Joins CAP, GOP: Eliminate the ATF

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik has added its voices to the chorus of those calling for the elimination of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), stating it should be “put … out of its misery.”

On March 6, Breitbart News reported that Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) was calling for the all-out elimination of the ATF. On May 21, Breitbart News reported Sensenbrenner’s calls were being echoed by the Center for American Progress (CAP), which also wants to see the ATF disbanded. Now, is calling for the same.

On Tuesday, cited the ATF as an “agency [with] a record of poor management” and one that fell out of favor during the firearm straw purchases and gun trafficking tied to Operation Fast and Furious, which the agency oversaw.

But does not give extensive focus to Fast and Furious, nor does it even mention the ATF’s April/March push to ban the M855 round for the AT-15. Instead–like CAP–it fears the ATF has become useless at gun control because of the power of gun rights groups and Republican lawmakers. It contends “the ATF has long been a political punching bag, maligned by gun-rights advocates as an unnecessary intrusion on the Second Amendment.”

For these reasons, it favors eliminating it and letting the FBI take over some aspects of what the ATF does. This solution is similar to what Rep. Sensenbrenner proposed in March. He argued that the ATF is a “largely duplicative” agency, the job of which can be performed by the FBI and the DEA. makes clear it is not sure if farming out ATF duties is an approach that will work, but “given the ATF’s record of failure, that’s a chance worth taking.”

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