Media Contact:
Garrett McDonough, (415) 433-2062 x304, [email protected] 

Center for American Progress boldly proposes folding the ATF into the FBI to effect better enforcement of gun laws and dealers. 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the leading resource for information on firearms legislation and Second Amendment litigation, applauds our partners at the Center for American Progress (CAP) for their work on “The Bureau and the Bureau,” an enterprising new report examining the relationship between the ATF and the FBI.

Analysts at CAP spent two years investigating both agencies, searching for a better solution to enforcing gun laws at the federal level, and concluded that the two should merge operations. CAP’s investigation found that for the better part of a decade, the ATF has been functioning under weak management and startling inefficiency. Because of opposition from the gun lobby, the ATF was without a director for seven years, until B. Todd Jones was confirmed by the Senate in July 2014. He resigned after just seven months, following a failed effort to ban “green tip” armor-piercing bullets. The FBI’s funding and leadership have remained stable compared to the ATF, and are thus better equipped to manage the work ATF agents are expected to carry out. 

The instability of the ATF’s management structure makes now the right time to rethink the way the FBI and ATF work together. The gun lobby has pressured Congress to underfund the ATF and adopt burdensome regulations that make it harder for agents to enforce the smart gun laws already on the books, all of which has brought the ATF to a fever pitch of inefficiency.

“The Law Center works closely with the Center for American Progress, and we support their dedicated efforts to find effective solutions, such as their proposed merger between the FBI and ATF,” said Robyn Thomas, Executive Director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Gun violence is an epidemic that kills over 30,000 Americans each year, and passing smart gun laws is only part of the answer. We also need government agencies with the funding, capacity, and leadership to enforce those laws, and this is what CAP’s insightful new report addresses.” 



Media contact:
Garrett McDonough
[email protected]

About the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Founded in the wake of the July 1, 1993, assault weapon massacre at 101 California Street in San Francisco that left eight dead and six wounded, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is now the premier resource for legal expertise and information regarding state and federal firearms laws. We track and analyze gun laws in all 50 states, file amicus briefs in Second Amendment cases across the country, and work with lawmakers and advocates to craft and promote legislation that will reduce gun violence and save lives. We regularly partner with other nonprofit organizations dedicated to combating the epidemic of gun violence in our country, and we invite you to explore our website,, to learn more about our work.