Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 9 years ago

How did ATF get it's acronym..Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms?


What's illegal about tobacco?

Update 2:

I can understand Firearms and alcohol need to be regulated from leaving or comming into the country..but tobacco doesn't have a black market, as far as I know.

6 Answers

  • WallyZ
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The ATF was a department of the FBI before it was separated. There was a black market for tobacco where tobacco was sold without paying the federal taxes on it. At the time tobacco was rather cheap and the tax was a significant percentage higher. Even today, there is some tobacco smuggled into the US and sold at retail prices. There was also a black market for alcohol during the prohibition. There has been a black market for firearms ever since they put serial numbers on the weapons. z

  • Alice
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Firearms and alcohol aren't illegal, either. The job of the ATF is to nail violators of Federal law concerning the production, sale and licensing or collection of taxes from the sale of these items. It also regulates the manufacture, sale, transport and use of explosives.

    With tobacco, the issue is mainly the collection of the Federal tobacco tax. Online cigarette sales by indigenous nations, for instance, are problematic for the Bureau. These are the guys who used to be called "Revenooers" by the producers of moonshine whiskey.

    Here is an informative quote from The Washington Post:

    "The lucrative trafficking of cigarettes, known as cigarette diversion, is a simple scheme but difficult to stop, law enforcement officials say. The traffickers purchase a large volume of cigarettes in states where the tax is low, such as Virginia and North Carolina, transport them up Interstate 95 to states such as Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey and then sell them at a discount without paying the higher cigarette taxes in those states.

    "With huge profits -- and low penalties for arrest and conviction -- illicit cigarette trafficking now has begun to rival drug trafficking as a funding choice for terrorist groups, said William Billingslea, an ATF senior intelligence analyst who has studied the issue extensively."

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Alcohol and firearms aren't illegal either, but all three need regulation.

  • Randy
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Its not illegal but it is regulated (taxed) so they are there, among other reasons historically, to deal with the illegal trade in smokes.

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  • 9 years ago

    The SS as a name would be too obvious

  • 9 years ago

    ahhh. My favorite things. Nothing is illegal about any of them.

    Source(s): Tobacco is probably the biggest black market item. Even more than guns. This is from 2008, and cigarettes are way more expensive now.
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