ATF, NSSF tight-lipped about success of reward matching program
By Christen Smith
An “open-ended” partnership between the federal government and the gun industry offers thousands to credible tipsters in gun store theft cases, but how often rewards get paid out remains shrouded in mystery.
So far this month, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have offered a combined $32,000 for information regarding robberies at federally-licensed firearms dealers across the nation.
Typically, rewards range from $5,000 to $10,000, with NSSF matching the ATF reward dollar for dollar. In the case of a Houston-area FFL robbery committed June 4, however, the agency and the industry pledged a $12,000 reward.
“We have found that additional media attention is generated when ATF and NSSF join forces in a reward offer,” said Mike Bazinet, an NSSF spokesperson, in an email to Guns.com last week. “ATF field division agents have told us on numerous occasions that the matching reward program is greatly appreciated as the funding they have available to offer rewards is limited.”
In a 2015 interview with NSSF, Steven Gerido, special agent in charge of the ATF’s Nashville field division, called the partnership “a tremendous asset.”
“Normally, more than not these are smash and grabs where you have violent individuals or a violent