Nation's Top Gun Regulator Works ... Part Time
ATF's interim chief splits time as US attorney in Minnesota
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2012 12:34 PM CST

(Newser) – The movement to tighten gun laws may be gaining steam, but the Washington Post reports that the federal agency charged with enforcing such laws might not be up to the challenge. Some of the problems with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms:

  • It hasn't had a director confirmed in six years. Current interim chief B. Todd Jones splits his ATF duties with his job as US attorney in Minnesota.
  • Senators have held up nominees from both Presidents Obama and George W. Bush because they were deemed too soft on gun rights.

  • The agency has fewer than 2,500 agents, less than 40 years ago. That helps explain why gun dealers can go eight years between visits.
  • The ATF's record-keeping is in the technological dark ages, and current and former officials blame the NRA for blocking the creation of an efficient database.
  • The agency is still reeling from the botched "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking program in Mexico.
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Dec 21, 2012 6:05 PM CST
Sure, let's trust the idiots that ran "Fast and Furious" to set more policy. Guns are NOT the problem. If one was to take away every registered gun in America (think Nazi Germany) the crooks will still have a shit load of firearms. Mental cases will still get their hands on weapons. Fix the mental care system, get really tough on gangs basically start growing some balls to be proactive on these issues and quite whining about legal, registered citizens owning/carrying firearms.
Dec 19, 2012 2:03 AM CST
Check the internet for "Gun Amnesty Day." You don't need legislation because this has been done before - many times. Look it up on the internet. Have Gun Amnesty Days in all the States in January, February, March, 2013.
Dec 18, 2012 7:47 PM CST
Wasn't ATF supposed to fold into Homeland Security by now? I thought after 9/11 these agencies were all going into some kind of FBI/Homeland super agency. Or I might just be completely wrong, but I could swear I read that by 2010 they were all supposed to merge into one. And no, this isnt a political comment, merely just a question regarding what I think would be a more efficient approach to doing things, get everything under one roof and budget.