GOP Compromise Unintentionally Creates Universal Firearm Background Checks

Remember the Cornyn-Murphy Compromise that Gun Owners of America and our members warned Congress about? We were loud and clear about how this legislation did nothing to end mass public murders and only infringed on gun owners’ rights.

We attempted to warn elected officials. Nevertheless, Congress rushed to sign gun rights away, including 15 Republican Senators who enabled the passage of the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.”

Well, President Biden just announced that he’ll be using his “regulatory authority” to implement Universal Background Checks thanks to that bill.

When we told the anti-gunners in Congress how this bill was poison and would just add fuel to the fire for President Biden to go beyond what was written, compromise-hungry swamp monsters didn’t believe us.

Well, we hate to say, “I told you so,” but that’s exactly what happened. The Biden Administration, by their own admission, is going around Congress to infringe on your rights.

President Biden wants to use the expanded definition of “engaged in the business” to force you to file a background check for every single time you purchase a firearm.

According to the White House, the President is directing the Attorney General to move the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation by supposedly clarifying the statutory definition of who is “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms, as updated by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

It seems that Biden would rather harass law-abiding gun owners who sell as few as just one firearm per year than lock up the criminals who are responsible for gun violence.

Keep reading

Feds used secret form to strip citizen of 2A rights as part of plea deal

Gabe Kaminsky of the Washington Examiner has been doing a great job of covering the scandalous use of a secret form used by the FBI and Secret Service that compelled individuals to “voluntarily” give up their right to keep and bear arms during the Obama and Trump administration. Thanks to Gun Owners of America’s invaluable work in uncovering these documents through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, we know that the form was used on at least 60 individuals, and now Kaminsky reports that in at least one case the form appeared to have been used as plea bargain bait.

The U.S. government conditioned a plea agreement with a defendant stipulating they sign a secret form, which was not authorized through Congress and has been slammed as “unconstitutional” by Republican lawmakers, that stripped their rights to buy, own, or use firearms, documents show.

Between 2011 and 2019, the FBI, Secret Service, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement coordinated to obtain signatures on an internal form from at least 60 U.S. citizens that stripped their gun rights, according to newly obtained records and multiple Washington Examiner reports. In at least one instance, the bureau and Secret Service worked behind closed doors with what appears to be a government prosecutor who conditioned signing of the form as part of a legal case, the Washington Examiner has learned.

“Dear Agent [redacted],” reads a June 10, 2019, letter written by a lawyer to a Secret Service agent in West Palm Beach, Florida. “You will find enclosed the NICS firearm form which has been signed by my client and his doctor. This is being provided in compliance with [redacted] plea agreement. Yours sincerely.”

It’s unclear what the 2019 defendant was being charged with or why the FBI and Secret Service had involvement. The FBI redacted the case number on the document, which was obtained by the firearms rights group Gun Owners of America through the Freedom of Information Act and shared with the Washington Examiner.

There are still some very basic questions about the form’s existence that have not been answered by the FBI or the Secret Service, including what agency developed the form and why it was put into use without any Congressional notification. Well, actually I think we know the answer to that last question. Given that there is no provision in federal law allowing someone to voluntarily give up their Second Amendment rights and prohibit themselves from passing a NICS check, there’s good reason why these agencies wanted to keep congressional watchdogs and the general public about the existence of these forms.

Keep reading

‘All-Out War’: Biden’s Budget Would Balloon ATF Funding To Nearly $2 Billion, Up 50% From Obama Admin

President Joe Biden is seeking to beef up the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) budget to $1.9 billion in fiscal year 2024, a $663 million increase in funding compared to the end of the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2017 budget.

Under Biden’s proposed fiscal year 2024 budget, the ATF would receive $1.9 billion in federal funding, an increase of roughly 50% or $663 million compared to the end of the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2017 budget of $1.237 billion. Biden’s budget coincides with several gun control measures, including pistol stabilizer rulesghost gun rules and a “zero tolerance” policy for gun dealers.

“Especially through the Department of Justice, and in particular with the ATF, this administration has declared all-out-war on the Second Amendment,” director of federal affairs for Second Amendment advocacy group Gun Owners of America (GOA), Aidan Johnston, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Whether it’s their demands for significant increases in funding for enforcement, by arbitrarily changing statutory definitions via executive fiat, or by implementing a zero tolerance policy to shutdown firearms dealers and expand an illegal gun registry, President Biden and his anti-gun cabal are doing everything they can to harass, discourage, and chip away at gun owners and the community as a whole.”

Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget would provide additional funding to the ATF to further regulate the firearms industry, create gun trafficking strike forces, enforce background checks and implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, according to the budget. Alongside the DOJ and ATF, the FBI will receive $51 million to support the continued implementation of enhanced background checks required by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

If the proposed budget for fiscal year 2024 is passed, the ATF’s budget would increase by 35.7% or $500 million compared to the final year 2020 budget of $1.4 billion when Biden took office. Year over year, the budget would increase by $200 million, a 13.6% increase from the fiscal year 2023 budget.

Keep reading

Biden to sign executive order to require background checks on more gun sales

President Biden is expected to announce an executive order on Tuesday that would expand background checks to more firearm sales by expanding the statutory definition of a firearms dealer, the White House said.

Biden is set to sign the order during a trip to Monterey Park, California, where he will meet with families and the community impacted by the mass shooting that killed 11 and injured nine others in January. The White House said the executive order will bring the U.S. “as close to universal background checks as possible” without additional legislation.

Under the executive order, Biden is also directing Attorney General Merrick Garland to develop and implement a plan to prevent former federally licensed firearms dealers, whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered, from continuing to engage in the business of dealing in firearms.

Keep reading

The DOJ Says Marijuana Use, Which Biden Thinks Should Not Be a Crime, Nullifies the Second Amendment

President Joe Biden thinks it is unfair that people convicted of simple marijuana possession face lingering consequences for doing something that he says should not be treated as a crime. Biden cited those burdens last October, when he announced a mass pardon of low-level federal marijuana offenders, which he said would help “thousands of people who were previously convicted of simple possession” and “who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result.” Yet the Biden administration, which recently began accepting applications for pardon certificates aimed at ameliorating those consequences after dragging its feet for five months, is actively defending another blatantly unjust disability associated with cannabis consumption: the loss of Second Amendment rights.

Under federal law, it is a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, for an “unlawful user” of a “controlled substance” to possess firearms. The ban applies to all cannabis consumers, even if they live in one of the 37 states that have legalized medical or recreational use. That disability, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled last month, is not “consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation”—the constitutional test established by the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The Justice Department recently filed a notice indicating that it intends to appeal the decision against the gun ban for marijuana users.

The Biden administration’s defense of the ban relies on empirically and historically dubious assertions about the sort of people who deserve to exercise the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Among other things, the Justice Department argues that “the people” covered by the Second Amendment do not include Americans who break the law, no matter how trivial the offense. It also argues that marijuana users are ipso facto untrustworthy and unvirtuous, which it says makes them ineligible for gun rights.

According to the Biden administration, the original understanding of the right to arms included exceptions broad enough to encompass people who consume any intoxicant that legislators might one day decide to prohibit. It says the law criminalizing gun possession by cannabis consumers is analogous to laws targeting “intoxicated” people who carry guns in public places.

Keep reading

FBI worked secretly with hospitals to strip US citizens’ gun rights, documents show

The FBI coordinated secretly with hospitals and medical centers to strip U.S. citizens of their rights to own, buy, or even use firearms , according to a trove of internal documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.

Behind closed doors and without congressional approval, the FBI has worked hand in hand with the Secret Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to strip over two dozen people of their gun rights with internal forms, records show. On the heels of this revelation by the Washington Examiner in December 2022, newly obtained documents and emails shed light on how the bureau apparently received a helping hand from medical facilities to waive gun rights from at least five people.

“Any time you have evidence of private entities coordinating with federal agents to strip Americans of their rights, the public should be alarmed and demanding answers and action,” said Aidan Johnston, federal affairs director for Gun Owners of America, a firearms rights group. “This is just the latest terrifying new instance of the illegal NICS self-submission form being used in nefarious ways, and those who used it to violate the public’s trust must be held to account.”

Between 2016 and 2019, the FBI presented forms to U.S. citizens at their homes and in other undisclosed locations that registered them with the bureau’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the Washington Examiner previously reported . Newly obtained records, however, date the FBI’s usage of the form back to 2011.

Keep reading

Biden vows to ban assault weapons ‘come hell or high water’

President Biden said in a speech on Wednesday that he’s going to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines “come hell or high water.”

Biden made the comments at the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, on Wednesday night.

“I know it may make some of you uncomfortable,but that little state above me, Delaware is one of them, hasthe highest rate, one of the highest rates of gun ownership. But guess what? We’re going to ban assault weapons again come hell or high water and high capacity magazines. When we did it last time to reduce mass deaths,” Biden said. 

Biden’s comments come after three students were killed on Feb. 13 at Michigan State University, injuring another six people. The suspected gunman, Anthony McRae, later killed himself before police could arrest him.

