The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive has announced the development of a new government partnership with an anonymous tip app that will allow users to contact the federal agency at the push of a button.
From an ATF press release:
The fight to protect our communities is not just up to law enforcement; it’s a partnership between your community and law enforcement. We look to you who live in these communities we protect to provide us with information about gun violence.
To make our communities safer, ATF is launching a new way to collect your tips involving firearms or to provide leads to help us prevent crimes from happening. Using your phone, tablet or computer, you will be able to tell us instantly and anonymously about crimes that may be happening in your communities that involve firearms, explosives, violent crime, or arson.
ATF values your privacy and is offering this service through reportit (link is external)®, a mobile app that allows you to remain anonymous. With reportit® concerned citizens can report suspicious or unusual activities in real time while having the assurance that your identity will remain anonymous and confidential. reportit® makes it easy to create and submit a tip, and attach a photo or video, with confidence that the information is forwarded to us real time. With the time and location of the incident, we can better respond and provide the necessary resources quickly and efficiently. You will have the option to provide your personal information, but this will not be required to submit your tip. You can visit the reportit (link is external)® website for more infomation on their service.
Many people on internet gun forums worry that the app will become a tool for anti-firearm fanatics to have law abiding gun owners harassed by federal agents without fear of reprisal for false reporting.
One commenter said: “Great, another ‘snitch on someone you don’t like’ program. What could go wrong with that? Not being confronted by your accuser, relying on manufactured probable cause, more agency witch hunts, selective targeted prosecution, make-work for agents… more of what we have now.”
On the other hand, maybe they’ll get a tip about who flooded all those illegal guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels…