by Lee Williams
SAF Investigative Journalism Project
There are few documents in Washington more worthless than a presidential budget. Joe Biden’s budget, which was formally presented Monday, is no exception.
A presidential budget is merely a wish list – a starting point for the complex task of funding the government. They’re more of a statement of priorities than an actual budget, and Biden’s priorities are very clear. He wants to increase funding for the ATF by more than 13%, so the embattled agency can hire more special agents to target Biden’s fictional “rogue gun dealer” boogeymen, whom the White House blames for skyrocketing crime rates in large cities historically controlled by Democrats.
“The Budget includes $17.4 billion, an increase of $1.7 billion above the 2021 enacted level, for DOJ law enforcement, including a total of $1.7 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to expand multijurisdictional gun trafficking strike forces with additional personnel, increase regulation of the firearms industry, enhance ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, and modernize the National Tracing Center,” Biden’s budget states.
To be clear, this is all part of Joe Biden’s war on America’s gun dealers. If they’re allowed to hire hundreds of additional special agents, the ATF could take this war to the next level. No gun dealer would be safe from increased harassment, surprise audits and other mayhem, which the Biden-Harris administration clearly hopes will put them all out of business.
The main problem with any increase in funding for the ATF is the ATF itself. Historically, the agency has proven all to willing to be weaponized by the current occupants of the White House, especially if the current occupants are anti-gun, and there has never been a more anti-gun crew than the Biden-Harris administration.
This susceptibility to political pressure has led to massive failures, which have cost hundreds of lives: Ruby Ridge, Waco and Fast and Furious to name a few deadly debacles. The fact that the ATF isn’t now pushing back against Biden’s crazy “rogue gun dealers” theory shows just how far the agency is willing to go for a presidential belly-scratch and pat on the head. After all, we all know the real reasons why violent crime rates are skyrocketing in large cities – gangs, defunded and demoralized police, and soft-on-crime prosecutors – and they don’t have anything to do with gun dealers of any kind, rogue or law-abiding. In fact, the ATF continues to provide top cover for Biden’s theory. As of today, they still have not responded to a pair of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, which would debunk Biden’s rogue gun dealer theory once and for all.
Rather than increasing funding, I hope Congress will consider defunding the ATF. The agency has never been held accountable for the Americans killed during its botched, politically motivated raids. It’s time to send the ATF a clear message that enough is enough. To do otherwise could be deadly, and cost even more American lives.
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