Monday, January 30, 2023
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Matt Gaetz Moves to Abolish the ATF in Response to Controversial New Regulation

'House Republicans have the ATF in our crosshairs. They must be stopped... '

(Ken Silva, Headline USARep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., introduced legislation Wednesday that would abolish the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms immediately after the bill’s enactment.

Gaetz’s legislation follows a controversial rule the ATF introduced last week that requires owners of guns with stabilizing braces to destroy, reconfigure, register, or turn in their firearms to ATF within 120 days. Stabilizing arm braces are accessories installed on pistols and shotguns that allow users to stabilize these firearms against their arms, resulting in more accurate shooting without compromising safety or comfort, and reducing the risk of bruising and other injuries when shooting from one hand.

“House Republicans have the ATF in our crosshairs. The continued existence of the ATF is increasingly unwarranted based on their repeated actions to convert law-abiding citizens into felons,” Gaetz said in a press release. “They must be stopped.”

Gaetz told Fox News that if his law doesn’t gain any traction, he will seek other ways to rein in the ATF.

“If that doesn’t work, we’re going to try defunding the ATF. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to target the individual bureaucrats at the top of the ATF who have exceeded their authority in rulemaking. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to take a meat cleaver to the statutes that the ATF believes broadly authorize their actions,” he reportedly said,

Meanwhile, the ATF’s new rule is being challenged by a lawsuit from the Second Amendment Foundation.

The lawsuit explains that the ATF recently claimed authority to regulate braced pistols by classifying them as short-barreled rifles, which makes them subject to regulation under the National Firearms Act. The decision to treat braced pistols as rifles reverses a position the ATF had as recently as 2014, when the bureau said in a classification letter that shouldering a pistol with an arm brace does not change the classification of the pistol under federal law.

The Second Amendment Foundation criticized the ATF’s reversal as arbitrary and unlawful.

“The definition of a ‘rifle’ now turns on a bewildering six-factor test. This new definition can be controlled not by the firearm’s objective characteristics, but instead by what ATF agents in D.C. think of a manufacturer’s marketing materials or the firearm’s ‘likely use,’” explained Second Amendment Foundation attorney Chad Flores. “The new rule itself is forced to admit its dramatic result: Under this new definitional regime, ‘a majority of the existing firearms equipped with a stabilizing brace are likely to be classified as rifles.’”

Other plaintiffs in that lawsuit include a disabled combat veteran and injured police officer, both who require stabilizing braces to operate their firearms.

The lawsuit had been stagnant while the ATF finalized its rule, but will now resume.

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

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