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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 8, 2014 at 6:56 AM

Gun control: How is a gutted ATF supposed to do its job?

Letter writer Bob Stevens is right to be angry about 2396 guns “unaccounted for,” but he’s wrong in where the blame lies [“‘Lost Guns’: Enforce the gun laws already on the books,” Northwest Voices, April 30].

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is so understaffed and limited in its ability to police guns in America. This is due to the gun culture in the U.S. and the National Rifle Association demanding that the ATF stay out of effective gun accountability.

How many thousands of gun shops and gun shows in America is a gutted ATF supposed to be able to check? It’s an impossible job made harder by those citizens who demonize enforcement.

It’s not like the ATF can just pop in unannounced to do an inventory of a gun shop operation. It can’t. And it is severely restricted by how often it can appear at a particular business.

The ATF is already operating within the laws that now exist. It just doesn’t have an effective way to do its job. If you want better accountability, call or write your senator or representative and demand it.

Richard B. Ellenberger, Normandy Park

Comments | More in Gun control | Topics: ATF, Bob Stevens, gun control

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