Below The Radar: The Brian A. Terry Memorial Eliminate the ATF Act

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Below The Radar: The Brian A. Terry Memorial Eliminate the ATF Act IMG NRA-ILA

United States – -( I don’t think there is any loyal Ammoland reader who has much – if any – love for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. I’m not very fond of that agency, myself, and consider it useful only for efforts like Project Exile. So I understand how many would likely want to rush to support HR 3960, the Brian A. Terry Memorial Eliminate the ATF Act, introduced by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Let’s make no mistake about it, BATFE has been responsible for a lot of abuses over the years.

Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Operation Fast and Furious are three of the worst in my lifetime and have a death toll that calls out for some form of accountability. Second Amendment supporters have yet to fully realize that accountability. This is an agency that has mostly earned the hatred burning hotter than a thousand suns that some Second Amendment supporters have for it.

But the question now has to be asked, is eliminating BATFE really a good idea in the present time, or even the near future? In an ideal world, BATFE would be either non-existent or pared down to enforcing a very limited set of laws mostly focused on sentencing enhancements for the misuse of firearms in the commission of violent crimes. We certainly wouldn’t have a lot of the BS we go through to exercise our Second Amendment rights.

There is just one problem: We’re not in that ideal world right now.

There are still a lot of federal gun laws on the books that need to be repealed or stricken down by the courts. That means some sort of agency is going to have to enforce them. For instance, who would be handing all of the forms of Federal Firearms Licenses, not just your local gun store or those who manufacture firearms, but the folks who have the curio and relic versions?

HR 3960 effectively scatters the functions of BATFE across the entire Department of Justice. We could very well see some provisions kicked over to the FBI. Others could go to the United States Marshalls. It would likely be harder to keep track of every function. It could very well depend on who the attorney general is. For a hack like Merrick Garland, it is a huge chance for mischief, to put it mildly.

That said, making a public example of BATFE over the abuses by eliminating it might cause some hesitation to carry out abuses in the new agencies. If that is, career bureaucrats don’t engage in the kind of “resistance” we saw bureaucrats wage against President Trump throughout his time in the White House.

On the flip side, while BATFE has a track record of abuses, we know about its track record, and that agency knows we know.

We know where to look and who to constrain to prevent abuses. In essence, BATFE is the devil that Second Amendment supporters know. But it would still be around, and abuses would still happen, despite the best efforts of Second Amendment supporters.

The fact is, HR 3960 is a much harder call to make than one might think at first glance. Second Amendment supporters should think over the pros and cons of this legislation, then contact their Representative and Senators and politely make their case. More importantly, they should be working to defeat anti-Second Amendment extremists via the ballot box at the federal, state, and local levels to begin the process of changing the laws to greatly reduce the potential for abuse at the hands of BATFE.

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post,, and other national websites.Harold Hutchison

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It is not a hard call at all. The aft exists to violate the terms of the second amendment. It’s purpose is to infringe on our rights. Abolish the abomination. Immediately. Then go after every single gun law, tax, policy and regulation, for they are all infringements. Let me be clear, Harold, ending the aft is the best thing to do. The right thing to do.

Henry Bowman

Harold is too dense to grasp the correctness of what you said. What he just said rather proves this.


The ATF should be 100% gone and the FBI reduced in size. We cannot rely on the federal government to stay clean so we can’t rely on it’s police agencies to either- well proven in recent years.


absolute power corrupts absolutely ,and police have NO over-site; and if you propose civilian over-site they cry foul


Well, if any Ammoland writer was going to make an argument for not eliminating the most unconstitutional agency it would be Harold.

Henry Bowman

I would like to know why Ammoland refuses to:
1. Fire Harold the Hack;
2. Stop taking NRA bribe money to keep promoting them;
3. Repost action alerts from REAL 2A activist orgs like GOA, FPC, and SAF, to name a few.

Grinning Dragon

Sigh. Yes the elimination of the BATFe(ARBF) is needed and such functions can go back to the FBI. Anytime a govt agency is eliminated is a good thing.
Why do you hold on to such feeding the governmental beast.


His whole devil you know argument is BS. So what that it is under one roof and we know of their past crimes, murders and violations. Knowing has gotten us nowhere, amd they have had zero accountability.


Like their Fast & Furious debacle.


