Chip Roy Warns About the Dangers of ATF Tyranny

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing held on March 23, 2023, Texas Congressman Chip Roy called attention to how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF’s) recent enactment of a controversial pistol brace regulation represents a potential avenue for the establishment of bureaucratic tyranny. 

Roy noted that “the crux” of gun owners’ beef with the ATF is the idea of “a bureaucrat making unilateral decisions to try to turn millions of Americans into felons, to advance a radical leftist agenda, which is clearly what is at play.”

He argued that the ATF has effectively embarked on doing “what Congress has not done.”

Roy then called on Congressional witness Amy Swearer of the Heritage Foundation to opine on the ATF’s overreach. She stated, “Our constitution…is set up with separated powers. The executive branch enforces laws and the legislative branch passes laws, because Congress is held accountable to the people.”

She then asserted that the ATF’s abrogation of the legislative process “infringes on rights without Americans having a process by which to recall [ATF] appointees.”

Swearer agreed with Roy that the ATF’s regulatory schemes are “unconstitutional and unlawful.”

Roy replied to Swearer’s testimony by claiming that Congress is obligated “to check” the ATF’s bureaucratic infringements on Second Amendment rights.

The Texas congressman criticized civilian disarmament schemes that is the product of what “an executive branch bureaucrat unilaterally decides to do” and added, “This should send should send shivers down the spine of all members of [Congress].”

Roy has every reason to be opposed to the ATF’s overreach. As someone who claims to support the Second Amendment, Roy is acting in a logical manner by pointing out that the ATF’s actions are anti-American at their core. America is not a nation of bureaucratic edicts, it’s a nation of laws. 

When institutions like the ATF subvert Congress, America gets closer to becoming a bureaucratic tyranny. For that reason, pro-gun activists must work to defund and ultimately abolish the ATF — an institution that tarnishes the image of this great Republic.

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