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Posted: 9/7/2004 3:44:12 PM EST
So I'm discussing the ATF with a friend. His question was why do they even exist? I can't come up with a legitimate reason for their existence.

So what are all the other letters in their name?

What do they stand for?

Alcohol ~ local police should handle it.

Tobacco ~ local police should handle it.

Firearms ~ should be legal as per the constitution
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:48:36 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:48:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 3:49:18 PM EST by a320az]
They are TAX agents. Nothing more!

ETA: Dont forget the E
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:50:04 PM EST
Then why do we care what they say on the AWB?
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:50:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 3:51:13 PM EST by repub18]

Originally Posted By a320az:
They are TAX agents. Nothing more!

ETA: Dont forget the E




+1 they are under the treasury dept IIRC, They regulate Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to make sure laws are obeyed and taxes are paid.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:51:21 PM EST
I don't think anybody knows what they are anymore, since they're under Homeland Security. However, given that the sole constitutional warrant for the NFA (according to its sponsors) was revenue enhancement, the agency's displacement may give rise to some interesting attacks on the NFA in the future.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:51:32 PM EST
I doubt anyones gonna read it...but yeah, they basically are the O.G. taxman

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is a tax-collecting, enforcement and regulatory arm of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In common with all other members of the executive branch, ATF's responsibility is established by congressional action. ATF cannot enact a law, nor can it amend the law. Charged as it is with fiscal oversight of some of the most controversial topics in Western civilization, ATF strives to maintain professional neutrality while giving a 35-to-1 return on every dollar it spends. ATF has the best cost-to-collection ratio in the federal family.

ATF is the youngest tax-collecting Treasury agency, separated from the Internal Revenue Service by Treasury Department Order No. 120-1 (former No. 221), effective 1 July 1972. Notwithstanding, ATF traces its roots across two hundred years of American history.

In 1789 under the new Constitution, the first Congress imposed a tax on imported spirits to offset a portion of the Revolutionary War debt assumed from the states. Administration of duties fell to the Department of the Treasury, whose Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, had suggested them. Congressional lawmakers were favorably impressed by the results. The imports tax was augmented by one on domestic production in 1791. Taxpayers had grumbled over import duties. Some of them greeted the domestic levy --- as they do today --- with political resistance, escalating in that early case to the short-lived Whisky Rebellion of 1794. Both revenue sources survived rebellion --- as they do today. Although these particular taxes were eventually abolished, similar devices for revenue came and went as needed until 1862. By Act of 1 July 1862, Congress created an Office of Internal Revenue within the Treasury Department, charging the commissioner with collection, among others, of taxes on distilled spirits and tobacco products that continue, with amendments, today. Because taxation so often does evoke resistance, including criminal evasion, during 1863 Congress authorized the hiring by Internal Revenue of "three detectives to aid in the prevention, detection and punishment of tax evaders." Tax collecting and enforcement were now under one roof. Before decade's end, the Office of Internal Revenue had its own counsel, another component descending in unbroken line to ATF today.

In 1875 federal investigators broke up the "Whisky Ring", an association of grain dealers, politicians and revenue agents that had defrauded the government of millions of dollars in distilled spirits taxes. Responding to the scandal, Congress undertook the first Civil Service reform acts, acknowledging formally that effectiveness of law depends on the quality of its administrators.

The commissioner's annual report for 1877 refers to his office as the Bureau of Internal Revenue, a title that it retained for the next seventy-five years. In 1886, a single employee from the Department of Agriculture came to the Bureau of Internal Revenue under authority of the Oleomargarine Act to establish a Revenue Laboratory. The first samples received in the laboratory that 29 December were of butter suspected of adulteration with oleomargarine. In its second century, ATF's laboratory staff includes --- but is not limited to --- chemists, document analysts, latent print specialists, and firearms and toolmark examiners, supported by its own highly sophisticated facilities at Rockville, Maryland, Atlanta, Georgia, and Walnut Creek, California. That first chemist would recognize some aspects of laboratory service today (analysis of alcohol and tobacco products, for instance) although tools such as chromatography and electrophoresis might seem magic. There was nothing in 1886 to foreshadow the Laboratory's sought-after forensic skills in arson, explosives, and criminal-evidence examination, a resource now available to law enforcement personnel worldwide.

Ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1919, in combination with the Volstead Prohibition Enforcement Act of that year, brought to prominence those officers --- 'revenoors' --- charged with investigating criminal violations of the Internal Revenue law, including illicit manufacture of liquors, who coalesced by 1920 into the Prohibition Unit. Evolution of this unit reflects the difficulty of enforcing a nation-wide ban on "manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes." Internal Revenue's orientation has been toward collection throughout its history. Enforcement efforts, albeit necessary, never came easily. On April Fool's Day, 1927, Treasury elevated the Prohibition Unit to bureau status within the department. Congress was impatient with the results. On 1 July 1930 Congress created certain confusion for later historians by transferring "the penal provisions of the national prohibition act" from Treasury's Bureau of Prohibition (which then ceased to exist) to the Department of Justice's new Bureau of Prohibition --- with an important exception: tax-related and regulatory activities, "the permissive provisions," remained at Treasury, under a new Bureau of Industrial Alcohol. The most illustrious enforcer during that tumultuous era was Eliot Ness, the "T-man" who toppled Chicago's organized-crime king Al Capone on tax-evasion charges.

The Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution, repealing Prohibition, achieved ratification with unanticipated speed by 5 December 1933, catching Congress in recess. As an interim measure to manage a burgeoning legitimate alcohol industry, by executive order under the National Industrial Recovery Act, President Franklin Roosevelt established the Federal Alcohol Control Administration (FACA). The FACA, in cooperation with the Departments of Agriculture and Treasury, endeavored to guide wineries and distilleries under a system based on brewers' voluntary codes of fair competition. The FACA was relieved of its burden --- and effectively vanished from history --- after just twenty months, when President Roosevelt in August 1935 signed the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act. The new FAA received a firm departmental assignment: Treasury once more found itself regulating the alcohol industry.

Although Prohibition was officially over, the era's side effects continued for decades to mold the shape of ATF. On 10 March 1934 Justice's Prohibition enforcement duties folded into the infant Alcohol Tax Unit (ATU), Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of the Treasury. At the same time, the FAA, functioning independently within Treasury, was carrying forward its mandate to collect data, to establish license and permit requirements, and define the regulations that ensure an open, fair marketplace for the alcohol industry and the consumer. In 1940 the FAA as an Administration merged with the ATU. The FAA Act continues today as one foundation of ATF's enabling legislation.

National dismay over the weaponry wielded so conspicuously by organized crime during Prohibition led to passage in 1934 of the National Firearms Act, followed in four years by the Federal Firearms Act. The newly regulated articles might be firearms, but taxes were involved as ever. The Miscellaneous Tax Unit, Bureau of Internal Revenue, collected the fees. In 1942 enforcement duties for the "Firearms Program" fell to the ATU, which was accustomed to managing controversial industries. In a major Internal Revenue reorganization of 1952, the nearly-century-old Miscellaneous Tax Unit was dismantled. Its firearms and tobacco tax responsibilities went to the ATU. The Bureau of Internal Revenue became the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) we know today. Acknowledging a portion of ATU's new burden, IRS renamed it the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division. This incarnation lasted until 1968 passage of the Gun Control Act, which gave to the laboratory, among other things, responsibility for explosives. The division title shifted to Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Division. Title XI of the Organized Crime Control Act in 1970 (Title XI) formalized ATF Division explosives expertise. In the same year, moved by a growing perception that the IRS's revenue-collecting bias did not reflect ATF Division's enforcement skills, overtures began toward ATF independence.

Treasury Department Order No. 120-1 (originally No. 221), effective 1 July 1972, transferred to ATF from IRS those functions, powers and duties related to alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives. (During the mid-1970s at Treasury's direction ATF briefly assumed responsibility for wagering laws; that task returned to the IRS in less than 3 years.) Throughout the 1970s, based on determination that accelerants used in arson, when explosions might occur, meet Title XI's definition of explosives, ATF began demonstrating in court its ability to prove arson. In the Anti-Arson Act of 1982, Congress amended Title XI to make it clear that arson is a federal crime, giving ATF responsibility for investigating commercial arson nationwide.

ATF continues a mutually beneficial interface with its legitimate industries, while refining unique enforcement skills. With developments such as the state-of-the-art Integrated Ballistic Identification System (a computerized matching program for weapons and the ammunition fired from them), accelerant- and explosives/weapons-detection canines, and the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program (which gives children the tools to resist membership in violent gangs), ATF leads and supports law enforcement internationally.

In its first quarter-century ATF has had only 4 Directors: Rex Davis, G.R. Dickerson, Stephen Higgins, and John Magaw. The director is appointed by the secretary of the Treasury, and reports to the under secretary (enforcement). ATF headquarters are in Washington, D.C., although most personnel and many ATF operations are decentralized throughout the country, with a few stations overseas. ATF agents, inspectors, and support staff are involved in investigating some of the most violent crimes in society, in regulating some of the most important and sensitive industries in America, and in collecting over $13 billion in annual revenue. ATF is a young federal agency, yet it is heir to the whole experience and proud tradition of "these United States
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:53:56 PM EST
I am going to open a store called ATF that sells beer, cigars, and AR-15s
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:54:47 PM EST
so the E goes were

ATFE
EATF
.....

what are all the letters in the alphabet gov agencie
Isn't it BATFE or somwthing like that.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:56:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By ANGST:
I am going to open a store called ATF that sells beer, cigars, and AR-15s




you will never get the license to open a store with a three of those evil products
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:59:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 5:42:42 PM EST by KA3B]
Don't forget, there are now two "ATF"s.

One belongs to the Department of Justice:
(Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - ATF),
The other belongs to the Department of the Treasury
(Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau - TTB).

The TTB: As of the 1/1/03 the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), is responsible for all inquiries in regards to regulating the alcohol and tobacco industries and Special Occupational Tax and for the collection of Firearms and Ammunition Excise Taxes imposed on manufacturers and importers of these products.

