HEAD SAYS MOVE TO JUSTICE WILL IMPROVE
COOPERATION, COORDINATION IN FIGHT
AGAINST GUN CRIME
Tells PSN Conference ATF Will Be Aggressive With Criminals
- Bradley A. Buckles, Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives (ATF), said today that ATF's move to the Department of Justice
would give the Bureau the opportunity to work more closely with its law enforcement
partners to reduce gun crime and make America safe.
here at the Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) Conference, Buckles said ATF is now
"a pure law enforcement agency, and now part of a department that is dedicated
to effective law enforcement." ATF officially became part of Justice Jan.
24 after more than 200 years of service at the Treasury Department.
Bureau has been actively involved in PSN, President Bush's top domestic criminal
justice initiative, since the nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime kicked
off in 2001.
noted that Attorney General John Ashcroft, when he visited ATF headquarters in
Washington Jan. 29, "inspired all of us with his support and confidence.
He urged us to work even more closely with our colleagues in state and local enforcement
and with our, now, fellow members of the Department of Justice."
28-year veteran of ATF, Buckles said the Bureau brings long experience and skill
to Justice in thwarting crimes involving firearms and explosives, both in the
battle being waged on the counter-terrorism front and the comprehensive fight
against violent crime.
have long recognized that working together, across agency lines, and across levels
of law enforcement, produces greater results," he said. "Partnering
with our U.S. Attorneys, state and local prosecutors, and state and local law
enforcement agencies permits us to bring to bear all of our unique experience.
It also lets us focus on our overriding objective: ensuring that gun crimes mean
hard prison time for the worst criminals."
"hand in glove" with the U.S. Attorneys and its law enforcement partners,
Buckles said ATF "will make sure that our agents move quickly to arrest anyone
with an illegal weapon. We will move swiftly and aggressively to arrest prohibited
persons who lie on their applications to buy firearms - so-called 'lying and buying'
and 'lying and trying' cases."
PSN will take a hard line against gun criminals, using every available means to
create safer neighborhoods. The project has five essential elements: 1) Partnership,
2) Strategic Planning, 3) Training, 4) Community Outreach and Public Awareness,
and 5) Accountability.
has put more than 400 special agents on the street in support of PSN. In addition,
in 2002, the Bureau trained more than 1,400 law enforcement officers in partnership
with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Association of
District Attorneys, the Department of Justice and the National Crime Prevention
Council. When the PSN conference ends, ATF's 23 Special Agents-in-Charge will
meet with each of the U.S. Attorneys to coordinate strategy.
Safe Neighborhoods created a new kind of math for convicted felons - one crime
plus one gun now equals five or more years. The aim of the PSN conference is to
highlight the successes on the national and local levels and to provide updated
information on partnerships, training, grant information and a new public service