The ATF is cheating on you

Are you in an abusive relationship with your government?

Sometimes it's hard to figure out what to do when the federal government breaks the law.

You know how it is.  You've been in a steady relationship with a government agency for years now.  You knew that it was involved in some pretty shady depravities of moonshine and tobacco.  However, it had its semi-positive side in that you were forced to go through it to exercise a commonsense civil right.  The bureaucracy had created the venerable 4473 form that you loved to fill out (not really, but work with us here) whenever you wanted to buy a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer at a gun show or anywhere else.

Then you find out from a friend that the bureaucracy had gone behind your back and changed the 4473 forms, just so it could cheat on you.  Trust us: the law-abiding are always the last to know.  On those nights when it said it was working late, the bureaucracy was imaging the first page of the form when out with the FFLs, having cleverly set up the scheme ahead of time by rearranging the construction of the form.  Goodness knows you could have been in a better relationship with a more established agency of the federal government, but you had no choice if you wanted to be able to defend yourself.

Then you caught the bureaucracy red-handed, hooking up with data on all the gun-owners in the country.  Confronted with evidence of collecting data on billions of transactions, the bureaucracy denied it outright, asking, whom are you going to believe: it or your lying eyes?

You know you're an abused gun-owner when the bureaucracy hands you a line that it's you, not it, and starts talking nonsense about "ghost guns" and pieces of plastic being "machine guns."  Then wanting dirt on you, calling for tips on former (or current) partners involved in illegal gun activity — on Valentine's Day, no less:

It doesn't get any worse than the cheater claiming victimhood, wanting to deflect its illegality elsewhere.  Everyone can quote chapter and verse on the specific rules and regulations being violated.  It's all in 18 USC § 926, U.S. Code, Unannotated Title 18.  Crimes and Criminal Procedure §926.  Rules and regulations.  The bureaucracy should have known all of this because it's in its Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide on page 25 of the PDF that we can quote:

No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners' Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary's1 authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation.

We could say case closed on the cheating, but what do you do when it's a catch-all government bureaucracy?  It's not going to arrest itself anytime soon, that's for sure.  We could start by modifying its Valentine's Day tweet to begin to take care of the predicament of the estimated 150 million gun-owners in the country:

Valentine's Day can still be fun even if you broke up. Do you have information about a former (or current) part of the feral government involved in illegal gun activity? Let us know, and we will make sure it's a Valentine's Day to remember!

It sure would be pointless to send the bureaucracy tips since it knows about what it's doing already.  Goodness knows it has the rules and regulations right in front of it.  We could start with the U.S. Government Accountability Office and then move up the chain of command to the U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

However, that's only a temporary solution.  It's been years of fast and furious fooling around and cheating for the moonshine, cigarettes, and sawed-off shotguns bureaucracy.  Then promising to do better and backsliding into something even worse.  It's time for the 150 million gun owners to make a clean break in this toxic relationship.

Sure, there have been some good times (not really, but work with us here).  Seriously, it's time to end the ATF.  If it can't follow the law, it shouldn't be in the law enforcement business.

D Parker is an engineer, inventor, wordsmith, and student of history.  A writer in the communications field and a longtime contributor to the NOQ report.

Image via Max Pixel.

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