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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives - Essay Example

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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has always tackled the controversial issues such as alcohol and firearm control, smoking bans and explosives limitations, but everything the ATF does is designed to keep the American public safe. The ATF has to balance its regulations in order to protect American citizens and businesses without infringing on rights…
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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
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Download file to see previous pages At that time, agents collected taxes through the Department of Treasury.
In 1886, the government established the Revenue laboratory, though at that time it dealt primarily with agricultural issues. The lab has advanced greatly since then, entering its second century with a staff of chemists, document analysts, latent print specialists, and firearms and tool mark examiners.
The duties of the office shifted again in 1919 when ratification of the 18th Amendment together with the Volstead Prohibition Enforcement Act outlawed alcohol. Revenue officers, termed "revenoors," were now responsible for investigating "criminal violations of the Internal Revenue law" (ATF online), which included the illegal manufacture of liquors. With the new duties came a new name, the Prohibition Unit.
Less than a decade later, on April 1, 1927, the unit became the Bureau of Prohibition. By July 1, 1930, the agency's duties and name changed yet again, when Congress transferred "the penal provisions of the national prohibition Act" (ATF online) to the Department of Justice's new Bureau of Prohibition. This move for the first time put the agency under the Justice Department, and did away with the Treasury Department's Bureau of Prohibition. ...
This move for the first time put the agency under the Justice Department, and did away with the Treasury Department's Bureau of Prohibition. However, "tax-related and regulatory activities" (ATF online) stayed at the Treasury Department under the new Bureau of Industrial Alcohol.
Three years later, on December 5, 1933, the Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution repealed prohibition, once again changing the focus and duties of the Bureau. To deal with the sudden boom of legal alcohol production and sales, President Franklin Roosevelt created, through the National Industrial Recovery Act, the Federal Alcohol Control Administration (FACA). "The FACA, in cooperation with the Departments of Agriculture and Treasury, endeavored to guide wineries and distilleries under a system based on brewers' voluntary codes of fair competition (ATF Online)." The bureau was once again in the business of regulating. The FACA was to be short-lived; however, as President Roosevelt replaced it less than two years later in August 1935 by signing the Federal Alcohol Administration Act. This Act is still the basis for the agency's functions today, though the ATF has taken on other duties since the Act took effect.
In 1934, the prohibition enforcement duties fell to the newly established Alcohol Tax Unit, a division of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, which was still housed in the Department of Treasury. At the same time the FAA, also housed in the Department of Treasury, was responsible for collecting data, establishing license and permit requirements, and defining "the regulations that ensure an open, fair marketplace for the alcohol industry and the consumer (ATF online)." In 1940, the two units merged.
Gun-wielding crime lords led ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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