Internal goings on at ATF
Reported by Clean Up ATF."
Always found it amusing the way many assume that the government is rational, objective, and unselfish in ways the rest of the US is not. Fact is you've got the same humans doing each job, and nobody should be surprised that many agencies work on promote your buddy, steer business toward your buddy, get rid of critics and whistleblowers, build your empire and the public be damned.
Minor example: in my Interior days, an issue arose regarding certain land (LOTS of land) on which the government had, in the 19th century, bought easements to run railroads thru. The contracts provided that if the land ever ceased to be used for railroads, the easement would end and the title revert to the landowner. The areas in question hadn't been used for railroads in decades, and the tracks and ties had been removed long ago.
But those lands would be just the thing for uniting hiking trails, and there was big kick on for creating some that run for hundreds or thousands of mile.
My gut call: a deal is a deal. The land reverts to the owners, Maybe talk to them and see if they'll convey it back to you for a modest sum
Interior call: let's see if we can cook up some argument that the potential that someday someone might want to rebuild a railway there is enough to let us keep it for use as a hiking trail.
Yup, utterly unselfish service to the public. I'm not denying that there are many areas where the federal government does tasks that could or would not be undertaken by private actors. I'm just saying it is unrealistic to pretend they are angelic. Expect them, like private actors, to undertake a task when it is in their best interest (i.e., they are suitably paid) and don't hand out power on the assumption they are saintly.