Sensenbrenner ATF Elimination Bill Sounds Good But Misses Point

By David Codrea

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Does it really matter what their badges say? And are those new tires? [BATFE Facebook photo]
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.

David Codrea in his natural habitat.

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.

  • 33 thoughts on “Sensenbrenner ATF Elimination Bill Sounds Good But Misses Point

    1. BATF has NO Lawful authority to exist. It was Never created by Congress, thats a problem. By bureaucratic stroke of a pen BATF went through several name and function changes. A ” Color of Law ” construct , it must be abolished.
      The Federal Register actually calls … ” Director of ATF shall ALSO mean agency IRS. “. A person is now a THING ?
      Fraud , plain and simple.

    2. Alan Good questions, hopefully Trump will follow through and eliminate them. that’s something for all of us to keep the heat on and push for.

    3. Eliminating the AFT, aka BATFE, which is involved in activities in no way connected with firearms, might help, however simply eliminating a particular agency, as has been noted, misses the point, and it misses it badly, for there remains the.llowing questions.

      1. What happens with the detritus elimination of the agency would leave, in particular all the lovely regulations and interpretations, aka dictates that have come forth from this run away mob.
      2. What happens with the legislative monstrosities created by our elected representatives, that have allowed the ATF to in effect, run wild, the Gun Control Act of 1968 being just one example of the garbage legislation that the law abiding are belabored with?

    4. If it doesn’t interfere with the important pissing-up-the-wall dialogue, I would like to mention that … I think it might be a good idea to eliminate the ATF and shift its duties to other federal agencies.

      The ATF (BATFE … etc) … is an organization in search of a job. They don’t have enough to do while enforcing regulations on alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. So they are desperate for a way to justify their existence.

      They couldn’t find enough work regulating firearms, and their best years of busting moon-shiners were gone, and tobacco isn’t an issue (enough smokers die every year to render ATF meaningless), and what’s with that “Explosives” thing? We all know, all you need is a pressure cooker and some chemicals.

      So the ATF (Excuse me! “BATFE”!) is looking for some way to justify their existence. They don’t have anything else to do, to keep them busy.

      Please, by all means .. eliminate the redundancy and shift their duties to some other Federal Agency which is already so over-burdened that it hasn’t time or resources to bug legal firearms owners with meaningless and redundant regulations.

    5. There is a crying need to repeal a whole lot of junk legislation, no small amount of which involved firearms and firearms enforcement law and let’s not forget “regulations” aka bureaucratic decrees, some of which the congressman played a role in the creation of. The game sometimes known as Hide The Salami, which moving things from here to there amounts to simply will not suffice. Additionally, correct me if I’m wrong, neither this proposal nor any other proposal in any way at all, address the problem of bureaucratic criminality that ATF management has long been up to it’s eyebrows in. How come, this ongoing failure Congressman Sensenbrenner, how come?

    6. Your living in a dream world of you think they are going to just disband and disappear. It doesn’t work like that. You know it and instead of getting behind something that might work you write a dividing article which makes me question your true motives.
      It’s not perfect but few bills are. Steps are in order because the leap is too far.

      1. Has there ever been a legitimate , realistic attempt to make the referenced “leap”? GIven that I think not, how can one tell what will or won”t work? Oh, by the way, speaking of leaps, what was the Gun Control Act of 1968, if not a “leap”, a rather impressive one at that.

        1. Plenty of attempts to make leaps every year. Just like leaps to leave the union leaps to impose term limits leaps for constitutional carry etc. They fail miserably usually.

          1. @Matt, All true, but the circumstances have changed. I think that now is the time to push. This new administration is forty-five minutes old, and they already want what every administration wants: a second term. And they are just looking for things to do. I say, “No uninfringed Second Amendment, No Second Term. “

        1. With a supposedly pro Second Amendment president, Republican controlled supposedly pro Second Amendment House and Republican, narrow control of the senate, Republicans supposedly pro Second Amendment, if now is not the time for a big push, when if ever will it be time.

      2. reading comprehensin skills a tad on the rusty side of things?

        Article pointed out that one major problem with this bill is that the same duties will still be performed, but instead by te FBI. If any US Government agancy AND its assigned “duties” need to go away, its BATF.

    7. This the same ATF that illegally mainlined thousands of weapons into Mexico under “Fast and Furious” by forcing US FFLs to sell them to known gun mules despite the dealers’ objections? Boy, are you Fake News squared, troll.

    8. The ATF has done a more better job doing it’s best to keep weapons from falling into the wrong hands than the NRA or the people that called themselves “gun rights activists.”.

      The real jack-booted thugs are the NRA and it’s various “rights” shills care more about money and arming dangerous individuals than American rights and safety.

      It was the very same NRA and “gun right” groups that armed and sold guns to various dangerous groups that were responsible for the tragedies in Europe, Canada and Australia.

      1. RAAPGAA,

        You’re in need of some serious pysch assistance if you actually believe what you wrote.

