Earlier this year, the Biden Administration announced its intent to move the United States “as close to Universal Background Checks as possible without additional legislation.”
After much speculation on how far-reaching the rule would be, it has finally arrived, and it’s worse than expected.
In its current form, the universal background check rule could subject those who sell even a single firearm to dealer requirements, including a background check.
While it is worth noting that none of this would be possible without the Republican-backed gun control known as the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. There’s still something that gun owners can do to combat this rule.
Under the Administrative Procedures Act, when agencies like ATF make rules, they must first submit the rule for public comment on the Federal Register.
During this period, citizens can give their thoughts on the rule and describe their unique situations as to how it will affect them.
If enough comments are negative, the agency will pull the rule and not proceed. Gun Owners of America has experienced massive success in defeating the ATF through this method. Most significantly, in 2015, we defeated the Obama administration’s attempt to ban M855 “green tip” ammunition during the notice and comment period.
The first attempt at a pistol brace ruling during the Trump Administration was also defeated through the notice and comment period. ATF retracted the rule and “acknowledged there were legitimate uses for the devices,” a statement that encapsulates the hypocritical nature of the agency itself.
And even if the rule goes through and becomes the law of the land, we’re not out of options, but your comments are still extremely important to the next steps.
First, we lobby Congress to bring the rule under the Congressional Review Act. Gun Owners of America did this for Biden’s pistol brace rule with H.J. Res 44. The House of Representatives passed a resolution that condemned the ATF rulemaking. Even though the resolution had no chance of being signed by Joe Biden, it still showed that ATF had acted against Congress’s intent, sending a powerful message to the courts.
To get members of Congress to vote yes on this resolution, all we had to do was point to the massive number of comments left on the rule by their constituents.
Your comments matter in our lawsuits. If we can’t get Congress to act, we can always take the ATF to court, something we’re preparing to do right now over this rule. In our lawsuit, we will undoubtedly use the comments of GOA members to show how the rule adversely affects such a large portion of our membership along with the general population.
We have seen ATF rules where thousands of pro-gun commenters will point out a problem or flaw in the ATF’s reasoning, forcing the agency to attempt a rewrite in order to try and fix the problem, only to find that the ATF has violated the Administrative Procedures Act because they made significant changes without issuing a second round of comments. This is a violation of law that can bring down the entire gun control rule.
Sadly, there is an attitude among some gun owners who don’t think their voice matters – and that gives the ATF precisely what they want.
In fact, the worst thing you can do as someone who’s pro-gun is take a backseat to events like this because it’s a “waste of time.”
The ATF and the anti-gun lobby want you NOT to be politically active! It’s a key part of their strategy. If voters can be persuaded that noncompliance is the only way to combat a tyrannical government and that there’s no use fighting for your rights within the system, the government can then legislate your rights away as they please and simply play the waiting game to catch those practicing noncompliance.
This is why it’s not just important for you to get involved politically, but for you to get your fellow gun owners to do the same.
Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President for Gun Owners of America, said:
“It’s been said time and again: ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ The anti-gun Left would love nothing more than for gun owners to think their activism accomplishes nothing. But that’s a horrid lie. Our activism has … does … and will continue to make a difference. We dare not keep silent, or we will have only ourselves to blame when our freedoms are taken from us.”
Unfortunately, the reality is that your rights are under attack from very well-funded organizations that currently have a large amount of influence over the United States government. As gun owners, we can’t be complacent in saying, “I’ll sit this one out.”
So please leave a comment on the Federal Register.
Help us fight back against the Biden Administration and the Billionaire-funded anti-gun lobby.