ATF to Alter the Basic Definition of ‘Firearm’

I’m sure you know by now that the Biden Administration and political left are doing everything in their power to implement new gun control laws. In truth, they’ve been trying for years, managing to get a minimal new measure put in place every so often. But clearly, nothing they’ve done so far is really working.

Of course, rather than admit their defeat, they’ve surmised that they need to simply implement more until Americans no longer have the right to keep and bear arms.

The only problem is that most of America and, therefore, Congress, as our national representation, isn’t about to let that happen. And the left knows it.

So what are they going to do? Well, they’re going to bypass Congress altogether, just like they have with so many other executive orders so far in Biden’s short term.

Now, to be clear, Biden isn’t writing another executive order banning all guns or even really creating any new gun limitations. Instead, he’s simply had the Department of Justice’s law enforcement arm, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, better known as ATF, make all the changes.

According to The Federalist, newly appointed leftist Attorney General Merrick Garland has recently signed off on a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” titled the “Definition of Frame or Receiver and Identification of Firearms.

The rule was proposed in May, and while approved by Garland, the process of making it into reality is far from over. After being submitted, the rule then sits for a period of time, receiving comments from the public on why it should or shouldn’t be accepted. That period ended on Thursday.

Naturally, those comments will now be taken into consideration before it is further approved.

Should that happen, it would, on the surface, merely change a few definitions, such as the words “frame,” “receiver,” and “firearm” itself as they relate to guns. However, upon a closer inspection, these seemingly minor changes will do things like creating a backdoor gun registration program, prohibit “homemade” or 3D-printed guns, and require a background check to buy gun parts.

And here to point out all of that is no less than 27 Republican Congressional lawmakers.

In a recent comment criticizing the proposal, the congress members, all part of the Second Amendment Caucus and led by Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky, focused on the fact that such a rule change would be illegal.


Well, first and foremost, Massie wrote that “the NPRM is omnibus gun control legislation clothed as a regulation to implement the existing statute.” And by law, that just isn’t allowed.

Like all other independent agencies, ATF is free and even encouraged to make recommendations on such subjects to Congress. However, only Congress itself has the authority to enact new laws or change the statutes of an existing one.

This means that ATF, as well as AG Garland, simply don’t have the authority to make the changes they are proposing.

But there are other reasons as to the illegality of such a proposal.

As the lawmakers point out, Congress already has a law that establishes that a gun “part or parts” cannot be regulated as a firearm, as the proposal suggests should be done. According to the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, it is “impractical to treat each small part of a firearm as if it were a weapon.”

And yet, the ATF proposal would exactly that.

That brings us to the next problem with the proposal.

When speaking of gun parts, “frames or receivers” are the only part that can be regulated by law, as these are the basic foundation of the weapon or contain the action or firing capabilities. However, some guns, such as the ever-popular AR-15, include two receivers, an upper and a lower. The upper, as it does not contain the action and is a lesser part, has never been regulated.

Of course, ATF wants to change that, making yet another part now to require a background check.

The last main problem with the rule change is that ATF has suggested prohibiting “homemade” weapons, which again goes directly against an already Congress-established law. In fact, when looking at ATF’s own website, they state that no license is “required to make a firearm solely for personal use.” and there is no law prohibiting such.

But because these homemade or 3D-printed guns are “difficult to trace,” ATF wants to make it a law.

Of course, this goes right back to the fact that they don’t have that authority. Hopefully, the powers that be will see that these changes shouldn’t be allowed. If not, you can bet there will be court challenges.