Andy Biggs and a Coalition of Republicans Want Answers About ATF Regulatory Change

Andy Biggs is leading the charge in the House against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ (ATF) latest project to undermine the Second Amendment.

In this case, the ATF has been denying applications for the development of firearm silences because of a regulatory change. As Michael Ginsberg and Henry Rodgers of the Daily Caller outlined, Americans can submit a form with the ATF and pay a $200 filing fee prior to receiving approval to build their own silencers.

For the most part, these applications are accepted. That said, the ATF tossed out over 800 applications to build silencers because of a change in its policy. Namely, a policy that treats designer kits the same way as it treats silencers.

Silencers that have already been developed can only be sold by licensed dealers. The dealers must fill out separate forms and pay an additional tax. 

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“The ATF’s continued assault of the Second Amendment threatens millions of law–abiding American firearm owners. The ATF has overstepped its authority by changing the definition of what constitutes a silencer from the definition as passed by Congress,” 156 Republicans said in a letter directed to ATF Acting Director Marvin Richardson. The letter was exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller

According to reports that Republicans were able to gather from their constituents, applicants for building silencers were informed by ATF agents to send them photographs of the device parts and kits. If they did not send this info, it wouldn’t be approved.

The Republican leaders argued that such actions could create self-incrimination problems in the case that the ATF deems the kits to be a silencer.  

“The ATF continues to infringe on the constitutional liberties of law-abiding Americans. This has gone on long enough,” Biggs told the Daily Caller. “ATF is ignoring years of precedent to restrict individuals’ ability to make their own silencers. I’ve heard from my constituents how this arbitrary change is negatively impacting them. This is unacceptable. The ATF is overstepping its authority and it must explain its actions to Congress and the American people.”

Richardson has been in charge of the ATF since June 2021. The Republicans are calling on Richardson to explain why he denied the applications and also put out documents detailing the regulatory process that caused  the definition change. In addition, they want Richardson to break down how the ATF will publish the change and how it will process future applications. 

The ATF needs to get checked. It’s an unaccountable bureaucracy that helps Gun Control Inc. advance its agenda when traditional legislative means fail. 

In an ideal world, the ATF would be abolished. However, a practical first step would be to discredit this agency by exposing its many malfeasances. 

Good on Congressman Biggs and his colleagues for highlighting the ATF’s misbehavior. We’re going to need that and then some in this fight to phase out this unconstitutional institution.