Congressman Sensenbrenner Introduces the ATF Elimination Act…But Does It Matter?


Does it matter which government agency enforces bad laws?

According to a press release published this week by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a proposal called the ATF Elimination Act was introduced, which would dissolve the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  However, the press release also stated that the ATF would merge its existing functions into other federal agencies. The legislation also calls for an immediate hiring freeze at the ATF.

Congressman Sensenbrenner said that, “Washington should be responsible stewards of the American taxpayers’ money. While all too often that is not the case, this is a good government bill to streamline agency activity at DOJ—increasing effectiveness while decreasing cost. The ATF is a largely duplicative, scandal ridden agency that lacks a clear mission. It is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges and a lack of leadership. For decades it has been branded by high profile failures. There is also significant overlap with other agencies. At a time when we are approaching $18 trillion in debt, waste and redundancy within our federal agencies must be addressed. Without a doubt, we can fulfill the role of the ATF more efficiently.”

Unfortunately, this legislation would not do away with gun law enforcement all together.

According to the press release, the ATF Elimination Act would transfer enforcement of firearms, explosives and arson laws to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), while drug and alcohol related offenses would be enforced by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Does it matter which government agency enforces bad laws?