Attorney Generals from 18 anti-gun states wrote to the United States Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting his assistance in sealing a “regulatory loophole” that allegedly allows prohibited persons to circumvent gun control laws. They urged AG Garland to direct the ATF to treat 80 percent receivers as completed firearms.
“ATF’s interpretation of the federal Gun Control Act allows a dangerous loophole that gives criminals ready access to even the most dangerous types of firearms: the “80% receiver” loophole. Some of us have expressed our views through legal action, and others had the opportunity to meet with ATF and shared our view that addressing this loophole is an urgent public safety priority,” the letter stated.
They added that the unfinished firearms are “sold with the express intention that the average person can build a gun from them with common tools and no advanced skill.” It seems that the attorneys general have a problem with the average person accessing firearms for self-defense.
The authors said that although Congress intends to regulate unfinished firearms, the ATF had the necessary authority to redefine them. Thus, they encouraged the ATF to overreach by legislating, which is beyond its mandate.
Contrarily, we need more accountability from the agency that believes to be above the law. The ATF Accountability Act of 2021 hopes to bring the ATF in line with other federal regulators by introducing a process to challenge its bureaucratic determinations.
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution allows non-prohibited persons to make firearms for personal use. Thus, describing the lawful access to unfinished firearm components as a loophole is an attack on the constitution.
Additionally, preventing law-abiding citizens from accessing these parts would be a violation of their constitutional rights.
If criminals can obtain these parts illegally, it is because of the lack of enforcement of existing laws. Similarly, banning the sale of unfinished gun parts would not prevent criminals from illegally making firearms or accessing them through other means.
Attorney Generals Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania, William Tong, Connecticut, Kathleen Jennings, Delaware, Karl Racine, The District Of Columbia, Clare Connors, Hawaii, Kwame Raoul, Illinois, Tom Miller, Iowa, Maura Healey, Massachusetts, Dana Nessel, Michigan, Gurbir S. Grewal, New Jersey, Hector Balderas, New Mexico, Letitia James, New York, Josh Stein, North Carolina, Ellen F. Rosenblum, Oregon, Peter Neronha, Rhode Island, Thomas J. Donovan, Jr., Vermont, Mark Herring, Virginia, and Bob Ferguson of Washington State appended their signatures.
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