        The ATF is a long time THUG organization, and ended up MURDERING 23 children and 22 adults at Waco, TX, because of wanting a Budget Increase, so they wanted to ‘make a big splash’, front page news, in ‘capturing’ David Koresh. The ATF KNEW that the Koreshies had been warned of their coming to the compound, but despite that foreknowledge, they went in ANYWAY, and the ATF FIRED THE FIRST SHOTS that killed innocent people, whom had then been deprived of both their LIVES and Due Process (just in case you haven’t heard phrase before, look it up).

        Further, the FBI Crime Data stats, you know, even Obama’s FBI CDS, DISPROVE your inane assertions, and put the lie to the anti-gun zealotry which you espouse; namely, that the ‘evil’ NRA (whom I do not support for various reasons) is the progenitor of all the ‘death and crime’ which result from the also inane phrase ‘gun violence’ (which in reality-look that word up as well please, is CRIMINAL violence).

        Please get some help, you badly need it.

        1. Don’t forget that the ATF was proven by evidence in the 1980s of criminal actions. The result was the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act. Some of the ATF abuses were deliberately giving false answers to citizens asking for guidance in complying with the law.
          The agents would give deliberate lies, get the name of the caller and then arrest them for violation of the laws that had been asked about.
          As for Waco, the ATF raid was organized for being filmed. The agents arrived in horse trailers at the front gate. It was to be a film to show Congress an ATF propaganda piece because ATF authorization and spending was on the agenda.
          The 1968 Gun Control Act was copied from the NAZI Germany gun law, just references to Jews removed. Abridgements of rights was applied to everybody. An evil law cannot be enforced fairly. ATF Agents are told to enforce bad law and that soon corrupts them and their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.

        2. @ James R. Bailey, You are right, brother. People forget that the BATFE operation “Showboat” was about impressing Congress. Since when do our federal agencies kill people just to impress Congress? And the legal basis for the warrants in ATF Op “Showboat” was tax money issues. Since when do our federal agencies kill people to collect taxes? The BATFE has a long history of corruption, and should have been decommissioned long ago.

      2. @RAPGAB, “… more better…”? Ok, I’ll let that go. Interviews of incarcerated felons show that ninety percent of their firearms come from theft or purchase from thieves. So, how could the BATFE be keeping firearms out of the hands of anyone except the law abiding? It is not the duty of the NRA to prevent felons from obtaining weapons. The NRA is not a police agency. As to the remainder of your comments: Haaaaa haaaaa haaaaa haaaaa haaaaa haaaaa.

        1. You keep forgetting that the OP is just an ongoing troll who pops up with pretty much the same drivel every time. If everyone would remember that and just post the one word reply “troll”, you take all the fun away from him. You’ll note that he never replies, he derives all his pleasure by sitting back and laughing at everyone who takes the time to present facts ad nauseam. Basically a waste of time. Let’s take all his fun away from him.

      3. The NRA is an educational institution. It is not a firearms manufacturer. The NRA does not arm anyone. The NRA cares about the Constitutional rights of the American people. The NRA only wants law abiding citizens to be able to utilize their right to defend themselves, they are against criminals having access to firearms. Your dear President Obama and his “thugs”, as you would put it, are the ones that provided weapons to dangerous individuals south of the border. Haven’t you heard of Fast and Furious? Holder had to resign because if he talked Obama and everyone else in that administration would have been done for. Get your facts right.

      4. Eliminate ATF- they’re redundant organization we haven’t forgotten about Waco -Janet Reno -Ruby Ridge- long live the republic

      5. I realize this is a troll, but some might actually hold this view if they pay attention to the fake news of the mainstream media. Unfortunately, it ignores the obama admin doing the following:

        1. Supplying arms to known and open terrorist groups affiliated with isis and al Qaeda in Syria and Libya leading to countless innocent civilian deaths

        2. Supplying arms to known drug cartels in mexico – with no way to track them – resulting in thousands of innocent deaths, including at least two american law enforcement members

        3. Encouraging the BLM terrorists with his speeches and blm racists with visits to the White House to destroy inner cities via riots and assasinations of police officers

        4. Countless innocent civilians who have been murdered via obama drone strikes all over the mid east

      6. David,

        I see the BATFE agents crouched down amongst their BRAND NEW TIRES performing their tactical drill. Is there a regulatory statute that prohibits them from using used tires to construct their ranges. This certainly would save us some tax dollars.

        Best regards,
        Dave

      7. The usual IGNORANT liberal moron spews its load of idiocy as usual; Is your real name “greg, or gil” ? YOu sound as ignorant as those two.

      8. Proof NRA purchased firearms and tramsported them to the places you claim. Find those line items in the annual budget reports. Come on, quithey dawdling, out with your information.

        Or stop your insane rants and iies…..

      9. The ATF or BATFE as it is currently known is, at best, a rogue outfit, this conclusion based on it’s history, and the
        record of it’s firearms enforcement related performance, especially respecting the performance of the cabal that is the agencies leadership.
        ,

      10. you must really enjoy living in that little bubble.you really have no idea what you are talking about,and as far as the NRA,they themselves do not sell guns you dumbass.if you really dont like guns then go live in Canada.

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