Key Findings

  • The National Rifle Association has long been at war with ATF.
  • The debacle at Waco and the more recent Fast and Furious operation have exposed leadership deficiencies at the agency.
  • ATF’s budget has remained stagnant in recent years, while the FBI and DEA have enjoyed substantial hikes.
  • Congress has placed multiple “riders” in ATF’s appropriation bill that dramatically limit the bureau’s ability to conduct investigations.
  • Firearms dealers subject to ATF  regulation generally are inspected by  agents no more than once every five years.
  • Weak laws and modest penalties make federal prosecutors hesitant to accept ATF gun trafficking cases.