Alcohol Tobacco and Fire Arms ATF Term Paper

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Alcohol tobacco and fire arms (A.T.F)

In the federal government, in one way, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a brand new agency with a new mission, new name and a new place. On the other hand, the status of the agency in the history of United States can be traced back to more than 200 years in a practical way. On January 24, 2003, a new alteration was made in which the ATF was transferred from the Treasury department to the Justice department and its name was somewhat changed with the word "explosives" being added on to make clear one of its major long-standing field of know-how. The 200-year history of the agency, which started receiving the nation's first excise tax on distilled spirits from 1791, was brought to end by the move to Justice. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, January 30, 1998, p.1). This job was given to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which is a part of the Treasury Department, as of January 2003. In American history, the nonappearance of income tax for a prolonged time meant that excise taxes were the chief way the national government maintained its functions. For instance, the income obtained from the excise taxes was a noteworthy basis of income even during the Civil War, which was an expensive enduring battle. (Skrzycki, Cindy. January 29, 1999, p.5).

Participation of the agency in the national effort instantly after World War One to radically decrease the use of alcohol by all U.S. people was one more major moments of the agency in American history. An ATF forerunner agency performed a key role in the national movement to abolish the commercial sale of beer, wine and whiskey, under the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, approved in 1919. (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 1994, p.2) But the prohibition trial was not a buzzing success by many accounts. The growth of a succession of vicious mobs that focused on distributing the currently prohibited booze to those who yearned for it was one of its more regrettable outcomes. In the nation's history, homicide tolls were the maximum in 1930s due to the turf wars of these mobs. (The Polling Company for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, 1995, p.1). When the murder rates once again reached historically high levels, the gang wars over the disbursement of crack cocaine during the 1980s made the similar contribution, as per some experts. On December 5, 1933 the prohibition came to an end with the approval of the 21st Amendment. (Cook & Ludwig, 1996, p.6)

The mob aggression of both the late twenties and early thirties and the late eighties and early nineties played a key role in the opening of a long series of gun laws by Congress, most notably the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Brady law of 1993 (United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 1993, p.1) and the Violent Crime and Control Act of 1994. The manners in which these laws are enforced have now become a main concern in American politics. (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 1993, p.1). The ATF has had its peak and trough place over the years, like most government organization. For instance, the inspection of the 1993 terrorist bombing of the New York Trade Center and the 1995 bombing of the federal office building in Oklahoma City won the agency wide applause. (The Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative (YCGII) 27 Communities -Highlights, February 1999, p.3) But the ATF search on a spiritual sect in Waco, Texas, on February 28, 1993 was subjected to severe disparagement after a complete survey by a board of law enforcement authorities. (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, February 25, 1997, p.2)While many workforce and ATF functions are decentralized all over the country with a few stations abroad, the center of operations of ATF is at Washington, D.C. ATF agents, inspectors and support staff are involved in examining some of the most brutal offense in society, in accumulating over $13 billion in yearly income and in regulating some of the most significant and responsive industries in America. Though ATF is a new federal agency, it is successor to the entire experience and conceited custom of the United States. (Woolley, September 30, 1998, p.6)

In spite of its unique tasks and proficiency in carrying out bomb survey, the agency's contribution in terrorism matters was somewhat moderate in the period after 9/11/01 because the ATF's extreme concentration was on gun-carrying criminals. The ATF that year come second to FBI in referring to these kinds of cases, though there were a fairly small number of cases of violence and domestic safety for the entire government in the twelve months before the 9/11 attack. But in FY 2002, the year after the 9/11 attacks, the ATF fell to the eighth position among the agencies, well behind the FBI and some fully new groups like the Social Security Administration, the Department of Transportation and the Postal Service. The ten-fold increase in enforcement actions by all federal agencies dwarfed the ATF attempt, though ATF terrorism/internal security cases did rise in the year after 9/11. The measures by the ATF to implement explosives laws are actually lesser these days than they were a decade ago. In January Attorney General Ashcroft in his speech ascertained that "the certainty rate for federal gun crime trials was nearly 90% in FY year 2002."

In each of the last five years, those who are really accused or officially charged, the certainty rate with these offenses were certainly high running from 83 to 85%. But the Justice Department' official numbers were less striking when designed in an alternative way. A number of cases suggested by ATF for trial, after bearing in mind all the weapons cases are rejected by assistant U.S., Attorneys or relieved by federal judges annually. When viewed through a lens, the percent of all weapons issue disposed of where the defendant was found accountable; the ATF certainty rate was quite dissimilar from that mentioned by the attorney general. 54% of all reference led to a certainty in FY 1998. (U.S. Department of the Treasury, 1998, p. 2) This level declined to 42% in FY 1999, 43% in FY 2000, 42% in 2001 and 44% in 2002. (Department of the Treasury Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 2000, p.1) An assessment of the ratio of ATF references for trial that Assistant U.S. attorney across the country settle are commendable of actual trial in court. ATF had an above average record when contrasted to other investigative agencies, five years ago. Nowadays, it has stumbled below the average. ATFs records do not quantify up very well as other agencies when looking only at weapons trials. Fairly more than half of ATF weapons references under 18 USC 922 (56% of them) were charged in FY 2002. In contrast, over two thirds of the weapons matters referred to the prosecutors by other federal agencies (71%) were accused. (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, February 2000, p.2).

For many years the ATF has been placed near the top of all federal agencies in terms of middle and mean prison terms of the relatively long sentences authorized in the nation's gun laws for defendants found guilty on weapons charges that result from the inspection. (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, June 2, 2001, p.1) Whilst it is still true, the median or usual ATF sentence in current years is now lower than it was in the mid-1990s. The agency's top median verdict of half got more; half got less was 57 months, since the Justice Department began assembling such details. FY 1996 data shows this. (Frattaroli, 1999, p.11)The average prison term for FY 2000, 2001 and 2002 was 41 months each. The utilization of banned guns as a main trouble of the nation's big cities is the broad supposition of crime experts. However, according to current data, ATF, instead of main cities, keeps on concentrating a major share of its enforcement labors in rural and less populous districts. The quantity of referrals in each federal district with respect to its inhabitants calculated in per capita terms in the midst of the regions with under average ATF presence were California Central (Los Angeles), California North (San Francisco), Illinois North (Chicago), Massachusetts (Boston), New York South (Manhattan), the District of Columbia, Michigan East (Detroit) and Georgia North (Atlanta). (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, June 2, 2001)

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has over the years been allocated a series of tasks that were not always clearly related, as suggested by its name, and different from the Internal Revenue Service and the Drug Enforcement Agency. This historic setback may have relieved to a substantial level when most of the ATF was moved form the Treasury Department to the Justice Department on January 24, 2003. The ATF was for many years a basic source of federal income, while the comparative significance of this role…[continue]

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