The FIB is no better. It needs cleaned out along with the Homeland security farce. CIA & many other Bureaucracies. All corrupt to the core. And thieves to boot.

Wild Bill

And easy to do. GS14s and 15s are only entitled to two weeks notice. Same with Sr. Ex. Service employees ($150,000 and benefits). A lot of socialist bureaucrats could be gone in a mere two weeks.

Ansel Hazen

One wonders how much ammo has been diverted to these thugs that should have gone on LGS shelves.

Henry Bowman

Only a hack weenie like Harold could argue for the BATF, mis-spell U.S. Marshals, and toss one of the few Republicans under the bus who never did anything to justify the such, and do it all in a short article.

I would love to hear directly from the Ammoland owners/editors as to why they refuse to boot this idiot whose only function is to drive outrage resulting in a few extra clicks.


So, you don’t fight the bad guys because there will be more bad guys?


You fight these traitors and move on to the next until they are all stamped out or too afraid to be so bold as to work against the people they serve.

The optics alone are worth it. It would send a message that corruption will not be tolerated by the People.

Devil we know? Are you freaking serious?

Harold, please go away.


So who thought it was OK to censor the “No Harolding” image?

This compromiser intent on using specious logic to soften the resolve of real RKBA supporters deserves every rebuke he’s getting.

Last edited 11 months ago by TexDad

Jeez, Harold you are the master of the non-sequitur . Would you have made the same excuses for not eliminating the Nazi Party in Germany, or use the same lame, convoluted logic to justify keeping Pol Pot in power in Cambodia? How ’bout not arresting Charlie Manson as it might have allowed other psychos to take his place that might have been worse? You have just risen to a new level of stupidity, which I didn’t believe was possible. Is the sky blue in the bizarre world you live in Harold?


he is for the people current running nra so

Ansel Hazen

Obviously the AFT needs to be abolished, but more importantly Harold needs to be booted from Ammoland.

Ansel Hazen

Good job Henry. Lets all post this picture so Ammoland editors can see our opinion of this bootlicking clown.


Picking on Harold for having the truth printed is a bad idea. Just because the facts make you uncomfortable doesn’t justifying the firing of Harold.


For instance, who would be handing all of the forms of Federal Firearms Licenses, not just your local gun store or those who manufacture firearms, but the folks who have the curio and relic versions? HOW ABOUT NO ONE! Do you think that the founding fathers made firearms manufacturers or sellers get a license? What are you still doing on this site you boot licking clown?

Wild Bill

A room full of clerks could be borrowed from CIS (the division of Immigration that approves immigrant petitions) to stamp every thing “Approved” and then file the form. Merry Christmas and to all a Happy approved and filed form

Roland T. Gunner

No forms, no cerks.

Wild Bill

Yes of course that is even better! Merry Christmas and a Happy New paper shredder.

Last edited 11 months ago by Wild Bill

You stopped digging too soon, Harold. —————- But to counter your main point, disbanding BATFE, after another Charlie Foxtrot in Waco Texas that resulted in a cleanup crew from the FBI’s Hostage Roasting Team making a bad situation even worse, the Clinton Administration held meetings on doing just exactly what you have proposed. The idea was shelved as being impractical. Consider that the rank and file ATF goon has civil service protections. IOW, they can’t just be summarily terminated. A rather long and exacting procedure must be followed and you have to demonstrate good cause. So what would you… Read more »


“There are gun laws on the books…An agency has to enforce them.” No, laws don’t have to be enforced.

“useful only for efforts like Project Exile. In an ideal world ATF would enforce sentencing enhancements for the misuse of firearms in violent crimes.”

As opposed to the proper use of firearms in violent crimes?

In an ideal world Harold would honor 1st Principles & stop pimping enemy assumptions, viz, that crimes with guns are somehow worse than the same crimes with cars, knives, gasoline & matches etc.

“I’m not fond of ATF myself.” Uh huh.

Last edited 11 months ago by Russn8r
Roland T. Gunner

It is absolutely PAST time to eliminate ATF; but do not delegate their duties to other agencies. Do away with their duties. No FFL licensing; no Hughes; no GCA and no NFA. In fact, no gun law other than a nationwide standardized age to purchasr and possess..

Wild Bill

I am guessing adulthood. Children have never had the full panorama of natural rights.

Wild Bill

The twin issues of possession and use would have been up to the child’s adults. Your experiences at an early age were determined by your adults. I hope that you have ten kids and give them each a good firearms experience as they grow up. Merry Christmas and a Happy Big Family of solid Americans!


For the militia, it was 18,


Any laws, codes, EO, rules, guidelines, licenses, mandates or anything the ATF has made up is not constitutional and so the elimination of the ATF fixes all of it. Nothing the ATF does is constitutional. They’re an unconstitutional agency making what they do unlawful to begin with.
“All laws which are repugnant to the constitution are null and void.” Marbury vs. Madison, 5 US (2Cranch) 137, 174,176 (1803)

Last edited 11 months ago by UncleT

and people proposing those regulations should be arrested under title 18


“There is just one problem: We’re not in that ideal world right now.”

And pert of the reason we don’t live in an ideal world right now is because if the BATFE.

Ansel Hazen

And hackrolds NRA.


Harold, you have an obvious love for big government that you struggle to conceal in your articles.


I understand the point being made, but eliminating it is required because the Constitution does not provide for its existence OR its functions.

If you eliminate it, you must also eliminate all its functions as well, not redistribute them.

Since it’s functions are illegal, all the laws requiring ATF to act badly have to be eliminated as unconstitutional as well.

What function does the ATF do that actually helps secure the blessings of liberty?


Harold your a treacherous snake in the grass.. your liberal mind set shows through in your writing! You roll over like the dog you are… shall not be infringed is a very clear statement.. any man who try’s to in-force unconstitutional laws on me shall be quickly cut down where he stands. Government ID in their pocket or not.. I am tired of being told “your a free man”, only to be instructed as to what I can or cannot do as a free man!! I am ready for the war that is coming in this country. Your kind doesn’t… Read more »

Glypto Dropem

Once again, poor Harold shows his stripes as a shill for the NRA (as in Negotiating our Rights Away) and gubmint regulation. If every single gun law (meaning infringement) were simply struck down as unconstitutional or repealed, the BATFE would be the proverbial “tits on a bull” and disappear into the dustbin of history. There would be no FFL’s or C&R’s or form 4473’s or NICS checks. Walk into an establishment that sells weapons of any kind, plunk down your payment, and walk out with your weapon(s) and ammo. Just as our ancestors did before 1934 (or 1911 in NYC)… Read more »

Deplorable Bill

So, we are to fear when the atfe looses their unconstitutional job it will be handed to another agency? Are you nuts? A murderer is a murderer no matter what badge/uniform/clothes he/she wears. Same with treason and tyranny. Yes, there are thousands of UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAWS but that does not excuse anyone who has taken their oath to defend the people, the nation and the constitution from enforcing them, that is called TREASON. Those who would, under color of law or anything else, deprive or delay a free American citizen of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms are tyrants.… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Deplorable Bill

Eliminate the BATFE and reduce the bureaucracy! The government that governs least, governs best.” TJ


The “AFT” was born on 01 Jul 1972. LONG after the NFA was signed into law. What group of bureaucrats handled all the unconstitutional paperwork before 1972? Sounds like they get their old job back. I mean, this is beside that fact that the NFA needs to be repealed, but I digress.


Harold, I have to agree with all your detractors. You are a whinny, big gub’ment loving LIBTARD. PLEASE go far, far away…


Is this not an open forum? Differing views, while sometimes aggravating, can move ideas along and even change minds. The 2A is neither left nor right in its original intention. It was deemed by the majority of the Founders as a simple fact of existence. You have the right to self-defense. That some want to restrict that right is what we’re up against. Harold has his ideas, you have yours, I have mine. Our country was made great by the clash of differing opinions. My worries are much higher than Harolds. The folks with the big power and paychecks are… Read more »


I don’t get the anti-Harold BS. Harold writes a good article that addresses the truth. Some people just can’t take the truth and they go obnoxious attacking the author.


Congress has professionalized itself, and farmed out many of the responsibilities of congress. Government agencies began quietly legislating by bureaucratic fiat. Even Trump gave the ATF carte-blanche on the bumpstock issue. An internal agency memo, can have the force of law on the citizens. This represents the elevation of the bureaucracy above the citizenry, thus serving the NWO agenda. The 1986 Firearms Owner’s Protection Act was a congressional bitch-slap to the ATF, as it contained a budgetary reduction to ensure the prohibition of a national registry. It was not an oversight, that there was no follow up investigation, into the… Read more »

Roland T. Gunner

Yeah, that Hughe’s Amendment was quite a bitch slap to ATF.


