The White House has a plan to reorganize the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that would see the department focus on regulations and crimes involving firearms and explosives according to a report.
The Trump administration is looking to end a long-standing confusing split of responsibilities and perhaps end some redundancy. The Department of the Treasury is responsible for collecting taxes on tobacco and alcohol, but enforcement was placed under BATFE just after 9/11.
According to a report in The New York Times, anonymous sources say the proposal is in a draft budget proposal.
The change is included in a draft of President Trump’s coming budget proposal, according to two senior administration officials. The plan envisions hiring roughly two dozen Treasury agents, plus auditors and support staff, the officials said. Congress would have to pass a law to reorganize the agencies.
The officials who discussed the proposal did so on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it in draft form. Though budget plans can change, the officials said the A.T.F. language has remained in place through multiple revisions.
The Times guessed that BATFE’s new moniker might be A.E.F. for Bureau of Arson, Explosives and Firearms which would technically be BAEF. That’s far better than my guess, the Bureau of Firearms and Explosives, which would give them the acronym of B.F.E. because that’s already taken by an expletive-laden reference to the middle-of-nowhere.
The change should allow the revamped organization to focus on violent crimes and the illicit gun trade while letting Treasury focus on sin-tax enforcement for tobacco and alcohol.
While the president’s budget is just an outline for Congress to consider, the desired organizational changes would require legislation to enact.