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FLEOA Letter in Oppo-​sition to HR 5522

October 1, 2014

The Honorable Robert W. Goodlatte
Chairman
House Committee on the Judiciary
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515


The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member
House Committee on the Judiciary
B351 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers:

On behalf of the 26,000 members of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), I am writing to express our strong opposition to the ATF Elimination Act, H.R.5522. FLEOA vehemently disagrees with the position put forth in this misguided legislation. Alternatively, during current volatile times of rapidly escalating violent crime, shooting massacres and gun trafficking, Congress should be prioritizing its resources towards strengthening ATF, and not dismantling the agency.

Whether it is lone offenders or organized gangs and traffickers, these violent criminal components will not take pause while H.R. 5522 attempts to initiate an unwarranted bureaucratic maneuver. This bill  will only serve to waste taxpayer money while dissolving a critical layer of enforcement and protection for the American public. We cannot afford to abandon ATF's formidable Frontline Strategy for combating violent crime, and instead shamefully "chop‐shop" its’ valuable mission to other agencies.


In spite of prior ATF cases that came under congressional scrutiny, the agency once again produced formidable results that are worthy of mention. Statistics from 2013 illustrate ATF's vast accomplishments and reinforces the need to build the agency under Director Jones' leadership. For example, the dedicated efforts of ATF law enforcement personnel resulted in 9,901 criminal convictions, and these weren't for jay‐walking. In fact, among these convictions, 93 violent criminals received life sentences. Additionally, ATF worked 1,737 arson investigations, 21,852 firearms cases, and 927 explosives related cases. These favorable outcomes have a tremendous impact on public safety and should not be overlooked. Contrary to what H.R. 5522 hopes to accomplish, it isn't that easy to simply transfer this responsibility to other law enforcement components that are already entrenched in their own formidable missions.

I respectfully ask that you oppose H.R. 5522 and instead work with Director Jones to make the agency even stronger. Both the dedicated ATF law enforcement professionals and the American public deserve this commitment and protection.  Let's all agree to stop the elimination of ATF, and instead eliminate a bad piece of legislation.

Respectfully,

Jon Adler
National President