Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentGovernment · 1 decade ago

Why do we have the ATF?

What do alcohol and tobacco have to do with firearms and explosives? I've never understood that. It would be like having an agency in charge of hammers and broccoli.

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    ATF has traditionally been an agency of revenuers. They've collected taxes on alcohol and tobacco, as well as "firearms" under the National Firearms Act of 1934, America's first national gun control law. Over the last 70 years, "mission creep" resulting from laws such as the Gun Control Act of 1968 continued until, on January 24, 2003, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) was split off to perform much of ATF's original mission and "Explosives" was added to the end of ATF's name to further move ATF away from its original mission. That split occurred as a result of provisions of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

    If Congress had applied specific excise taxes to hammers and broccoli in the early 20th Century, we might well have a Bureau of Hammers and Broccoli in the U.S. Government today.

    As another example, the British Parliament could well have established a Bureau of Lead, Paper, Glass, and Tea (LPGT) to implement the Townshend Acts of 1767. Of course, after December 16, 1773, that agency would have had to have been renamed the Bureau of Lead, Paper, and Glass (LPG) due to "mission creep" caused by a few unruly American patriots.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Simple -- it's to make sure that only the outlaws and criminals have guns and that they are ignored while the law-abiding citizens get punished for owning, carrying and using firearms. The Government wants to make sure it knows where are the LEGAL guns are so it can disarm the USA and that it's special interest armies like Blackwater and ATF can murder us at will or sponsor the murders. It's called Big Brother! I hope the people in Chicago will begin to realize that it is not legal guns that are killing their kids. It's not law-abiding gun owners who are killing thei kids -- it's the gangs and the hoods and the other criminals who refuse to obey the laws no matter what. All these gun turn ins are just insurance for the government that the government can be crooked, sponsor its sanctuary cities and hold the law-aibiding citizens hostage. I think a better solution would be to ensure that people can shoot trespassers and that everyone be required to have firearms training and every familly should be required to own at least one gun. That would insure that a gangland invasion or a foreign invasion or even the prevalence of crooked cops would diminish and that we'd have a return to law and order.

    It has been shown that every town that requires its citizens to own guns has a much lower crime rate that towns that have strict gun laws.

    As far as ALCOHOL and TOBACCO, it goes back to gangsters and the old days when stills were rampant and white lightening was the booze of choice. Black market alcohol avoided the taxes and thus the "revenuers" were born to get the government its due. Tobacco fell in the same category when Cuban Cigars were contraband. It has nothing to do with the safety of the people and everything to do with the tax dollars for the government and the control that can be exerted by the government.

    Notice that DEA isn't part of ATF but it should be. Drugs cause lots of crime. The money received from all these items must be laundered and therefore, the politicians and others are getting kickbacks by looking the other way and by ensuring that they control who is selling, using, and owning all this contraband.

    A newspaper article today said that $10 billion annually is laundered through Mexico and ends up in U.S. Banks. The article attributes it to "drug money" that returns $16 billion to the banks of which $10 billion "does not have an explanation". What does that say about the banks and the politicians and their involvement in drugs and alcohol and firearms trafficking and money laundering? They need crooked politicians and crooked cops to ensure that this can be done.

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  • 1 decade ago

    because alcohol, tobacco, and firearms laws vary from state to state.

    ATF is there to (theoretically) ensure that you dont purchase millions of cigarettes in say... south carolina where they are cheap as dirt, and then ship them up to nyc and make a huge profit off of them.

    or, you dont purchase a large quantity of Everclear (basically grain alcohol) in say WV where it is legal to sell, and bring it down to VA where it is not sold.

    same goes with firearms (but i dont know a whole lot about different gun laws from state to state to provide an example)

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  • 1 decade ago

    The War on Drugs,,,

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    to actually enforce justice and create employment

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