TTB http://www.ttb.gov/index.htm

ATF http://www.atf.gov/index.htm
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:02:55 PM EST
buy the way I'm so using this thread as research for a speach I have to give in a writing class at my college. so the more indepth the better.

Right now I think my main point is going to be that tha ATF has no reason to exist and in its current incarnation is well outside of it's mandate.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:03:18 PM EST
By rights the BATFE should have NO police powers, they should be a tax collecting agency and that is it. Somewhere along the way they've recieved police powers(which I think they abuse at every turn) and now the Dog is too big to do anything with anymore. I think Federal Taxes are a bunch of bullshit and need to be done away with. If our government can't make ends meet with tariffs and import taxes then it needs to lose weight and cut back some of it's programs and agencies. People need to pay State tax to maintain roads, LEA's, Fire Dept, ect. but Federal Taxes need to go the way of the Dodo.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:03:52 PM EST
Short story: Gun banners have been around forever. Gangs in the twenties had access to machine guns. This is the only time the BGs really did out-gun the PD.

Gun banners said - lets ban those Thompsons they love so much and while you're at it throw a couple more gun types on the list (including pistols - which didn't last long, obviously). Ban went ot effect as a Tax law since banning the guns was anti-constitutional.

Now they need some tax enforcement agents to uphold this tax code of $200 (could've gotten you a car back then). Enter the ATF.

Extremely abbreviated tale.

The post from ar50troll is actually a good read and I'd advise you all to take the time.

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:10:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 4:12:39 PM EST by RAMBOSKY]

Originally posted by ar50troll: "The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is a tax-collecting, enforcement and regulatory arm of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In common with all other members of the executive branch, ATF's responsibility is established by congressional action. ATF cannot enact a law, nor can it amend the law. Charged as it is with fiscal oversight of some of the most controversial topics in Western civilization, ATF strives to maintain professional neutrality while giving a 35-to-1 return on every dollar it spends. ATF has the best cost-to-collection ratio in the federal family.

ATF is the youngest tax-collecting Treasury agency, separated from the Internal Revenue Service by Treasury Department Order No. 120-1 (former No. 221), effective 1 July 1972. Notwithstanding, ATF traces its roots across two hundred years of American history. ........................................................





It's good to have ATF agents like you on our board to properly inform us of your agency's mission.

PS. I have not put any flash hider or adjustable stock on my AR yet.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:11:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By RAMBOSKY:
ar50troll,

It's good to have ATF agents like you on our board to properly inform us of your agency's mission.

PS I have not put any flash hider or adjustable stock on my AR yet.




Ohh shit, I'm busted.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:23:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By a320az:
They are TAX agents. Nothing more!

ETA: Dont forget the E



They WERE tax agents. Not now, they are pure enforcement.
taxes were left with the Truesury dept.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:30:55 PM EST
let me be the first to say it, fuck the atf
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:31:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By repub18:
let me be the first to say it, fuck the atf



OK dude, your the first. I sure ain'y gonna commit something like that to print!
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:33:01 PM EST


ATF is the youngest tax-collecting Treasury agency, separated from the Internal Revenue Service by Treasury Department Order No. 120-1 (former No. 221), effective 1 July 1972.




And they act like it too.


Read the Congressional report on the ATF from the '80s.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:39:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By ArtU:

Originally Posted By a320az:
They are TAX agents. Nothing more!

ETA: Dont forget the E



They WERE tax agents. Not now, they are pure enforcement.
taxes were left with the Truesury dept.



Interesting. Doesn't BATFE still get the NFA forms & maintain the tax roll (aka "NFA Registry")?
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:43:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 5:43:35 PM EST by Freakzilla]
should be called "department of redneck control"
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:43:51 PM EST
FUCKING AMAZING, I post a post that has the CORRECT information.
I guess that people would rather ask fucking stupid questions rather than bother to READ the fucking posts.



Originally Posted By FLAL1A:

Originally Posted By ArtU:

Originally Posted By a320az:
They are TAX agents. Nothing more!

ETA: Dont forget the E



They WERE tax agents. Not now, they are pure enforcement.
taxes were left with the Truesury dept.



Interesting. Doesn't BATFE still get the NFA forms & maintain the tax roll (aka "NFA Registry")?

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:16:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By a320az:
They are TAX agents. Nothing more!

ETA: Dont forget the E




Goddam rev'nooers!
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:17:32 PM EST
some dogs just need killing.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:20:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:
FUCKING AMAZING, I post a post that has the CORRECT information.
I guess that people would rather ask fucking stupid questions rather than bother to READ the fucking posts.



Originally Posted By FLAL1A:

Originally Posted By ArtU:

Originally Posted By a320az:
They are TAX agents. Nothing more!

ETA: Dont forget the E



They WERE tax agents. Not now, they are pure enforcement.
taxes were left with the Truesury dept.



Interesting. Doesn't BATFE still get the NFA forms & maintain the tax roll (aka "NFA Registry")?




Calm down buddy
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