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In a surprising reveal, whistleblowers within the ATF have exposed a controversial maneuver. The Bureau is reportedly drafting a hefty 1,300-page document to ban private gun sales, a move that’s raising eyebrows and concerns alike.
Empower Oversight, a watchdog group, is leading the charge against this development. They’ve discovered that Eric Epstein, a senior figure at the ATF with a history in Operation Wide Receiver, is overseeing this project.
Tristan Leavitt, EO’s president, is sounding the alarm. He’s worried that this move will drag ATF agents into a legal gray area, pitting them against citizens in private sale situations protected by the 2A.
“The fact that inside ATF sources are blowing the whistle on this draft rule is an indication of what a difficult position it would put the ATF in,” he said.
“ATF agents did not sign up to go after law-abiding citizens for private sales protected under the Second Amendment of the Constitution,” Leavitt continued.
The plot thickens with a letter from Empower Oversight to Attorney General Merrick Garland and ATF Director Steven Dettelbach.
The letter argues that treating private citizens like federal firearms licensees oversteps constitutional boundaries. It also warns of potential violations of the Second Amendment. It reads, in part:
Such an expansive rule that treats all private citizens the same as federal firearms licensees would circumvent the separation of powers in the Constitution, which grants ‘all legislative Powers’ to Congress while requiring that the President ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.’ To the extent such a rule prevents the private sale of firearms, it would also 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.‘
Empower Oversight isn’t just talking the talk; they’re walking the walk. They’ve filed a Freedom of Information Act request digging into Executive Order 14092 and its role in regulating or banning private firearm sales.
Here’s EO’s records request :
In order to shed light on the drafting of this unconstitutional measure, Empower Oversight requests the following records, for the period from January 1, 2023 to the present, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552:
- All emails to or from ATF Senior Policy Counsel Eric Epstein which include the terms “ban,” “private sale,” “universal background,” and “gun control.”
- Any and all records containing communications between DOJ and ATF regarding the implementation of Executive Order 14092.
- Any and all records containing communications between DOJ or ATF and the White House regarding the development and/or implementation of Executive Order 14092.
- Any and all records containing communications between DOJ and ATF referring or relating to regulating or banning the sale of firearms between private individuals.
- Any and all records containing communications between DOJ or ATF and the White House referring or relating to regulating or banning the sale of firearms between private individuals.
This development could be a turning point in the ongoing debate over gun control and constitutional rights. Empower Oversight is pushing back hard, determined to keep the public informed and the government in check.
For more details and to read the full letter and FOIA request, you can check out their website.
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