Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; October 10, 2013:
ATF – servicing the government but ignoring the 2nd Amendment
There are conflicting and unconfirmed reports circulating on the Internet regarding the ATF and whether it will be shutdown, insofar as civilian firearms transfers are concerned, during the partial, if no de minimis, government shutdown. These reports seem to co-exist with the confirmed reports of other government agents banning civilian access to parks and even parts of the ocean.
As stated in U.S. Department of Justice document dated Sept. 30, 2013:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): As a Presidential Appointee, the Director is not subject to furlough. Excepted employees include: all agents in ATF’s field divisions, who conduct the full range of criminal investigations in the firearms, arson, explosives, alcohol and tobacco program areas; Industry Operations Investigators who conduct compliance inspections of Federal firearms and Federal explosives licensees (including those mandated under the Safe Explosives Act), as well as application inspections; and other personnel who collect, review and analyze intelligence data in support of criminal investigations. Headquarters support will be maintained only to the extent necessary to support excepted operations.
National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that “… it should be noted that staffing in the Federal Firearms Licensing Center, Imports Branch and NFA Branch has been reduced, though 83% of ATF personnel remain on the job. The customer service operations staffing is some of the 17% who have been reduced.”
Other sites are reporting that ATF activities involving the processing of civilian forms for National Firearms Act activities are or will be suspended. These forms impact the transfer or manufacture of short barrel rifles, short barrel shotguns and machine guns but only to the extent that they involve civilians. ATF apparently will continue to process forms for government agencies and agents.
What do you expect from a government that uses force to block veterans and civilians from access an open, public area that historically is available to the public 24/7 with no access restrictions?
While this shutdown may be temporary, it will predictably multiply the length of the delays that can be expected when operational funding resumes.
This is just another example of why its critical for citizens across Tennessee and other states to work to restore true effect to the phrase “shall not be infringed”. If your access to weapons that your right to own and acquire is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment can be “infringed” simply because the government views those rights as subject to regulation by it and because its categorized even then as “non essential”, then something is seriously wrong.