Gaetz Introduces Bill to Abolish ATF; Some Sneer, Others Cheer

ATF agents File photo

Washington, DC – -( Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz has introduced legislation in Congress to abolish the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, igniting a discussion on social media ranging from sneers to cheers.

The simple, one-page bill is titled “Abolish the ATF Act.” The language covers a single sentence: “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is hereby abolished.”

According to Fox News, Gaetz announced his bill after the ATF issued its “Final Rule” on stabilizing braces for modern semi-auto pistols. He told Fox News Digital the new rule on the arm brace device was the “final straw” which led him to submit H.R. 374.

In a news release announcing the legislation, Gaetz stated;

“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. They must be stopped. My bill today would abolish the ATF once and for all.”

The ATF’s announcement allowed the Second Amendment Foundation to remind the public it had filed a lawsuit two years ago, which was stayed at the time pending the agency’s publication of its “Final Rule.” That lawsuit is known as SAF et. al. v. BATFE, et. al.

SAF attorney Chad Flores said the new rule shows “it is clear the Biden administration’s new definition of a rifle ignores tradition.”

“The Biden administration’s new rifle definition overrides the true wish of Congress, to upend the reasonable expectations of stabilizing brace users and makers nationwide,” Flores said in a SAF news release.

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb noted the foundation’s 2021 lawsuit raised critical points about what has now been adopted by ATF.

“When we started this process,” Gottlieb recalled, “we anticipated where the agency’s efforts would lead. With our co-plaintiffs, we will continue to challenge this new arm brace rule.”

According to WEAR-TV, “Gaetz and others have insisted that the new rule unfairly punishes disabled gun owners and veterans who rely on these components” to fire their guns.

In his interview with Fox News, Gaetz asserted, “the people at the ATF making these rules fundamentally don’t understand firearms.” He suggested the ATF “is on a snipe hunt” aimed at convincing anti-gunners the agency is doing something about firearms and crime, “but that has no real practical safety impact on Americans.”

The ATF has been criticized by gun rights activists over the years for alleged heavy-handed enforcement of gun laws and for such fiascos as “Operation Fast and Furious”—the so-called “gun walking” scandal of the Obama administration that allowed more than 2,000 firearms to be illegally trafficked to Mexican drug cartels and other criminals more than ten years ago—that was exposed only after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in a gun battle near the border in southern Arizona.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings a decade ago, resulting in embarrassing disclosures about the operation and how it was conducted. During one of those hearings, an ATF agent described Fast and Furious as “the perfect storm of idiocy.”

Gaetz has long criticized the agency. As noted in his news release, “In June and September of 2020, he issued letters to Attorney General William Barr and Acting ATF Director Regina Lombardo calling on the ATF to “cease taking any actions and reconsider or rescind any secret determinations which call into question the legality of firearms owned by millions of law-abiding Americans.”

The reaction to Gaetz’ legislation on Twitter is nothing short of a verbal boxing match between critics of the agency and critics of the Florida congressman. He is ripped for allegedly wasting time and taxpayers’ money on legislation not likely to get any traction, while others criticize the ATF and any regulations on firearms ownership. Many respondents support the ATF as an agency that “protects the public from crimes involving firearms, explosives, arson, and the diversion of tobacco products; regulates lawful commerce in firearms and explosives; and provides worldwide support to law enforcement, public safety, and industry partners.”

Gaetz indicated to Fox News he has backup plans if his bill to abolish the agency is not successful.

“If that doesn’t work,” he reportedly said, “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.”

Gaetz sits on the House Judiciary Committee, where his bill has been referred. He predicted hearings on the ATF “in the coming weeks and months” and contended, “we’re hearing this very loudly from our constituents, and the reason I filed this bill is, frankly, I think that the ATF should have to justify their existence at all.”

Gaetz Abolish the ATF Act 2023

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Abolish ATF, rescind NFA! These two things have to get done!

Deplorable Bill

Abolish the atfe AND prosecute them for treason, tyranny, murder, murder by proxy, assault, theft, threats and intimidation, criminal trespass, lying on federal documents, lying while under oath etc. etc. etc. Also resend the nfa and ENFORCE the second amendment; meaning that every free, non incarserated, American citizen is legally able to own, possess and carry any firearm including any weapon that a militia might use to include aircraft, naval craft, explosives, flamethrowers, aow’s etc. Any public servant and every public official who takes their oath to defend the people, the nation and the constitution against all enemies foreign and… Read more »


Man I was so happy when I read that different groups that are sometimes opposed to each other are joining together to fight Measure 114 in Oregoneistan, then I heard that Alec Baldwin might face felony charges for shooting that poor girl and that made me happier and now I read this which is the best news I have read today. Today is a great day in my books. One to be remembered.

Oregoneistan, having a great day.


Well the Republicans that dont show support will be showing that they are part of the swamp. McConnel to start. Romney and more.


m44 – true enough about those two you mentioned but since they are (supposedly at least) senators they don’t come into ‘play’ in the HoR.


it gets the ball rolling. I doubt it will go anywhere except identify our allies and our foes


JQ – we pretty well already know who the ‘foes’ are based on their prior actions (or lack thereof) but it is always a good thing to pin them down on the record to keep them from weaseling out later on.


