ATF tends to focus or has a significant focus on trivial, immaterial
violations which are unrelated to public safety," Gardiner said. "And
they impose unreasonable standards of perfection which are simply not
The core problem with the BATFE is that they imagine themselves to be a public-safety agency, when in fact they are a tax-and-regulatory agency... one whose authority to "regulate" is on shaky (to say the least) Constitutional grounds to begin with. They find it very difficult to target criminals, since criminals generally don't buy guns at stores. Instead they focus on paperwork crimes that are easy to prosecute because the people targeted are legitimately trying to follow the law.
One of the big differences between the BATFE and other tax-and-regulate agencies is that the laws the BATFE is charged with enforcing bear some heavy penalties. It's like going after people who pay their taxes late with rocket launchers and ignoring people who don't pay at all.
This entry was published Mon Apr 17 22:50:33 CDT 2006 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2006-04-17 22:50:33.0.