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Whistleblowers: Biden ATF Drafting Gun Rule to Ban Private Sales

A watchdog group claimed on Wednesday that whistleblowers have revealed a plan at the Biden Administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to implement a new rule that would ban all private gun sales.

As reported by the New York Post, the watchdog group Empower Oversight said that the report came from two whistleblowers inside the ATF, and that the draft rule in question would require background checks for most or all firearms sales.

It would be similar to a proposal that Biden himself made back in August, demanding that everyone who “repetitively” sells guns must be registered as a federally-licensed gun dealer, and thus be forced to undergo background checks. Gun dealers who are federally licensed must enter the information of all purchasing customers into the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Tristan Leavitt, the president of Empower Oversight, took to X to give more information about the alleged plot.

“At the direction of the White House, ATF has drafted a 1,300-page document to justify a rule effectively banning the private sale of firearms,” Leavitt said in a series of posts. “The whistleblowers say the rule is being drafted by Senior Policy Counsel Eric Epstein, who worked as the Phoenix Field Office’s Division Counsel during Operation Wide Receiver (a precursor of Operation Fast and Furious).”

“Such a sweeping rule with the effect of banning private sales would clearly violate the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which declares that ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” Leavitt pointed out.

Following the report, Empower Oversight made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Wednesday to both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the ATF, demanding all communications between the White House and both agencies involving any such plan.

An ATF spokeswoman refused to comment on the whistleblowers’ allegations, but simply said that “because the proposed rule is still working its way through the process, we cannot comment further.”

If the new rule were to be implemented, it would most likely face legal action that would eventually end up before the Supreme Court. Gun control has become one of Biden’s top priorities, with the administration seeking numerous ways to crack down on Second Amendment Rights, particularly in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in June of 2022 in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, which overturned an over 100-year old law in New York demanding that residents who wished to seek a concealed-carry permit had to provide “proper cause” before doing so.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images