Nation's Top Gun Regulator Works ... Part Time

ATF's interim chief splits time as US attorney in Minnesota
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2012 12:34 PM CST
Nation's Top Gun Regulator Works Part Time

The movement to tighten gun laws may be gaining steam, but the Washington Post reports that the federal agency charged with enforcing such laws might not be up to the challenge. Some of the problems with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms:

  • It hasn't had a director confirmed in six years. Current interim chief B. Todd Jones splits his ATF duties with his job as US attorney in Minnesota.
  • Senators have held up nominees from both Presidents Obama and George W. Bush because they were deemed too soft on gun rights.

  • The agency has fewer than 2,500 agents, less than 40 years ago. That helps explain why gun dealers can go eight years between visits.
  • The ATF's record-keeping is in the technological dark ages, and current and former officials blame the NRA for blocking the creation of an efficient database.
  • The agency is still reeling from the botched "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking program in Mexico.
Click to read the full story. (Read more ATF stories.)

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