Proposed Budget Cuts Could be “Amputation” For ATF

James Cavanaugh/atf photo
By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Proposed deep budget cuts could undermine some key ATF programs like “Project Gun Runner”, a signature program under the Obama administration designed to crack down on the flow of weapons to Mexico and its cartels, the Washington Post reported.

The Post’s James Grimaldi and Sari Horwitz report that the proposed ATF cuts would amount to nearly $160 million out of a $1.25 billion budget request or a 12.8 percent reduction. They reported that administration officials said the proposed cuts were part of an early draft and could change.

Nonetheless, the cuts have renewed cries by some that ATF seldom seems to get the respect its due from administrations.

“ATF is the ugly stepchild of every administration,” former ATF official James Cavanaugh, who retired last year, told the Post.

“It would really handicap the ATF. It’s a small agency and it’s a lean machine. There are not a lot of agents and inspectors. There is not a lot of fat. With ATF, it would be an amputation.”

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