1.Funding, Scope, and Capabilities of Federal, State and Local agencies.
Federal agencies that collect and accumulate information on US citizens that maybe used for law enforcement and other purposes include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), DrugEnforcement Agency (DEA), National Security Agency (NSA), Central IntelligenceAgency (CIA), the various armed forces service branches and of course the InternalRevenue Service (IRS).All these agencies are funded to support staffing of 5,000-15,000 domestic USemployees except for the armed forces which can deploy more than one million men andwomen to needed locations in the US. The staffing numbers are important as you will seeshortly. In addition to staffing, travel expenses, firearms, training, supplies and a hugearray of surveillance and related equipment are available from a central and regionalpools in nearly unlimited quantity for any particular need.For the purposes of Gun Show surveillance I will use the example of BATF.Although the exact numbers are unknown, I have estimated from congressional reportsthat all staffing is in excess of 12,000 people. If you divide this figure by an average of 10gun shows a week this allows for the entire staff to be deployed at a rate of 1,200 pershow or roughly broken down into 8 two hour shifts of 150 officers to frequent andmonitor the two day weekend shows at any given time.The cost to the government calculates out as follows –12,000 employees at $1,000/wk including travel and expenses.This costs app. $12 million per week or about $600 million per year.The budget allotted for the agencies listed above is actually substantially largerfor each one than the $600 million estimated for BATF here. The additional money goesfor high tech equipment, paid imformants, training, facilities and so on. During Gunshows, I have surmised that an allotment of $10-20 for cosmetic purposes is allocated toenable agents to blend in by making small purchases thereby mimicking consumerbehavior and providing real cover for their intelligence collection activities.The agents also practice the rewarding of “target” vendors with small purchaseswhen they talk and “open up” to them. This improves their intelligence gathering andeffectively conditions the targets to make more money when having a big mouth. Antigovernment talk is often rewarded since it an be used to inflate the threat and motivate alarger budget from congress.The other agencies listed each have separate priorities other than Firearmsregulation and each assigns agents and supports them in the field according to theirprioritized needs. When required, agencies may contribute to a central pool for meetingextra manpower requirements such as the 5,000 table Great Western show in California.