Keep reading

Michigan may soon enact red flag laws. Implementation could make all the difference.

After a mass shooting on Michigan State University’s campus that left three students dead and another five wounded, Democratic lawmakers set their sights on altering gun ownership practices in Michigan.

The bills, introduced days after the shooting, fall into three categories: Requiring universal background checks for the sale of all firearms; establishing penalties for failing to safely store a gun when around a minor under the age of 18; and creating a process to implement extreme risk protection orders – otherwise known as red flag laws – in the state of Michigan.

These specific laws are frequently touted from anti-gun violence groups as being the start of true reform in curbing firearm-related deaths. But opponents of the bills say that the better solution comes from focusing on mental health supports instead of penalizing all gun owners for the actions of a specific few.

Legislative Republicans have pointed toward work done by the Bipartisan School Safety Task force as being a better solution to curbing firearm violence, especially in Michigan schools. The package, born in the wake of a 2021 shooting at Oxford High School which left four students dead, deals primarily with K-12 school safety while installing more security and mental health coordinators.

But to researchers like Shannon Frattaroli, a professor and course faculty member with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, it’s not a question of which is better – mental health or gun safety supports – but how best to combine the two with preventing community violence.

“Implementation is really a key component to gun policy and the potential to realize an effect,” she said. “It’s critically important to focus on guns … but there’s also a lot of progress to be made on some sort of community violence prevention interventions, thinking about how it is that we can really start to address the root causes of violence.”

That’s especially true of implementing red flag laws, Frattaroli added. As of 2022, 19 states including Florida, Maryland, Colorado, Illinois and Oregon – as well as Washington D.C. – possess a form of risk-based gun removal laws.

Keep reading

Department of Defense Panel: Prohibit Gun Sales to Troops Under Age 25

A panel commissioned by the Department of Defense (DOD), the Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee (SPRIRC), released a report Friday in which it suggested prohibiting gun sales to troops under the age of 25.

The panel recommended barring ammunition sales t0 those under the age of 25 as well.

FOX News reported SPRIRC’s findings, noting that the panel described prohibitions against gun purchases as a “high priority.”

SPRIRC is also pushing for a national database containing serial numbers of all guns sold on DOD property as well as a seven-day waiting period for DOD gun sales.

The panel’s report also calls for “a 4-day waiting period for ammunition purchases on DoD property to follow purchases and receipt of firearms purchased on DoD property.”

Dr. Craig Bryan, one of the SPRIRC panel members, said, “What we learned over the past year was that a significant percentage of on-base suicides involve firearms purchased on base at military exchanges, and so, yes, the motive behind this really is to, in essence, slow down access to firearms,” according to CBS News.

Keep reading

‘Zero Tolerance’: The Biden Admin Is Allegedly Shutting Down Gun Stores For Minor Clerical Errors

Gun stores are closing at rapid rates after the Biden administration implemented a “zero tolerance” policy for gun dealers and added updated language to define what can be classified as a “willful” violation, leaving Federal Firearm License (FFL) revocations at a 16-year high, according to Second Amendment advocacy group Gun Owners of America (GOA).

The increase in FFL revocations is due, in part, to language and administrative changes within the ATF, as the prior guidance said that the ATF “may” revoke FFls while the new “zero tolerance” policy says that the ATF “will” revoke FFLs for initial violations. The increase in license revocations, 92 in 2022 alone, is also due to the updated procedure that the ATF follows, as they no longer always go through a multi-step process, often opting to pull licenses for a multitude of “willful” violations, according to a GOA fact sheet and leaked documents on the updated policy. 

“Back in the day there was a process that they would go through when they discover a mistake or an incorrect record, and it starts with a warning letter. They work with the FFL, and then on second inspection, if they find more mistakes, they’ll do a work conference and actually talk to the FFL. Then, if they still are uncompliant, after that they would do a license revocation hearing,” GOA Director of Federal Affairs Aidan Johnston told the DCNF.

Under the Biden administration’s new policy, the warning letter and conference safeguards are often circumvented, leaving the ATF to pull licenses on the first go-around, Johnston told the DCNF.

“That’s not how regulatory agencies are supposed to work in the sector that they’re supposed to regulate. They are supposed to help the companies, they’re supposed to ensure compliance but they’re not supposed to punish and destroy an entire industry based on just political opposition or political distaste,” Johnston continued.

The 2022 revocations were the highest since 2008, tripled 2021’s revocations and exceeded revocations from years when twice as many gun stores were inspected, according to the fact sheet. The ATF also issued another 136 warning conferences, the steepest penalty inspectors can recommend without revocation.

Keep reading