Last Wednesday, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) announced a new plan to immediately eliminate the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms (ATF) — a bill Gaetz calls the ‘Abolish the ATF Act.’
“U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) introduced the ‘Abolish the ATF Act’ of 2023, which eliminates the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms (ATF) immediately after the bill’s enactment,” a press release for Gaetz reads.
This move comes after the ATF took steps to restrict “stabilizing braces” that convert pistols into short-barreled rifles. The ATF will now require a specific license to own these accessories. Fox News adds that while Attorney General Merrick Garland thinks the move will enhance public safety, Gaetz believes it will unfairly disenfranchise “disabled gun owners and veterans,” who rely on stabilizing grips for fire with one hand.
“I have a lot of disabled veterans in my district who enjoy pistol shooting and rely on stabilizing braces to be able to engage in the activity. The recent actions from the ATF essentially allow them to make case-by-case determinations on whether a pistol with a stabilizing brace is legal or an unlawful, sawed-off shotgun,” Gaetz told Fox News Digital.
According to Gaetz, this act has been a long time coming — since 2020 in fact.
“During his time in Congress, Congressman Gaetz has sounded the alarm more than once on ATF overreach. In June and September of 2020, he issued letters to Attorney General William Barr and Acting ATF Director Regina Lombardo calling on the ATF to cease taking any actions and reconsider or rescind any secret determinations which call into question the legality of firearms owned by millions of law-abiding Americans,'” the press release adds.
“Last week, however, the ATF then cited Rep. Gaetz’s June 2020 letter in their latest announcement of big government overreach by forcing gun owners to face risk of a felony charge if they do not register their firearms with stabilizing braces,” it continued.
This prompted Gaetz to reply, “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. They must be stopped. My bill today would abolish the ATF once and for all.”
This move could very well reshape the Washington bureaucracy as we know it.