The House held hearings on the ATF on Thursday. The headlines would have been just about that, but Manuel Oliver and his wife, Patricia, had to go and make it about themselves.
But the Heritage Foundation’s Amy Swearer also spoke during the hearing.
During her testimony, she basically lays down the harsh truth about just what the ATF is and how it acts.
Prior to the disturbance, Amy Swearer, a senior legal fellow with The Heritage foundation, was one of four witnesses testifying on March 23 before a joint hearing of subcommittees of the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability titled “ATF’s Assault on the Second Amendment: When is Enough Enough?”.
She agreed with ATF supporters that the agency does important work, but added that it also has a history of questionable actions.
“At its best, ATF and its agents play an integral role in combating gun crime,” Amy Swearer a senior legal fellow with The Heritage Foundation wrote in her submitted testimony. “At its worst, it acts as a fifth column for gun control advocacy groups.”
If Swearer had pulled the microphone off the table and dropped it, it would have been completely appropriate.
After all, she’s right.
Look, the ATF is in charge of enforcing gun regulations in this country, but while there’s always going to be some degree of tension between them and gun owners, that could be kept to a minimum. However, we’ve seen the ATF lately do nothing but advance the gun control narrative and overstep its authority in enforcement.
And that was before the pistol brace ban.
The reason there’s outright hostility between the gun community and the ATF? Because we cannot trust them to act impartially. They act as if they’re the proverbial jack-booted thugs answering to groups like Everytown and Brady, not the American people, and that’s a problem.
And Swearer called them out by saying they’re acting like a fifth column because they are.
Of course, she says they’re that at their worst, but if you take a look around, that’s where we’re standing right here and now.
Swearer is also right that the ATF serves an important function. I know a lot of us don’t like to think about it, but they are supposed to investigate things like the illegal gun trade.
In fact, if that’s where they focused their attention, few would have an issue with them. The problem is that we don’t see much action on that front, just their attempts to jam up innocent gun store owners over things like paperwork errors and trying to intimidate law-abiding citizens who bought guns a little too close together for an agent’s personal comfort.
These aren’t illegal gun trades. This isn’t someone selling stolen guns out of the back of their car to any gangbanger with the cash. Those guys are seemingly ignored by the ATF, which is why Swearer’s comment about a fifth column for gun control resonates with so many of us.
She called them like she saw it, and I, for one, agree completely.