Congressional Hearing Blasts ATF

The criminal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was investigated by Congress in hearings before the Subcommittee on Treasury, Post Office and General Appropriations of the Senate Appropriations Committee in July 1979 and April 1980, and before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Senate Judiciary Committee in October 1980.

The final report called ATF's tactics "constitutionally, legally, and practically reprehensible" and said there is "little doubt that the Bureau has disregarded rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States."

In particular, the report found of the ATF: