Senate Republicans: New ATF rules could pave the way for a national gun registry

A group of Senate Republicans on Monday sent a letter to the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) expressing concerns that two of the agency’s recently proposed rules on guns could lay the groundwork for a national gun registry.

One of the regulations, called Proposed rule 2021R-05, requires licensed manufacturers and importers to keep permanent records of the production or import of firearms, in addition to receipts, proof of sale and other means of distribution, among other initiatives.

“This proposed rule would take an important step towards a national gun registry by requiring that the FFL [federal firearms license] dealers to keep the personal information of firearm owners and records of transactions involving firearms, including their makes, models and serial numbers, forever ”, read the letter of the GOP Sens. Josh hawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyGOP split over bills targeting tech giants Pence heckled with ‘traitor’ calls at Conservative conference Five takeaways from Supreme Court Obamacare decision MORE (Mo.), Tom Tillis (NC), Ted cruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz White House denies suspension of military aid to Ukraine (Texas) and Tom’s CottonTom Bryant Cotton Jon Stewart Shows Late Night Compliance Cabal How Political Comedy Is Made The Hill’s Morning Report – After the High Stakes Biden-Putin Summit, What Now? Court fines baker 0 for refusing to bake gender transition cake (Ark.).

Senators said the second measure, officially known as Proposed rule 2021R-08, “Would reverse years of interpretive advice and reclassify millions of AR-15 style pistols and firearms as” short-barreled shotguns. ” “

As a result, they said the guns would be placed “under the strict regulatory regime of the National Firearms Act and would make it a federal crime to possess them otherwise.”

Republicans wrote that the rules are “quite worrying at first glance,” while slamming AFT for its “apparent will” to unilaterally reform gun policy.

“The rights of Americans to keep and bear firearms are protected by the Second Amendment, and the responsibility for implementing these constitutional protections rests with elected lawmakers – not unelected federal bureaucrats,” they said.

The group asked the ATF to answer five questions related to the case, including the steps it plans to take to ensure that no new information that is retained under the proposed rule is used to targeting “legitimate gun owners by federal or other politically motivated purposes.”

Senators also asked what new measures the office plans to take to implement the measures in draft regulation 2021R-08.

The letter to acting ATF director Marvin Richardson comes amid new conversations about gun violence after a series of deadly shootings in the spring.

April Morning Consult-Politico follow-up survey found that 64 percent of registered voters said they supported “stricter gun control laws in the United States,” while 28 percent said they were against stricter laws.

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