Commentary: ATF Rule Change Creates a Trap for the Unwary

A selection of modern firearms on a table

On Friday, the 31st anniversary of the massacre of Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, the ATF issued new regulations that make it more difficult to comply with federal laws regulating gun dealing and background checks.

Since the 1930s, federal law has required gun dealers to be registered as Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL). The requirements hinged on the meaning of “engaged in the business of” gun dealing. This language has always been ambiguous, and there has never been (even after the announcement of the new rules) a true “bright line” that distinguishes when one graduates from selling a few guns from one’s personal collection into full-fledged gun dealing.

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House Judiciary Opens Formal Inquiry into ATF Killing of Arkansas Airport Executive

Bryan Malinowski

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday launched a formal inquiry into federal agents’ fatal shooting of an Arkansas airport executive during the execution of a gun case search warrant at his home, demanding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) explain why it carried out the search without knocking and without using required body cams.

The ATF’s fatal shooting last month of Bryan Malinowski, an administrator at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, has reignited concerns about the agency’s enforcement of gun laws and regulations under President Joe Biden as well as prompted a criminal investigation by Arkansas authorities.

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Nearly 75 House Republicans Demand Mike Johnson Oppose Reauthorization of Gun Control Law

Mike Johnson

A group of nearly 75 Republican members of the House of Representatives are demanding that Speaker Mike Johnson oppose the reauthorization of a decades-old gun control law, according to a letter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Undetectable Firearms Act (UFA) was enacted by the 100th Congress in 1988 and bans the manufacture, sale or import of any firearm that isn’t detectable by a door-frame metal detector or other security technology, which are commonly termed “ghost guns.” The law’s provisions need to be reauthorized before their statutory expiry date of March 8, with House Republicans demanding that Johnson not bring the Senate’s reauthorization bill, which was passed in July of 2023, to the floor.

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ATF Preparing to Regulate Private Gun Sales with Background Check, Whistleblower Group Alleges

ATF Agent

The whistleblower group that represented the IRS agents in the Hunter Biden case is warning that the Biden administration is preparing an “unconstitutional“ power grab to regulate private gun sales by requiring a background check.

In a letter Wednesday to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Empower Oversight said it had learned from two sources that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was directed by the White House to make the change and “has drafted a 1,300-page document in support of a rule that would effectively ban private sales of firearms from one citizen to another by requiring background checks for every sale.”

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Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Federal Bump Stock Gun Case

Gun Range

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a federal ban on bump stocks later in February, the latest opportunity for the high court to rule on gun violence and 2nd Amendment rights.

The case in question, Garland v. Cargill, came after the Trump administration banned bump stocks, attachments added to semiautomatic weapons to make them fire more quickly, classifying them as “machine guns,” which are banned by federal law.

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Appeals Court Strikes Down ATF’s ‘Ghost Gun’ Restrictions

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday unanimously struck down the Biden administration’s restrictions on “ghost guns,” or firearms without serial numbers, determining that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) lacked authority to enact them.

The decision upholds a lower court decision that held the ATF exceeded its authority. The U.S. Supreme Court had allowed the restrictions to take effect while the case made its way through the appeals process.

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U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz Move to Defund ATF Director

Georgia Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz announced on Monday that they would attempt to use a congressional procedure to defund the office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) director amid allegations that the agency has repeatedly exceeded its statutory authority.

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Judge Orders Preliminary Injunction Against Biden’s ATF in Key Second Amendment Case

A Milwaukee-based public interest law firm has won a key victory in a Second Amendment battle. 

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty on Wednesday secured a preliminary injunction in federal court on behalf of three veterans challenging the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ rule regulating up to 40 million pistols equipped with stabilizing braces. 

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Federal Judge Strikes Down Age Minimum of 21 on Handgun Purchases

A federal judge Virginia has struck down a law barring the sale of handguns to adults under the age of 21 as unconstitutional.

John Corey Fraser, 20, and other plaintiffs, had challenged the 1968 Gun Control Act and various regulations from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after they tried to purchase handguns and were refused, ABC News reported. 

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ATF Overstated Job Tasks to Overpay Workers, $20 Million Wasted on Overpayments, U.S. Special Counsel

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives intentionally overstated the duties of multiple workers so they could be classified as law enforcement agents and be paid more, according to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel report this week.

Federal investigators say the agency has been making such overpayments since 2003. And over 100 jobs in the agency’s human Resources department and other departments were falsely labeled as criminal investigators, according to the Washington Times. 

