The Hypocrisy of the ATF

The ATF has been scrutinizing and criticizing us over a .4% error rate that they deem to be willful, here is our now former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales dodging questions on the ATF's record keeping on April 6, 2006 at a House Judiciary Committee Hearing:

REP. CHRIS CANNON (R-UT): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, Mr. Attorney General, we appreciate your being here. I want you to know that I share the concerns that have been expressed thus far, but would like to ask you a couple of programmatic questions. Since the 1970s, there have been significant questions about the accuracy of the National Firearms Act maintained by the ATF. The Gun Control Act of 1968 provided an amnesty whereby individuals could come forward and register weapons, which were often war trophies that they got from their parents who'd fought overseas. In 1998, an IG report found that the ATF contract employees had improperly destroyed NFA records, and ATF employees had not followed proper procedures during the registration. This bureaucratic mess has left many of my constituents with potentially illegal guns solely because of ATF mistakes. Would you support legislation allowing collectors to re-register so they are in compliance with the law, especially if they have the appropriate paperwork? And would you agree that an individual should not be faced with prosecution or the loss of a valuable weapon because of ATF's negligence?

ATTY GEN. GONZALES: Well, I don't want to prejudge whether or not there should or should not be prosecution, Congressman, without knowing the facts. I'm not familiar of the incident that you're describing, but I'd be happy to look into it.

REP. CANNON: Look, it's not an incident. There's a report that deals with MANY incidences.

ATTY GEN. GONZALES: I'm not familiar with the report, but I'm happy to discuss with you and look at legislation — I want to have the opportunity to look at that report.

REP. CANNON: Okay, thank you. We will follow up on it. It has a — I have just in my district many, many people who have this problem, and they have paperwork that came from the ATF that is — it's ignored by ATF.

ATTY GEN. GONZALES: That shouldn't be the case.

REP. CANNON: Thank you. I appreciate your stating on the record that it should not be the case, and we'll follow up with that.