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Gaetz, MTG To Seek Defunding Of ATF In Next Appropriations Period

'The ATF Abuses Its Rule Making Authority, Legislating Through The Executive And Making A Mockery Of The Separation Of Powers Mandates By The Constitution'

Gaetz, MTG To Seek Defunding Of ATF In Next Appropriations Period

Florida representative Matt Gaetz and Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene will seek the defunding of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) during the next available appropriations period.

The representatives will use the Holman Rule, which permits amendments to appropriations legislation that may cut salary, fire federal employees, or eliminate specific programs, to achieve a defunding of the ATF.

Gaetz and Greene detailed their upcoming effort in a Monday letter sent to House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rep. Kay Granger.

"The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has been weaponized against the American people by a raidcal anti-Second Amendment Biden Administration," reads the letter originally obtained by the Daily Caller. "The leadership at the ATF has proven unable or unwilling to see that the ATF respect the rule of law and not act where congress has not legislated."

"Instead, the ATF abuses its rule making authority, legislating through the executive and making a mockery of the separation of powers mandates by the Constitution."

“The ATF has even made it a matter of official policy to shut down gun stores by making perfection the standard in record keeping – a standard the ATF itself could not meet,” the lawmakers continued. “Since the Biden Administration has announced its new ‘zero tolerance’ policy in 2021, Federal Firearms Licensees have faced the highest revocation rate in 16 years. This policy has effectively become the death penalty for even the most innocent of clerical errors.”

“The ATF has shown itself incapable of operating within the confines of its statutory authority, and we must force a change,” they concluded. “Hence, I write to inform you that I intend to use the Holman Rule to defund the Office of the Director of the ATF in the next available appropriations period.”

In June 2021, the then-freshman congresswoman Greene introduced legislation to abolish the ATF entitled the Brian A. Terry Memorial Eliminate the ATF Act, named after Marine and Border Patrol agent Brian Terry who was killed in a gunfight between drug smugglers in 2010 regarding the Obama administration's "Fast and Furious" operation.

In January, Gaetz similarly introduced legislation to abolish the ATF after the organization enacted a rule mandating licenses for stabilizing braces.

“The continued existence of the ATF is increasingly unwarranted based on the actions they’re taking to convert otherwise law-abiding people into felons,” Gaetz said at the time. “My bill would abolish the ATF. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to try defunding the ATF."

He continued:

If that doesn’t work, we’re going to target the individual bureaucrats at the top of the ATF who have exceeded their authority in rulemaking. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to take a meat cleaver to the statutes that the ATF believes broadly authorize their actions. ... The people at the ATF making these rules fundamentally don’t understand firearms. I think they are under the flawed conception that a stabilizing brace increases the lethality or danger of a pistol."

“It seems the ATF is on a snipe hunt for regulatory action that virtue signals to the anti-gun left, but that has no real practical safety impact on Americans,” Gaetz added.

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