the full story here.

Front-Yard Pistol Range: Bad Idea

A Florida man built a gun range in his front yard with an impromptu dirt backstop, which would be fine if he lived in a rural area. That simply wasn\'t the case.

Read the whole story here.

Pot Clubs Fund San Francisco Gun Buyback

In what was inevitably dubbed a "joint effort," San Francisco police conducted a gun buyback funded by local marijuana dispensaries.

Find out more here.

Maryland Stockpiles Pistol Brass: To What End?

For the past 15 years, every pistol sold in the state of Maryland has had to come with a fired case that is submitted to the state\'s registry of fired pistol brass for reference. Now the state is running out of warehouse space to store the cases.

Find out more here.

Legislator Wants to Ban Silhouette Targets

A Pennsylvania legislator wants to ban the use of silhouette targets on shooting ranges in the state.

Check out the full story here.

Campus Concealed Carry: The Toga Party Fallacy

The group Students for Concealed Carry is making increasingly stronger pushes to allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed on college campuses. Unfortunately, some still hold the mistaken belief that all college students are wildly irresponsible.

Find out more here.

Feds Consider Gun Show Spying

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took the side of gun owners after it was uncovered that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had recently considered spying on gun shows.

Get the full story here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

New addition to the Browning X-Bolt rifle series

New addition to the Browning X-Bolt rifle series

New for 2019 is the Max Long Range model featuring a composite Max stock with fully adjustable comb, spacers for adjusting length of pull, stainless fluted heavy sporter barrel, threaded muzzle brake and extended bolt handle.

Hornady

Hornady's New A-Tip Line of Match Bullets

Hornady Manufacturing, has developed a new line of match bullets. The A-Tip is designed for precision and long-range shooting.

American Suppressor Association (ASA)

American Suppressor Association (ASA)

ASA is the unified voice of the suppressor industry and a leading subject matter experts on suppressors and suppressor related advocacy.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

Want the “Holy Grail” of AR-15 rifles? Brownells has made that possible with their BRN-Proto retro rifle. Rifles

Brownells BRN-Proto Retro Rifle

Patrick Sweeney - July 02, 2019

Want the “Holy Grail” of AR-15 rifles? Brownells has made that possible with their BRN-Proto...

Rhode Islanders are setting brushfires for freedom once again as they advance a Second Amendment Sanctuary Town movement. 2nd Amendment

SPECIAL REPORT: BIG 2A HISTORY BEING MADE IN LITTLE RHODE ISLAND

John Peterson - May 22, 2019

Rhode Islanders are setting brushfires for freedom once again as they advance a Second...

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

See More Trending Articles

More Industry

XS Sights announced it is now installing tritium in its own night sights and offering this service to other OEM partners within the industry. Industry

XS Sights Announces Tritium License and Expanded Industry Capabilities

Firearms News Digital Staff - August 27, 2019

XS Sights announced it is now installing tritium in its own night sights and offering this...

Pick up a copy at your local magazine stand, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, or major book retailer! Industry

Firearms News October 2019 – Issue #20

Firearms News Staff - October 15, 2019

Pick up a copy at your local magazine stand, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, or major book retailer!

German Precision Optics (GPO) USA announced it is kicking off the month of October with a spectacular dealer promo. Industry

German Precision Optics Announces October Dealer Promotion

GPO USA - September 30, 2019

German Precision Optics (GPO) USA announced it is kicking off the month of October with a...

Pick up a copy at your local magazine stand, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, or major book retailer! Industry

Firearms News September 2019 – Issue #18! THE BIG MSR HUNTING ISSUE! [See video]

Firearms News Staff - September 19, 2019

Pick up a copy at your local magazine stand, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, or major book retailer!

See More Industry

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.