first: it was a Democrat congressman named Dingell:
"If I were to select a
jack-booted group of fascists who were perhaps as large a danger to
American society as I could pick today, I would pick BATF. They are a
shame and a disgrace to our country."
-U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell (Democrat from Michigan), 1980
"The consequences of the behavior of the BATF in these kinds of cases is
that they are not trusted. They are detested, and I have described them
properly as jackbooted American fascists. They have shown no concern
over the rights of ordinary citizens or their property. They intrude
without the slightest regard or concern. Now, if you want a more recent
event, take a look at what they did in Waco, TX. Is that a defensible
event? Scores of Americans were killed because of ineptitude by BATF
acting under legal process, as they said, and that whole matter is going
to be suppressed after scores of Americans have been killed because of
the ineptitude and crass misbehavior of the BATF."
-U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell (Democrat from Michigan), February 8, 1995
The NRA quoted him in a letter, and every journalist and gun bigot around accused them of sliming all federal lawmen; they either didn't know who said it, or didn't care(probably both). And if they did know, they'd have hated to acknowledge such words from a Democrat.
So if someone brings that up, remind them who actually said it. And why.