By Dr. Derek Ellerman
Looking to put even more distance between himself and the rest of the pack in the “Who is the most Kickass Congressman” contest, Florida’s Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced a bill that would abolish one of the worst government agencies, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
(People say it ironically perhaps, but Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives should absolutely be a brand of convenience store, not a government agency.)
Gaetz’s move comes after the ATF’s “ruling” (your very first clue that anti-democratic shenanigans are afoot is when unaccountable executive agencies are making “rulings” with the effect of law, rather than Congress) on so-called stabilizing braces.
The “ruling” has the practical effect of making many individuals criminals overnight, though there are options for surrendering your property to the government without compensation. They’re reasonable people, after all.
House Republicans have the ATF in our crosshairs.
The continued existence of the ATF is increasingly unwarranted based on their repeated actions to convert law-abiding citizens into felons.
My bill today would abolish the ATF once and for all.https://t.co/yIwkTGZhiY
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 18, 2023
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The bill, H.R. 374, is a masterpiece of legislation that should be emulated Congress-wide. It’s one single page. It covers only one topic. It does but one thing: “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is hereby abolished.”
Just take a quick look at this beautiful piece of paper.
Titans of freedom like Rep. Thomas Massie have long argued for single-issue legislation, and he’s right.
He also has introduced such legislation himself, like this gem, H.R. 899: “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2022.”
There are only two reasons for legislation to be massive, unreadable, unknowable monstrosities as have become common place, like the multi-thousand page, $1.7 trillion “omnibus” spending bill recently passed by Congress, thanks to Senate Republicans.
First, because the bill merely looks to tinker with some overly convoluted or complicated program that is more likely than not patently unconstitutional.
Second, because it’s just a deliberate effort to ramrod through a host of illegal or expensive things that would draw too much attention.
At any rate, Gaetz is absolutely right to push for abolishing the ATF, though you can be sure the newly Republican Congress won’t pass it.
The Second Amendment is plain as day. Any fool can read it. However, it is, after all, just a Constitutional Amendment.
If the government wants to restrict certain types of firearms, theoretically they have that power. But that power lies with Congress, and Congress only. And it would require going through the Amendment process to alter or abolish the Second Amendment.
Now, of course, Congress is unlikely to do that, for several reasons. First, it’s hard work to amend the Constitution. Second, it’s very easy for Congress to create unaccountable agencies that can do whatever they want, and they wash their hands of the situation.
Third, because actually announcing that they are going to alter or abolish the Second Amendment would cause problems we dare not even consider.
Lawfully purchased pistols with stabilizing braces will now have to be REGISTERED with @ATFHQ’s national gun REGISTRY pursuant to the National Firearms Act of 1934 but @Reuters & others are hiding it & refuse to report it@JoeBiden’s unconstitutional rule is #GunRegistration pic.twitter.com/EkQWbhCWy5
— Aidan Johnston (@RealGunLobbyist) January 14, 2023
The ATF’s “Ruling”
Back to Gaetz’s “final straw,” the ATF’s “ruling” on stabilizing braces is their effort to outlaw an increasingly common type of firearm, which is essentially pistols that look and function similarly to AR and AK platform rifles.
As the Justice Department (lol) puts it, stabilizing braces are “accessories used to convert pistols into short-barreled rifles.”
Now, anyone familiar with firearms and the law can tell you that short-barreled rifles, commonly called SBRs, are Class III firearms that require a host of unconstitutional steps for the prospective owner to take before possessing one. (Think time, money, “approval” from the government to exercise your Constitutional rights.)
So, if you have a pistol-ified AK platform, and you want to shoot 7.62 without ending up with a broken wrist, you toss a stabilizing brace on the back. Or at least, you did.
Of course, we are only seeing the beginning of the backlash to this ruling.
At the end of the day, the government has no right or authority to retroactively make tens of thousands of people criminals. And what is the government worried about anyway? After all, AR pistols are not “weapons of war,” they’re useless against Joe Biden’s F-15 fighter jets!
An effective, albeit temporary, solution to this problem?
H.R. 374. Abolish the ATF.
You’ll want to pay close attention to who cosponsors this bill. You’ll want to pay even more attention to who doesn’t. The time for scaredy-puss Representatives is long past. Abolishing these agencies is the bare minimum.
Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
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