USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Twenty state attorneys general, led by West Virginia’s Patrick Morrisey & Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, have signed a letter to Marvin Richardson, acting director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, opposing the Biden administration’s gun control measures, asserting “an unlawful attempt to regulate guns proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF),” according to a news release from the office of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
The 19-page letter was transmitted in mid-August. All of the attorneys general who signed the letter are Republicans, as noted by Fox News. The issue is about so-called “ghost guns,” which are firearms built by home gunsmiths; a tradition dating back to the early days of the country. The kinds of guns may have changed, but the tradition hasn’t.
Cameron’s news release declares, “The attorneys general contend the ATF’s recommended rule is unconstitutional as it would sidestep Congress and unlawfully delegate broad policymaking discretion to the ATF. If adopted, the ATF’s new rule would expand the definition of a regulated firearm as well as that of a receiver, an already heavily regulated part of a firearm that houses its firing mechanism.”
After spending several pages going through the history of firearms development in the United States, the letter gets down to business.
“Now, over fifty years after Congress enacted the relevant statutory framework,” the letter states, “ATF is proposing a monumental shift in the landscape of firearms regulation. The proposal is premised on solving two purported problems: First, ATF points to several recent cases in which courts have ruled that under the current definition of “receiver,” ATF is unable to prosecute individuals who possess parts of firearm receivers only, rather than completed receivers…Second, ATF claims that a series of “[t]echnological advances have made it easier for unlicensed persons to make firearms at home from standalone parts.”
“Neither of these circumstances violate the GCA,” the attorney’s general insist, “there is nothing surprising about not being able to regulate certain conduct where Congress deliberately chose definitions that do not encompass every aspect of firearm parts manufacturing. Apparently disagreeing with this policy choice, however, ATF proposes a sweeping range of changes designed to crack down on these activities by expanding the universe of regulated firearm parts.”
“Rather than regulate the unified housing of a complete firing system as a ‘receiver,’ as that term has traditionally been understood,” the letter adds, “ATF proposes to regulate as a receiver any firearm part that ‘provides housing or structure for any fire control component.’ Similarly, the proposed rule would regulate unassembled firearms “parts kits” as firearms—rather than confining this treatment to the sole firearm part, the receiver that the GCA regulates.”
The comment period on frames and receivers closed on the 19th, so the letter was dated to get in just under the wire. But the letter gets in some heavy pokes at the proposed rule changes.
“The proposed rule significantly expands the regulation of firearm parts beyond what Congress permitted,” the letter states. “Congress authorized ATF to regulate complete firearms and complete receivers—not disassembled firearms or incomplete receivers. The proposed rule is unlawful because it transgresses both of these limits.”
But the question worth asking now is whether the Biden administration cares what Congress authorized. As noted in a new 60-second message from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms appearing on several cable networks over the past several days, Joe Biden is after the guns owned by law-abiding citizens, especially modern semi-auto sporting rifles and 9mm pistols.
The blistering video includes a video clip of Biden’s actual statement.
Because all of the attorneys general signing the letter are Republicans, it further cements the notion among many in the Second Amendment movement that Democrats have become the party of gun control, if not outright confiscation. Biden’s acknowledgment during a CNN Townhall program a few weeks ago that he is continuing to push to ban the sale of so-called “assault rifles” and 9mm pistols only added fuel to the fire.
In their letter, the 20 attorneys general contend, “The proposed rule’s justifications are lackluster as a general matter, but the question is all the more important here because ATF is proposing to change a longstanding policy on which many people and businesses rely.”
While the nomination of retired ATF agent-turned-gun-control-advocate David Chipman to run the agency lingers in the U.S. Senate, efforts such as the proposed rule change on firearms components are worrisome to grassroots gun rights activists that the Biden administration isn’t waiting to push its agenda. It is moving regardless of whether Chipman’s nomination is confirmed.
20 State Attorneys General Oppose Biden Administrations Proposed Gun Laws
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