Today, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) announced its strong opposition to Representative Sensenbrenner's proposal to dissolve the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and have it absorbed into other law enforcement components.
FLEOA disagrees with Rep. Sensenbrenner's assertion that "ATF has been plagued by decades of high‐profile blunders," and therefore should be abolished. During current volatile times of rapidly escalating violent crime and active shooter massacres, Congress should be prioritizing its resources towards strengthening ATF, not dismantling it.
In response to Rep. Sensenbrenner's proposal, FLEOA National President Jon Adler stated, "Violent gangs, gun traffickers and active shooters will not take pause while Congress attempts to engage in an unwarranted bureaucratic maneuver that would waste taxpayer dollars and leave the public at risk. Any bill that calls for dismantling ATF would simultaneously dissolve a critical layer of enforcement and protection for the American public. We cannot afford to diminish ATF's Frontline Strategy, nor the dedicated Special Agents and Inspectors who enforce it."
FLEOA references ATF's formidable enforcement statistics from 2013 to illustrate the critical importance of the agency's work. The dedicated efforts of ATF law enforcement professionals resulted in 9,901 criminal convictions. Among those convictions, 93 criminals received life sentences, and eleven received death sentences.
Additionally, ATF successfully worked 1,737 arson investigations, 21,852 firearms cases, 927 explosives cases and 28 alcohol and tobacco investigations. All of these commendable enforcement results have a direct impact on public safety.
Adler added, "In light of the escalating violent crime in our country, now is not the time to disarm ATF and hand their holsters and diverse critical mission to other agencies. I respectfully ask that Congressman Sensenbrenner reconsider his proposal and the immediate dire consequences it would have on public safety."
The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (www.fleoa.org) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional association that exclusively represents over 26,000 active and retired federal law enforcement officers from over 65 agencies.