Just so we are clear: It will not happen anytime soon.
The reason? The “A” part and the “T” part in ATF. The yearly income for excise taxes for Alcohol and Tobacco is somewhere in the 25 to 30 billion dollars range according from what I quickly gathered in the interwebs which goes to fund SCHIP and killing funds for that program is political suicide anywhere. Excise taxes for firearms and ammunition in comparison rack under 500 million dollars yearly which half goes back for wildlife conservation (Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act) which is not politically sexy across the board.
So if instead of Blog Chest Puffing we use a bit of common sense, we could achieve what needs to be done.
1) Have Congress create legislation that separates any weapons criminal investigation from BATFE and have it transferred to the FBI. Also anything that is related to NFA records and compliance.
2) Keep the excise tax control in the hands of the Treasury Department so they do not have their accountant bitch too much.
3) Have the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility review the files of every ATF agent involved in weapons’ investigations and, if their credentials are impeccable, allow them to transfer to the FBI or given a choice in another Federal Law Enforcement agency. Prosecute only the most blatant of violators and let the rest go.
It is my opinion that this will be the smartest way to amputate the rogues in the agency and bring peace to gun owners.