By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner reintroduced the ATF Elimination Act, legislation that would dissolve the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and merge its exclusive duties into existing federal agencies,” The Daily Caller reported. “[I]t would transfer enforcement of firearms, explosives, and arson laws to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)…”
“Common sense budgeting solutions are necessary, and the ATF Elimination Act is one measure we can take to reduce spending, redundancy, and practice responsible governance,” Sensenbrenner claims. “The ATF is a scandal-ridden, largely duplicative agency that has been branded by failure and lacks a clear mission. It is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges, and a lack of leadership. These facts make it a logical place to begin draining the swamp and acting in the best interest of the American taxpayer.”
As noted, Sensenbrenner has tried this before, albeit the political possibilities with a Trump presidency and Republican House and Senate majorities may actually give the bill a chance of being passed this time around. On the surface, it sounds like a great way to begin the draining. But the devil is in the details, and in this case, the devil we know may actually be less institutionally insulated.
Note the bill won’t eliminate functions being performed; it will merely transfer them to bureaucrats and agents in a better position to fend off scrutiny. And while more fiscal responsibility is a worthy goal, in the case of enforcing federal gun edicts, that Republican majority established largely through gun owner support ought to be focusing on the constitutionality of infringements.
“ATF has been a horror movie since its inception,” Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt told Human Events about an earlier attempt to divvy up the Bureau’s functions. “It needs to be disbanded, not moved to a hiding place behind the FBI skirts – which do not cover very well, anyway.”
Per Congress.gov, the bill, H.R.509, has been “referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.” At this point, per the GovTrack.us legislative monitoring site, the text is not yet available, there are no co-sponsors and a prognosis for likelihood of passage has not yet been estimated.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.