Brian Terry was my brother. Not a year goes by that he is not missed by those of us that worked our job and his family is still grieving his loss just as much today as they were when he was killed. While dismantling the ATF may be a good sound bite, doing it in his name spits in the face of his family and all of us that did the job. How about holding every despicable bastard responsible for his death from Eric Holder on down accountable. That is something done in his name that I would support and… Read more »


With all due respect, it is more than a soundbite. People are getting Fed up ! It is a bloated Bureaucracy that is not needed. And I don’t need Brian Terry name or your approval to decide it’s value to citizens. I would not expect any less of a response from a Govt paid …. such as yourself. This whole border issue is a joke. $200 Billion since Reagan just to enforce borders. And make many politicians & 1% wealthier (Boeing, Whackahut, etc). Let people deal with the situation. You & others restrict good people from handling the situation as… Read more »

Wild Bill

I thought Brian Terry was Border Patrol. How is dismantling the BATFE a spit in the face of anyone other than BATFE?
It seems to me that dismantling the BATFE because they got Brian Terry killed would honor Brian Terry’s memory.
Finally, yep, there is an entire chain of command that needs to be brought to justice. Merry Christmas and a Happy New string of indictments.

Ansel Hazen

KC, if we can put them all out on the street with no job the next part that you would like to see would be easy. We can’t get them if they are still employed.

Doug G.

I have to laugh at the idea of giving anything more to the FBI. Of the agencies that need paring down and accountability, the FBI leads the pack! Sure this article is about the ATF and it needs it too, but come on, no mention of the myriad FBI abuses of late? And we want to give them power over more stuff? Umm, how about, NO. The ATF had its day and like every government endeavor, it expanded by its own volition but became permanent due to our apathy. Had we, as a voting bloc, been engaged then like we… Read more »

Xaun Loc

YAWN. 1) Eliminating the BATFE doesn’t accomplish a damn thing as long as the laws and regulations remain – it just means that all the functions (and 99% of the people) will move to some other agency. The only solution is to fix the stupid firearms laws not to waste time whining about what we call the guys enforcing those laws. 2) While we are busily whining about the BATFE because of their role interpreting and enforcing stupid firearms laws, we hardly ever pay any attention to the Alcohol Tobacco and Explosives functions of the Bureau. The solution is to… Read more »

Wild Bill

Eliminating the BATFE would eliminate a certain over-zealous corporate attitude about creating, interpreting, and enforcing certain of regulations (CFRs). Expertise in unfair enforcement technics would go away. And finally, eliminating the BATFE would serve as a warning to other enforcement agencies.
Eliminating the BATFE could be done without the advice and consent of Congress. For a new president to eliminate a whole bureaucratic agency, that would show the deep state who is boss.
But, it is true, that eliminating the BATFE would not eliminate get us all the way to the goal.

Wild Bill

What a typo! Sorry about that. What I meant to write is, “But, it is true that eliminating the BATFE would not get us all the way to the goal.”

Wild Bill

Nope, but she did get a pair of red Christmas anklets and a very blue Ceylon sapphire. I got a Les Baer custom 1911 and a black Galco paddle holster. Let’s Go Santa, baby!!!!
I hope that all the Ammolanders got what they wanted for Christmas and derived great joy From giving to others.MC, brother.

Last edited 11 months ago by Wild Bill

We don’t need to undo the ATF, we just need better oversight. We need to see punitive action taken against those still in the ATF that abused power. It was interesting to see the suggestion that US Marshals and FBI take over some of the functions of the ATF. People seem to forget that it was a Deputy US Marshal that shot Sammy Weaver and it was the FBI that finished the Waco siege. What has been missing is oversight.


It is an unconstitutional agency who’s only purpose is to enforce unconstitutional laws. It definitely needs to be abolished and every employee should be in prison for violation of rights.


OK Harold, to some extent I agree with you.

Rather than eliminating the agency, we need to very publicly eliminate the bad actors of that agency. The few ATF agents remaining, and their replacements should moderate their behavior to avoid similar consequences. If not, frequent executions would eventually get the agency in line.


Never heard of the namesake of this bill. But seeing who wrote it I can tell it’s going to be poorly written and is not even worth looking at.