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New Gun Rules Cause ATF Whistleblowers To Sound the Alarm

via WEAR Channel 3 News
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Whistleblowers at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have raised concerns about a potential 1,300-page draft document justifying a proposed rule that could effectively ban private gun sales by requiring background checks for most or all transactions.

The watchdog group Empower Oversight sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and ATF Director Steven M. Dettelbach, seeking answers and documents regarding these claims.

The proposed rule aligns with the Biden administration’s push for stricter gun control, including a previous ATF proposal.

“The fact that inside ATF sources are blowing the whistle on this draft rule is an indication of what a difficult position it would put the ATF in. ATF agents did not sign up to go after law-abiding citizens for private sales protected under the Second Amendment of the Constitution,” Empower Oversight president Tristan Leavitt said.

The letter also highlighted potential constitutional and safety concerns associated with the proposed rule.

“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.’ 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,’” Leavitt wrote.

“People will now have … an additional step and utilize a licensed gun dealer to make those transactions if this comes into play,” retired ATF deputy assistant director Peter J. Forcelli said.

“We have a problem with violent crime in the country right now. We have a lot of individuals who are misusing firearms that are not being prosecuted. And I think that this director’s time would be better served by pressuring those United States attorney’s offices that aren’t doing their job to go out there and effectively prosecute cases involving violent criminals.”

The ATF has indicated that the proposed rule would amend regulations to align with the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, emphasizing the importance of public safety measures.

The letter from the watchdog group demands records and communications about the plan, expressing concerns about potential risks for ATF field agents.

“The proposed rule would amend the regulations applicable to the Gun Control Act by, among other things, conforming those regulations to the new BSCA definition and clarifying the conduct that presumptively requires a license under the amended definition,” the letter read.

“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 adds.

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