A groundbreaking development beckons on the horizon with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reportedly readying itself to implement a new regulation impacting private firearm transactions. Empower Oversight, a whistleblower collective famed for its role in the Hunter Biden case, has disclosed this impending alteration, which would obligate all private gun sales to undergo a background check by the FBI.
In a communication addressed to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Empower Oversight expressed its staunch objection to the new rule, labeling it as an ‘unconstitutional’ overreach of the bureau’s authority. It further revealed, based on information from two sources, that this regulation was in the making.
Empower Oversight voiced serious concerns, indicating that the power to effect this change officially lies within the domain of congressional authority due to a statute instated in 1986. This law precisely negated the requirement of background checks for gun transactions between private citizens.
The implicated federal agency is said to be guided by the orders of the White House in crafting this change, and has purportedly compiled an extensive document spanning 1,300 pages to support the new regulation. However, the whistleblower group insists that any law broadening the scope of the ATF’s oversight to the extent of categorizing private citizens equivalent to federal firearms licensees goes beyond its mandate.
Empower Oversight contends that such an augmentation of the ruling potentially sidesteps the constitutional separation of power, which attributes ‘all legislative powers’ exclusively to Congress. Concurrently, it is incumbent on the President to ensure that the laws are abided by in good faith and not to mold them.
The constitutional legality of this impending regulation is of paramount importance. The organization warns that any rule prohibiting private gun sales could encroach upon the fundamental rights of the citizen as per the Second Amendment, which unambiguously asserts that ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’
The group further implies the possible emergence of uneasy interactions between the ATF officers and the citizens, especially drawing reminders from two volatile incidents originating from federal incursions in the 1990s.
The grievous specter of Ruby Ridge and Waco standoffs in the previous century has been evoked as a warning signalling the high-risk nature of implementing such extensive regulation. Such execution could put ATF field agents, representing the current administration’s directives, in potentially dire situations while dealing with private firearm owners executing their constitutional rights.
Earlier this year in March, President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling for a clarified definition of those ‘engaged in the business of dealing in firearms.’ This move aimed at boosting adherence to the Federal background check requirement in the selling of firearms. During that time, the President openly admitted his objective was to bring the country as close as possible to universal background checks.
Following President Biden’s executive order, the ATF put forward a proposed rule which subsequently sparked concern among those advocating for the Second Amendment. It bred apprehensions that the administration was endeavoring to require even private individuals who were selling just one firearm online to register as a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL).
In their discourse, Empower Oversight indicated that the 1986 law ratified by President Ronald Reagan had lucidly defined that the ‘business’ of selling firearms ‘shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms.’
Currently, there is a significant uptick in firearm sales evident during President Biden’s term. More and more Americans are becoming worried about escalating crime rates and the latent threat of terrorism following the October attack in Israel by Hamas that took the lives of roughly 1,400 individuals.
The surge in crime rates, particularly noticeable in cities led by Democratic officials, along with frequent encounters with illegal immigrants, has led to a stark increase in firearms sales. According to reports from the Washington Examiner, the tally has surpassed an impressive 14 million, hitting a record in November.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the representative for the firearms industry that adjusts FBI background check data to estimate sales, recorded an astonishing 1,595,476 sales last month alone. The Foundation had previously reported that 214,913 firearms were sold on Black Friday alone, setting a new single-day high.
The sales figure for the entire year is predicted to reach a staggering 14,072,224, according to the same group. NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva, commenting on this trend, quashed the narrative that the firearm market has reached saturation, stating the contrary to popular belief.
The data is indicative of the broadening market, and works against the belief that the firearm market may be stagnant or saturated. Thus, the narrative of a static firearm market fails to hold water, underscoring the fluctuating need and significance of firearm possession among the citizens.
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