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ATF Preparing Rule To Regulate Private Gun Sales, Requiring Background Check


According to Empower Oversight, a whistleblower group that represented IRS agents in the Hunter Biden case, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is getting ready to implement a new regulation.

This rule would enforce background checks conducted by the FBI for private gun sales. In a letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Empower Oversight expressed concerns about this potential rule as they believe it would be an infringement on constitutional rights and an unauthorized acquisition of power.

The group also stated that it had been informed by two sources about the forthcoming regulation.

The letter said that the ATF 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,” Just the News reported.

Empower Oversight firmly stated its belief that the responsibility to enact any modification lies solely with Congress. This assertion is based on a 1986 law which explicitly forbids background checks for firearm sales between private individuals.

“Such an expansive rule that treats all private citizens the same as federal firearms licensees would circumvent the separation of powers in the Constitution, which grants ‘all legislative Powers’ to Congress while requiring that the President ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,’” the letter said.

“To the extent such a rule prevents the private sale of firearms, it would also clearly violate the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which declares that ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,’” it added.

Empower Oversight highlighted the potential for confrontations between ATF agents and private citizens as a consequence of the rule. They cited two instances of violent incidents in the 1990s that stemmed from federal raids as illustrative examples.

“The lessons of the Ruby Ridge and Waco standoffs should make clear that attempting to enforce such an expansive regulation could endanger countless ATF field agents who are forced to serve as the face of the Biden Administration in going after private firearms owners for constitutionally-protected firearms sales,” the letter noted.

In March, President Joe Biden signed an executive order requiring the federal government to “clarify the definition of who is engaged in the business of dealing in firearms, and thus required to become Federal firearms licensees in order to increase compliance with the Federal background check requirement for firearm sales.”

He admitted at the time his goal was to “move us as close as we can to universal background checks.”

Following this, the ATF presented a proposed regulation that sparked apprehension among supporters of the Second Amendment. This raised concerns that the government was trying to enforce a requirement for any individual selling just one firearm online to register as a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL).

Empower Oversight noted that the law Congress passed in 1986 and signed by then-President Ronald Reagan made clear that the “business” of selling firearms “shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms.”

Gun sales have reached unprecedented levels during Biden’s presidency as a growing number of Americans express concerns about escalating violent crime and the potential threat of terrorism, particularly in the wake of the October attack on Israel by Hamas, which resulted in the tragic loss of almost 1,400 lives.

Amidst alarming reports of worsening crime rates in cities governed by Democrats and numerous encounters with illegal immigrants, including those from countries known for sponsoring terrorism, gun sales have surged past 14 million.

November witnessed record-breaking sales, according to the Washington Examiner.

The outlet noted: The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the industry representative that adjusts FBI background check data to estimate gun sales, said that there were 1,595,476 sales last month. The group said earlier that there were 214,913 guns sold on Black Friday alone, a new high for the day known for Christmas sales and buying. For the year, the group estimates sales at 14,072,224.

“This bucks the narrative by some that the firearm market is saturated,” NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva said, per the outlet.

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