Press Release: ATF Acknowledges Inconsistent Story, Offers Apology to Sali and Provices ClarificationMay 29th, 2008 by Halli
From the Office of Rep. Bill Sali
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Acting Director Michael J. Sullivan today apologized to Congressman Bill Sali and confirmed the agency reported inconsistent versions and details of a program giving agents engraved Leatherman tool kits.
â€œI apologize for the confusion caused to you and your office as a result of the email sent from ATF. â€¦ The information in that email was inaccurate,â€ wrote Sullivan.
â€œI was pleased to receive this letter with its acknowledgement of the ATFâ€™s responsibility for the confusing information released within the past two weeks,â€ Sali said. â€œMy constituents deserve to know the truth about this marketing program, which has been interpreted by many Idahoans as anti-gun and anti-private property.â€
The â€œAlways Think Forfeitureâ€ training program urges agents to focus on the seizure of private property.
â€œThe fact remains that the ATF thought it was OK to think ‘Always Think Forfeiture’ instead of focusing on protecting our constitutional rights. While I appreciate Mr. Sullivan’s apology and clarification, I will continue to monitor the actions of federal agencies and insist that they ‘Always Think Freedom’ going forward,” said Sali.
The Associated Press reported on May 16, 2008, â€œNone of the engraved tools, stored in the agencyâ€™s headquarters in Washington, D.C., have so far been distributed.â€ However, Mr. Sullivan clarified in his letter that over a two month period, â€œa total of 242 Leatherman mini-tools were distributed at various training classes and seminars.â€
Although the program has been halted, and because ATF said the program complies with U.S. Department of Justice guidelines and federal law, Sali will soon introduce legislation that will prevent the ATF from distributing similarly engraved tools.
A copy of the letter is available upon request.
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