GOP Leader Defends Gun Dealers From Biden’s Agenda

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst has recently proposed the FIREARM Act, a pivotal piece of legislation aimed at safeguarding gun owners from what critics perceive as an overreaching Biden administration crackdown on gun dealers. This bill seeks to address concerns raised by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and provide a framework that promotes cooperation between the government and gun dealers. By emphasizing self-reporting, encouraging compliance, and enabling judicial review, the FIREARM Act aims to strike a balance between ensuring public safety and protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.

The FIREARM Act, introduced by Senator Ernst, aims to rectify the perceived bias against gun dealers by offering a safe harbor for self-reporting violations. Under this legislation, gun dealers would have the opportunity to correct statutory and regulatory violations rather than facing immediate license revocation. By fostering a cooperative relationship between gun dealers and the ATF, the bill seeks to promote compliance and prevent the unnecessary closure of small businesses.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has expressed its support for the FIREARM Act, emphasizing the importance of rebuilding trust between gun dealers and federal agencies. Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President & General Counsel, states that the bill will help ensure that the ATF fulfills its role as a regulatory agency rather than becoming a political tool. By repairing the strained relationship between firearm retailers and the ATF, the legislation aims to strengthen the frontline defense against illegal firearms transactions and promote community safety.

In addition to Senator Ernst’s efforts, Republican Representative Darrell Issa is also working on similar legislation in the House. Both politicians share the belief that the Biden administration’s actions have undermined the Second Amendment and unfairly targeted law-abiding citizens and small businesses within the firearms industry. The FIREARM Act represents a united front against the perceived abuse of power, aiming to prevent such actions from occurring again.

The Wall Street Journal reported a significant increase in license revocations by the ATF in recent years. In the last fiscal year, 122 gun dealers had their licenses revoked, compared to 90 the previous year and only 27 in 2021. This surge in revocations has raised concerns about the fairness and consistency of enforcement actions. During the presidencies of Trump and Obama, the number of license revocations never exceeded 81, highlighting the need to reevaluate the current approach.

ATF spokesperson Kristina Mastropasqua emphasizes that the ATF’s core mission is to protect the public from violent crimes involving firearms. While the agency recognizes the critical role gun dealers play in preventing illegal transactions, it is essential to ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations. Mastropasqua explains that willful violations by gun dealers jeopardize public safety, and the ATF’s actions aim to address these concerns.