The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability’s Thursday hearing on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ alleged “assault on the Second Amendment” had to recess for several minutes because of disruptions by members of the audience.
Sub-Committee Chairman Pat Fallon (R-TX) had to have two people removed from the hearing.
During the course of the hearing, Democrats repeatedly tried to portray this inquiry into ATF overreach as a threat to the safety of American children. Republicans, on the other hand, focused on ATF’s flip-flop on a rule regarding pistol stabilizing braces.
The panel heard from Alex Bosco, founder and inventor of the Stabilizing Brace; Amy Swearer, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation; Rob Wilcox, federal legal director at Everytown for Gun Safety, and Matthew Larosiere, a partner at the Zermay-Larosiere Law Group and adjunct scholar of law and policy for the Second Amendment Foundation. (Click on each witnesses’ name to read their submitted statements.)
The hearing came just days after the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms called for congressional Republicans to withhold funds from the agency.
The Biden administration’s proposed Fiscal Year 2024 budget includes “robust investments to bolster Federal law enforcement capacity. The Budget includes $17.8 billion, an increase of $1.2 billion above the 2023 enacted level, for DOJ law enforcement, including a total of $1.9 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and explosives to expand multijurisdictional gun trafficking strike forces with additional personnel, increase regulation of the firearms industry, and implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.”
Biden’s proposal also includes “$51 million to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to support the continued implementation of enhanced background checks required by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.” It is not clear what, exactly, an “enhanced background check” covers.
But CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said Monday that it’s time for the House and Senate GOP to “send a message to the White House and Capitol Hill Democrats by refusing to fund the agency Biden wants to unleash on law-abiding Americans.”
“We’ve seen attacks on Second Amendment rights under previous Democrat presidents,” Gottlieb said in a prepared statement, “but the Biden administration has pulled out all the stops. Joe Biden has publicly declared his desire to ban modern semiautomatic rifles and 9mm pistols, the most popular firearms in the nation. Millions of honest citizens own semiautomatic rifles for all kinds of uses, including home defense, competition, predator control, recreational shooting and hunting, and they have never harmed anyone. Likewise, millions of men and women own and use 9mm pistols for personal and home protection, training, target shooting, competition, business protection, and other legitimate uses.”
Thursday’s hearing, which begins at 10 a.m. in the House Rayburn Office Building, is ominously headlined “ATF’s Assault on the Second Amendment: When is Enough Enough?”
Gottlieb told Ammoland News that CCRKBA’s sister organization, the Second Amendment Foundation, will be represented on a panel during the hearing.
Fox News and TheGunMag.com are both reporting that House Republicans are planning to “take a step toward blocking the Biden administration’s new rule that tightens regulations on pistol stabilizing braces, and call the rule an ‘abuse’ of federal authority.” ATF issued the new rule in January, igniting a social media firestorm.
As reported by Fox News, the ATF’s new rule “will treat any firearms with stabilizing accessories as short-barreled rifles, which require a federal license to own under the National Firearms Act…According to Republicans, the rule would require gun owners to either register pistols with stabilizing braces with the ATF, turn over those firearms, or face 10 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.”
Congressman Andrew Clyde (R-GA) said Monday, “Congress must swiftly move to block the ATF’s unconstitutional pistol brace rule, as this misguided measure turns millions of law-abiding gun owners, including many disabled veterans, into criminals for merely possessing legal firearms with stabilizing braces.”
He and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) are reportedly spearheading an effort to block the rule, and were to introduce a resolution to the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to “nullify the Biden administration rule if passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Biden, or if Congress were to override a likely Biden veto.”
Fox News noted in its report that other Republicans “slammed the new rule after it was finalized by the ATF in January, calling it an ‘unconstitutional overreach’ and a ‘gun registration and confiscation scheme.’”
CCRKBA’s concerns are much wider than just the pistol brace rule, and Gottlieb spreads the ire to Capitol Hill Democrats, who have transitioned from being the “party of gun control” to being the “party of gun prohibition.” Once Democrats started calling for a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” they were no longer merely trying to institute restrictions, but instead working to prohibit an entire class of firearms.
“Clearly,” Gottlieb said, “Biden and the Democrats have decided that American gun owners are their enemy. They are scrambling to restrict the Second Amendment rights of tens of millions of citizens whose only offense is that they want to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. Last week, the president signed an executive order to create even more restrictions. Where does this stop?”
It may slow down some with Republicans controlling the U.S. House, where budgets are proposed. Biden’s budget request could hit some major speed bumps.”
About Dave Workman