…But should Obama gets what he wants, he’ll face another major challenge: his own Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Over the last three decades, gun activists and lawmakers have purposefully hindered the BATF and carefully molded the agency that enforces gun laws to serve their own interests, stunting the ATF’s budget, handicapping its regulatory authority, and keeping it effectively leaderless. The bureau Obama is counting on to lead his gun control push is a disaster…by Republican design.
The problems are obvious. The agency that Obama said “works most closely with state and local law enforcement to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals” has the same of number of agents as the Phoenix Police Department. Its budget has barely budged in decades (as the Department of Homeland Security has grown flush with post-9/11 funding). It has fewer investigators than it did in 1973. And its acting (and part-time) director, B. Todd Jones, commutes to work from Minneapolis, where he works fulltime as a US attorney. It hasn’t had a permanent director for six years. The NRA blocked Obama’s earlier appointee, Andrew Traver, in part because Traver had once attended a meeting of police chiefs that focused on gun control. At the unveiling of his gun violence prevention package, Obama announced he would seek to make Jones the permanent (and presumably fulltime) chief of the ATF.
To understand how the ATF became the weakest of law enforcement agencies, you have to go back to President Ronald Reagan’s first term.
Working for the ATF must be a slice of heaven. Read this:
Wyoming Ban On Federal Gun Bans Proposed By State Lawmaker – State Rep. Kendell Kroeker (R-Evansville) has put forward a bill making it a felony to enforce in Wyoming any federal ban on assault weapons or high-capacity gun magazines, two proposals that Biden’s gun control task force is likely to present to President Barack Obama on Tuesday. The task force’s recommendations, of course, would have to be passed by Congress and signed by Obama in order to become law. Kroeker said his bill, which would hit federal agents with up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine for attempting to enforce such bans in Wyoming, is designed to be proactive in preserving gun rights.