Ex-agent blasts politicization of ATF

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

In recent weeks, I’ve written a good bit about the alarming direction the ATF is heading. While there’s always been something of an adversarial relationship between the bureau and law-abiding gun owners, the truth was that many of us realize most agents were good people trying to do a job and had no interest in folks like you and me.


However, recent events have changed that perspective, at least for me. While these might have still been rogue actors, it’s hard to view it that way considering just how close together all of this was.

Now, over at the NRA’s American’s 1st Freedom, they highlight the resignation letter of an ATF agent that tells us plenty.

Such is the case with Brandon M. Garcia, a career Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) special agent whose lengthy resignation letter highlighted the Biden administration’s weaponization and politicization of the agency, which we’ve been reporting on for some time now.

The resignation letter paints a picture of an agency where politicization by leaders has dragged many rank-and-file agents to rock bottom in their careers.

“The last time morale was this low with ATF was probably 2013-2016,” wrote Garcia. “Coincidentally, that was also the last time we had an administration openly criticize law enforcement. Both administrations preached diversity, or rather ‘celebrate’ it, but then expect everyone to have the same liberal opinion. I don’t know anyone in law enforcement that wants to be ‘celebrated.’ But people in law enforcement do need to know they are supported.”

Garcia also suggested that the agency siding with the left-leaning Biden administration has created an emphasis on something other than actually enforcing the law as agents were tasked to do.

“We did not become ATF agents so we could collect data, ensure firearms are in compliance, seize trigger groups, argue about what a firearm is or is not, seize firearms for reasons other than prosecuting criminals or spend countless hours inputting data to justify someone else’s existence in HQ,” he wrote. “We became ATF agents so we could work the streets and smack evil in the mouth. We took this job because we are willing to risk it all and hope that we can make the streets just a little bit safer for the law-abiding, upstanding citizens of the USA.”


The politicization of the ATF is something we all suspected, of course, but this is just another bit of evidence. Garcia essentially left because he was tired of seeing the ATF weaponized against law-abiding gun owners.

Let’s understand, in a more perfect world, the ATF would be focused on guns in criminal hands. They’d be going after illegal arms dealers and people like that. Sure, they’d probably provide some oversight for gun stores, making sure none of them were crossing that line, but that would be the easy part of their job.

Instead, we have evidence of them hammering the law-abiding, all while people who actually commit so-called gun crimes walk. That’s something Garcia also mentions as a reason for him leaving, and I can’t blame him there.

The truth is that the ATF is not a safe place for anyone who believes its mission is to simply find the actual bad guys.

And I can’t help but notice how this all seems to happen just after Steven Dettelbach was confirmed as ATF director. I won’t definitively say that he’s responsible for what we’re seeing, but it’s awfully funny timing.

The ATF is clearly a trainwreck in the making, and we’re the poor schlubs standing on the tracks.


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