The bureau put behind bars more than 6,000 thugs last year for illegal weapons possession. So they should be rock stars here. Why aren’t they respected? After all the idea was started by the all too popular Alexander Hamilton in 1791. He wanted at the time to collect taxes on whiskey. So the whiskey rebellion broke out to protest the Act. The Agents who collected the tax money were tarred and feathered. By the 1920’s it became the Bureau of Prohebition. But what about the guns? It was an era when the mobsters were glorified in the movies. Agent Eliot Ness became some kind of hero who took down Al Capone.
At this time the Thompson Machine Gun was popular also called the Tommy Gun. It was easy to buy and was sold in hardware stores. Maybe we shouldn’t be selling guns in places like Wallmart. It was such a popular machine gun that it led to the National Firearms Act of 1934. So now this agency was in charge of the crackdown of booze and guns. They never cleaned up either area completely. So this Agency is not so popular on either side. The Agency is backward and needs a lot of help to at least be organized technologically. They still trace guns the old fashioned way. On the phone.
Why isn’t there a nationwide gun registry? The government keeps tract of everything else through computer lists. As usual the problem lies with Congress and the influence the NRA has on them. Congress has refused a national data list to be organized. We do not have a computerized searchable data base of gun manufacturers and sales. Without a searchable data base it took 12 hours to find out who owned the guns used in the San Bernardino Massacre last December. How can we say we have a hold on terrorism when our own government doesn’t want to keep tract of the guns in this country?
Taxpayers would benefit immediately and the thugs wouldn’t be able to get a gun so easily. The ATS Gun Tracing Center is stacked with file cabinets filled with paper record often falling apart and unreadable. We take care of our old cartoons in this country better than we take care of old gun records. There are gun shops listed that aren’t even in business anymore. It is very easy to loose tract of a firearm. There are 139,000 gun dealers who are still in business. The ATS has just 620 investigators to keep an eye on them. How about we spend some of our Homeland Security tax dollars on hiring more investigators? Nope. Our elected officials are either on vacation or out campaigning for more money for their re-elections.
Is there an effort to keep this Agency outdated and ill funded? After the San Bernardino Massacre, President Obama proposed to hire 200 more workers to the Department. A year has gone by and he leaves office within months. Expect nothing to be done. .