“Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should be a convenience store” is an old meme gun owners use to express the more serious concern that Constitutional authority to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms is non-existent. “Boot the BATFE!” was a campaign the late Aaron Zelman of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership started to argue that point, and to call for the elimination of the agency tasked with taking point on most of those infringements.
Recognizing that waste, abuse, corruption and fraud are so deeply ingrained in the Bureau’s management that rooting them out is an effective impossibility, we’ve seen legislative “solutions” offered, the last being Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner’s proposed “ATF Elimination Act:”
“This bill abolishes the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). It transfers the ATF’s authorities, functions, personnel, and assets to the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
I argued against that in “The Devil You Know” for one of my GUNS Magazine “Rights Watch” columns. As offensive to liberty as ATF has been, the DOJ, FBI and DEA have been as bad and worse. Besides, transferring functions does nothing about the usurpation of undelegated authority that makes Zelman’s solution – elimination – the only acceptable one. Admittedly, it’s one that none of our “staunch supporters of the Second Amendment” in Congress have the guts to even broach, let alone make the case and fight for.
by David Codrea