By: José Niño
Republican attorneys general from 20 states are challenging President Joe Biden’s executive action against firearms parts and kits.
The AGs have released comments on the Bureau of Alcohol of Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) proposed rule change. This rule change was put forward as a response to Biden’s move to lean on the DOJ to implement gun control as opposed to using conventional legislative means.
AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News observed that, “Biden has not been able to get any movement on gun control in Congress, and the executive/regulatory route provides a way he can try to implement a limited number of changes.”
Congress is gridlocked, so the anti-gun crowd will have to count on arbitrary bureaucratic action to see through its gun control agenda.
Back in early Mary, the DOJ rolled out a “ghost gun” rule proposal that would mandate the inclusion of serial numbers in the gun parts of “easy-to-build firearm kits.” In addition, the rule also required Federal Firearm License holders (FFLs) to add serial numbers to any previously assembled or 3D-printed firearm that “they take into inventory.”
Arizona AG Mark Brnovich and West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey are the most vocal opponents of the DOJ’s latest attempt to undermine the Second Amendment.
Fox News reported that Arizona AG Mark Brnovich and West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey led the group of AGs in voicing opposition to gun control.
AG Morrisey declared:
Private individuals and businesses have the right to assemble firearms for their own use — a fact borne out in early American history and expressly recognized by the Gun Control Act. The Second Amendment is a core tenant of our Constitution, and this regulation would treat the activity of assembling firearm parts as a problem to be stamped out, rather than a right and tradition to be respected.
The 20 AGs jointly pointed out that the ATF only has the power to regulate completed firearms and receivers, however, the AGs argued that the ATF does not have the power to regulate parts of an incomplete receiver.
The AGs observed, “By allowing ATF to decide for itself which firearms it will regulate, unconstrained by Congress’s guidance, the proposed rule is unconstitutional.”
The AGs of Arizona and West Virginia were accompanied by AGs from Alabama, Arkansas, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota.
These AGs' letters should be praised. States should always resist encroachments from the federal government. That’s the way America was designed — to have a system of checks and balances not only at the federal level, but also from below to keep the federal government restrained.
Bureaucratic action from the ATF is completely undemocratic in that bureaucrats face no electoral pressures for their misbehavior. For the time being, state governments will have to stand against the federal government when it gets out of line. In the long-term, serious congressional leadership will be needed to defund and ultimately abolish the ATF.
The ATF is a blight on our constitutional republic and presents a perennial threat to our Second Amendment freedoms. There’s no question that the agency must go.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.