Biden Proposes Increasing Budget Of Agency Pushing Gun Regulations By 30%

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President Joe Biden’s proposed budget includes a 30% boost to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Under Biden’s proposed fiscal year 2025 budget, the agency would receive $2 billion, which is a 30% increase since 2021, according to the White House. The agency continues to push forward with new firearm restrictions like “zero tolerance” policies that target gun dealers for any instance they are found out of compliance with the law, cracking down on “ghost guns” and increasing regulations on private sellers.

The White House said the increase in funding, part of a $17.7 billion allocation for the Department of Justice (DOJ), would help the agency “effectively investigate and prosecute gun crimes.”

Agency whistleblowers recently told the watchdog group Empower Oversight in January that the ATF drafted a 1,300 page document to support a proposed rule that would “effectively ban private sales of firearms from one citizen to another.” The agency announced a proposed rule in August that would change the definition of being “engaged in the business” as a dealer in firearms to include private sellers — even those making a sale in their own home to a friend or family member — requiring them to obtain a license and run a background check on the purchaser.

“ATF agents did not sign up to go after law-abiding citizens for private sales protected under the Second Amendment of the Constitution,” said Empower Oversight President Tristan Leavitt in a statement. (RELATED: Biden Grants Longtime Wish To Gun Control Activists With Creation Of ‘Gun Violence Prevention’ Office)

In June 2021, Biden instructed the Justice Department to show “zero tolerance for willful violations of the law by federally licensed firearms dealers that put public safety at risk” — which can include even clerical errors. The ATF dramatically increased the number of gun store licenses revoked in the following year.

The ATF has sought to crack down on “ghost guns” through its “Frame or Receiver” rule. The rule expands the definition of firearm to include parts kits that are “readily convertible to functional weapons” or “functional ‘frames’ or ‘receivers’ of weapons.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found the regulation unlawful in November. The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to reverse the ruling in February.

“ATF, in promulgating its final rule, attempted to take on the mantle of Congress to ‘do something’ with respect to gun control,” U.S. Circuit Judge Kurt Engelhardt wrote in the decision. “But it is not the province of an executive agency to write laws for our nation.”

The Supreme Court also heard a case in February on the ATF’s Trump-era bump stock ban, which the Biden administration has continued to defend.

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