NRA slams ATF proposal, claims it could criminalize lawful firearm sales
'The Biden ATF's proposed rule, ATF2022R-17, is just another attempt to demolish our Second Amendment rights, with the potential to unjustly criminalize everyday Americans for engaging in lawful firearm transactions,' NRA-ILA Executive Director Randy Kozuch said.
The National Rifle Association strongly criticized a proposal by the ATF, arguing that it could unfairly make criminals out of Americans who sell firearms. They also expressed concerns that the proposal could lead to significant confusion among lawful gun owners involved in firearm transactions.
"The Biden ATF's proposed rule, ATF2022R-17, is just another attempt to demolish our Second Amendment rights, with the potential to unjustly criminalize everyday Americans for engaging in lawful firearm transactions," NRA-ILA Executive Director Randy Kozuch told Fox News.
"This rule blatantly disregards the recent NRA-backed Bruen ruling on the Second Amendment. It also creates serious confusion among lawful gun owners who buy and sell firearms legally for various purposes, from collecting to self-defense," he said.
Kozuch responded to the ATF proposal labeled as ATF2022R-17, also referred to as the "Definition of ‘Engaged in the Business’ as a Dealer in Firearms." This proposal aims to revise the agency's regulations and integrate aspects of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a gun control legislation enacted by President Biden in 2022.
The proposed regulation seeks to broaden the definition of a "dealer" to include individuals who not only sell or offer firearms for sale but also show potential buyers their readiness and capacity to buy and sell more firearms.
Additionally, the proposal intends to adopt the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act's interpretation of making a profit from gun sales. This means that the term "dealer" would cover those who trade guns for various forms of profit, including personal property or services, not just monetary gains.
According to the NRA, the proposal could lead to uncertainty among gun owners regarding which firearm transactions would necessitate a federal firearms license.
"If the Biden administration were truly committed to combating crime, they would focus on enforcing existing laws and reform their soft-on-crime policies, targeting actual criminals instead of law-abiding American gun owners," Kozuch added.
After receiving approval from both the House and Senate, President Biden enacted the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in June 2022.
This legislation, hailed by gun-control advocates as the most substantial firearms legislation in almost three decades, encourages states to adopt red flag laws and to broaden background checks for individuals aged 18 to 21.
The ATF put forward its proposal in August of this year, with a public comment period lasting 90 days, from September 9 to December 7.
The NRA, along with over 330,000 other groups and individuals, submitted public feedback on the proposed regulation. In their commentary, the NRA highlighted that the proposal could cause confusion among gun owners, especially for collectors and competitive shooters who often engage in buying and selling firearms.
"Many NRA members buy and sell firearms for various lawful purposes. Collectors buy and sell to enhance their collections. Competitive shooters buy and sell in search of a competitive advantage. And all exercise their right to buy and sell firearms, seeking arms that best fit their needs to defend themselves and their families. But their freedom to do so is hindered by ATF2022R-17 (the ‘proposed rule’) because it would create serious confusion about what firearm transactions can be conducted without first acquiring an FFL," the NRA’s comment read.
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