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Commentary: The ATF Expansion of the Gun Registry Turns Law-Abiding Gun Owners into Felons

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has followed through on their plan to turn millions of lawful gun owners into felons in the name of “public safety” by reclassifying pistols with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles, effectively expanding the unconstitutional national gun registry.

Stabilizing braces are devices that can be attached to pistols to aid the user in balancing their arm. Originally created to help people with disabilities, the accessory is now more popular amongst mainstream shooters who use them to adapt pistols into guns that can be shot from the shoulder, which has been legal to do in the past. Now, there’s a big hoop to jump through if you don’t want to be hit with fines and/or jail time.

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Two Dozen AGs Sue Biden’s ATF for Taxing, Registering Pistol Braces

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey joined 24 other attorneys general in suing President Biden’s administration for implementing a rule outlawing pistol braces.

The regulation will “result in the destruction or forfeiture of over 750,000 firearms and will cost the private sector somewhere between $2 and $5 billion,” according to the filing.

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Second Amendment Lawsuit Challenges ATF’s New Gun Control Rule

A new federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) rule on pistols with stabllizing braces faces a Second Amendment lawsuit filed on behalf of disabled veterans.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed the complaint Tuesday in the U.S. Northern District of Texas Amarillo Division.

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New ATF Rule Sets the Stage to Classify Legal Gun Owners as Criminals

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) recently implemented pistol brace final rule could classify millions of gun owners as felons should they fail to comply with the updated requirements, according to the gun rights advocacy groups. The rule, announced in January, will void all previous guidance on pistols braces, opting to redefine “rifle” as any weapon “designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder,” forcing pistol brace owners, many disabled, to register their pistols as short barrel rifles (SBR) with the federal government. The ATF has allowed 120 days for gun owners with pistol braces to adjust the barrel longer than the required 16 inches, file a Form 1 to “make” the pistol a SBR, remove the brace, surrender the firearm or destroy the firearm.

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Biden’s ATF Continues Its Crackdown on ‘Ghost Guns’

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) specified Tuesday that Gun Control Act (GCA) regulations cover types of incomplete pistol frames used in “ghost guns.”

The bureau argued in its open letter to federal firearms licensees that partially complete Polymer80, Lone Wolf and similar striker-fired semi-automatic pistol frames “may readily be completed, assembled, restored, or otherwise converted” to a functional frame and thus fall under GCA jurisdiction based on the Justice Department’s (DOJ) “Frame or Receiver” rule. The rule, which became effective in August, says regulations for completed firearms also apply to gun parts kits that can be readily converted into them.

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Biden Withdraws Controversial Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Nominee After Bipartisan Concern

David Chapman

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the withdrawal of his controversial nominee, David Chipman, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Several leading Republicans were outspoken opponents of Chipman for his past anti-gun comments and more aggressive gun control policies as well as connections to gun control groups. No new nominee has been announced.

“David Chipman is an erratic, anti-gun radical who planned to outlaw nearly every single sporting rifle in America,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. “He is wholly unfit to run the ATF, and I’m glad to see President Biden has withdrawn his nomination.”President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the withdrawal of his controversial nominee, David Chipman, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Several leading Republicans were outspoken opponents of Chipman for his past anti-gun comments and more aggressive gun control policies as well as connections to gun control groups. No new nominee has been announced.

“David Chipman is an erratic, anti-gun radical who planned to outlaw nearly every single sporting rifle in America,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. “He is wholly unfit to run the ATF, and I’m glad to see President Biden has withdrawn his nomination.”

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White House to Withdraw Nomination of David Chipman to Head up ATF

The White House will withdraw its nomination of David Chipman to head up the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The nominee, a former special agent at ATF and current gun control lobbyist, was scrutinized immediately upon his nomination for his publicly anti-firearm positions. Moderate Democrat Senators in the evenly-split chamber signaled to the Biden administration that they were not fans of the choice and it was unclear whether Chipman would have made it through a confirmation vote.

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Biden’s Nominee to Lead ATF Pushed Dubious Claim About Waco Siege to Call for Blanket Ban on Assault Rifles

Assault Rifle on top of gun case

The gun control activist who President Joe Biden is expected to nominate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) claimed last year that members of the Branch Davidian sect shot down two helicopters during a standoff with federal agents in Waco in 1993.

David Chipman, the expected nominee, posted the comments as part of a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” event. He also called for tighter gun control measures, including restricting gun sales only to licensed gun stores and a ban on the manufacture and sale of so-called assault rifles.

Biden is expected to announce Chipman’s nomination on Thursday during an event where he will lay out a series of executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence.

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