"Agent Terry’s Family May Sue the ATF Under the Federal Tort Claims Act."
Well, that’s where we’re headed right now. Agent Terry’s loved ones, along with the American people, deserve a full accounting of just how and “why” the ATFE knowingly allowed guns to be illegally sold and delivered to his murderers. The press may not be able to get these answers, yet, but the family can get them by filing a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b), the United States is liable for injury or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the government while acting within the scope of his office or employment, under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred.
I can’t lay claim to any particular knowledge of Arizona tort law, but my gut feeling is that knowingly allowing a gun to be sold to a straw purchaser for Mexican drug gangs should expose you to the same kind of civil liability as knowingly selling another drink to a driver you suspect to be drunk. You may not intend for anyone to get hurt, but you just can’t go around doing these kinds of things when it’s your statutory duty to enforce our gun laws and not violate them.