ATF ignoring machinegun-toting thugs, will ban legally owned ARs instead

by Lee Williams

More than 500 people have been shot and killed in Chicago this year. More than 2,220 have been shot and wounded. On any weekend, Chicago streets reverberate with the sound of fully automatic fire. It remains America’s deadliest domestic war zone.

According to one violence tracker, a Chicagoan is shot every 2 hours and 45 minutes. Someone in the city is murdered every 13 hours, and it is no secret who’s doing the killing.

There are more than 100,000 documented gang members in the Windy City, and the influx of plastic Glock switches has armed thousands of them with converted machineguns. The plastic switches attach easily to most Glock-type handguns, giving the weapon an incredibly high cyclic rate. The switches are sold openly on a few unscrupulous Chinese websites, and they’re also very easy to 3D print.

One recent viral video shows Chicago teens showing off their Glock switches, brazenly taunting police. Another video shows a young man spraying fully automatic fire into a crowd.

Anyone who has ever tried to shoot the Glock 18 – Glock’s factory-made machine-pistol – knows how difficult it is to control a full-auto 9mm handgun, even for an experienced pistoleer. In the hands of young gang members – a group not known for their accuracy or target discrimination – these converted Glocks are a recipe for mass casualties.

To be clear, innocent lives are at risk.

If anyone at ATF had even half a brain, you’d think they would flood the zone with Special Agents whose sole mission would be to rid Chicago’s streets of machinegun-toting gangsters. Unfortunately, the ATF has other plans and priorities.

ATF Director Steven Dettelbach announced this week his intent to ban legally owned semi-automatic rifles, which he called “assault weapons.”

Dettelbach’s comments came at a discussion called “Gun Violence in America,” which was held at Harvard University, of course.

“The president has also said, and I agree, that we should consider and reinstate a ban on certain types of assault weapons,” Dettelbach said, adding he also supported the president’s call for universal background checks.

Dettelbach’s comments conflict with his earlier testimony, which was given under oath before a Senate confirmation committee, when he promised skeptical senators that he would not use his position to advocate for new gun regulations or laws.

Wrong priorities

Dettelbach and his agents could use a real-world mission. Nowadays, they have plenty of time on their hands.

As we have previously reported, most of ATF’s criminal charges are filed administratively after the fact, after another law enforcement agency has made an arrest. For example, when local police arrest an armed criminal with a prior felony conviction, they may ask ATF to pursue federal charges, which usually carry a stiffer penalty. Of course, ATF takes credit for the arrest, the investigation and the subsequent prosecution, often by claiming it was part of a task force or its Project Safe Neighborhoods program.

Currently, ATF is keeping busy by intimidating and harassing law-abiding gun dealers. They recently sent a 12-man ATF SWAT team to the rural Oklahoma home of a federal firearm licensee who had committed no crime. The dealer was so terrified he relinquished his FFL.

Wouldn’t ATF SWAT assets be more useful in Chicago, where local police are understaffed, underpaid and under Democrat control?

ATF leadership loves to tout how helpful they are to their law enforcement “partners.” It’s time for deeds not words. Rather sitting in their comfy Field Division offices, waiting for the phone to ring with a routine trace request, maybe ATF should consider committing some actual police work. Maybe they should take the lead role in disarming an actual threat, instead of their current supporting role.

Given the millions of undocumented military-age males Joe Biden allowed to walk across our border, and the $7 billion in weapons and military equipment he gifted the terrorists, which are already showing up in Israel, we’ll hang on to our ARs and AKs, thank you very much. After all, we may need them.

If Dettelbach wants to separate himself from the other political toadies who have helmed the ATF, he should dispatch hundreds of agents to Chicago where they’re actually needed – where they can save lives – rather than using them to harass law abiding Americans just to satisfy the whims of a faltering president.