Ed Krayewski on the Long War on Guns

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As John D. Lewis Jr. wrote in "American Gestapo," the cover story of Reason's April 1980 issue, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) raided homes and gun shows at a time when the agency was trying to transition from targeting bootleggers to enforcing gun control laws. The ATF's toolbox included entrapment, unsavory informants, and vague regulations. These are all tactics, Ed Krayewski points out, that have become familiar among the numerous armed agencies operating in the United States today.

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