The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is supposedly tasked with, among other things, enforcing federal firearm laws. You would think an agency tasked with enforcing firearm laws would also demonstrated some modicum of firearm responsibility, right? As it turns out the ATF doesn’t exactly have a stellar record of knowing where its firearms are:
ATF agents have lost track of dozens of government-issued guns, after stashing them under the front seats in their cars, in glove compartments or simply leaving them on top of their vehicles and driving away, according to internal reports from the past five years obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Agents left their guns behind in bathroom stalls, at a hospital, outside a movie theater and on a plane, according to the records, obtained Tuesday by the news organization under the federal Freedom of Information Act.
Oh, and you know all of the stink gun control advocates make about wanting laws that mandate “safe storage” of firearms to protect the children? Perhaps they should spend less time focusing on us gun owners and more time focusing on the ATF:
In December 2009, two 6-year-old boys spotted an agent’s loaded ATF Smith & Wesson .357 on a storm sewer grate in Bettendorf, Iowa. The agent lived nearby and later said he couldn’t find his gun for days but didn’t bother reporting it — until it hit the local newspaper.
The article contains more incidents where ATF agents lost firearms. I’m not sure if these loses were part of the ATF’s ongoing program to provide guns to drug cartels or just pure incompetency. Either one is equally likely when the ATF’s past is considered. But I think the moral of this story is that the ATF is not competent enough with firearms to have any authority regarding firearms.