ATF Skirts Legal Formalities and Springs
Another 'Gun Control' Rule on the American People

By NRA-ILA. Apr 22, 2024

On Friday, ATF provided the unpleasant surprise of yet another rulemaking to implement the noxious Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA). The move came even as Second Amendment advocates were still parsing last week's voluminous (and illegal) "engaged in the business" rule, under which ATF is seeking to move America toward the gun controllers' Holy Grail of "universal background checks."

ATF is trying to pass off its latest effort as a so-called "direct final rulemaking," which would give it the ability to skirt otherwise applicable requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). But whether the rule actually qualifies for this pared down, expedited process is still an open question. Careful analysis and well-drafted comments have the potential to stop ATF's latest rule in its tracks.

Friday's rule is entitled "Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Conforming Regulations." It seeks to supplement existing federal 'gun control' regulations with definitions and procedures ATF claims are necessitated by the BSCA. Beyond dealer licensing requirements, the subject of ATF's first BSCA rule, the BSCA made a number of far-reaching changes. These include expanding the prohibitor for so-called "misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence;" creating new crimes for straw purchases of firearms; providing for "enhanced" background checks for firearm purchasers under age 21; and doling out grants for state "red flag" laws.

We have already seen how the Biden administration is stretching the law to its breaking point, and beyond, in implementing the new background checks, red flag provisions, and dealer licensing requirements. But ATF is insisting its latest rule is merely a "non-controversial" "mirroring" of statutory language .....


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