Federal Agency Targeted for Shut Down

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is targeted by a congressional bill aiming to transfer all its duties into the FBI and other federal agencies.

The bill, by Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, would impose an immediate hiring freeze at the ATF and seek out a plan to be submitted within six months on how to move its activities to other agencies. The bill calls for eliminating the agency in a year following the bill’s final passage.

In a statement, Sensenbrenner called ATF “a duplicative, scandal ridden agency that lacks a clear mission.””We can do the very same job a lot more effectively for less,” he mentioned. “At a time when we are approaching $18 trillion in debt, we require to demand accountability within our federal agencies and to take a closer look at cutting waste and redundancy.”

The ATF is the the nation’s lead agency for enforcing gun laws, but it also has investigated situations involving drugs and violent crime, which overlap with the FBI, DEA and other agencies.

The ATF has come under fire in current years for ill-fated operations, like Operation Quick and Furious in Arizona and Operation Fearless in Milwaukee.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation uncovered the Milwaukee problems as properly as similar issues in storefronts nationwide. A Government Accountability Workplace report this year on the ATF identified an agency attempting to redefine itself while struggling with high personnel turnover and problems tracking its own criminal investigations.

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