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OPINION

New ATF Rule a Step Closer to Federal Gun Registry

hands grabbing the barrell of a rifle
(Dreamstime)

Michael Dorstewitz By Friday, 12 April 2024 12:24 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) published a new rule that expands the definition of "engaged in the business" as a firearms dealer.

“This regulation is a historic step in the Justice Department’s fight against gun violence,” Attorney General Merrick Garland claimed. “It will save lives.”

In truth it will neither curb gun violence nor save lives, and was universally criticized by gun rights supporters.

“This is a continuation of the Biden war on guns,” said Alan M. Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, a national gun rights organization. “It is another attempt to get around Congress to make new laws without congressional approval.”

The White House claims that the new rule will close the so-called “gun show loophole” and “online sale loophole.”

But those “loopholes” don’t exist. If a dealer sells a firearm at a gun show, the buyer completes the same paperwork he would at a brick-and-mortar store, and needs approval by the federal background check system.

If it’s an online sale, the seller ships the firearm to a dealer near the buyer’s home, where the process is completed before he can take possession.

“The president is claiming this will keep guns out of the hands of felons, and he knows better,” Gottlieb added. “If history has taught us anything, it would be that criminals do not obtain the guns they use through legitimate channels, and that gun control laws have never prevented criminals from obtaining a firearm. All this rule will accomplish is to place yet another burden on honest citizens wanting to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

Again, all the rule does is expand the definition of those "engaged in the business" as a firearm dealer, thus requiring them to become a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) and require his sales to be run through the background check system.

The problem is, the new rule doesn’t really define who is required to go through the process of obtaining an FFL to sell some of his used guns. Is the cut-off point anything more than 10 guns? Five guns? The ATF doesn’t say.

In fact, it admits that “even a single firearm transaction or offer to engage in a transaction, when combined with other evidence … may require a license.”

As Cam Edwards, editor and podcaster at Bearing Arms observed, the language is “may require” rather than “shall require.”

Are you going to sell a gun you no longer want to a neighbor that you’ve known since the third grade? Maybe you need an FFL.

Are you about to give your son that shotgun he’s always liked now that he’s 18 and itching to go hunting with you? That would seem to be OK, but then again, maybe you need an FFL.

This possibility didn’t get past Second Amendment Foundation Executive Director Adam Kraut either.

“Even more troublesome,” Kraut said, “is the potential for abuse by Biden’s weaponized ATF against private citizens legally selling their personal firearms collections or family heirlooms.”

The new rule consists of page after page of bureaucratic gobbledygook that would drive a Supreme Court justice insane with its vague wording. So what’s the point?

Reload founder Stephen Gutowski had a thought.

"The goal here is to have more used sales go through background checks," he told Edwards during Thursday’s edition of “Cam & Co.”

"That's what they want. They want all sales to go through background checks, but they can't do that under current law so they're trying to get as close as they possibly can by either forcing people to get licenses or making people who are selling their used guns think they might need a license,” he added.

Taking it further, this could be a step toward establishing a federal gun registry. Four provisions of U.S. law prohibit national gun registries — two directed at the ATF and the other two at the FBI (which performs the gun background checks).

But the fact that something is illegal has never stopped President Joe Biden. Just recently he’s been “forgiving” more student loan debt after the U.S. Supreme Court told him he couldn’t.

But you can’t have a registry unless you have a record of every gun sale. The new ATF rule would be one more step in that direction.

Eleven years ago author and columnist Ann Coulter made that point clear to Fox News host Sean Hannity.

“Universal background checks means universal registration,” she said. “Universal registration means universal confiscation, [followed by] universal extermination. That’s how it goes in history.”

She concluded, “Do not fall for universal background checks.”

One final point: Gun laws and regulations only affect law-abiding gun owners. The criminals — those who use firearms to commit crimes — don’t follow them.

That’s why we call them criminals.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to Newsmax. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


MichaelDorstewitz
Four provisions of U.S. law prohibit national gun registries — two directed at the ATF and the other two at the FBI (which performs the gun background checks).
gun control, atf
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2024-24-12
Friday, 12 April 2024 12:24 PM
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