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Old June 1, 2011, 05:19 PM   #216
Senior Member
Join Date: July 20, 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 10,170
There are many lessons here, the first one is that ATF / BATF / BATFE really is not and never has been on par with the FBI, which leads me to ask, "why create a separate law enforcement agency for 3 special categories of commodities?" The FBI is unable to investigate crimes involving tobacco? For some reason, as good as the FBI is at so many other things, they don't know how to handle crimes involving alcohol? We need a special bureau to handle crimes related to firearms? I would think that the BATFE's continued incompetence is the strongest argument for the dissolution of it and turning over those responsibilities to the FBI.
While I don't disagree with your logic, I think that part of the reason for the current situation is that for most of its history, except a brief period in the 1930's, the ATF has been a division of the Treasury Department rather than the Justice Department. The original purpose of the ATF was to enforce the tax laws on alcohol and tobbacco and they only really became involved in firearms after the GCA of 1968. The ATF has only been a division of the Justice Department since 2002 when they were transferred from the Treasury Department through the Homeland Security Act which was signed by President George W. Bush.
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