Ex-ATF Agent Cites Excessive “Politicization”

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posted on August 15, 2022
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Diplomatic Security Service courtesy Flickr

Disgruntled ex-employees are easy to find these days, and even easier to ignore in most cases. But when you find one who has worked for a key federal agency for nearly 18 years and quits because of recent politicization of that organization, what he has to say is newsworthy, indeed.

Such is the case with Brandon M. Garcia, a career Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) special agent whose lengthy resignation letter highlighted the Biden administration’s weaponization and politicization of the agency, which we’ve been reporting on for some time now.

The resignation letter paints a picture of an agency where politicization by leaders has dragged many rank-and-file agents to rock bottom in their careers.

“The last time morale was this low with ATF was probably 2013-2016,” wrote Garcia. “Coincidentally, that was also the last time we had an administration openly criticize law enforcement. Both administrations preached diversity, or rather ‘celebrate’ it, but then expect everyone to have the same liberal opinion. I don’t know anyone in law enforcement that wants to be ‘celebrated.’ But people in law enforcement do need to know they are supported.”

Garcia also suggested that the agency siding with the left-leaning Biden administration has created an emphasis on something other than actually enforcing the law as agents were tasked to do.

“We did not become ATF agents so we could collect data, ensure firearms are in compliance, seize trigger groups, argue about what a firearm is or is not, seize firearms for reasons other than prosecuting criminals or spend countless hours inputting data to justify someone else’s existence in HQ,” he wrote. “We became ATF agents so we could work the streets and smack evil in the mouth. We took this job because we are willing to risk it all and hope that we can make the streets just a little bit safer for the law-abiding, upstanding citizens of the USA.”

In a paragraph on the escalation of violent crime, Garcia pointed out the illogic of Biden’s proposed anti-gun “solutions,” which fall on ATF agents to enforce.

“This administration talks a lot about guns in the same sentence they talk about violent crime; however, they say nothing about holding people accountable for the crimes they commit (unless it supports their agenda),” he wrote. “I agree that gun crime is out of control. But I also know there is a double standard that is being ignored. When horrible tragedies occur with firearms, the left seizes every opportunity to argue for gun control and the elimination of certain types of weapon systems.

“However, specifically in blue states, fewer and fewer defendants associated with gun crimes are actually sentenced to prison. Additionally, violent crimes committed with firearms are consistently pled down to non-violent crimes and the defendant again avoids prison. This is not unique to state prosecutors, the USAO does the same thing. If there is no consequence to committing a crime, then why would a criminal stop? If guns were banned, why would the criminals actually agree to abide by the law?”

In fact, as Garcia pointed out, the vast majority of gun-control laws only affect law-abiding citizens—and mostly from one political demographic.

“We can probably agree that law abiding citizens do not commit gun crime,” he wrote. “I think that we can probably also agree that the majority of gun owners tend to be more conservative than liberal. So essentially, gun control will only affect law-abiding, conservative citizens. Therefore, the government is only punishing the conservative population.”

The Biden administration’s and ATF leadership’s current position that guns are the problem also came under fire from Garcia, who believes quite differently.

“I stand firm that guns are not the problem,” he wrote. “The problem is that we don’t hold criminals accountable for their actions anymore. I have spent the majority of my career working violent crime. I learned a long time ago that you do not combat violent crime by seizing firearms; you combat violent crime by locking up violent criminals for a really long time. Not just a really long time on paper, a long time behind actual prison bars; like we used to do it before legislators and members of the judicial system decided to neglect their oath.”

In the end, Garcia’s loss of faith in the very government he was employed by for nearly two decades caused him to tender his resignation.

“I believe in God, I believe in The Constitution, and I believe that bad guys belong in prison,” he concluded. “The Government no longer believes in any of those things. Since I can no longer do this job the way I think it needs to be done and have the appropriate level of success, then it is time for me to fight this fight from a different angle.”

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