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Old October 9, 2012, 02:29 PM   #28
dogtown tom
Senior Member
Join Date: January 23, 2006
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 2,126
.ie they don't carry guns, they're beancounters.
You seem to have some good insight, but I'm not getting it. A "beancounter" to me is nothing more than an accountant. The folks sitting at the table aren't counting anything.
They aren't "counting anything" because their supervisor told them to go to a gun show instead of being at home for the weekend.

IOI's are the ATF employees who are responsible for......wait for it........Industry Operations ( the "Industry" in this case being the firearms industry) This means they count beans (guns) at the premises of a licensed dealer or manufacturer. They conduct compliance inspections, which is an audit of the dealers bound book, 4473's and inventory. They also serve as a resource for dealers who have questions regarding commerce in firearms. Having ATF IOI's at a gun show is a good thing.

I was thinking that they were more of a command post, or communications relay for their agents walking around looking for problems. Or, maybe they are exactly what they look like - there to educate public and dealers about firearms laws. That seems odd, because the IRS doesn't set up tables at any event to try to inform the public on how to fill out their tax returns. The FBI doesn't exactly go out of their way to educate the public on how not to violate federal laws.
It's a table at a gun show, plain and simple. For all the faults of ATF, having a table at a gun show serve as a command post or communications relay for supposed "undercover investigations" would be laughable. But it does make for good conspiracy theory.

Note that the IRS and FBI don't have direct regulatory authority over interstate commerce in firearms.....and ATF does.

It might surprise you but ATF conducts several educational seminars for dealers and manufacturers at the SHOT Show each year. Do they have to? No.
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