Federal agencies paid out at least $548 million to informants working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), in recent years, according to government audits.
- A few informants became millionaires, with some Amtrak and “parcel” delivery workers making nearly $1 million or more.
- Many informants were authorized to commit “crimes” with the permission of their federal handlers. In a four-year period, there were 22,800 crime authorizations (2011-2014).
- The FBI paid approximately $294 million (FY2012-2018), the DEA paid at least $237 million (FY2011-2015), and ATF paid approximately $17.2 million total (FY2012-2015) to informants.
Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com compiled this information by reviewing federal reports. While some of the data is several-years old; it’s apparently the most recent available.
The FBI spent an average of $42 million a year on confidential human sources between fiscal years 2012 and 2018. “Long term” informants comprised 20 percent of its intelligence relationships (source: DOJ IG 2019 report).
The ATF employed 1,855 informants who were paid $4.3 million annually (FY2012-2015). Therefore, on average, each informant made $2,318 for the year. (source: DOJ IG report 2017).
Recently, an internal ATF document was released showing some very interesting statistics. The most significant statistic is that in 2021, the ATF processed 54.7 million Out-of-Business records. The records they are referring to, of course, is Form 4473.
The 4473 is the physical form that records the firearm information; make, model, serial number, type, caliber, and information for those unfamiliar with firearm paperwork. It essentially ties a name to the firearm as it was transferred to an individual from a licensed dealer, sometimes referred to as an FFL.
The 4473 also has personal information on it. It has name, birthdate, current address, birthplace, height, weight, and driver’s license number. Some even opt to give their social security number so that their NICS check goes faster. Speaking of NICS checks, let us clear up another misconception. The firearm information does not get entered during the NICS check. No system associates specific firearms with individuals… yet.
For those familiar with ATF paperwork, a pattern might be forming. We had our first taste of it back in November of 2020. Of course, the hyperbolic media was more focused at the time on the fact that the ATF added a gender box for “non-binary” but completely ignored the fact that all the pertinent information had been consolidated to the first page of the form.
For those unfamiliar, before November of 2020, page one of the 4473 form asked for personal information but no information on the firearm associated. Prior to 2020, the firearm information was located on page 3. Why would the ATF move the firearm information and the personal information onto the same page?
To a person, the answer is obvious—data collection. There is absolutely no way the ATF is not preparing for the eventual digitization of their systems and then a fight for a searchable database that they are prohibited by law from having. Furthermore, if one is familiar with how the Federal Government operates, the moves they make now are setting up the push five or even ten years down the road.
This step towards tyranny is why gun owners must stay vigilant. When your personal friends that own firearms tell you that they “do not see an issue with universal background checks,” let them know that legitimate gun violence is not stopped by overregulation and government control.
What makes the problem even more egregious is that in 2021, Joe Biden directed the ATF to make a few more regulations to current firearms law. One of those regulations is that FFLs (Firearms Dealers) cannot ever destroy the 4473 Forms that they keep on-site. Current law says that after 20 years, the records can be destroyed.
If this regulation goes through, the Biden administration will have just set the first chess piece in a very, very long game of death by attrition. If gun shops close or go out of business, they will be required to turn over every 4473 ever filled out at their shop.
The Siege at Ruby Ridge is often considered a pivotal date in American history. The shootout between Randy Weaver and his family and federal agents on August 21, 1992, is one that kicked off the Constitutional Militia Movement and left America with a deep distrust of its leadership – in particular then-President George H.W. Bush and eventual President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno.
The short version is this: Randy Weaver and his wife Vicki moved with their four kids to the Idaho Panhandle, near the Canadian border, to escape what they thought was an increasingly corrupt world. The Weavers held racial separatist beliefs, but were not involved in any violent activity or rhetoric. They were peaceful Christians who simply wanted to be left alone.
Specifically for his beliefs, Randy Weaver was targeted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) in an entrapping “sting” operation designed to gain his cooperation as a snitch. When he refused to become a federal informant, he was charged with illegally selling firearms. Due to a miscommunication about his court date, the Marshal Service was brought in, who laid siege to his house and shot and killed his wife and 14-year-old son.
President Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has purged thousands of tweets from his Twitter profile, while still permitting communications on Facebook, raising flags over his prior hearing response that he made his account private due to “violent threats” that were forwarded to the Department of Justice.
In writing to Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, David Chipman said he “decided to set my Twitter account to private because of violent threats I had received in the past and anticipated receiving once my nomination was made public. I notified officials at the Department of Justice that I intended to make my account private.”
In addition, it appears Chipman has deleted the vast majority of his tweets. Whereas there were 1,815 tweets in October 2016, there are now a mere 115 as of Wednesday. It is unclear why his Facebook posts remain public and why he can be freely messaged if Chipman is legitimately worried about being threatened through social media. Surely, those threatening the ATF nominee would be smart enough to use other platforms. The contradiction was flagged by American Accountability Foundation.
Sen. Cotton told The Federalist Chipman’s behavior is suspicious and that he seems to be trying to conceal past information.
According to Liz George of American Military Forces, “The forces will be a coordinated effort between U.S. Attorneys and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), as well as state and local law enforcement.”
“Working with our local partners to tackle violent crime is one of the Justice Department’s most important responsibilities,” declared Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in a statement. “Today, the department is taking another concrete step to address violent crime and illegal firearms trafficking. Our firearms trafficking strike forces will investigate and disrupt the networks that channel crime guns into our communities with tragic consequences. This effort reflects our shared commitment to keep communities safe.”
On top of that, the administration is working to establish “zero tolerance for rogue gun dealers that willfully violate the law.” These new zero tolerance policies will consist of revoking gun dealers’ federal licenses who break federal law.
A watchdog group has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in an effort to learn more about an alleged incident involving Democrat President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
David Chipman, a radical pro-gun control activist and former ATF agent, allegedly made racist remarks about blacks who had passed a test to become ATF agents. Chipman claimed during a Senate hearing earlier this year that complaints had been made against him but that they were “resolved without any finding of discrimination and no disciplinary action was taken against me.”
The Daily Caller reported:
Tom Jones, the president of the American Accountability Foundation, said he filed two FOIA requests with the ATF in May requesting records related to any complaints and disciplinary measures taken against Chipman during his 25-year tenure with the agency. The AAF’s lawsuit said the ATF failed to produce the records in the time frame allotted by the law, despite Chipman’s acknowledgment in his written statement to Cruz that the federal government has control of his personnel file.
The alleged incident in question happened in 2007 when Chipman, who was the assistant special agent in charge of the Detroit Field Division at the time, said that a large number of blacks had passed the test because “they must have been cheating,” Jones said in reference to what a former ATF agent told him. The agent reported the incident to the EEOC.
The man President Joe Biden wants to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has made false statements about the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
“At Waco, cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters,” he wrote. “Point, it is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often.”
As noted in the New York Post, it is largely known that Branch Davidian members did indeed shoot at helicopters, however, none were shot down.
Further, no Barretts were recovered at the scene of the massacre.
“Although all of the three helicopters sustained damage from weapons fire, none of the National Guard crews or ATF aboard were injured,” a 1996 House report on the incident concluded.
Four ATF agents and 82 Branch Davidian members died in the 51-day siege.
In the same Reddit thread, Chipman defended the FBI’s role in the Waco disaster.
“I worked for the government for 25 years and I understand how trust in government has been harmed. Please remember, however, that it was agents on the ground who let the public know the truth about these incidents when some sought to cover-up inconvenient truths,” he wrote.
It looks like a confirmation hearing for the former ATF agent turned gun control activists who Joe Biden nominated to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives will take place in just a few weeks, and the administration appears to be engaging in a bit of pre-hearing spin with the help of the New York Times. In a lengthy new piece, reporters Danny Hakim and Mike McIntire portray the agency that oversees our nation’s gun laws and firearms industry as the “whipping boy” for the NRA in years past, but the ATF is now at the heart of Biden’s gun control agenda.
Mr. Biden has ordered a ban on the homemade-firearm kits known as “ghost guns,” a prohibition the A.T.F. will have to enforce. To help set gun policy, he has charged the A.T.F. with undertaking the first comprehensive federal survey of weapons-trafficking patterns since 2000. And to lead the bureau into the future, Mr. Biden has nominated a fiery former A.T.F. agent and gun-control activist, David Chipman.
First, though, the bureau will have to overcome its past. In the 48 years since its mission shifted primarily to firearms enforcement, it has been weakened by relentless assaults from the N.R.A. that have, in the view of many, made the A.T.F. appear to be an agency engineered to fail.
At the N.R.A.’s instigation, Congress has limited the bureau’s budget. It has imposed crippling restrictions on the collection and use of gun-ownership data, including a ban on requiring basic inventories of weapons from gun dealers. It has limited unannounced inspections of gun dealers. Fifteen years ago, the N.R.A. successfully lobbied to make the director’s appointment subject to Senate confirmation — and has subsequently helped block all but one nominee from taking office.
The Times neglects to mention that one of the reasons why the ATF has had a difficult time getting a permanent director confirmed is because Democrats have offered up some candidates that simply couldn’t pass muster with a majority of the U.S. Senate. In 2010, for instance, Barack Obama nominated ATF agent Andrew Traver as permanent director, but his nomination never received a vote on the Senate floor because a number of senators had voiced their concerns over Traver’s anti-gun attitudes.
Obama’s second nominee, B. Todd Jones, was ultimately confirmed by the Senate but remained in the job for less than two years before retiring in 2015 and taking a job with the NFL.
Despite Traver’s anti-gun rhetoric scuttling his chances at the top job, the Biden administration has also nominated a former agent with deep ties to the gun control movement. David Chipman spent 25 years at the ATF, but has also spent nearly a decade working for gun control groups like Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Giffords. According to the Times, Chipman may not have the votes to be confirmed either, though the paper says he does have the backing of one of the most important members of the Senate these days.