I too seriously doubt we could get the BATFE abolished with the current government makeup, but what a GOP controlled House and committee chairs can do is start targeting the out-of-control bureaucracies, their Constitutional overreach through rules and regulations, interpreting laws how they wish, committing fraud, corruption, and abuses to non-criminal citizens. Let the hearings begin and I hope they’re sharpening their budget-trimming cleaver.


We can only hope.


FINALLY! A BILL: Submitted that is straight forward, simple and effective. I suspect this will shatter the brains of those representatives that are enthralled with their wordy, legalese babble they have become used to?


Yeah, I noticed that they didn’t need a Hand Truck to wheel it into Commitee.

The other Jim

The Secretary of the Treasury created them, the Secretary of the Treasury should be called before congress to sign and disband them. Even though it was forgotten that they are an illegal agency never created by Congress and they should have never been transferred to the Justice Department. Gaetz should call in both to Congress the Secretary of the Treasury and Meritless Garland and force their hand to transfer the illegal ATF back to Treasury Department and re-name it back to its old name the “Revenue Laboratory” under IRS Control as a simple function-unit within the IRS. Then for 30… Read more »


This is good! They and tge administration need to know that they can’t do what the constitution and actual law does not support!! I’d love to join tge comments on social media if I know where!


finally, some common sense legislation. and it doesn’t waste thousands of pages of paper and is easily to understand by the average progressive.
a supplemental bill to this would be to abolish all the rules they have made since the inception of this rogue agency.


Appreciate the action. But better begin phase 2 of the plan. This won’t get past the Marxocrats in the Senate and will die on Dictator Tyrant’s desk.

Roland T. Gunner

I truly appreciate the sentiment, but I am not hopeful.

But then again, I feel so much more safer knowing I am being protected from crimes involving the diversion of tobacco products.


The ATF came into being because Congress was too chickenschitt to fire the former Revenuers, whose job ended when Prohibition was repealed.
The NFA was Congress’ answer to a problem Congress itself created when they pushed Prohibition.
It has not, nor ever will, kept guns out of criminals hands.


“If that doesn’t work… [then] If that doesn’t work…” is not a great strategy. Fire a full broadside with all the bills and all the hearings at one time and then sustain fire. As for the arm brace/SBR BS, Short Barreled Rifles are an anachronism. If we are going to have classifications beyond it is or isn’t a firearm, then it’s a rifled firearm or not, or it’s a hand gun or a long gun. Simplify and keep simplifying.


The ‘atf/aft/batf/batfe’ has become a RADICALIZED LEFT LEANING DemoKKKratic political operative organization. Time to BLEACH all of its “rules and regulations” made by a bureaucracy that has gone WAAAYY past its authority! Then DEFUND, DITCH, ABOLISH, DISOLVE, BAN and REMOVE this ILLEGAL ACTING Bureaucracy that was instituted by an ‘irs’ director!!!


Laddy – ya only left out one part: UNELECTED Bureaucracy.


Be careful Matt Gaetz remember Ruby ridge and Randy Weaver . They can find a reason to eliminate you and make up lies to justify it .


I could get excited if it had a prayer of going anywhere. Even if it passed the House it still has to pass the senate with a veto proof majority. It’s not going to happen.


Last night, in Evansville, Indiana a “shooter” died in a “hail of bullets” fired by police when he fired at them. I watched a short video clip, I noted something very interesting; I counted 15 uniformed law enforcement outside the Walmart entrance in the very limited coverage area of the video. Based on that, adding probably 8-10 more would be pretty logical. Here’s the point of my comment : What are these rubes going to do when 40-50 MILLION AR and AK owners decide they have had enough and are going to fight back rather than give up their firearms?


G O O D!

Watch um

Great, wish my congressman was half as supportive. He is pro gun but never really gives me a good answer when I write him


That’s because he’s not pro-2A. Big difference.


I’m almost certain this won’t make it out of committee, sadly. I hope I’m surprised! Never the less, this needs to happen post haste.


It sounds good, but which org. would take over the enforcement?
If the FBI, then we’re screwed!

Roland T. Gunner

There should be no enforcement to “take over”.


The States file firearm charges against citizens daily without the help of the ATF. This also needs to end. So as far as someone taking over is the least of my worries.


I support abolishing the atf and impoverishing or jailing the anti American nazi assh*le employees. HOWEVER….this is grandstanding BS with no intent to perform. Just like national concealed carry reciprocity, these bills are being touted when there is no chance of passage, no chance of the traitor POS asterisk signing it and no chance of veto override. Where were Gaetz and his co-sponsors when the “r’s” had both houses and the presidency? In my opinion this is action without substance, he / they have no intent to do anything but make a show for the gullible. I’m certain mcconnels chinese… Read more »


Good to see your eyes are open.