Democrats want to give the ATF unlimited powers to enact gun control laws. Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA-08) and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) sponsored a bill that would “remove irresponsible statutory restrictions” on ATF, giving it sweeping decision-making powers on issues beyond its authority. The ATF Improvement and Modernization Act or the AIM Act will allow the agency to operate above the law.
“Our legislation would empower the government professionals charged with protecting the public to actually do their jobs and prevent criminals from acquiring and using guns,” Rep Beyer said, “This is a common-sense approach to addressing an issue that claims tens of thousands of American lives every year…,” Beyer said.
Beyer referred to the current checks on the ATF as “barriers elected by gun-industry hardliners” which must be removed to allow the ATF to carry its obligations. Beyer wants the ATF to be absolved of any legal responsibility.
Several gun control groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Giffords, Brady United Against Gun Violence, Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, and March for Our Lives support the bill.
Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence executive director, Elizabeth Banach, said that the bill would allow the ATF to access “essential data that will assist in tracking the source of illegal guns.”
One of the provisions of the AIM Act is to allow the ATF “to maintain a national centralized firearm database.”
This provision suggests that the ATF should be allowed to track firearm users to determine the number of illegal firearms. The FBI and local law enforcement agencies know the number and sources of illegal guns. The ATF does not have to spy on law-abiding citizens to catch unlawful gun owners. Besides, even if the ATF demanded the registration of firearms and tracking of gun owners, criminals would still not comply.
Americans have complained incessantly about government agencies illegally spying on them. We cannot afford to have another organization spying on Americans for political purposes.
Adzi Vokhiwa, Giffords federal affairs director, blamed the federal government for “tying ATF’s hands at every turn.” She doesn’t understand that we need those restrictions to prevent abuses. Currently, the ATF demands more powers to “lower the standard of proof for revoking a seller’s license.” This privilege would allow it to shut down firearm retailers using flimsy excuses.
“The ATF Improvement and Modernization Act of 2020 eliminates many of the harmful budget riders that were intended to tie the hands of the ATF and would bring the Bureau into the 21st century,” the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence executive director, Josh Horwitz, said.
The ATF wants to be allowed to use its budget for activities that do not guarantee the safety of Americans.
The anti-gunners’ backing of the AIM Act proves that the latest ATF power abuses had a political motive. Democrats wouldn’t support the ATF if they were not benefitting politically. We believe that every agency should only operate under the law. We encourage you to contact your legislators and tell them to oppose the bill.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.
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