May 17 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Recently, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Cornyn (R-TX), and 43 of their Senate Republican colleagues introduced a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to strike down the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) rule on the definition of “Engaged in the Business” as a dealer in firearms. The rule ignores the law and congressional intent and violates the Constitution by criminalizing behavior beyond the text of the statute.

“It is outrageous that the Biden Administration decided to take a good faith effort to curb the mental health crisis across our country and turn it into an unconstitutional attempt to restrict firearms from law-abiding American citizens,” said Senator Tillis. “This executive overreach is exactly why Republicans don’t trust this Administration, and will be an obstacle to any attempt on future bipartisan legislation as long as President Biden is in office. I encourage my colleagues to support the CRA resolution we introduced and immediately overturn this ridiculous regulation.”


The resolution is endorsed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Gun Owners of America (GOA), and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“President Biden is using rulemaking by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to impose so-called ‘Universal Background Checks’ rejected by Congress,” said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane. “The rule is unconstitutional because it violates the Separation of Powers by usurping the role of Congress to say what the law is. The rule ignores Congress’ requirements left unchanged by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that a dealer is one who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms. All Congress changed was that the conduct need not be for purpose of earning a livelihood, just that it is predominantly to earn a profit. The Biden administration has repeatedly shown its willingness to run roughshod over the Constitution to attack the fundamental rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. NSSF is tremendously grateful for leadership of Senators John Cornyn and Thom Tillis to exert the will of Congress – the representative of ‘We, the People’ – to its proper role in the lawmaking process and protect of our rights.” 

“Gun Owners of America is supportive of Senator Cornyn’s efforts to block President Biden's new (ATF) rule criminalizing private firearms sales, which are protected under the Second Amendment and legal in a majority of states,” said GOA Director of Federal Affairs Aidan Johnston. “This is nothing more than an attempt to force gun owners to fill out gun registration paperwork like Forms 4473 before transferring even one firearm to even a family member. The death of Bryan Malinowski at the hands of armed (ATF) agents sent a clear message from the Biden Administration to gun owners: comply or else.”

“With a stroke of the pen, the Biden Administration once again oversteps its authority with this new rule,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Randy Kozuch. “This regulation threatens to turn tens of thousands of upstanding citizens into criminals for exercising their constitutional rights by selling even a single firearm. The NRA fully supports Senator Cornyn and Representative Clyde’s legislation to invalidate this egregious rule.”