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Cornyn, Tillis, Colleagues Introduce Resolution to Block Unconstitutional Biden ATF Rule

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and 42 Senate Republicans today introduced a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to strike down the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) rule on the definition of “Engaged in the Business” as a Dealer in Firearms, which ignores the law and congressional intent and flagrantly violates the Constitution to try to require anyone who sells a firearm to register as a federal firearm licensee:

“This rule is proof that the Biden administration is a dishonest broker, and Congress must hold it accountable for its actions in favor of its gun-grabbing liberal base over the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” said Sen. Cornyn. “We will fight this lawless rule tooth and nail to ensure the God-given right to keep and bear arms is preserved and this flagrant distortion of congressional intent of our landmark mental health and school safety law is struck down.”

“It is outrageous that the Biden Administration decided to take a good faith effort to curb the mental health crisis across our country and turn it into an unconstitutional attempt to restrict firearms from law-abiding American citizens,” said Sen. Tillis. “This overreach is exactly why Republicans don’t trust this Administration, and it will setback any attempt on future bipartisan legislation as long as President Biden is in office. I encourage my colleagues to support this CRA we introduced and immediately overturn this ridiculous regulation.”

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS), Ted Budd (R-NC), John Kennedy (R-LA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), John Boozman (R-AR), Jim Risch (R-ID), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Hoeven (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Mitt Romney (R-UT), James Lankford (R-OK), John Thune (R-SD), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Mike Braun (R-IN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), J.D. Vance (R-OH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Katie Britt (R-AL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) joined the resolution.

Representative Andrew Clyde (GA-09) is leading the resolution in the House of Representatives:

“The ATF’s ‘engaged in the business’ rule represents President Biden’s latest attempt to institute universal background checks, advance the Left’s radical gun control agenda, and infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights,” said Rep. Clyde. “Private citizens simply shouldn’t be forced to jump through unelected, anti-gun bureaucrats’ unconstitutional hurdles to engage in lawful firearms transactions. I look forward to leading this critical CRA in the House, and I urge my colleagues in both chambers to support our measure to stop the Biden Administration’s tyranny in its tracks.”

The resolution is endorsed by Gun Owners of America (GOA), the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF):

“Gun Owners of America is supportive of Senator Cornyn’s efforts to block President Biden’s new ATF rule criminalizing private firearms sales, which are protected under the Second Amendment and legal in a majority of states,” said GOA Director of Federal Affairs Aidan Johnston. “This is nothing more than an attempt to force gun owners to fill out gun registration paperwork like Forms 4473 before transferring even one firearm to even a family member. The death of Bryan Malinowski at the hands of armed ATF agents sent a clear message from the Biden Administration to gun owners: comply or else.”

“With a stroke of the pen, the Biden Administration once again oversteps its authority with this new rule,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Randy Kozuch. “This regulation threatens to turn tens of thousands of upstanding citizens into criminals for exercising their constitutional rights by selling even a single firearm. The NRA fully supports Senator Cornyn and Representative Clyde’s legislation to invalidate this egregious rule.”

“President Biden is using rulemaking by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to impose so-called ‘Universal Background Checks’ rejected by Congress,” said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane. “The rule is unconstitutional because it violates the Separation of Powers by usurping the role of Congress to say what the law is. The rule ignores Congress’ requirements left unchanged by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that a dealer is one who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms. All Congress changed was that the conduct need not be for purpose of earning a livelihood, just that it is predominantly to earn a profit. The Biden administration has repeatedly shown its willingness to run roughshod over the Constitution to attack the fundamental rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. NSSF is tremendously grateful for leadership of Senators John Cornyn and Thom Tillis to exert the will of Congress – the representative of ‘We, the People’ – to its proper role in the lawmaking process and protect of our rights.”

Background:

The resolution builds on a comment filed by Sens. Cornyn and Tillis to the ATF last year arguing that this rule goes expressly against congressional intent of their Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the largest investment in community-based mental health care in American history.

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