By Steve Neavling
Far-right U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced a bill on Tuesday to abolish the ATF after the agency tightened regulations on pistol-stabilizing braces.
The Florida Republican said the agency has ignored his concerns about taking actions that “call into question the legality of firearms owned by millions of law-abiding Americans.”
“House Republicans have the ATF in our crosshairs. The continued existence of the ATF is increasingly unwarranted based on their repeated actions to convert law-abiding citizens into felons,” Gaetz said in a statement. “They must be stopped. My bill today would abolish the ATF once and for all.”
Gaetz said the final straw was the ATF’s ruling that will treat guns with stabilizing accessories like short-barreled rifles.
Gaetz has complained that the ruling punishes gun owners and veterans with disabilities.
The ATF previously said that its rule does not impact stabilizing braces that are “objectively designed and intended as a ‘stabilizing brace’ for use by individuals with disabilities, and not for shouldering the weapon as a rifle. Such stabilizing braces are designed to conform to the arm and not as a buttstock. However, if the firearm with the ‘stabilizing brace’ is a short-barreled rifle, it needs to be registered within 120-days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.”
It’s unclear if Gaetz will have broad support among Republicans, which he would need to pass the bill.
So far, the bill has no cosponsors.
With Republicans in control of the U.S. House, conservatives have threatened to take action against other federal law enforcement agencies, like the FBI, making baseless allegations of political bias.
Last week, a Texas Republican congressman filed articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, arguing he broke the law over his handling of the border crisis.