ATF Permanently Relocating More Agents to Violence-Plagued Chicago

AWR Hawkins,

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is permanently relocating more agents to gun-controlled Chicago in the wake of the city’s nearly 800 homicides in 2016 and the upward trend in violence during January 2017.

The new agents will be part of the “Chicago Crime Guns Strike Force.”

According to CNN, “ATF headquarters in Washington sent out a bulletin to field offices around the country Wednesday looking for agents to volunteer for permanent transfer to the Chicago area.” An unidentified official said “it’s unusual to ask for permanent relocation in reaction to a specific problem.” Normal practice is for the agency to request a surge of agents “for 30 to 60 days.”

January 2017 saw a surge in shootings and violence that easily surpassed the violence witnessed in January 2016. According to the Chicago Tribune, “At least 228 people were shot in Chicago [January 1 through January 22, 2022].” That was an increase of 16 victims above the number shot during the same period in 2016. And there were “at least 42 homicides,” marking a “23.5 percent … [increase from] the 34 homicides from the same period in 2016.”

CNN spoke to two ATF officials about the additional federal agents heading to Chicago. One said the new surge “is not in response” to Trump’s tweet and the second official “could not say for sure that Trump’s comment had nothing to do with decision.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at [email protected].

  • DrArtaud

    This is good news, but for one possibility.

    The govt has the nasty tendency to look for low hanging fruit. Paperwork mistakes are not going to reduce crime, finding and arresting those that intentionally lie on paperwork will. But it has been my observation that law enforcement likes the easy stuff. At work; in building designated for training; during breaks we’d look out to an intersection with a bar located, of course, outside the plant. There was a drive up window, of sorts, to buy illicit drugs. You pulled up in the alley right next to the bar, a black guy would come out, lean in the window, and within a minute, he’d withdraw from the car and the car would leave. This went on, day in and day out. Never once saw an officer search, make arrests, or even do anything more than drive by, even when the guy was leaning into the window. Yet a white couple drives down from the local project, police car following. As he stops, the driver exits the vehicle and goes into the hardware store of ill repute (stolen goods, not prostitutes), no doubt to drop off his drugs, comes back out, plays stupid, and the cop has emptied the car, onto the ground, including the woman’s purse. Where’s the bravado when the black drive up drug window is open? Never, ever, ever, seen them stop a black person near work, though they have ticketed one white guy at work with tinted windows and a medical exception to have them, stopping him again and again. Other coworkers were stopped too for asinine violations.

    New York passed a magazine capacity law, decreasing the previous capacity of 10 to 7. An officer or officers stopping two people, carrying under concealed carry licenses, and without requirement to by the state law, counted the rounds in the magazine. One had 9 and the other 10 rounds. The officers arrested these men for violating the law, with the men facing a $500 fine and 6 months in prison. So, otherwise law abiding citizens, carrying concealed under license, were to be fined, put in prison, likely losing their jobs, and possibly losing their cars, homes, wives, etc., over 2 rounds and 3 rounds respectively. This is poor judgement by law enforcement yielding results not likely to have any influence on crime.

    Now I’m sure the officers routinely are exposed to severe violence, and they have to cope with it, I’m not taking that away from them, but, in general, low hanging fruit is seductive to focus on.

    OSHA, they come to our plant, and the first thing they want to do is?:

    #1. Tour the facility and look for obvious physical hazards and conditions?

    #2. Walk around the facility with people that perform jobs and see if any needless danger exists?

    #3. Look at paperwork that the company maintains and see if they crossed their T’s and dotted their I’d?

    If you said #3, you are correct.

    If the ATF rides into town and goes for the really egregious violaters of gun laws that have strong likelihood to be using them in violent crimes, they may make a difference. If they go in and look for trivial things, the effort will be wasted.