Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Pro-Gun Members of Congress Demand Answers from ATF on Mass Suppressor Application Denials

Monday, March 28, 2022

Pro-Gun Members of Congress Demand Answers from ATF on Mass Suppressor Application Denials

Recently, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – under the direction of Joe Biden and Merrick Garland – has been on a tear of upsetting settled understandings and changing enforcement policies. But pro-gun members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives have taken note and are now demanding answers of their own.

Gun owners by now are used to the drill, although it never gets more justifiable or legitimate. An anti-gun White House and attorney general assume control, and suddenly years of practice, precedent, and agreed meaning go out the window at ATF.

Even though the words of statutes and – in some cases, regulations – havent changed, things that were understood to be legal are suddenly declared illegal. 

And gun owners and industry members who in good faith are trying to comply with the law while exercising their rights or earning their livings suddenly find themselves threatened with criminal penalties for actions theyve taken openly for years without any suggestion of wrongdoing. Sometimes the actions have even been expressly approved by ATFs own prior statements or rulings.

We have been reporting on one of the latest and most ridiculous examples, in which ATF is denying applications to make suppressors by law-abiding and eligible applicants on the tortured logic that if you can make a suppressor out of something, that thing is already a suppressor.

For example, a flashlight tube or solvent trap can obviously be used for applications having to do with flashlights and gun cleaning.

But if a person wants to repurpose these materials into use in making a suppressor, and volunteers that information to the government with an application to make, register, and pay tax on said item (known as a Form 1), ATF has begun denying that good faith attempt to comply with the law.

Worse, it is suggesting the person may already be a criminal for collecting and possessing the unregistered construction materials, which – so ATFs position now goes – should have been transferred to the person as if they were already suppressors.

Needless to say, ATF cannot cite any case where a person filed a Form 1 to make a suppressor, had it approved, built it, and then went on to use the item illegally, much less to harm or kill someone with it.

Thats because the only people filing these forms are those trying to comply with the law. To target them, and suggest public safety is somehow enhanced, is facially ridiculous. 

Fortunately, numerous senators and members of Congress have demanded ATF answer for this unilateral, persecutory, and unbeneficial reimagining of unchanged law.

Under the leadership of Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), 25 senators wrote a letter dated March 16 to Acting ATF Director Marvin Richardson, criticizing the move and asking a series of questions to gain perspective, understanding, and background about it.

The ATF is overstepping their authority by rejecting law-abiding Americansattempts to create and own a silencer,” the letter stated.

It then demanded ATF produce answers to such questions as why the recent actions were taken, how ATF makes the relevant determinations, why these applications used to be approved and are now being denied, and ATFs posture toward retroactive enforcement of this policy and attempts to fix violations.” The letter additionally required the production of documents and other evidence related to the development of the new enforcement” policy.

A similar letter dated March 18 was signed by 142 members of Congress under the leadership of Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, within the Judiciary Committee.

The House letter strongly condemned ATFs actions, characterizing them as a continuation of the Biden Administrations assault on AmericansSecond Amendment rights.” It also warned they were contrary to years of ATF precedent and beyond the scope of the agencys authority under federal law.” The letter contained a detailed explanation of how ATF has created a Catch-22 that puts applicants in the position of potentially disclosing what ATF declares illegal activity, simply by attempting to comply with the application process.

The House members also asked ATF to answer questions like those posed by their Senate colleagues and to produce supporting and background evidence.

The NRA is grateful for the leadership of Sen. Daines and Rep. Biggs in these efforts and for our elected officialswillingness to take their oversight responsibilities seriously. As the ONLY law-making body in the U.S. constitutional system, Congress must protect its prerogatives and the rights of innocent Americans from politically-driven overreach by the Executive Branch.

Hopefully ATF will promptly respond to these inquiries, and perhaps even reconsider its new position.

Whatever happens, NRA-ILA will continue to update this unfolding story.

TRENDING NOW
Court Rules Second Amendment Prohibits Federal Pre-Conviction Firearms Ban

News  

Monday, September 26, 2022

Court Rules Second Amendment Prohibits Federal Pre-Conviction Firearms Ban

Last week, a federal judge in the Western District of Texas ruled that a law which prohibits the acquisition of firearms by someone who is under felony indictment violates the Second Amendment. The decision to ...

More Pushback on Credit Card Surveillance of Firearm Buyers

News  

Monday, September 26, 2022

More Pushback on Credit Card Surveillance of Firearm Buyers

As we’ve previously reported, on September 9, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved a Merchant Category Code (MCC) for firearm retailers. MCCs enable payment processors and banks to categorize, monitor, and collect data on various types of ...

Illinois Sets the Stage for Possible Unprecedented Crime Wave

News  

Monday, September 26, 2022

Illinois Sets the Stage for Possible Unprecedented Crime Wave

As part of a criminal justice “reform” effort, the state of Illinois is preparing to unleash the first statewide no-cash bail law, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, and the ramifications could ...

Update: Further Dispatches from New York’s War on Guns

News  

Monday, September 26, 2022

Update: Further Dispatches from New York’s War on Guns

Speaking about her new gun control legislation, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul claimed that “we took swift and thoughtful action to keep New Yorkers safe…. we will continue leading the way forward and implementing ...

Shipping Companies Prohibit the Lawful Shipping of Firearms

News  

Monday, September 19, 2022

Shipping Companies Prohibit the Lawful Shipping of Firearms

Wondering what federal law says regarding individuals who do not have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) that need to ship firearms? Well, if you go to the website for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and ...

South Carolina: The City of Columbia Passes More Unconstitutional Gun Control

Friday, September 23, 2022

South Carolina: The City of Columbia Passes More Unconstitutional Gun Control

Last week, the Columbia City Council passed Ordinance No.: 2022-080 to require its residents to report their lost or stolen firearms to the police within 24 hours or face up to a $500 fine. This is ...

Brace Yourself: Biden Administration Reinterprets “Firearm,” Prepares Crackdown

News  

Monday, August 29, 2022

Brace Yourself: Biden Administration Reinterprets “Firearm,” Prepares Crackdown

When we say “brace yourself,” we’re not kidding. The pistol brace rule is coming as well. But first, a different sort of crackdown was unleashed on the nation this week, as an ATF rule published ...

OREGON: Vote NO on Ballot Measure 114!

News  

Thursday, September 15, 2022

OREGON: Vote NO on Ballot Measure 114!

Ballot Measure 114 is the nation’s most extreme gun control Initiative and will be voted on this November! The NRA has launched a website to inform voters why they must VOTE NO on Ballot Measure 114.  It ...

Join us for the 2022 NRA-ILA Firearms Law & the Second Amendment Symposium on October 8th in Pittsburgh

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Join us for the 2022 NRA-ILA Firearms Law & the Second Amendment Symposium on October 8th in Pittsburgh

Join us for the 2022 NRA-ILA Firearms Law & The Second Amendment Symposium on Saturday, October 8th, at the Doubletree Hilton Pittsburgh-Green Tree in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Financial Surveillance Used to Build Gun Owner Registry

News  

Monday, September 19, 2022

Financial Surveillance Used to Build Gun Owner Registry

On September 9, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved a Merchant Category Code (MCC) for firearm retailers. The ISO is a Geneva-based non-governmental organization that consists of a network of “standards bodies” from around the globe ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.