ATF Delivers Mixed Message on Civilian Gun Ownership

ATF Delivers Mixed Message on Civilian Gun Ownership

Deputy Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Thomas Brandon delivered a decidedly mixed message on the agency’s role in upholding the Second Amendment.

“Public safety is the reason we exist,” he said, speaking to CBS’s Sunday Morning. “ . . . it’s not to take people’s guns. It’s to regulate firearms that could be misused. We’re a small agency with a big job.”

However, when the issue of a national gun registry entered the discussion, Brandon’s comments raised concern among Second Amendment Advocates:

“Would it be efficient and effective? Absolutely. Would it the taxpayers benefit with public safety? Absolutely. Are we allowed to do it? No.”

He further noted that the politics around firearms ownership played a role in hindering the agency’s efforts to create a nationwide gun database.

Critics of a national firearms registry argue that such a database would be both unconstitutional and ineffectual. The National Rifle Association frames a nationwide gun registry as an intrusion into the privacy of legal gun owners and the first step toward confiscation.  Organizations like the ATF counter that such a registry would enhance their ability to investigate and prevent crime.

The discussion is further complicated by the ATF’s problematic history with gun ownership and sales, culminating in a series of gun walking programs commonly referred to as Operation Fast and Furious. Under ATF auspices, at least 1,400 firearms were allowed to enter Mexico illegal. Many of them ended up in the hands of drug cartels, resulting in hundreds of deaths on either side of the border including at least one US Federal agent.

Ultimately the resources allocated to the ATF will be the result of legislative or executive action. The role played but the upcoming election remains to be seen, leaving many Second Amendment advocates uneasy.

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  • Green Hornet

    I don’t think anyone needs to know what I own for guns or anything else
    The BATF Deputy Director sounds like he needs to find a new job
    My guns will NOT be a any list

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  • Gary Lancaster

    Guns?….What guns?…What does he mean?

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    • David Silverstein

      I hear ya. I used to have a few guns. Then my uncle somehow flipped the jon boat. Boating accidents are the worst.

  • William Dinwiddie

    legal gun owners are not the problem criminals and people with mental issues are the problem. address those issues through enforcing the laws on the books and getting people mental health when they need it and not castigate those who voluntarily seek such help.

  • William Dinwiddie

    the atf need to be dissolved and its agents and resources reassigned to other agencies such as the FBI.

  • burns

    Law enforcement is supposed to respond to problems, not create them with elaborate schemes to set law abiding gun owners.

  • Yeah, we know how registration worked…In Australia. If I have to register my guns, it’s not a right anymore.

  • If Trump gets elected, fire that guys ass.

  • Gerald Holloway

    Give a inch and take a Mile.

  • hal

    The 2nd Amendmentis clear, concise, and can be understood by a 12 year old. But lawmakers and regulators dont want to understand the 2nd Amendment, they want to interpet it in a way that fits their agenda, which is anti gun, anti gun rights.

  • Ken Snyder

    My guns all self identify as hammers.

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