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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

House Judiciary Investigating ATF’s Unconstitutional Effort to Ban Private Gun Sales

'The lessons of the Ruby Ridge and Waco standoffs should make clear that attempting to enforce such an expansive regulation could endanger countless ATF field agents who are forced to serve as the face of the Biden Administration in going after private firearms...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The House Judiciary Committee has launched a probe into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ attempt to ban the private sale of firearms through a byzantine regulation change.

The Judiciary Committee’s move follows multiple ATF employees blowing the whistle on a 1,300-page internal ATF document attempting to justify a rule pursuing citizens for the private sale of firearms.

According to those whistleblowers, the ATF is attempting to effectively ban private gun sales by expanding the definition of who would be classified as a “dealer” under federal law. Dealers are required to obtain a license to become a Federal Firearms Licensee, or FFL.

Right now, people are required to become an FFL only if dealing firearms is their principal livelihood. But the ATF is seeking to change that rule so that “even a single transaction, or offer to engage in a transaction, when combined with other evidence, may be sufficient to require a license” as an FFL.

GOP lawmakers are demanding to know how and why the ATF decided to push for this radical regulation change.

“It appears that the Biden Administration is attempting to abuse the federal rulemaking process to circumvent Congress in order to achieve a far-left policy outcome,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and 19 other Republicans in a Thursday letter to ATF Director Steve Dettelbach.

“This language gives Americans no certainty about the enforcement of federal law, and gives ATF blanket authority to create new presumptions with no notice.”

Jordan seeks a briefing from Dettelbach on the details of his regulatory efforts.

“Please produce all documents and communications in your possession between ATF and any organizations ATF consulted, collaborated, and discussed the September 8, 2023, notice with,” Jordan asked, specifying that he also seeks communications between ATF and the White House.

Jordan seeks answers from the ATF by March 14.

The whistleblower advocacy group Empower Oversight is also seeking information on the ATF’s regulation.

The group filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the ATF, seeking all internal government communications about the regulation, including any emails using the terms “ban,” “private sale,” “universal background,” and “gun control.”

“The fact that inside ATF sources are blowing the whistle on this draft rule is an indication of what a difficult position it would put the ATF in. ATF agents did not sign up to go after law-abiding citizens for private sales protected under the Second Amendment of the Constitution,” said Empower Oversight President Tristan Leavitt.

“The lessons of the Ruby Ridge and Waco standoffs should make clear that attempting to enforce such an expansive regulation could endanger countless ATF field agents who are forced to serve as the face of the Biden Administration in going after private firearms owners for constitutionally-protected firearms sales.”

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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