House Judiciary Committee Demands Answers from ATF
During a three-hour Judiciary Committee hearing on April 28, 2023, ATF Director Steven Dettelbach was grilled by various members of the United States House. Dettelbach was recently nominated to this position in the ATF and has been subject to significant criticism by House members.
According to Larry Keane of the National Sports Shooting Foundation, most of the hearing was concentrated on regulations concerning firearms and accessories, firearm retailer inspections, enforcement of President Joe Biden’s executive orders and false claims about the gun industry.
The ATF’s Final Rule, which placed pistols with attached stabilizing arm braces in the category of short-barreled rifles (SBRs), was the main topic discussed. The Final Rule subjects law-abiding gun owners to registration under the unconstitutional National Firearms Act (NFA).
Judiciary Committee Chairman Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan was angry how the ATF, for 10 years, did not subject pistols with attached stabilizing arm braces to further taxation and registration. Currently, gun owners have until May 31 to either disassemble their lawfully-possessed firearms, destroy them, turn them in or register them or risk becoming criminals from one day to the next.
“Earlier this year, ATF issued a rule that unilaterally puts new restrictions on Second Amendment rights,” Jordan declared in his opening statement. “This is not the result of a decision made by Congress – Congress didn’t change the law…This rule, which turns law-abiding gun owners into felons, is the result of unelected bureaucrats simply enacting a new regulation. And that’s not how it’s supposed to work in our great country.”
Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie explained that the ATF sent a letter to Alex Bosco, the brace inventor, declaring that the attachment to the accessory “does not convert that weapon to be fired from the shoulder and would not alter the classification of a pistol or other firearm.”
“Between this letter being issued to Mr. Bosco and the production and distribution of 10 to 40 million of these braces and the implementation of your rule, did Congress pass a law? What changed?,” Massie continued.
Indeed, the ATF must be grilled at all times. This unconstitutional agency can’t be allowed to operate without impunity. It presents a clear and present danger to the right to bear arms. In the short-term, Republicans must strive to defund this agency and reduce its power. However, for the long-term, the ATF must be abolished if we want to preserve the Second Amendment.