The ongoing dispute between the Reno offices of the U.S. Attorney and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — a dispute that should have been resolved months ago in the interest of effective law enforcement — has gone from the absurd to the downright dangerous.
The rift, more than a year old, already has resulted in the near decimation of the Reno ATF office, with five of six agents transferring to other offices, the Reno Gazette-Journal’s Martha Bellisle has reported, when the U.S. Attorney’s office refused to prosecute cases prepared by the ATF. In at least one case, the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has stepped in to prosecute.
On Sunday, Bellisle reported the ATF is no longer picking up weapons purchased by nearly three dozen people who failed to pass a background check required by federal law. The ATF doesn’t have sufficient personnel to meet its most basic responsibilities, leaving guns in the hands of people who aren’t allowed to have them, most often because they’ve been convicted of felonies.
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