Opinion: New Unreasonable ATF Rule Would Ban Private Sales of Guns

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is drafting a new regulation that would effectively ban private sales of all firearms by widening background checks, according to several whistleblowers at the ATF. 

But, the rule would:

•        Be the first step in establishing a federal firearm registry.

•        Could arguably be unconstitutional.

•        Be relatively unenforceable.

Nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog group Empower Oversight announced on Wednesday that the new rule was in its final draft stages.

Tristan Leavitt, Empower Oversight president, said at the beginning of a thread on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the group “has learned through whistleblowers within ATF that at the White House’s direction, ATF has drafted a 1,300-page document to justify a rule effectively banning private firearms sales. 

Leavitt added he believed the new rule “would also circumvent the separation of powers in the Constitution which grants ‘all legislative Powers’ to Congress while requiring that the President ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.’”

President Biden promised fewer than two months before the 2020 election to govern typically, with Congress creating the laws and the president executing them.

“I have this strange notion, we are a democracy,” Biden told George Stephanopoulos, ABC News host, during an October 2020 town hall. “If you can’t get the votes…you can’t [legislate] by executive order unless you’re a dictator. We’re a democracy. We need consensus.”

However, Biden began by signing executive orders on his first day in office, and in less than two weeks, he’d signed over three dozen. And he is continuing, having signed a student loan “forgiveness” order after the Supreme Court found one he issued earlier unconstitutional.

The president is now recruiting the ATF to help him expand background checks on firearm sales — an explicit function of Congress. With Biden, nothing changes.

A rule such as this wouldn’t be enforceable.

The new rule’s purpose is to make all gun sales subject to a background check into the criminal history of the buyer.

The government cannot enforce a rule by prosecuting a violation it doesn’t know about — and who will report it? The buyer? The seller? Not likely.

However, the most problematic result of the new ATF regulation is that it would provide the outline for a federal gun registry.

According to the Congressional Research Service, a registry like this is not allowed by two federal provisions that set limits on the ATF, as well as two others that do the same for the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

However, that doesn’t mean they won’t give it a try.

One thing preventing a corrupt White House from establishing a “behind the scenes” federal gun registry is the lack of a background check that is universal. 

Private exchanges — sales between friends, parent to child, or neighbor to neighbor — are not subject to background checks. The ATF rule’s effect would be to establish a universal background check system.

Political pundit Ann Coulter explained a decade ago that the danger of universal background checks was that it would provide the government with a record of who owned each firearm in existence.

“Universal background check means universal registration,” said Coulter to Sean Hannity, Fox News host. “Universal registration means universal confiscation, universal extermination,” continued Coulter. “That’s how it goes in history. Do not fall for universal background checks.”

The rule’s final draft is being prepared “by Senior Policy Counsel Eric Epstein, who worked as the Phoenix Field Office’s Division Counsel during Operation Wide Receiver (a precursor of Operation Fast and Furious).”

On Wednesday, the watchdog group sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the ATF and Justice Department and asked for Epstein’s emails discussing any private sales bands, along with communications between the DOJ, ATF, and the White House.

The Biden administration has not maintained a spotless record on individual rights — especially not if you are a parent speaking up at school board meetings or a pro-life individual praying at a Planned Parenthood.

But President Biden has frequently made it clear that he doesn’t notably support the Second Amendment right to bear and keep arms.

According to Coulter’s words, “Universal registration means universal confiscation, universal extermination,” which seems more possible today than ten years ago.One of the first jobs of the next GOP president should be to clear the FBI and ATF of any records of private firearm ownership.