ATF HEAD DOESN'T THINK ATF SHOULD DO ITS JOB | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

ATF HEAD DOESN'T THINK ATF SHOULD DO ITS JOB

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
For Immediate Release
Contact: Brendan Kelly, bkelly [at] bradymail [dot] org
Phone: 724-612-3453

ATF HEAD DOESN'T THINK ATF SHOULD DO ITS JOB

Read Brady's report on 'bad apple' gun dealers

WASHINGTON - ATF's second in command doesn't think the ATF should do its job, at a time when the agency's work is actually needed most. Ronald Turk, chief operating officer for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), recently wrote a white paper calling for relaxed safety regulations and reduced enforcement of irresponsible 'bad apple' gun dealers.

In part, Turk's paper anticipates the ATF lightening up on gun dealers who routinely sell guns used in crimes. It's a potentially lethal proposal.

Ninety percent of all crime guns are traced back to just five percent of gun dealers. These 'bad apple' dealers flood city streets with crime guns by irresponsibly and illegally selling guns to people they shouldn't - domestic abusers, violent felons, fugitives, and traffickers. ATF knows who they are, but continues to let it slide.

Brady Campaign president Dan Gross said, "This memo is dangerous not only in what it says, but what it doesn't say. The one, single thing ATF can do to have a meaningful and immediate impact on gun violence is go after 'bad apple' gun dealers - reform them or shut them down. Not only does Mr.Turk not address that, his proposals would actually make the problem worse. He wants to give 'bad apple' dealers less scrutiny and a longer leash.

"ATF's own spokeswoman said this white paper is meant to 'generate dialogue.' So let's start having a dialogue about the real action ATF can take now to save lives. Let's name names. ATF licenses gun dealers like Chuck's in Illinois, Don's Guns of Indiana, and Arrowhead Pawn in Georgia. These three dealers, and other like them, continue to operate with minimal scrutiny despite having sold thousands upon thousands of guns recovered in crimes. Is this what we're to believe law and order looks like?"

The bureau's website reads, "ATF is a law enforcement agency...that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism..."

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About Us: The Brady Campaign and Center, united with the Million Mom March, is a national network of over 90 grassroots chapter affiliates mobilized to prevent gun violence at the community level. The network has played a vital role in expanding Brady background checks in the six states that have passed legislation since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and produced the largest national protest of gun violence in U.S. history - The Million Mom March, Mother's Day 2000.